The Perfect Property

Questions To Ask Before Putting An Offer On A House

by Zachary Thompson

Are you wanting to buy a new home? Have you started looking at houses but you're having a hard time making a choice? When you hire a realtor, he or she will be able to find houses for you but you're the one that ultimately has to choose which one to put an offer on. To help you decide which house to pick, here are some questions to ask about the houses that you're interested in:

When was the roof last replaced? Don't be surprised if this information isn't available to your realtor, but you should still try to find out anyway. If the roof has less than half of its useful lifespan left, you'll want to put in a lower offer or reconsider buying the house in the first place. If you do buy the house, you'll have to start budgeting now for replacing the roof in a few years' time. 

How old are the appliances? This question may be slightly easier for your realtor to answer, depending on whether the house is being sold by an individual or by a bank. Most houses will come with a stove and a water heater. They should also include either a furnace, an air conditioner, or both, depending on the area of the country. As with a roof, each of these things has a limited lifespan. The older a particular appliance is, the more likely it is that you'll have to replace it soon. For example, most water heaters will only last for around a decade, approximately the same lifespan as a house's furnace. If you don't want to potentially deal with the water heater breaking down or a reluctant furnace during your first winter, you'll want to look for a house that has a relatively young water heater or furnace.

How firm is the asking price? Even if the house has older features that need to be fixed or replaced, you may still be able to get a good deal by putting in a low offer. On the other hand, if it's a seller's market and houses are getting snapped up quickly, you'll have to decide whether to put in an offer that may be a bit higher than you'd prefer to pay or whether you should wait for something better to come along. Your realtor can give you a good idea about the state of the local real estate market, as well as find out for you whether or not you can put in a low offer.