Ok, you’ve picked out the perfect home, have all the inspections and mortgage details finalized, and you’re ready to close on your new home. But you still feel like there’s a lot you need to know before you move in, but you’re not sure exactly what. Here are 5 questions to ask your realtor before you close on your home and move in.
What condition is the water system and sewer system in?
There’s nothing worse than problems with your septic or water system. You need to know beforehand if there’s ever been a busted pipe, a backed up sewer, or any other problems. If the sewer has backed up before, it may be due to roots growing into the line (it’s good to clear the lines every other year - around $150). If a pipe has busted, there may be water damage in the home. It’s also good to know when the septic tank was last pumped so you can know when to expect that expense (it’s good to do it every 3-5 years).
How old is the roof?
You’ll probably want to have a roof inspection before you move in, but knowing the age of the roof also helps you anticipate repairs and replacement. Replacing a roof is pricy, and even repairs can be a tough expense right after purchasing a home. But roofs generally last from 20-30 years, depending on the type of roof. Also, knowing how many layers are on your roof is important - most building codes allow the original roofing and one layer of replacement roof on top of that.
Have there been any pest infestations?
Obviously this is a big one. Even if the previous owner took care of the infestation, the problem may prove to be persistent. Plus, the home’s condition or location may still make it susceptible to infestations. And infestations are not something to take lightly - it can cost thousands of dollars to exterminate insects and replace damaged material in your home. Some tips for avoiding pests:
Seal any openings to the outside around your home
Make sure your attic, crawl spaces, and basement are dry
Replace any water damaged material that may attract insects
Keep firewood covered, dry, and more than 20 feet away from your house.
Has there been any suspicious or criminal activity, or accidental tragedies in my neighborhood?
Even if you’re buying a home in a completely safe area, you’ll want to know if something major has happened around you, like a murder, suicide, meth lab raid, accidental death, or even drama between neighbors. You may have to go to neighbors for good answers to these questions, but your Realtor will know if your home falls in the “stigmatized” category.
How much does the utility bill normally run?
Like the water system and septic tank question, you’ll want to know all about the utilities. Knowing about your utilities will help you budget better and save more energy. Ask how big the water heater is, what kind of electricity sources are installed in your home, and how much insulation is in the attic. The water heater size is important for keeping peace in the family and for keeping your electric bill down. If your energy sources aren’t energy efficient, you can replace them with greener sources. And the amount of insulation will determine your home’s efficiency and temperature control (according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should add insulation if it’s less than 11 inches thick).
With the answer to these questions, you’ll be much more prepared to live in, pay for, and take care of your home. And with the right Realtor, you can find the best home for the best price and get all the info you need. If you’re looking for a home, I would love to represent you! You can contact me through email, through phone at (863) 450-8847, through social media, or through my mobile app for any real estate need. I want to hear from you!