5 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases you can make in your life, one that requires a great deal of thought and consideration. Therefore, you should be going through all possible questions before you make the final decision. However, what are the most important questions you should be asking yourself? What do you need to know before you become a homeowner? The following are several essential questions to go through before you buy your potential new home:

Is it Scalable to your Needs?
When considering between different homes, you should look at both your short and long-term needs. Think carefully about where you see yourself in the next few years. If you plan to get married and have children in the future, then you may want to purchase a home that accommodates this need. Even if you see the possibility of starting a home business or owning a pet, you’ll need to consider whether your potential home has the space for these circumstances.

How Long Will You Live There?

While you may be purchasing your home with the long-term in mind, there‘s no certain way to plan for the future. Situations such as a family emergency or job change can have you departing your home sooner than you think. But depending on the mortgage you sign, you should plan to stay in your new home for at least 5 years. Breaking the mortgage sooner can lead to financial consequences, in addition to the risks of selling the home for less than its actual value.

What’s the Condition of the Home?

One of the most important tasks any potential homeowner should undergo is an in-depth inspection of the house. Ask the realtor if the house has passed all inspections, and if necessary, conduct several on your own. Make sure that you’re completely satisfied with the condition before considering to purchase the house. If you find any risks or damages after the contract has been signed, you may have to pay for it on your own.

Can you Bear the Responsibility?

The decision of owning a home doesn’t end when you sign the contract. Homeowners have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to managing and maintaining a home, such as insurance, homeowners fees, taxes, and so on. In addition, you’ll also need to keep in mind the costs of maintenance and repairs when appliances break down or the power goes out. You won’t be able to go to a landlord or property manager to handle your problems – more likely, you’ll be on your own.

Do You Have Enough Finances?

While this seems like a relatively basic question, the importance of understanding your financial situation can be overstated. In general, you’ll want at least 25-35% of your pre-tax income to allocate towards mortgage payments, which can take years to pay off. Therefore, you should think carefully whether you’re able to realistically make the decision. The risks of being unable to pay and possibly losing your home can have dire effects, so make sure you carefully consider whether you purchasing is the right choice.

Photo Credit: freshome.com

Christine Cooney is a writer at The House Designers, writing articles on DIY and home improvement on The House Designers blog. She loves learning about architecture, gardening, and home decor.

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