Buying a property is both an investment, and your chance to have a home for you and your family. It is a financial decision that is not to be taken lightly, and throughout the process it is important to ask questions, stay informed, and make sure that you are making the best choice for your financial future.
Your number one source of answers is going to be your Realtor. At Open Mortgage, we’ve compiled a list of six essential questions that you should make sure you ask your Realtor when you are in the market for a new home.
1. How Much Have Similar Homes in the Neighborhood Sold For?
Every home is an investment, and that’s why it’s important to know you’re getting the right deal. Finding out about the value of other homes in the neighborhood can help you learn more about the price of the home you’re viewing, and its likely financial risk.
2. When Was the Last Time The Home Underwent Major Repairs?
Most types of property damage are easily repairable. But some, like water damage from a flood, can have long lasting consequences if not repaired correctly. It is a good idea to find out if there were any major repairs in the past, so that you can assess their present condition.
3. Has Anything Been Replaced Recently?
It’s a good idea to find out about what has been replaced in the home, and what may need to be replaced in the future. For example, if the home has a recently installed roof, or a newly installed furnace, these are expenses you are less likely to worry about in the future. If it has been years, it may be something to factor in to your estimated costs and savings.

4. Is the Property Insulated?

When determining your monthly budget, it is some of the smaller payments – like the energy bill – that can have some surprise financial impact. Find out if the house has insulation, especially if you live in an area with cold winters.

5. Does the Current Owner Expect Me to Waive Contingencies?

If your offer was accepted and you are ready to buy the home, usually the process moves forward as planned. But in some cases, a buyer will need to back out. If you made an “Earnest Money” deposit, which is a small payment to prove your interest to the seller, usually you’ll get it back. But if you waived contingencies, your money is given to the seller.

6. Are There a Lot Of Offers?

The home buying process can be competitive. Homes with a lot of offers may require a higher offer on your end, and may sometimes take longer to close since the seller knows they have a competitive property. Homes with fewer offers may not have these issues, but also may not as desirable a home (which could affect future property value). It helps to know in advance even if it does not affect your bid, simply so you have an idea of what this property is attracting.
Asking the Right Questions
Home buyers that ask questions are the ones that are least likely to run into problems in the future. Your Realtor is there to answer them, and to make sure that you are going to be making the best decision with regards to your financial investment. There is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to real estate, so don’t be afraid to ask.  
If you’ve found your dream home and are ready to enter the mortgage application process, contact me today!

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