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7 Questions You MUST Ask After Before Buying a Home

One of the most important purchases you will ever make might be buying your first home. Taking the time to answer any questions will help you make sure you're fully prepared to buy and also find out whether before making the big move you need to make financial adjustments. Prior to taking the plunge, remember these observations.

1. What's my budget for housing?

You need to ask yourself the first question: How much house can I afford? When buying a home, if you don't ask this question, you could go with whatever number a lender approves for you. And that could run the risk of bearing a mortgage burden so big and for so long that after Zeus dumped the world's weight from his shoulders for all of time, you feel like Atlas.

Do not take on a mortgage with payments that are more than 25 percent of your monthly take-home pay, to stop living that nightmare. This covers grown-up activities such as property taxes, landlord insurance, and private mortgage insurance and homeowners association fees (depending on the situation).

2. What are the reasons for a home purchase?

Make sure you are rational about your motives for purchasing a house. Latest information reveals that many millennial homeowners regret buying their homes.

In April 2019, for example, the real estate listing company Clever published a survey that reported that 51% of millennials regret buying their homes. Among their greatest regrets is that their monthly mortgage payments are too high, the house needs too much maintenance, and after purchase, the house has depreciated too much and value.

Similarly, Bankrate's February 2019 study found that 63 percent of the surveyed millennial homeowners had buyer's remorse. In this scenario, unexpected repairs or hidden costs were the top regrets cited by those surveyed.

To find out if your logic is sound, do your research. If you purchase a house because, for example, you think it's going to be less costly than renting, then you might want to rethink your decision, because that's not always the case.

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3. How is the neighborhood?

It's a big thing to inquire about the neighborhood. In fact, the quality of the neighborhood was the key reason why recent home buyers (58 percent) chose their neighborhood.3 See how these variables ranked below to give you an idea of what most home buyers care about when selecting a neighborhood.

Top 10 Most Important Neighborhood Factors According to Home Buyers

  • Quality of the neighborhood: 58%
  • Convenient to job: 44%
  • Overall affordability of homes: 41%
  • Convenient to friends/family: 39%
  • Convenient to shopping: 25%
  • Design of neighborhood: 25%
  • Quality of the school district: 24%
  • Convenient to schools: 21%
  • Convenient to entertainment/leisure activities: 21%
  • Convenient to parks/recreational facilities: 19%

4. Do You Have a Credible Real Estate Agent?

It can make a huge difference to have a good real estate agent to help the process of finding and buying a house go smoothly. To get to know your needs and expectations, they need to be eager, and they need to know the local market well.

Make sure they're a good choice prior to hiring a real estate agent to work with. Interview the real estate agent and have a list of questions planned to ensure that they will satisfy your needs.

5. Are there any issues with the house?

It isn't always easy to find the answer to this question. That is why, before you buy, you absolutely need to have a home inspection. Your seller is expected to submit a document detailing any known issues, of course. Yet they were still able to unintentionally leave something out (or intentionally). For starters, ask if any big renovations have ever been done to the house. Oh, who knows? A former owner may have added a bedroom or a deck that is currently not up to code. Or they may be attempting to sweep a mold or insect problem under the carpet. Before you buy, learning about it will help you achieve an agreement during negotiations.

6. What’s the reason for selling?

See if you can figure out why they are leaving the seller. The reasons most sellers recently sold their homes were because they thought it was too small (15 percent), they wanted to move closer to friends and family (14 percent) or they moved for a job (13 percent).6 A smaller percentage admitted moving because it had become less attractive for the community (9 percent) or schools (2 percent). If you really want to live there, digging to the bottom of these reasons could give you a better idea. But it can assist you at the negotiation table as well. For instance, because they're leaving for a new job and don't want to miss their start date, say the seller is on a tight timetable. They might be more willing to work with you on the price to get it sold faster.

7. Did the Home Pass Inspection?

Make sure the home passes all inspections before purchasing. When you buy the home, this move will prevent you from running into any costly surprises.  Paying for a comprehensive inspection is worth the money because it will help you find out whether you'll have to pay for expensive repairs. Depending on where you live, what's included in a home inspection will vary, so make sure you get clear on that before hiring anyone.

Even if you intend to do home repairs, you will always need a thorough inspection to ensure that there are no surprises you have to deal with down the road. You might be entitled to include a home inspection contingency in your purchasing contract, depending on where you're buying the home. With one of these, if the house fails to pass inspection, you will have the option to cancel the sale or negotiate repairs.


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The top real estate agency in Northern California, Sexton Group Real Estate | Property Management in Berkeley, California is a boutique real estate company specializing in residential sales for properties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. To better serve our clients we have three local offices, one in the heart of picturesque Berkeley, one near downtown Oakland and the third in the heart of historic Lafayette, California. The Sexton Group encompasses the essence of Berkeley’s charm, Oakland’s history and Lafayette’s family-oriented vibe all with a relaxed, down-to-earth nature. We are an amazing group of real estate agents whose wealth of experience spans more than 25 years in the industry.  Looking to buy a home in Contra Costa or Alameda County? Contact us today for your free consultation!