Hey guys today we are talking about 10 questions to ask when buying a house now you may not be looking for a house but number one I guarantee you know someone who is and number two most people only stay in their homes for an average of seven years. So you probably are going to be looking for a home very soon so today we’re going to talk about 10 questions that you must ask before you buy your next home.
- 1. Well the Windows Need to be Replaced
- 2. What’s the Position and Quality of the Trees Surrounding the house
- 3. Do you see any Signs of Pest
- 4. There any Sidewalks in the Neighborhood
- 5. The House too Outdated
- 6. Does the House Have any Weird Odors
- 7. Does the Ground Sloped Away from the House
- 8. What did the Cars in the Neighborhood Look Like
- 9. What are the Neighbors Like
- 10. How Much are the Utilities
1. Well the Windows Need to be Replaced
When you go to look at a house I guarantee you are looking outside the window you’re looking at the scenery right what does it look like outside the windows but do you ever stop to look and see what the condition of the windows look like are there any drafts is it wood is it painted is it something that you have to strip and replace is it something that’s going to allow bugs to get into your house.
When we bought our house it’s a 1973 home we did not look at the windows I don’t even know if the inspector mentioned the age of the windows. So when we moved in we noticed we were getting a lot of stink bugs in our house we were getting a lot of drafts it was during the wintertime and so all of that cold air was just coming in in the house was freezing.
So we did what we didn’t think we’d have to do guys we spent $14,000 on replacing 22 windows in entire house. now if that is enough to give you you know convulsions imagine what it did to us when we were fresh out of our condo we had never owned a home before and suddenly we were having to spend $14,000 on windows.
That was not an expense we were planning for so whenever you are going to look at a house look at the condition of the windows find out from the homeowners when were they replaced is it something you are going to have to budget for over the next few years windows are not cheap and you know on average they cost five to six hundred dollars per window and these are probably the mid grade windows that we got from Home Depot and have to have them installed.
2. What’s the Position and Quality of the Trees Surrounding the house
Did you know that to get a tree removed it’s about 1,200 to 1,400 dollars you know that is not you know just me pulling a number out of my head that’s how much we paid to have one of these huge massive trees removed from our yard we bought our house in the wintertime and so at that time all the leaves were gone we didn’t notice the trees the trees were just part of the surrounding of the house.
So when you’re looking at a house ask yourself is it close enough to fall on my house during a storm are the leaves going to block the Sun coming into my house we had so many big huge oak trees around the house that literally parts of my home felt like a cave.
Because when the spring came that first spring that we were in the home it blocked out all of the sunlight and I’m telling you my family room looked like a dungeon it was several years before we actually got one of those trees cut down and every year it was like this depressing (oh my gosh spring is coming all the lights gonna be blocked why did we buy this home it was not a good feeling) so when you go to look at a house look at the trees and see where they are you know maybe it’s a small tree that maybe in five years or six years or seven years it will grow into a larger tree that’s blocking your your windows or you know maybe you could follow in your house keep in mind it’s very expensive to hire tree expert to come and remove that tree and that’s just to remove the tree to remove the stump it’s usually another five six seven hundred dollars so it’s not a very cheap thing to have a tree removed keep that in mind when you’re going to look for your next home.
3. Do you see any Signs of Pest
When we moved into my house we were coming during a time when all the pests were dormant right there were no ants anywhere we couldn’t see any ants we couldn’t see anything it was winter everything was sleepy but the minute spring came we literally had ants all over the house we had ants in our master bedroom our bathroom our walk-in closet and it wasn’t because we were leaving food all over the house they were just everywhere.
So I ended up having to spend probably about five or $600 for the entire year to get a pest management control plan now that’s an expense you’re probably not adding in when you’re looking at how much it’s gonna cost you month to month to live in this house go around open up cabinets do see any roaches thankfully we didn’t have any of those but we did have centipedes and they scared the crap out of us that first time we saw one we’re like what you just look and see if you’d notice any signs of anything go down to the basement the parts of the basement where no one really hangs around do you see any signs of any infestations so just check the corners of window sills and you know go into the closets back of the closet see if you can move some things around you know I know what you have to get a little intrusive into people’s homes when you’re going to look but this will help to save you the hassle of buying a home that might have an insect problem.
4. There any Sidewalks in the Neighborhood
when we bought our house we didn’t notice that there were no sidewalks so if you’ve got children if you like to walk if you like to run you’ve got pets you’re taking for walks.
where are you going to walk if you’re walking on the side of the road well that’s fine if you’re just by yourself and you know how to look for cars but what if you have children so in my neighborhood when we walk to the playground I’ve got to always keep an eye on where these kids are because at any moment they’re in the middle of the road even though I tell them not to be and I’m telling them get over get over cars coming so keep that in mind where are your children going to play do you want them to be able to ride their bicycles up and down the sidewalk in front of the house or is there a road with no sidewalks and your kids are not going to be able to ride their bikes keep that in mind.
5. The House too Outdated
There are a lot of homes that you can find for really good deals but they need a lot of work wallpaper everywhere floors that are from 1973 all kinds of updates that have to be done and if you’ve never bought a home before if you’ve never done these types of projects I can guarantee you they will take you years to do unless you have the money to spend to hire people to come in to help they will take a long time.
