Four Questions to Ask Before Buying that ‘Perfect’ House


You’ve found the house that matches your dreams. But are you sure you’re in love and not just temporarily infatuated? To help you figure it out, here are four of the most important questions to ask before placing your offer.

What is the home’s sale history?

Knowing how much the house has sold for in the past will help you understand how much an agent expects you to pay. It will also tell you whether the house’s sale price has been trending up or down. This information helps you predict neighborhood property values and what kind of a return on your investment you will get when you are ready to sell this home.

Did the sellers make any major renovations or additions?

Ask if the current owners have redone the kitchen or finished the basement. Knowing if they have made any major renovations will help you figure out how much money the owners put into the house, and how much they expect to get back when they sell. Tracking down a little more information about the renovations—including contractors, materials used, and the length of time since construction finished—will help you understand the quality of the work and whether or not you’ll have to update it.

How much are the property taxes?

Usually you can find property tax details right on the listing page. If you can’t find them there, just ask your agent or the seller. Property taxes can be a huge additional expense, and one that takes many buyers buy surprise. Make sure you budget for them when you make your offer.

Does this house have any unusual history?

“Unusual history” generally covers whether the house has been the site of a crime or an unnatural death, owned by a celebrity, or used in a movie. In many states, sellers are required to disclose any crimes associated with the property, but this is not true everywhere. If you want to know more about your home’s history, try doing a little research on state or city websites.


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