When buying a home, some people may focus more on whatever bells and whistles it possesses. However, smart Havasu home buyers dig a little deeper. They want all the data possible on a property in order to make an informed decision. After all, this tends to be the biggest financial decision a person makes in their lifetime. Therefore, here are a few important questions you should ask before buying a home.
Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Home
How Much Does it Cost to Run and Maintain the Home Per Year?
Buying a home costs a good chunk of change. But running and maintaining it after you move in also costs money. It helps you budget wisely by finding out how much utilities cost the current owner per month on average. Also, knowing how much the current owner pays for routine maintenance tasks can assist you in determining whether or not you can afford to live there. Both are important factors in whether or not you can actually afford the Havasu home in question.
How Much Are the Property Taxes?
We all know that property taxes are determined in large part by the value of the home. So, that may change when you occupy the property. However, knowing how much the current owner pays could aid your decision of whether or not you want to buy the home.
Did Any Owner (Past or Present) Make Any Renovations or Additions to the Property?
Another important question to ask when buying a home is whether or not anyone (past or present) added onto the property or made any renovations to it at any time during its history. If so, ask what contractors performed the work and if any permits were pulled. Unpermitted work might cost you down the road when you wish to make changes of your own or even if you plan on selling it in the future.
Are There Any Warranties Included With the Home?
Oftentimes, the seller includes a one-year warranty with the sale of the property. But if the homeowner did any additional work to the property or added new appliances recently, warranties may exist for them that pass on to the new homeowner. This could save you thousands of dollars if something happens after you move in.
Have There Been Any Past Pest Infestations?
Mice. Roaches. Termites. Ants. They all present a problem. Some are more difficult to get rid of than others. So, make sure to ask about any pest infestations that any homeowners dealt with either currently or in the past before buying a home. In Arizona, existing homes do not require a termite inspection as part of the home buying process. However, it is always smart to have one done anyway. Termites can cause significant damage to a property before you even realize they are there. Then, it costs thousands of dollars to get rid of them and fix the damage they created. It is better to know what you are up against before you make a decision to buy your Havasu home.
When Was the Roof Last Repaired or Replaced?
According to the Home Blue Contractor Network, a roof replacement costs an average of $8000 for a 1500 sq ft home in Lake Havasu City. That’s a lot of money to spend, especially if most of your savings went into the purchase of the property. Tile roofs last about 15 to 25 years. Asphalt shingles last anywhere between 10 and 30 years. Therefore, knowing the type of roof the house has and when it was last replaced or repaired can help you determine when you might need to do work on it.
Have There Been Any Issues with the Sewage or Plumbing on the Property?
Finally, ask about any sewage or plumbing problems encountered by the current or past homeowners. Also, find out if the property uses a septic system or hooks into the city sewer system. Septic systems require their own maintenance by the homeowner. But they also tend to cost less to maintain. Instead of paying a monthly fee to the City, the homeowner pays just a couple hundred dollars to empty it out every three to five years. Homeowners who wish to live a more “off-the-grid” lifestyle tend to prefer septic to City systems. If the property utilizes a septic system, ask how old it is and what type of system it is (steel or concrete). These systems last anywhere from 15 years all the way up to 40, depending on the type of system used.