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What You Should Know Before Making an Offer on a House

Happy couple with a REALTOR®

Making an offer on a house is one of the most exciting parts of the home buying process.

Before you do, here are several things to know before buying a home, so that there are no surprises waiting for you. These few steps can save you from buyers remorse after you’ve signed on the dotted line, received the keys and started paying the mortgage

Make sure you know the following before you make an offer.

Why is the home up for sale?

Finding out the motivation of the seller is a great first piece of information to gather when buying a home. If the sellers are relocating for a job, a family situation or due to some other “life” situation, it becomes easier to get a good deal on the home. If you see something in the listing like “motivated sellers,” usually the seller is willing to consider any reasonable offer in order to complete the sale as soon as possible.

If you find out that the home is for sale due to a wave of illegal activity in the neighborhood, unbearable neighbors or noise that disrupts the daily activities of the property, you may want to reconsider. Don’t be afraid to do some major research on the neighborhood before entering the home buying process. If you covet a quiet, peaceful home life, you probably don’t want to live within walking distance of the local airport or next door to a noisy nightclub.

How new are the structural and mechanical components of the home?

Finding out things like the age of the HVAC system and the roof can give you a good idea on how much time you’ll have before you have to begin investing more into the home. You may not be interested in buying a home for $150,000 and then having to spend an additional $50,000 in home repairs and replacements within the first year.

According to The Balance, new roofs have a life expectancy between 15 and 50 years. The materials used on the roof are the timeline variables. Buying a home with a new metal roof, means you may be looking at decades before you have to think about replacing it. Many states demand the seller provide the age of the home’s components at the time of listing. If your state doesn’t, this is the kind of information you will still want to find out.

Are there any other additional costs with this home?

Paying a mortgage isn’t the only thing you have to consider when buying a home that fits within your budget. Understanding the potential hidden expenses is very beneficial. You’ll need to factor in homeowners’ insurance, any potential HOA fees and the monthly utility bills attached to the home. Remember, there is much more to affording a home than a monthly mortgage payment, so you’ll need to be sure that there’s room in your personal budget for every dollar that goes out.

Are you considering buying a home that needs repairs? Before the property sells, you’ll need to find out who is assuming that debt. This is a major part of the home buying process, home repairs may prevent the sale from going through.

How long has the home been on the market?

This is the concept at the very core of “supply and demand.” Typically, a home that has been on the market for an extended period hasn’t been sold for a reason. Maybe the asking price is too high? Maybe the seller has just been experiencing some bad luck? Maybe there’s an underlying issue with the property?

Make sure to ask your real estate agent how long houses typically take to sell in your market and see if the agent can find out what has caused the property in question to not sell. This will give you an advantage in negotiation and let you know if you even want to pursue the property.
Truliant Mortgage Services can help untangle the home buying process. Whether you’re buying a home or starting the process, a credit union mortgage loan can help. We’re here to answer any questions that will maximize your budget or help you build a plan to buy in the future. We offer a variety of mortgage services to meet your financial needs. Give us a call today. Truliant, just what you need.