It’s often no surprise to anyone that the spring real estate market can be rushed, competitive and hectic. However, even with this atmosphere, a home is one of the biggest investments you’re likely to ever make and the process being a little hectic shouldn’t stop you from getting all of the information you need to make a sound buying decision.
Arm yourself with a checklist of questions to ask the sellers or their agent so you can really ensure this is the house for you:
- What is the neighbourhood like? (Asking neighbours or local business owners can also be a great way of getting honest information about a neighbourhood).
- Have you recently redecorated or painted? (This is one way to cover up cracks or moisture intrusion).
- Can I try the taps?
- How old is the home? (Maintaining much older homes can be more expensive than newer homes).
- Has the property undergone any major renovations and are there permits for those renovations where necessary? (Even if you buy a home that was renovated without permits before you got there, you can be on the hook for bringing it up to code)
- How long have the owners lived here? (If it’s a very short time or they haven’t lived there at all, it could be an issue with noisy neighbours or even a rushed home flip).
- What exactly is included in the sale? (Unless it’s written down, you can’t expect that light fixture or garden shed to still be there when you move in. If a specific home feature appeals to you, ask about it).
- How did you come up with your asking price?
- How old is the roof of the home? (A roof can last between 15 and 50 years, but is expensive to replace or repair).
- Have any systems been replaced, and when? (This covers electrical, plumbing or older appliances. Consider that updated electrical or plumbing is a selling point you’re likely to hear about, but older appliances are difficult to get repair parts for and often need to be replaced entirely.)