2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

What to ask before buying a house

Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

Buying a home is not an event to be taken lightly. Knowledge is power and when buying a home, you should be as strong as a lion.

Here are questions you should be asking

1. What is the balance between making a big down payment and keeping cash reserves?

The down payment should be weighed by a buyer's current and future needs because once that money is put down, it is gone. The costs of moving are always filled with unexpected expenses and there are changes from paint to carpet that the new owners would like to make. A buyer should also consult their loan officer to see how much it changes the monthly payment. It is also nice to have cash reserves for when life happens and you don't have to worry about whether or not you can make a house payment for a short period.

2. What should condo buyers consider when it comes to HOA fees?

The HOA is a value proposition for a condominium and what it includes may be the difference between a great place to live versus an expensive one. What amenities are available? What does security look like? How well is the building kept up with daily cleaning versus deferred maintenance? Consider how important each aspect is to you.

3. What should a buyer expect to be included in the sale? When should they ask this question?

If it is not in writing, do not expect it to be included! Things that are attached to the house should be included, but if it is questionable—like shelves in the garage—get it in writing! Always review all documents with the listing. If it is not listed and you want it, put it in your offer. Additionally, if it is something that is not desirable, verify they are taking it with them or that it will be disposed of by the owner. This is no time to be timid, assuming or expecting can lead to disappointment. Discussing these things in the beginning makes things go much smoother.

4. How do you phrase questions to find out if the seller is moving because of a problem with the house?

Asking the question is helpful, but if there is a real concern, ask a neighbor. Buyers are obligated to be truthful about known defects to the house but they may withhold information that tells the complete story. Approaching the neighbors may reveal more.

5. How do you determine if the house is a reasonable price?

In today's world, an array of information is available. Between viewing other homes online and sites like Nextdoor, you can gain a lot of insight. How one interprets the information is a big variable though. Real estate agents who are members of the local MLS should be able to find much more information and acquire finer details to create a current market valuation range.

6. How can you confirm utility costs for the home?

If this is important, ask the seller for past bills. If they do not have them, they can easily call the power company and get them. If the sellers are unwilling to provide them, this may be a red flag.

7. What signs are there that you have a responsive (or unresponsive) agent or mortgage lender?

Before hiring someone, check their online reviews or ask for references. Also, listen to your gut. But most importantly, set expectations upfront. Tell your professional what your expectations are and what will happen if they do not meet them. This is much more effective than getting frustrated and not knowing what to do when it is too late. It is also fair to ask them what their expectations are. This is a great way to know upfront if you are a good fit for each other.

A REALTOR has a fiduciary duty to take care of their client's interests first. Working with an agent that has the right experience and training can be the difference between a successful transaction and an expensive one. They also have a network that they trust to take care of their clients at the highest level. Hire us to make your next home search a smooth success!

Posted by tlangford at 4/7/2022 11:58:00 PM

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