Once you fall in love with a home, it can be difficult to restrain yourself from submitting a bid right away. In some cases, the emotional pull of a house might be obscuring its actual value — so while you might be willing to put up the asking price, it may not actually be worth that much. The following are some of the things you should be sure to consider before you make the decision to buy even if you’re in love with the house:
- How well was the house maintained? – Ask for maintenance and repair records from the owner. If the owner regularly got the house inspected and invested in repairs when needed, it means that it was well taken care of and problems are less likely to arise in the future.
- How old are the systems and appliances? – Ask about the age of the HVAC system and its components as well as about the age of different appliances, including the oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer, etc. The older these are, the greater the odds are that you will have to pay to have them replaced soon.
- How old is the roof? – Replacing the roof can be a huge expense. If the roof is older, then it may be reaching the end of its expected lifespan. You may not want to buy a house that is going to require such a big investment so soon.
- Is there a need for repairs or renovations? – Owners are required to disclose any issues, so keep in mind any major repair costs. Also, keep in mind the cost of any renovations you may want to do.
- How is the neighborhood? – What other homes in the area have sold for, whether there are schools or parks nearby, the local crime rate, and other factors affect the value of a home. Knowing these will help put the value of the house you are looking at in perspective.
Ask these questions to better assess the value of the house before you buy. Above all, enlisting the help of a local real estate agent can give you insight as to what the market value of the home really is and give you an inside edge.