I recently read an article originally printed by the Associated Press and printed in the Keene Sentinel called "A home's new owner should ask seller for lowdown". Of all buyers, especially, first time buyers would benefit from this experience. It's easy to forget the newness of home ownership and what it was like that first year of owning your first home. Not knowing what new things you hadn't thought to ask about your home, what new challenges you faced in figuring out your home with each seasonal change. Getting to know your home is a 12 month process, and sometimes longer.
Here are somethings first time buyers should think to ask before or during the closing of their home:
- Is anything under warrenty still? Where are the docs for this?
- When was your last chimney and furnace cleaning? Who did it?
- Are there any boundary disputes between your neighbors?
- What do I do with trash, recycling, leaves?
- What contractors have worked on the house in the past, who knows the home?
- How do you care for the outdoor landscaping?
- How do you operate all of the lights and what are some of the homes idiosyncracies?
- If you left for a week, what would you need to tell your house sitter (that could be beneficial to us?)
- Where are the children on the street?
- How do the systems work (pool especially) and what annual mainenance tasks should be kept up?
These are the top questions on my list though any agent could add to this list. During times like this when sellers often have not lived at the property (bank owned) it becomes especially crucial to hire the right inspector and to take your time at the home inspection.