Home buying is an exciting adventure, but also one that comes with a lot of responsibility and decision making. An informed decision is the only way to feel confident with home buying. To make an informed decision, it means gathering a lot of data which most will come from by asking the right questions.
Buying a home is a process that can be divided into segments. Then with each segment comes a series of questions. The segments are:
- Personal questions to ensure home buying is the right move
- Finding the right professionals to help with the home buying
- Getting the Finances in place
- Gathering the details about the home
Buying a home is a personal undertaking, so there are a lot of personal questions that the buyer needs to know the answers to. This way, they are not likely to second guess themselves later on. Some pertinent questions are:
- What is the reason for buying a home now?
- What area does the buyer want to buy in?
- Is the financial situation of the buyer secure enough to take on this type of investment?
- Does the buyer have financial resources in place?
- What Professionals Should the Buyer Rely On?
Throughout the home buying process, there are different professionals that may be needed. These include:
- A real estate agent
- Possibly an appraiser
- A home inspector
- A lawyer
Each of these experts must have specific credentials, and their services should be shopped for carefully. Which means asking each of them a series of pertinent questions.
Finding the Right Professionals to Help with the Home Buying
Each professional that may be needed for the home purchase is important. Asking the right questions will help the home buyer make the right choice. By doing so, they can rely on the information provided by each of them to help decide between buying a specific home.
Questions to Ask: The real estate agent
The right realtor can reduce a lot of the stress that comes with home buying and can make the process a pleasant one. This is provided the proper one is chosen and asking the right questions can help determine this, such as:
- How long have they been in real estate?
- How long have they been working in this area?
- Is this their full-time career or is it part-time?
- What brokerage firm does the realtor work with?
- Does the agent provide a buyer consultation?
- What process do they follow to find what a buyer is looking for?
- Is there anything else that the buyer needs to know about the realtor that will be beneficial?
Questions to Ask: The Appraiser
The lending institution for the buyer may want an appraisal done on the property that the buyer is considering. In a lot of cases, the lending institution may insist on the home buyer using their appraiser. Although it doesn’t hurt to ask if the buyer is allowed to choose their own.
Questions to Ask: Home Inspector
The information that the home inspector is going to provide is important both for the buyer and the lender. This makes choosing the right one a priority. Some questions that can be asked are:
- Does the home inspector do this full time?
- What are their credentials?
- How long have they been doing this?
- What type of training has the inspector had?
- On average how many homes does the Inspector service a year?
- Is the inspector familiar with all types of homes?
- What will be the major issues the inspector will be looking for?
Questions to Ask: Lawyer
The buyer’s lawyer is another important professional that takes part in the home buying process. There are many different types of lawyers, so finding the right one again is most beneficial to the home buyers. Questions to ask are:
- Is residential real estate law the lawyer’s specialty?
- Will the lawyer provide a written quote for their services?
- Is the lawyer authorized to close the sale electronically?
- Can the lawyer arrange for title insurance?
- Is the lawyer prepared to store the documents electronically?
- Will, the lawyer, be available to answer any questions before and after the transaction is complete?
- Is the lawyer in good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada?
Getting the Finances in Place
People often become intimidated when it comes to arranging finances for buying a home. What has to be remembered is that the lender is the client and should be treated with good customer service. If a lending institution is not willing to do this, then the borrower would do better to shop around. Again to make the right choice, the right questions need to be asked.
Depending on the circumstances of the buyer, they may want to work with a mortgage broker first. The mortgage broker is the professional who shops around for the best mortgage lenders. Their services can be of great value if the buyer does not have their lending resources. Questions to ask these professionals are:
- Do they have several lenders to choose from?
- Does this professional specialize in mortgages for home buyers?
- What interest rates does the buyer qualify for?
- Are there fees will the buyer be faced with?
- Is the broker willing to provide a loan estimate?
- What down payment does the broker recommend?
- Which rates are the better option for the home buyer?
For those who are working directly with their lending institutions, they will want to ask similar questions and a few additional ones:
- How much money can the buyer afford to borrow for buying a home?
- Does the mortgage provider factor in unforeseen circumstances in the future?
Gathering the Details About the Home
The segment of home buying that deals with the home itself are the one that is the most exciting for the home buyer.
Home buyers have to be careful that they don’t get so caught up in the excitement of the home that they overlook the important questions such as:
- The reason the seller is selling?
- What is the neighbourhood like?
- The age of the roof?
- The insulation is used in the home?
- What is the wiring?
- The home is heated with what resources?
- What is the plumbing comprised of?
- How long has the seller owned the home?
- Has there ever been any fire damage?
- What are the costs of the average utility bills?
- How old is the furnace?
- Has the home seller ever had to deal with leaks or flooding?
- Has the seller ever had to deal with insects infestation or rodents?
- How old is the home?
- What upgrades were done to the home?
There are a lot of questions that need to be asked when buying a home. In a lot of cases, a quality realtor will have the answers to many of these as they will do the proper research in regards to homes that they are showing.