When you decide it’s time to buy a home, there are common questions you’ll want to ask yourself and the seller, such as: How much can I afford? What’s the neighborhood like? Are the schools good? Anything need fixing? What’s not included in the purchase price? Why are they selling? And so on. However, there are some key questions you’ll want to ask the seller in order to avoid any unexpected costs after you move in. Let’s take a look at a few of these.
Questions to Ask The Seller
Really what you want to know from these questions is how much money will you expect to spend in the next five-to-ten years in the home. Sure, you may want to paint the walls or the exterior, replace carpets, or update the kitchen. But are there large maintenance expenses just waiting for the new owner? A roof’s underlayment can last 20-25 years and the tiles up to 50. An A/C unit can last 15-20 years. Knowing how old these are can help you project upcoming costs.
Here are the questions to ask the seller:
- How old is the roof? Your home inspector will give you an overview of the roof, from the inside out. However, knowing how old the roof is will help you know when it’ll need repairs or replacement. You may be looking at a $10,000-20,000 expense, depending on the size of the roof and the work needed.
- How old is the AC/HVAC system? A/C systems can last up to 20 years if they’re well maintained. Last thing you want, though, is to move into a house and have it konk out during your first Arizona summer there.
- How old are the other appliances? Ask about the water heater, pool pump, and other appliances.
- Have there been any major renovations done? Renovations are usually a good thing, but they can also be a pending nightmare. Ask for details on any home improvements: How long ago were they done? Is there documentation? Were any follow-up repairs needed?
- Are there any water issues, inside or outside? Ask about past water damage and burst pipes. Water damage is the kind of thing that can stick around and cause problems years later, including mold and structural damage.
- Termite infestations? This is a mandatory part of the inspection, but you’ll want to ask anyway. Termite inspectors can only inspect what they see, and the old damage might be covered up.
- Monthly utility costs? You want to avoid a heart attack with your first electric bill, so ask. Ask about any other expenses that one might not expect.
- Is the attic insulated properly? Over the years, insulation can get blown back from walls, settle deep into the walls, and settle in the attic. And that’s not taking into account that standards have changed over the years.
Asking those questions in addition to the due diligence your Realtor will do for you will help you avoid some costly repairs or updates once you’re in your new home.
But What About…?
Felecia’s Raving Fans
If you’re looking to sell your home or buy a new one, hire somebody who really knows the area and what they’re doing. Call me today, and let’s talk! And maybe get a coffee. (602) 689-1805
Maybe you should ask about these, too? You never know.
- Buried pets? You might want to redo landscaping one day — or add a pool — and want to know if Rover is out there waiting for you.
- Ghosts? Maybe you want a haunted house, but most people would like to know if there’s a ghost roaming around the house.
- Nuisances? Are there trains going by at night? Unneighborly neighbors? Loud bars, restaurants, or parks? What about unruly teens?
Okay, I’m being a little facetious here, but the point is that you want to ask the seller questions, whatever questions you have. You want as complete a picture as you can have before you make this decision.