5 Things to Learn Before You Buy a House

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New HomeownersNew home buyers have a lot on their plate.  They’re getting their paperwork together, building their credit, and saving for their down payment.  There’s also picking out that perfect house.  In the spirit of that search, we wanted to give you a list of five question to ask and things to find out about the house before you make that offer and sign on the dotted line.

How Much are the Property Taxes?

Property taxes should be listed on the selling sheet, but they may not be.  Keep in mind that the cost will change, depending on what you pay for your home.  Your property value will adjust those taxes.  Don’t get caught unable to make that tax payment.  You’ll have to budget for that when you create your offer.

How Old is the Roof?

A roof is the first line of defense against the elements for your house.  It keeps heat in in the winter, rain and snow out, keeps cool air in during the summer, and keeps the world from falling on your heads.  Because of these responsibilities, the roof will wear faster than the rest of the house.  The average cost of rebuilding a roof is $7500.  It would be in your best interests to know when you’ll have to shell that out.  Many homes in the Midwest have also suffered hail and storm damage, so make sure they are sound before buying.

Ever Had a Sewer Backup?

Broken pipes are 22% of all home maintenance expenses.  Plus, it’s pretty gross.  Find out from the seller if the house has ever had backup or leaking in the pipes.  It’s not something you want to see during your first storm.  Your inspector should be able to find this as well.

Are Pests a Problem? (Not the Neighbors)

As anybody who’s ever had a pest problem can attest, they’ll keep on coming back.  Ants, wasps, mice, raccoons, bats, bees, or whatever will keep returning, year after year, if they find an easy target.  Find out what kind of problems the current homeowners are having and what they’re doing to deal with it.  If you’re going to have to pay a termite guy every year, you should know about it before you make an offer.

What are the Extra Costs Like?

Are you paying a Homeowner’s Association fee?  How much more will you pay for gas, water, and electricity?  You have to be able to budget for additional costs before you decide to buy.  Ask the current homeowner what they pay monthly to get a feel for your new budget.

Hopefully these tips can help you get a handle on the costs associated with your new home.  If you feel like you’re ready to get started shopping, call us today to get pre-approved for your mortgage.

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Take advantage of lower mortgage rates to refinance and save money. Call us in St. Louis at (314) 781-9700, Chicago at (773) 770-4727, Indianapolis at (317) 550-1515 and Nashville at (615) 810-8555.  You can always apply online at www.thehomeloanexpert.com, and we’re also open on Saturdays to better serve you. Don’t forget to follow @TheHomeLoanEx on Twitter for breaking mortgage news and knowledge.  Nobody gets lower rates on better loans than The Home Loan Expert, Ryan Kelley, why go anywhere else?