House hunting is one of the most exhilarating parts of the home buying process. Going to open houses, visualizing yourself living in the space, and getting wowed by amazing interiors can make for a memorable experience.
But before you get ahead of yourself, you should ask the previous homeowner the following questions:
What’s the history of the home?
There are state laws and disclosure forms that require sellers to reveal information about how the home has been maintained, which systems have broken down before, and if there has been a death on the property.
But you can dig deeper and ask more questions. You may want to know if there’s a recommended maintenance schedule for the property, how the home was previously used, or whether there are interesting stories about past occupants.
Who are the point persons in the community?
Home owners can give you a who’s who of the neighborhood. This lets you know right away who organizes playgroups for kids, which neighbors are part of certain committees or boards, which landscapers on the main drag do the best work, and so on.
Which items is the seller leaving behind?
Sellers might decide to leave behind some appliances and a few pieces of furniture to sweeten the deal, or to make the move easier. But if you have your eye on a specific piece, ask them if they’ll be willing to throw it into the deal or sell it to you for a price.
Where is such-and-such and how does it work?
Ask the seller to show you where electrical shutoffs, emergency water, breaker box, utility meters, and the thermostat can be found. Inquire about appliances, basement pumps, septic tanks, sprinkler operating systems, pool filters, and other items that a home inspection likely won’t cover. There are nice sellers who will gladly brief you on these items and how they work.
For more home buying tips, visit the Higgins Group website.