Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Durango Home
Purchasing a home can be tricky, having insight into the motivation of a seller can give you an edge when negotiating a price for a home. Asking certain questions can give you the insight you need to make an informed offer on a home. Give these questions a try when communicating to a seller’s agent.
Why is the Owner Selling?
Easily the first and most important question to ask a seller’s agent is why is the seller selling their home? The seller’s agent doesn’t have to answer although they may allude to the seller’s motivation. You may find out the the seller is desperate to sell due to life changes or job change and would accept a lower price then they are asking.
Is there anything I should know about this home and surrounding neighborhood?
Buying any home brings along risks of things going wrong, faulty plumbing, mold, high levels of radon. Most of these problems can be found by a good home inspector for when you have already put in an offer on the home and are in the objection period of a contract. There are other factors which can greatly affect your home’s value as well. Are any major improvements planned for the area, is there a sewage plant being planned for nearby, is a local public transport hub closing? When you are looking for a home it’s not just the home you are purchasing, you are buying into a neighborhood. Make sure that your investment in that neighborhood is secure for the foreseeable future.
What are the inclusions, both exterior and interior?
The home you are looking at is perfect! It has a shed for storing, brand new washer and dryer, beautiful drapes that really pop with the walls. One itty bitty problem though, none of these things come with the home. Always ask what comes with the home, seller’s aren’t required to leave personal property with the home to sell it.
Has the home been on the market for a while?
The market can be fickle for sellers and buyers. The amount of time a home has been on the market could be an indication of a larger issue. The issue may be as simple as the home being overpriced, but it could be a serious issue that arose from a home inspection from a previous deal.
The longer a home is on the market the more likely a seller will be willing to take a lower price.
How long have the current owners lived there?
Homeowners have many reasons for moving, from life changes to job changes, but a homeowner living in a home for a very short amount of time may be a red flag that there are serious issues with the home or neighborhood.
Has the property been sold repeatedly?
Ask your real estate agent to look up the sale history of a home. Should the property have a history of being sold many times in a short span you should be wary of the home. See if your agent is able to find out the reasons previous owners have moved.
How did the home’s asking price come to be?
Any agent worth their commission should be able to tell you their justifications for the home’s asking price. Your agent should be able to discern whether or not those reasons justify the home’s price. Sometimes an agent may let slip that they feel the home is overvalued, always ask if the price is set ins tone or if the seller may be willing to accept a lower price. Either way you should consult with your agent about what homes similar to the one you are looking at sold for in that area.
Has the home had any offers?
More likely than not the seller’s agent will tell you if the home has gotten any offers in but they will omit the amounts the offers were for. It’s always worth asking though as an agent may give subtle hints as to the amounts the offers were for and if they were close to the bottom line the seller wanted. The more you can find out about previous offers the easier it is for you to make one that is likely to be accepted.
When do the Sellers Have to Move Out?
More often than naught, sellers are planning to move into another home and are selling their current home to facilitate that move. If the seller has already found their next home they will be more motivated to sell their current home as soon as possible. Conversely, if they have yet to determine where they would like to move to you may end up in deal with many contingencies that can fall through.
Which way does the property face?
Watching sunsets on the home’s terrace can be a bit of a challenge if the terrace faces north. In Durango, especially in the winter, the direction a home’s features face can affect your quality of living. Driveway facing North? The sun won’t shine on it long enough in winter to clear the snow and ice. Like waking up to the sun in the morning? West facing bedrooms aren’t for you. Determine which rooms you use the most and the directions they face.
Have any additions and improvements been done to the home?
Having extra space in a home is always welcome, unless you need to tear it down shortly after you purchase the home. Always ask for the building or land improvement permits for additions or improvements to a home and property. Not everyone goes through the proper channels to get things done and it would be heartbreaking (and costly) to have to tear down part of your new home.
Is there an HOA and if so, what are the dues, what’s the Average Utility cost?
You’ve set a monthly amount that a new home can cost you mortgage wise, but often Home Owner Associations (HOAs) can add a not insignificant amount to your monthly expenses. Adding to the expense of owning a home. older homes may not be well insulated and cost you more than expected in utility charges. Ask the seller’s agent for the HOA amounts and the average monthly utility bill for the home. Most utility companies will give the yearly high and low as well as the average monthly bill, if they don’t the seller’s agent can ask the homeowner for you.
Are you looking to buy a home? Let’s have a chat even if right now isn’t the best time. I have decades of experience in the real estate market and can help you achieve your real estate goals.
Give me a call at 970.335.8225 or send me an email at email@example.com