So when you go to look at homes make sure that you’re keeping that in mind will you have the time to redo this house do you have young kids if you have young kids where are they going to be while you and your spouse or your significant other are doing these DIY projects we’ve done a lot of things in this house we have removed all the wallpaper I redid all the bathrooms and removed the avocado green toilet and I’ve painted my shower which was a 1973 turquoise shower so all of these things took time and you have to ask yourself do you do you really have the time you know if you’re working a full time job will you have time in the evenings will you do this on the weekends when will you update this house and can you live in a house that’s not updated where you want it to be while you’re doing all these projects over the next few years so keep that in mind because it’s really important it’s a lot of work .
6. Does the House Have any Weird Odors
Owners are a problem when you walk into a house if it smells bad or if it smells a little too good you might want to stop and think about that let me tell you why this is important because when we moved into our house there was an odor even when we came to look at the house maybe it’s cooking smells I didn’t know what it was I thought maybe we just opened the windows and it’ll be aired out well when we came in with that inspector.
I noticed it smelled a little bit mildewy it smelled had a little bit of an odor to it and the inspector was not able to find exactly where this smell was coming from and I felt that I was a little duped there and I’ll explain that and maybe another another maybe down in the comment section we’ll talk about that but I felt that I should have gotten a I don’t know maybe a mold test done but I didn’t feel that I had the support of the people who are doing this with me whether it was the inspector the agent everybody wanted to rush the process no we don’t have time we don’t we can’t do a mold test we have to hurry we have dates we have to like you know get things submitted by certain due dates.
I really felt that I should have taken that time to do that mold test so you know even to this day we’ve been in this house for seven years and I can tell you that the air doesn’t smell quite that fresh it’s not us not that I stink it’s just there are problems that we discovered with water in the basement and I know that there’s some sort of mold issues that need to be addressed so that’s gonna be something that I’m over the next couple of months that I’m really going to be taken care of and getting someone getting another inspector to come in to take a look at but think about that you want to walk into a home when you’re going to visit it and you want to smell nothing really you just want the air to smell just normal and fresh if they’re trying to spray a lot of sense to cover up smoke you know mildew cooking smells those things are hard to get out up get rid of and can also cause additional cost to you to get rid of those odors so if you smell a house that doesn’t smell quite fresh it could be the most beautiful home but if it doesn’t smell fresh don’t buy it.
7. Does the Ground Sloped Away from the House
Now this is something that a lot of people probably don’t know to look at but if you were sitting at the bottom of a hill where does all the water come when it rains right down to your house which means flooded basements which means mold which means you know really super expensive basement remediation things they have to do french drains and do grading.
So when we bought my house I didn’t know to look at the grading and so there were some problems with water coming into the basement and we had to spend a couple thousand dollars maybe three thousand dollars to have grading to have some other things done so that the water was not coming into the basement so keep in mind the the ground around your house around this house that you’re looking at it should slope away from the house you never want to sit at the bottom of the hill where the grading is just coming to the house because that’s foundation problem that’s water in your basement.
8. What did the Cars in the Neighborhood Look Like
So if you’re noticing a lot of broken-down cars if you’re noticing some older cars that look like they’ve not been well-maintained maybe they’re full of rust you know I don’t think I want to live in that neighborhood because it sounds like it’s probably not a great neighborhood now you don’t have to buy a home in a neighborhood where everyone’s buying you know and and and sporting Benzes and you know these cars that cost a lot of money like okay that’s great no but…. no just look for cars that are like maybe newer maybe a few years late model but they look well-maintained because if a car looks like a person maintains it. You can probably bet that they maintain their home what as well so that’s pretty important.
9. What are the Neighbors Like
I say that with a huge smile on my face because I’ve got a crazy neighbor she is known as the cat lady in the neighborhood or at least that’s kind of what I call her because we had no idea that she fed the stray cats in the neighborhood now I have no problem with cats I think they’re cute I think they’re adorable but when they’re pooping in my yard they’re not that cute.
My kids can’t even go play in the yard because they risk stepping in cat poop so you have to go and talk to your neighbors go you know go just go knock on the door and say hey I’m thinking about buying the house next door and get an idea you know snoop a little and see is this someone that I would want to live next to for the next seven years which is the average amount of time .
That people live in their home could I see myself living next to this person for seven years go talk to some of the other people maybe a few houses up say hey I’m thinking about buying the yellow house down down just a few houses from you what do you think you know what’s it like then what’s it like living in the neighborhood and you know hopefully you get someone who’s chatty and who likes to tell you everything maybe not a gossip but likes to at least fill you in on what to expect by living on this road and I think if you have a better idea of who is going to be living next to you you might be able to make a better choice.
10. How Much are the Utilities
So when we bought our house we really only thought about okay we’ve got our principal our interest and our property taxes well we didn’t really think about how much the utilities were gonna be.
So the house that you’re looking to buy how much is the heating bill how much is the water is it three four hundred dollars or are you expecting it to be a hundred and twenty like your last home is there a homeowner’s association cost you know some of these homeowners association bills can be three to four hundred dollars if not more depending on what they cover so all of these things have to be considered otherwise you may be priced out of this home and you may not even realize it you don’t want to move into your home and feel like oh my gosh what did I just do I bought this house we can’t afford.
So make sure that you have a pretty good idea of what the total cost is going to be call the energy company and find out for the last twelve months what was the average per month now even though your family might be a little different than the family who’s living there now you might have a good idea of what to expect so you don’t want any surprises when you move into your house not when it comes to utilities because it’s such an easy thing to be able to track and to add in to your figure.