When you’re home hunting, information is power. The more you know before you make an offer, the better. Usually when two homes are equally appealing, digging into the details can make a difference. Here’s a list of “bonus information” that most buyers overlook or forget to ask about while they’re shopping for a house:
Homeowner’s association rules: Certain neighborhood covenants may be a deal maker or breaker for you, so if there’s a set of guidelines you’ll be required to adhere to, get them up front. They can cover everything from paint schemes to lawn design and beyond.
Utility bills: Most sellers won’t balk at sharing with you what utilities cost annually. Water, power, gas, and even telecommunication or cable service provider bills can help you get a better idea what it will cost monthly to live in the home.
Pest control: In areas where pests can be a problem, asking for information about who has been maintaining pest control (and how much it costs) can help you plan financially and get a sense if the sellers have been keeping up with pest issues.
Service providers: Save yourself some leg work and ask the sellers who they like for lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, home repair work, housecleaners, and appliance repair. Not only will the list save you time, but the providers will already be familiar with the home’s condition and systems.
Home insurance company: You can bet the company insuring the home will want to continue to keep the business, and getting this cost information and provider contact info from the buyer is a good idea.
Floor plans: Having a floor plan will help you understand whether or not your stuff is a good fit for the home. Not every seller will have these handy, but sometimes a seller’s agent will be willing to get a current floor plan put together if it’s important to you.
They may seem like small details, but they can make all the difference.
I love helping home buyers make informed decisions about their next home. I can help you walk through the pros and cons of every detail.