When you buy a home without asking the right questions, you might end up making costly mistakes. Use this list as a guide to making a more informed choice!

  1. "Will the windows need to be replaced?"
    If you've ever had to replace your windows, you know how costly this can get. New windows can cost you up to $15,000. Do the windows close properly? Are they sealed? Are they coated in lead-based paint?
     
  2. "What's the position & quality of the trees?"
    You don't want to wake up one morning with your roof caved in from a fallen tree. Does the tree look rotted? Does it need to be cut down? Do the branches block sunlight? Do you have the time and money to clean up lots of leaves in the fall?
     
  3. "Are there signs of a pest problem?"
    Do you see any signs of bug, mice, or other pests? Did you check the cabinets, behind the fridge, etc? Will you need an annual pest control plan?
     
  4. "Are there paved sidewalks in the neighborhood?"
    You'd be surprised at how many neighborhoods don't have sidewalks. If you have kids, is there a place for them to safely ride bikes? Can you go for a jog without the threat of getting hit by a car?
     
  5. "Is the home too old?"
    How much work needs to be put into the home? Will you be able to DIY the project? Do you have the time to take that on? Can you afford to hire someone to do it for you?
     
  6. "Does the home have any strange odors?"
    Do you smell mold? Are there foul odors absorbed into the walls and flooring? Is there a pungent scent of cigarettes or pets? Be wary of homes that have odors that may be costly to get rid of or signify bigger issues.
     
  7. "Does the ground slope away from the house?"
    Does the home sit on top or bottom of a hill? Where does the water flow? What's the condition of the grading around the house? The last thing you need is a flooded new home.
     
  8. "What do the neighborhood cars look like?"
    Do you see broken down cars, or are they well maintained? Look at the quality not the brands.
     
  9. "What are the neighbors like?"
    Have you met the neighbors? Can you imagine living next to them? What kind of reputation do they have in your neighborhood?
     
  10. "How much are utilities?"
    Estimate how much you'll pay each month for utilities, since this will  affect your bottom line.