03 Apr A First Time Home Buyers Guide to Open Houses!
Diving into the Denver/Boulder Homes for sale market for the first time can be very intimidating! Many first time home buyers will obviously start by attending open houses in neighborhoods and houses they like but sometimes don’t know exactly what they should be asking. Before you head out to this weekends open houses schedule, make sure to be prepared and ask the hosts these questions!
- Ask the agent if any offers have already been made. If there are multiple offers on the home, it could indicate that the property might sell quickly. If there aren’t any offers yet, then the opposite might be true. Real estate agents hope that multiple offers will push up the sales price of the home. Keep your budget in mind — even if you love the home, you don’t want to get into a bidding war with other prospective buyers if the result is going to be an unaffordable price.
- Why are the Sellers moving? The sellers could be moving because one of the owners got a new job across the country. Or they could be moving because the home’s maintenance is astronomical and the repairs are getting more burdensome. If they give a strange answer, take note. The last thing you want to do is move into a house the owners sold because of bad neighbors, rising crime or failing schools.
- How many days has it been on the market? Learning how long a property has been on the market will allow you to make a knowledgeable offer. Make sure to ask the agent, but also verify their claim. It could have been on the market for a while because a previous buyer’s financing didn’t come through or the property just went on the market this month and there are plenty of suitors. The context will provide you with useful information that gives you a better idea of how fast you’ll need to take action and how competitive the offer process might be.
- When was it built and has it been updated? You want to make sure that you know when the home was built and if there have been any updates or renovations. Check on key features, such as the roof, piping or electrical wiring. If you are purchasing an older home and there have been no recent updates of these features, be wary — you might have to make those repairs in the near future.
- How expensive are the utilities? Utilities are an afterthought in the home-buying process but this is a property you are thinking about living in, and that means you’ll need lights, running water, heat, air conditioning and working sewer pipes. Ask the agent if he or she knows a ballpark of what utilities cost. You don’t want to get further into the process just to find out that the utilities on the property will have a significantly adverse effect on your budget.
- How is neighborhood itself? You aren’t just buying a property, you are also going to be spending the majority of your time in a new neighborhood. Even if you like the property, do you really want to live in a neighborhood you don’t feel comfortable in? You’ll also want to check online and look at the local shops and eateries. Visit a few and see if they match your lifestyle and meet your needs.
- What is the school system like? You can check how the local school district is rated online, but nothing beats asking people in person. How do they feel the local schools are serving the students? Even if kids aren’t in your near future, the quality of your school district will eventually impact your home’s resell value.