Tips & Questions Before You Purchase A Home

Home Buying Tips & Questions

When purchasing your first home, there are three major sets of questions that each home buyer needs to remember. The first piece of the puzzle would be things to know to make your first home buying purchase go smoothly. Secondly, what should you ask at an open house? Third, what adventures await you as a home owner? Below we will outline a few important questions from each stage of home buying.

Things To Know

Credit Score
When beginning the home buying procedure, it is important to know what your credit score is. Your credit score is part of what determines how much of a loan you are approved for, as well as your interest rate. Typically the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. If you are unsure whether your credit score will get you what you want, then you can reach out to professionals for advice on how to raise your score.

Down Payment
After you have investigated your credit score, it is important to explore your down payment options. You will want to seek out a professional (such as one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members at ProVisor) to determine not only what you are eligible for, but what program is right for you.

What Do You Need in a Home?
Once this question is answered, you'll find that home buying becomes easier. You will want to take into account your lifestyle, how long of a commute do you want, how close to a city, how much yard space, how many bedrooms, would you be fine with a condo, etc. These are just a few questions to help you find your perfect home. Each persons needs are different, and it is important to discover what yours truly are before purchasing a home.

What Should I Ask at an Open House

What's Included with the Purchase of the Home?
Many people believe that when purchasing a home, it is mandatory that appliances, blinds, etc. come with the house. However, this is not true. You will need to, possibly, negotiate if you wish for some of these features to be included. This is why it is important to ask what is included with the purchase.

HOA Fees
Some neighborhoods require an HOA (Home Owners Association) fee. These are common in many suburban neighborhoods and can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. These HOA's also come with regulations and various rules that homeowners must follow. You will want to investigate these rules and any amenities you may be privy to.

Structural Issues
It is required that sellers disclose any structural or code issues they may know of regarding the home. You will want to request a disclosure document from the listing agent so that you can list any specific questions you want to ask regarding these issues.

Home Updates/ DIY Projects
You will want to know of any home projects the seller may have done, especially if they were done by the homeowner and not a professional. Once any do-it-yourself projects are made known, you can figure out how best to proceed. It is important that for any large projects, you have a professional home inspection done.

Equally as important is to know when your potential home's systems were last updated. This can include the roof, electrical, HVAC, siding, water heater, etc. Knowing when these features were last updated can give you a better idea of what to expect in the future, and if you will need to set aside funds for repairs or updates.

What Adventures Await Me as a Home Owner?

Different Expenses
If you have been a renter for a while, you are already well acquainted with certain home bills - heat, electricity, cable, internet, etc. However, with the purchase of a home, you will also now be subjected to new home bills (on top of the ones you are used to), such as taxes, insurance, trash, and even water or sewage. You will also want to set aside funds for any unforeseen repairs or possible appliance replacement.

Home Maintenance
Congratulations, you just bought your first home! Unfortunately, you also have a leak in the roof. Just one downside is that you are now responsible for getting this issue fixed. Remember, if you were living somewhere where lawn care, snow removal, or other outdoor maintenance was taken care of, you are now responsible for that as well if you're in a home versus condo. As a good rule of thumb, most homeowners set aside about 1% of their home's value each year for upkeep and repair costs (about $1,500 on a $150,000 home).

These are just a couple of examples of the adventures that may await you as a homeowner. You will also need to take into account job stability or possible relocation as both of these can have a negative impact after purchasing a home.

It is important to remember that while purchasing a home can seem overwhelming, it is also completely worth it. You now have someplace you can build a lifetime of memories with family and friends. From hosting holidays to just a simple outdoor BBQ or game night, owning your own home has far more rewards than drawbacks. Let our team at ProVisor assist you on this home buying journey through a mortgage or refinancing in the Madison, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Brookfield, East Troy, and Watertown areas.