There are some pretty standard questions you should ask when doing a home tour, such as the roof's age and the last time the seller's replaced the appliances. However, there are lesser issues you should inquire about that could have a major impact on your costs and how much you enjoy living in the home. Here are two things you should ask about to ensure the house you're touring is the right one for you.
Odd Community Regulations
If you want to make any renovations or build any additions to the home, you need to ask if there are community rules or restrictions on what you can do. It's not unusual for homeowner's associations or even the local government to develop ordinances establishing what homeowners can do to their houses.
Many times these rules are put in place to protect the look of the entire neighborhood. For instance, the local government may have an ordinance restricting what people can do to a home that's part of a historic neighborhood in order to preserve the area's character. Homeowner's associations may want homes to adhere to a particular architectural or design theme and, thus, ban homeowners from using certain colors of paint, among other things.
It's important to know this information upfront so you can decide if you want to deal with that headache or plan your renovations accordingly.
What's Still Under Warranty
Another thing you should ask about is what appliances or systems may still be under warranty. Once you sign the sale agreement and hand over your money, all repairs will fall on your shoulders (and wallet). You can better plan for possible repairs if you know what items are still under warranty and which ones may require out-of-pocket costs. For instance, if the sellers just had a leak in the roof fixed, it's a good idea to find out if that repair is under warranty so you can simply have the company come out and fix problems for free if issues with the repairs crop up.
Finding out what's under warranty can also open the door to some negotiations. For instance, if nothing is covered, you could ask the sellers to throw in a home warranty that covers major systems and appliances repairs during your first year or two of ownership, particularly if it is obvious things haven't been maintained well.
For more information about these issues or to obtain a list of smart questions to ask during a home tour, contact a real estate agent like Fischer Homes.