Buying a home is a big step, so it’s important to be prepared for every step of the process. Here are 13 questions you all home buyers should ask.

1. How much can I afford?

The first step in the home buying process should be determining a budget. Figure out how much of a down payment you can make and what kind of monthly payment you can manage.

2. What type of house is best for me?

Once you’ve figured out how much you can afford, determine what kind of home you’re interested and how much space you’ll need for you and your family. Consider whether you’re planning on having more children or if you need space for a hobby.

13 Questions to Ask When Buying a New Home

3. What area do I want to live in?

Take into consideration how far you want to be from work and amenities. Also think about what a potential neighborhood will be like in five or ten years. Are people moving into the area or trying to get out?

4. What is the school district like?

If you have children, make sure to check how the school district rates against others and whether there are any safety issues.

5. Do I need a real estate agent?

It’s possible to buy a house by yourself, but realtors often have access to houses before they go on the market. They’ll also be able to negotiate with the owner to get you a better deal.

6. What kind of mortgage is ideal for me?

An established retail mortgage lender, such as Prospect Mortgage, can help you understand the different types of mortgages and guide you through the application process.

7. What are renovations going to cost?

Calculate out the cost of any upgrades you’ll need to make in a property. Surprises are common in home remodeling projects, so it’s best to round your estimates up.

8. Have previous remodels been completed correctly?

If the current owner of the house has done any major home improvements, make sure that the work fulfills all building codes and zoning laws.

9. How much are property taxes and homeowner’s association fees?

Property taxes are dependent on the area and their cost can take new homeowners by surprise. Any homeowner’s association fees should also factor into your budget.

10. Is this house priced appropriately?

Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with listing of comparably priced houses in the area., so you can see if the house you’re interested has a fair price.

11. How long has this house been on the market?

If a house has been on the market for a period of months, the sellers may be willing to accept a lower offer. But beware that houses may remain unsold because of serious problems that are hidden inside.

12. Are there any problems with the house?

Getting a home inspection from an experienced inspector is a vital part of the home buying process. An inspector will look over every aspect of the house, from the foundation to the roof, to identify any issues that could be costly to repair.

13. How much are closing costs?

The fees associated with closing on a house can vary significantly from state to state. A realtor can help you understand how much you’ll be expected to pay.

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