According to research, the average person moves house eleven times in their lifetime. That’s a lot of house viewings. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and overlook some key aspects.
There are a lot of things to think about when moving: finding the right neighborhood, what kind of house you want, and your budget. It can be overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, you can end up in a house that isn’t right for you.
To help avoid this, we’ve put together a list of what to ask when viewing a house. By the time you’re done reading this house viewing guide, you’ll know what questions to ask that will help you make the best decision for you and your family.
How Long Has the Seller Lived Here?
The longer the seller has been in the house, the more they’ve likely invested in it. This means they may be more attached to the property and less willing to negotiate on price.
It can also give you some insight into what kind of condition the property is in. If the seller just moved in, there may be some underlying issues they weren’t aware of.
On the other hand, if they’ve lived there for decades, it’s likely that any major problems will already be addressed. Of course, this isn’t always the case, and you should still get a professional inspection to be sure.
Why Are You Selling the House?
There are many reasons to sell your house, and the seller likely has some good reasons for moving. The answer to this question can give you some negotiating power. For example, if the seller is relocating for work, they may be more willing to accept a lower offer.
On the other hand, if they’re selling because they need to downsize or are going through a divorce, they may be less flexible on price.
It’s also worth noting that the seller may not be entirely honest with you. They may try to downplay any negative reasons for selling, so take what they say with a grain of salt.
How Long Has the House Been on the Market?
When house viewing, ask this question as it’ll give you some insight into the seller’s motivation. If they’ve only been trying to sell for a short time, they may be more negotiable on price.
On the other hand, if the house has been sitting on the market for months or even years, there could be something wrong with the property that’s preventing buyers from biting.
In this case, you’ll want to be extra diligent in your inspection and may want to consider getting a professional home inspector to help you identify any potential problems.
How Old Is the Heating and Cooling System?
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of the most expensive to replace. You want to know how old it is and what type of system it is. A central air conditioner will be more expensive to repair or replace than a window unit.
The average lifespan of an HVAC system is 20 years, but that doesn’t mean it won’t need repairs before then. The age and type of system will give you a good idea of what you can expect in terms of repair or replacement costs down the road.
How Old Is the Roof?
The average shingle roof lasts 20 to 25 years, a metal roof will last 40 to 50 years, and a tile roof can last up to 100 years. If the home you’re looking at has an old or damaged roof, that’s something you’ll need to factor into your budget.
You should also ask about the gutters and downspouts. If they’re old or in disrepair, that’s another potential repair you’ll need to make.
If the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to have them replace it before you close on the house. Keep in mind, though, that a roof is a big job and can be expensive. If you’re not comfortable paying for a new roof, you may want to look at other houses.
Have There Been Any Recent Renovations?
If there have been any recent renovations, it’s important to ask about the quality of the work. Was it done by a professional? Are there any warranties that come with the house?
It’s also worth asking about what kind of materials were used. If the seller used lower-quality materials in an attempt to save money, it could end up costing you more in the long run.
If the house is a fixer-upper, you’ll also want to ask what kind of work will need to be done and what kind of permits will be required. Getting all of this information when viewing a house will help you budget for the cost of the renovation.
Are There Any Easements?
Most people have no idea what to ask when viewing a house, and this is a question that should not be forgotten.
An easement is the legal right of a third party to use your property. For example, the city may have an easement to put power lines on your land.
Easements can be for public or private purposes. They’re typically granted for things like power lines, sewer systems, or even driveways. In some cases, an easement may give a neighbor the right to use your land to access their property.
You’ll want to know about any easements because they can limit what you can do with your property. For example, if there’s an easement for power lines, you may not be able to build a deck in that location.
What to Ask When Viewing a House: A Guide
There you have it! Now you know what to ask when viewing a house. Asking these questions will give you a better idea of what you’re getting into before you buy a house.
Knowing the answers upfront can help you budget for any necessary repairs or renovations. With these house viewing tips, you’ll have an easier time getting to know more about the house before you make an offer.
If you found this post informative, be sure to check out our other blog posts for more great tips.