In our last post we discussed five things you should consider before you buy a home. Today, we have four more for you:
1. Quiz the current owners. Ask about any repair work, problems, or anything they can tell you about the history of the home, whether it was something they dealt with or inherited from the previous owners. You want to have a good feel not just for the home’s current condition, but what kind of recurring issues you might expect. Ask for a detailed record of all past improvements. This can tell you what kind of repairs they’ve made, and hopefully the quality of the work. You should also ask about other things related to the property: flooding, erosion and any landscaping or animal control issues.
2. Get a home inspection. This one should probably go without saying…but you should always insist on an independent, professional home inspection before you commit to anything final. Buying a home is a huge commitment. You’re not being difficult; it’s fair for you to know the exact condition of such a large investment.
3. Ask for utility bills. It’s a good idea to know what you might expect for your monthly bills. Of course, different homeowners will have different usage patterns for things like water and even electricity, but you want to at least know what ballpark you’re in. How much does the heat cost in the winter? How much does the air conditioning cost in the summer? Don’t just take their word for it. Look at their bills. If the sellers are reluctant to share, that might even be a red flag for you.
4. Find out about taxes. Ask about past home reappraisal patterns and property taxes, and ask about the breakdown of state and city taxes in the area. Many counties have websites showing tax assessments and levies. See if you can find specific information on the house and property you’re considering.
At Southstar Communities we take care to walk through each of our properties with you. We’ll share with you any inspection results, known flaws, and improvements made by the existing homeowners. All of our homes are high-quality, custom-built originals, each one carefully planned and executed. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, we’ll happily educate you about the climate and what you should reasonably expect from your utility bills. We also break down state, city, and any other local property taxes for you. We want to set your expectations realistically. Part of our job is to guide you through this entire transition, addressing any of your questions or concerns.