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Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Home

Couple speaking with a real estate agentI'm sure you've heard this time and time again; buying a house is one of the biggest financial commitments you can make.  Before you purchase your future home, you should consider asking a couple of important questions.  Here are six key questions to ask before making your offer:

  1. Do I have enough money set aside for a down payment on a home?—The first question you need to ask yourself is if you have enough money to pay the down payment for a house.  If the answer is no, check out these savings tips for a down payment on a home to help you get started.
  2. How much can I afford to spend on a home?—When purchasing a home, you also have to consider costs beyond just the cost of the actual home.  You should factor in costs for renovations, any repairs that may need to be made, and utilities.  You can use a home affordability calculator to help determine how much you should budget.
  3. What are my mortgage options?—One of the first things you should consider doing, as a prospective home owner, is to get prequalified for a home loan.  Check with a mortgage lender to determine how much money you will prequalify for before shopping for your future home.
  4. Do I know the history of the home?—As a buyer, you have the right to know the history of the home you are looking to buy.  Does the house have a history of pest infestations?  Is this a "stigmatized house"?  These are a couple of questions you may want to ask before the purchase of your new home.
  5. Is the structure of the home in good condition?—Just because the house has the granite that you love or the perfect backsplash, does not mean that the house is structurally sound.  Granite, backsplash, appliances, and other cosmetics can be changed.  However, the foundation, structure of the house, and location cannot be changed.  Make sure that the house you are interested in has a good foundation for you to work with.
  6. Am I planning on living in this house for just a few years or long-term?—Of course life is unexpected and the future is uncertain, however, when purchasing a house you will need to think about your long-term plans.  If you know that you are planning on moving in a couple of years, you may want to reconsider purchasing a home and stick to renting instead.

 

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