Home buying tips for home buyers.

If you are in the market, it is important to go into the home buying process clearly and with as much knowledge as possible. Check out these home buying tips:

The excitement of finding that perfect home needs to be balanced by careful consideration of many details about the property. Sellers will work diligently to portray their property in the best light. State laws require that they disclose certain information about the property but not everything. A certain responsibility rests with the buyer to inspect carefully and ask good questions.

It is a good idea to get a professional home inspection during the home buying process.  This will help you identify any structural issues that need to be addressed. You may also learn about the condition of mechanical systems (like air conditioning and heating), plumbing, electrical and appliances. Some inspections will include an assessment of how “green” the house may be, focusing on the efficiency of heating systems and the amount of insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings.

You will also need to ask a lot of questions and collect information that won’t necessarily be visible to you or your inspector. The extra effort may well be worth it in avoiding problems that only become apparent after closing. For example, an inspection will reveal problems with a roof but the seller is in the best position to tell you how old the roof is and whether it has sustained any hail damage over the years. A new roof is often expensive and it is well worth some extra effort to determine how likely it might be that you would need to replace it soon.

Ask the helpful Lawhead Team to provide information about the school district and specific schools that serve your new neighborhood. The homeowner or their broker should be able to tell you about trash and recycling pickups.

Other items to clarify are the real estate taxes on the property and average utility bills. Some sellers may even be willing to share their recent water and electric bills. Of course you may shower more or less often, keep your heat set to a lower or higher level or prefer to keep lights on inside your house even when you are gone. Those behavior patterns will affect how useful the current owner’s information will be to you.

Check the location and accuracy of property lines and where fences lie on the property. Does the home have a fence? Be sure to ask who owns the fence and is responsible for maintaining it.

If you haven’t already done so, spend some time driving around the neighborhood — both during the day and in the evening. Take note of the amount of traffic at different times. Will there be noise during the week that you didn’t hear when you visited the house on the weekend? Is your street a path to and from a school?

Home BuyingWhat kind of amenities are within walking distance and short drives? Is there a park for your dog or children? Is grocery shopping conveniently located? When home buying these are small but important things to take note of.

Feel free to ring a few doorbells in the neighborhood and take an informal survey about what people like and don’t like about living there. Ask if there is a homeowner’s association and, if so, how much the dues are and what kind of services do they offer.

Taking the time to fully explore the home and the surrounding neighborhood will be well worth the effort in the long run.  Remember this is a huge purchase and should be well thought out.  Following these home buying tips will ensure you know exactly what you are getting in to.