Questions to Ask a House Buyer in New York

While buying a house is an exciting experience for many homeowners, there are some things you want to be aware of before you purchase any home. Regardless of which state or country it is, buyers should always ask the same questions before making any purchase. Here are just a few of those questions that might help you understand more about your potential new home.

What kind of foundation does the house have?

If your potential new home has a slab foundation – or no foundation – then expect that this will require major repairs in a few years if not sooner. This type of foundation will require both time and money to fix anything from cracks to sinking floors and walls. Tragically, many people end up spending thousands on repairs only to watch their dream homes suffer further damage. There are many reasons homeowners chose slab homes, but for the average person who plans to live in their home for at least five years, this type of foundation will prove costly.

Are there any special assessments or issues with the house?

If you are purchasing a home that is close to railroad tracks, casinos, or colleges, chances are you will be responsible for higher insurance costs and other additional expenses. While it may not seem like a big deal at first, these types of potential issues should always be brought up during your initial conversations with your buyer agent. The last thing you want to do is wait around until after closing only to find out about something that should have been discussed before that point in.

What sort of maintenance does the house require?

If your potential new home requires lots of maintenance and you don’t plan on hiring a contractor, then this might not be the best option for you. While it is fine to buy a fixer-upper if that is what you want and can afford, make sure you are aware of how much work will need to go into keeping up with repairs. The last thing anyone wants after spending thousands on buying a new home is having to spend thousands more in order to keep it looking its best.

What are utilities currently at the house?

Regardless of whether or not utilities are included in the purchase price, it is always helpful to know where all of them are coming from prior to closing. This way, if anything should happen before you move in, you will be aware of who to call and when. There is nothing worse than buying a home and then having the power go out only to find out that it has been turned off because you didn’t sign up for service in time.

What neighborhood amenities are nearby?

Whether or not your children’s schools are within walking distance or you plan on utilizing public transportation or anything in between, make sure you know all there is before making any move. While this might not seem like a big deal at first, utilities and neighborhoods can sometimes tell prospective buyers more about themselves than they would like to share during an interview process. Simply put: if the neighbors don’t care about their lawns, chances are they also won’t care as much as you do about yours.

Are there any building codes or ordinances for the area?

Before you make your final purchase, be sure to check out all of the local building ordinances in the area where you are moving to. While it might not seem like a big deal at first, many communities will have rules on everything from fences to satellite dishes that can quickly become costly. While these may seem small at first, they usually prove to loom larger than expected only after the ink has dried on your new home’s closing documents.

What is included in the sale price?

There are always things that come up no matter how many times you walk through a house before making an offer. However, if something does come up later on down the line, then chances are it won’t be included in the final price of the home. Make sure you discuss with your buyer agent to find out what comes with a house before closing and what does not so there are no surprises later on down the line.

Do all of the appliances work?

While most people probably will not inspect an entire kitchen or laundry room during their initial walk-throughs, it is still good to know whether or not everything works before making an offer. If something does come up after this point, at least you will know what needs to be replaced prior to moving in for good. The last thing anyone wants is to buy a new home only to find that one of their favorite appliances doesn’t work properly because nobody bothered running a simple test on it before purchase.

What are the walls made of?

It is important to check out all of the walls within a new home prior to making an offer. While unexpected damage can happen at any time, many times it occurs behind the drywall that will need to be removed and repaired at additional cost. If you do not want this extra hassle, then simply ask your buyer agent to inspect all of the rooms for you beforehand so there are no unpleasant surprises after closing.

Who is responsible for upkeep on the exterior?

One of the most overlooked aspects of buying a new home is what happens after the purchase. While there might be some work done on the interior during your first few months in, chances are if something needs to be fixed on the outside you will be the one to do it. Therefore, before signing any closing documents, be sure to fully understand what work will need to be done and by whom so there are no misunderstandings down the line.

What is the general condition of an HVAC system?

While most buyers might not think about inspecting a heating and cooling unit prior to purchase, this is actually more important than many realize. If anything goes wrong post-purchase that was not noted during your initial walk-through, you could find yourself in an expensive situation trying to fix an issue that should have been documented beforehand.

Do I have access to all utilities?

Whether or not you plan on paying for extra utilities down the road is up to you. That said, if they are included in the purchase price then it is still good to know that they will be available before you move in for good. If something goes wrong with a utility after purchasing and you do not have access to it, repairs and fees will come out of your pocket.

Do I have enough storage space?

There can never be too much storage space according to many buyers. However, if the unit is already quite small and there are no extra closets to add additions yourself, then chances are you might regret buying such cramped units months down the road. Of course, different people require different amounts of storage; therefore it is up to each individual buyer to decide what felt right for their needs prior to making an offer on a new home.

What kind of neighborhood is it?

Although many buyers might only focus on the interior of a new property, those that fail to inspect the neighborhood could end up with much more than they bargained for. Instead of focusing solely on what your unit will include after purchase, also take some time to look around and determine whether or not you think the area surrounding your future home is safe and secure.

What kind of schools are nearby?

If you have children, this could be one of the most important questions to ask before making an offer. Believe it or not, there can be vast differences just blocks away from one another in terms of education quality. Therefore, if you want your kids to attend a school nearby it would be wise to investigate such beforehand just so there are no surprises later on.

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