Buying a house is a big deal; for most people it’s the biggest purchase they will make in their lifetimes. In today’s economy and market conditions, some of these questions are more important now than ever. I’ll give you 5 great questions to ask that will help your purchase go smoother and keep you on the right track.
- How many foreclosed homes are in the neighborhood? How many are in pre-foreclosure? You want to know how many of your new neighbors are not paying their mortgage or community association fees. This is important because you could quickly end up with deteriorating homes in your neighborhood and your newly purchased asset’s values dropping. Owners not paying their association fees could also raise your fees to compensate for their neglect.
- What are the fees in the neighborhood? These vary dramatically from one neighborhood to the next. They can be anywhere from one hundred dollars a month to thousands of dollars per month. It all depends on the amenities the community has to offer and the upkeep of the common areas of the development.
- How much will my mortgage, taxes, insurance, and monthly fees all add up to? Several years ago, people didn’t care about this number so much because they felt they would not be in the home very long and could sel for a profit. Well, we know how that story ended. Consider this a long-term investment and make sure your total monthly expenses are within reason and something you can always be comfortable paying. You never want to become a slave to your house!
- What are the comparable sales in the neighborhood? Make sure to look at what has actually closed within the last 6 months or less. This will give you a real indication of what values are doing in the neighborhood. You’ll be surprised to see that in some developments the prices are creeping upward right now.
- Finally, ask for the seller’s disclosure. This is a 5 page document in which the seller discloses in writing any information about repairs or problems with the house. Don’t forget to get a home inspection too. It’s very smart to have a 3rd party inspector come into the home and tell you any potential problems that are present.
Asking the right questions will make your transaction a more comfortable one. Be sure to do the research ahead of time so you are not surprised later on! Having patience and persistence will allow you to find the perfect property to give you years of enjoyment! Happy Buying!!
Need help Selling, Buying, or with Property Management? Gulf Pointe Properties would be glad to help! Please contact Gabe for advice at: 239.825.2234, Gabe@GulfPointeProperties.com or www.GulfPointeProperties.com Gabe Mellein is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties, He has 8 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market. He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate.