Let's dive into the crucial questions you should be asking when buying a house. I'm here to provide you with a candid perspective on this important process:
1. What's Included in the Sale?
It's vital to clarify what's staying and what's going when you purchase a home. Fixtures, appliances, and even property boundaries can vary. Don't be caught off guard on moving day.
2. How Old Is the Home?
Older homes can bring higher maintenance costs. Know the age of the house and when key elements like the roof, HVAC, and plumbing were last updated. Avoid moving in and immediately facing costly repairs.
3. Repairs and Upgrades?
Not all renovations are equal. Find out who did them and whether permits were obtained. Unpermitted work could lead to issues when securing a loan.
4. Septic or Sewer?
Septic systems come with responsibilities. Learn which one the property uses and consider its impact on landscaping possibilities. Septic is not likely to be a concern for any urban properties, but if you’re looking for an acreage or agricultural property it becomes a very important aspect of the sale.
5. Monthly Utility Costs
Beyond the mortgage, factor in utility expenses. Get figures for extreme weather conditions and know the heating system in use. Calgary also has the ability to lock in utility prices for 5 years, and there are some great calculators available from the utility companies that will give estimates on cost.
6. Natural Hazards
Know if the area is prone to natural disasters. This affects insurance and your peace of mind. Locally, flood plains are important to consider, as well as hail storms and tornadoes outside of the city.
7. Health and Safety Hazards
Discover any potential hazards like asbestos, radon, or mold. Addressing these issues can be costly, so be informed.
8. Neighborhood Insights
Don't just focus on the house; assess the neighborhood too. Consider amenities, crime rates, development projects, and the neighbors themselves.
9. Homeowners Association (HOA)
Determine if the property is part of an HOA. Be aware of their rules, fees, and decide if it aligns with your preferences. A well run HOA is such a benefit, but poorly run HOA’s have some horror stories - check out https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/aizyc2/whats_your_nightmare_hoa_story/
10. Seller's Motivation
Understanding why the seller is moving can aid in negotiations. Different motivations may lead to more flexible terms.
11. Stigmatized Property?
Ask if the house has any unsettling history or supernatural rumors. This could impact your decision and resale potential.
12. Time on the Market
A home's listing duration can raise questions. It's a chance for negotiation, but ensure there are no hidden issues.
Remember, when it comes to real estate, knowledge is power. These questions will empower you to make an informed decision and potentially save you from future headaches.