For the first time home buyer and even the seasoned investor, house hunting can be a scary, stressful process at times. But it doesn’t have to be.

Experienced or not, all home buyers should ask the following questions to ensure they get the most house for their dollar.

1. How old is the house?
2. Is the house in a flood zone?
3. How old are the major mechanicals?
4. How old is the roof?
5. How much are utilities?
6. Does it have a termite control contract?
7. Is there a Property Owners Association (POA)?
8. Are there any pending assessments?
9. Is road construction scheduled?
10. Who are the neighbors?
11. What are the comps?
12. How close are schools and daycare centers?
13. Are there doctors’ offices and hospitals nearby?
14. Is there easy access to highways, airports, trains or subways?

This week I will dive into each of these questions in more detail so that we can have a complete understanding why each of these details are important.

Lets begin with the first two now.

1. How old is the house?

Though it may be beautiful and charming, an older house requires more maintenance than newer homes and can contain potential hazards. For instance, if the house was built before 1978, it may still have lead paint. If known, Realtors and sellers must disclose this. However, you must also consider that newer homes have not had a chance to “settle” and if there are any problems, they may be unknown as no one has lived in the house for any length of time.

2. Is the house in a flood zone?
A house in a flood zone must also be disclosed by Realtors and sellers, but it doesn’t hurt to verify. This will likely mean an additional cost for flood insurance; which should be considered in the estimate of value.

Each of these questions will be looked at this week in detail. So refer back to the blog each day and get informed before you buy your next property.

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