So your lease is ending and you are looking to rent or buy a new property, but have no idea where to begin? You’ve come to the right place! Finding the perfect property to start your new chapter in a new space can be daunting, but don’t worry, your realtor is here to help. Here are examples of the types of questions you should be asking:
Touring is one of the most significant parts of the process. Just from one tour, you can make a lot of progress in deciding if this property would be a good fit. So what should you look for during a tour? While you don’t need to worry about the appearance of the property as far as decor, wall color, small fixtures and design, pay attention to the condition of the walls and floors, any odors and exposed or eroded wiring is definitely a red flag.
If the property is currently inhabited, it would be good to know why this property is going back on the market. Having this information would tip you off to any potential problems, such as rising crime rates or bad school districts.
If you are considering the space, you should definitely be aware of the resale value and which direction it is trending for example, if the property has been gradually losing value over the years, you may want to consider your long term plans to decide if it is still a good fit. Sales History is an extremely helpful tool in determining these trends. Don’t be afraid to check the public record for this data!
Location is a major part of the decision to rent/buy a new living space. While you will need to determine the distance from your workplace or school to avoid an unreasonably long commute, you should be quizzing your realtor on resale value, average property taxes and quality of life for this neighborhood. Is it a friendly, safe area? Are there any parks or open spaces nearby you can go to for some exercise and fresh air? Any local markets or should you expect to drive out of the neighborhood for groceries and other errands? If you do not have a car, what is the local transportation like?
Before deciding on a property, know what are some of the contingencies and concessions you would like to be laid out in your contract. According to Ribbon, concessions are contract clauses that require the seller to help financially. A common concession might be requesting that the seller covers closing costs. On the other hand, contingencies are clauses in the contact that allow you to back out after signing. An example of some common contingencies would be that the house passes inspection and that the buyer can qualify for a mortgage.
Ultimately, you will have to decide which concessions and contingencies you should include. This is the perfect time to ask for the advice of your realtor. Along with their help, you can find the perfect medium of protecting yourself from possible disaster.
Finally, ask your realtor what expenses to be expected in addition to rent/mortgage. If renting, it is likely you will need to put down 1.5 of the first month’s rent for a security deposit, as well as some possible other fees. Don’t forget to ask if utilities, laundry or any other amenities are included that may sway your decision. If you are buying your next property, maintenance, closing costs and property taxes will all need to be accounted for in addition to the monthly mortgage and upfront percentage.
Feeling overwhelmed? That is normal. Transitioning into a new space is a huge decision-don’t rush it! Most importantly, find the perfect realtor to help you see your dream home into a reality.