First Time Home Buyer? Here’s Some Questions to Ask!

Buying a home is not only a financial investment, it is an investment in your future!  Here at Devine & Associates, we want to make your home buying process as simple as possible.  Especially if you are a first-time homebuyer, there are important questions you should be asking yourself and your realtor before you purchase.  We have compiled a list of the top five questions you should be asking when in the market for a home for sale at the Lake of the Ozarks.  If we can answer your other questions, please give us a call at 573-286-6216.

What is the Offering Price Based On?

As a first-time homebuyer, you may think that you don’t have a lot of control over the selling price.  You actually do, and using a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent can help you greatly.  Do your own research on similar homes in the area; a good rule of thumb is that the offering price should be based on comparable homes that are also within your desired home-buying location.

Location, Location, Location – is the home in an area that your family would like?

Make sure that the home you love is also in a location that is ideal for you and your family.  Research and ask questions about schools in the area and their ratings.  Look into the nearby parks, businesses, and leisure activities and make sure they appeal to you.  You may also want to research drive-times to your place of work, or access to public transportation.  Also, who are your neighbors?  It is not hard these days to do some quick searching and asking around as to the neighborhood and those who live within it, but it is oftentimes something that new home buyers look over in their search for the “perfect” home.  Let our experience in knowing the neighborhoods for the best real estate in Eldon, MO and the Lake of the Ozarks help you.

What are the Average Monthly Utility Costs?

Request an estimate of monthly utility costs.  Be wary of asking for only one month’s costs - request an average so that you are aware of the year-round costs.  Ask about the energy sources for the home – does the home require gas, propane, or both?  This is also a good time to ask about insulation quality and leaks or cracks in doors and windows.  Question whether the windows are brand new, and if they are not, find out when the windows were replaced.  These questions will save you time and money and lead us to question number four on our list.

Are There Any Home Maintenance Issues?

It is imperative you ask this question when buying your first home.  Maintenance and household issues that may seem small when you first look at a home can often add up to costly repairs in the future.  A good idea is to ask for a home inspection; if you want an inspection done by someone you know and trust, you can ask the seller to use this person.  Be aware that there may be an added fee.  The price of a quality inspection, however, could outweigh the cost of major home maintenance expenses down the road.  Ask about the condition of the pipes and sewer system.  Inquire as to the condition of the roof, and if the roof has ever been repaired or replaced.  Are there any pest control issues that you need to be aware of?  Just think of how unfortunate it would be to move into your dream home and realize you have an infestation that will cost time and money!  Look around the outside of the home as well and observe the position and quality of the trees surrounding the home.  Ask about foundation shifts and cracks as well.  Again, a quality home inspection is well worth the initial cost.  You will thank yourself later. 

Is the Home Too Outdated?

The final question in our list of questions to ask when buying a home can be a tough one.  Quite often the “potential” of the home is a selling factor.  As first-time homebuyers, it is often a goal to save money and customize a home to your own liking.  Finding a home with character, a home that you see tons of potential in, can be a great thing for a new homebuyer; however, be sure to think long-term when it comes to personal projects around the home.  How much money are you saving by buying a “fixer-upper” compared to the amount of money you will eventually spend customizing this home to your liking?  You have a budget, so plan on unexpected costs when it comes to renovations.  This will help you to decide if this is really the home for you and your family.  Renovations also take time, so plan for that as well.  Do you have the time to renovate two bathrooms and customize a laundry room, while keeping your new home livable?  Can you function living within a construction zone?  These are questions to ask yourself when looking at charming, but outdated homes.   

At Devine & Associates, our experience buying and selling homes has helped us to compile this list of five major questions new home buyers should be asking when looking at real estate.  If you are in the market for buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, this list will get you off to a great start!  Check out our website to download our free Buyers Guide for more helpful information.  If you have any questions regarding home selling and buying at the Lake of the Ozarks, please call Vicki at 573-286-6216.

Where Your Best Interests and Our Best Efforts Meet!

                                                                                                                                                                      (573) 392-9900
1109 S Business Hwy 54., Eldon, MO 65026
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