Team Pinto's Big List of Questions to Ask When Buying a Waterloo Region Home
Even before you begin your Waterloo Region home buying adventure, it's easy to feel overwhelmed as a first-time homebuyer. After all, this is a new process for you, and you have no idea what you're missing.
To begin with, there are no dumb questions that you can ask at any point during the home-buying process. So, no matter how silly or trivial you think your question is, feel free to ask it.
You owe it to yourself to learn everything you can about a home, especially because it will almost certainly be your largest investment to date. To help you, we've compiled a list of questions to ask when buying a house, organized by stage of the home buying process to keep you informed.
Questions to Ask Before You Begin Househunting
Purchasing a Waterloo Region home is a substantial investment, as you are well aware. Think about your aspirations for homeownership before you start looking for a home. Asking yourself these questions will help.
Do you want to build wealth and equity by buying a home?
Do you think you'll need additional space in the future if you start a family?
Do you have a pet or plan on getting one in the near future and want a backyard?
Do you prefer to live in a peaceful, established neighborhood or in a more vibrant area?
Do you enjoy gardening and yard work? How much space do you need in your backyard?
Have you thought about the schools and neighborhoods in the area?
Have you looked at the crime rates in the areas you're considering?
Is it important for you to live near your workplace? Is a commute acceptable?
Have you determined a price range for your purchase that you can afford?
What is the amount of money required for a downpayment in the price range you are considering?
Do you have a mortgage pre-approval letter?
You can forget which questions to ask when buying a house if you're caught up in the thrill of house hunting. If you own a pet and are shopping for a condo, make sure the homeowners' organization accepts them. Let's imagine you want to live in a trendy downtown neighborhood, but you want to start a family in a few years. Will this community still meet your needs? It's always a good idea to think about the type of home you want and the area you want to live in before you start looking.
Also keep in mind that getting a home loan approved saves time for everyone by verifying that you, as the buyer, can truly afford the home and follow through on an offer.
Questions to Ask When Interviewing Real Estate Agents
Contacting the agent listed on a house's for-sale sign may not be the greatest strategy to protect your buyer's interest. It is the agent's role to represent your interests when you work with your own agency. They help you in conducting research on the property, obtaining answers to all of your concerns, and acting as a professional liaison between you and the seller's agent and the homeowner.
Naturally, you'll want to work with a fantastic real estate agent with whom you feel at ease and who has your best interests at heart. Most real estate gurus advise that you interview at least three agents who come highly recommended by friends and family who have previously bought or sold a home. Here are some questions to ask potential agents to determine whether or not they are the appropriate fit for you.
What is your experience as a real estate agent?
How much experience do you have in this particular market?
Is it more common for you to work with buyers or sellers?
What methods do you use to communicate with clients on a regular basis? What might I anticipate in terms of reaction time?
How will you help me with my house search?
When are you usually available for showings and on what days?
How will you ensure that any problems you find with a property are disclosed?
You have a better chance of establishing a successful relationship with your agent from the start if you outline your expectations for communication, home tours, and other information you want your agent to deliver. This will help you during your homebuying process more than you might realize.
Questions to Ask When Touring Waterloo Region Homes for Sale
This is a long list, and not all of the questions apply to every circumstance. If you want to buy a single-family home, for example, queries about condominiums are irrelevant. This list of questions to ask when viewing a house, however, can help you make well-informed judgments when purchasing your first home.
What is the reason for the sale? What is the length of time that the sellers have lived there?
How long has the home been on the market?
What's the vibe like in the area?
When was the house built?
How much do we have to pay in property taxes?
Is there going to be any very large upcoming condo or homeowners association dues?
What is the average cost of utilities?
Have any major repairs been made to the property? If that's the case, do you know if they provided a warranty?
Do you know if there are any issues with neighbours' property lines?
Are there any shared driveways or common areas outdoors?
Is there a public right of way that runs through – or close to – the property?
What are the approximate ages of the major appliances and systems?
Is the sale of the appliances included?
What is the house's sales history, and how does that affect my offer?
Is there adequate room for storage? Is there room to expand?
Is there any evidence of a problem with the water supply? Are there any damp walls, basement floors, or open leaks that you can see? Is there a whiff of mildew? Is there a fresh paint odor that could be designed to mask a water problem?
Is the structure of the walls sound? Look for cracks, as well as evidence of cracks that have been covered up by wallpaper that doesn't match or paint that has been slapped over filler.
Is the chimney in good working order?
Are the windows in good working order? Is any of the glass going to have to be replaced?
Do the windows on the ground floor have working latches to lock them?
Is there insulation in the attic? If so, when did the insulation get put in?
Does the house have any soundproofing? (If you want to judge road noise or determine if you'll have noisy neighbours, try viewing the house at different times.)
Are the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in good working order?
Is cell phone coverage adequate indoors? What's the state of the internet service in the neighborhood?
What kind of heating and cooling system does the house have?
Ask to examine the circuit box; does the wiring appear to be current?
What's the state of the outlets and switches in your house? (You can bring something to plug into the outlets if you want to.)
Are there any lead pipes on the property? Do you notice any problems with pipes that need to be repaired?
What type of drainage system is in place on the property? Is there a septic tank or is it connected to the city sewer?
What kind of roof is there on the house? What was the last time it was replaced, and how is it doing now?
Do you see any leaks in the gutters? Do the gutters need to be cleaned, or do they need to be repaired?
Is there anything within 15 feet of the land that isn't a tree? Can you tell if roots are going to be an issue?
Is there any portion of the yard that doesn't receive sunshine throughout the day, and which way does it face?
Would the real estate agent be interested in purchasing this property? Why not, if not?
What does your agent think the lowest price you could offer for this house and still close the deal is?
Questions to Ask Before Making an Offer on a Waterloo Region Home
What's the deal with this offer? Do we talk to the seller or the seller's agent?
Which contingencies do you think should be included in the offer?
What is the appropriate amount of earnest money to include in the offer?
When do we have to hand over our earnest money?
When can we expect a response from the seller?
When do we have to respond if we receive a counter-offer?
How will we be able to sign the paperwork? Digital? In-person?
What are the next steps if the offer is accepted?
How far away is an accepted offer's probable closing date?
What should we do now that the offer has been accepted?
Any good real estate agent in the Waterloo Region wants to make the house buying process as simple as possible, especially for first-time buyers. If they don't supply this information right away, make sure to ask.
When buying a home, you should make a list of your own questions to ask. Any of the options above, as well as those that represent your personal interests and concerns, can be included. The answers to these questions will give you peace of mind and understand what to expect at each stage of the Waterloo Region homebuying process.
It's fine to do your own research, but don't forget to ask questions of your mortgage broker, real estate agent, and title company. You can make the best decision when buying your first home if you have the answers to all the right questions!
Getting ready to buy a Waterloo Region home, or sell the one you own? Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.