First-Time Home Buyers

10 Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

It pays to get these answers before making an offer.


You’ve found the home of your dreams. This can be a very exciting, but also a scary time. A home is a huge investment, and making sure you found the right one is crucial. So what do you do now that you’ve found the one? Ask questions, questions and more questions. Questions are critical in determining if this home is actually your dream home or a complete nightmare. ESTATENVY spoke with Catherine Holbrook, a broker for The Matt Laricy Group – Americorp Real Estate, and she shared some top questions buyers should ask before settling on a home. 

1. How long has the property been on the market?

If the house has been on the market for some time, that could potentially be a red flag. Ask why it isn’t selling. Is it overpriced? This could be an opportunity to negotiate a lower price. Are there problems people have noticed? Make sure to take a deep dive into this.

2. How long was the seller an owner, and why are they selling?

It’s always a good idea to check this information. Maybe the seller is moving to another city or maybe they are simply outgrowing the property. This could give buyers a perspective if they could potentially outgrow it as well.

3. What recent work has been done to the home?

What is the age of the appliances? Has the seller done any remodeling or updates since they purchased it? Are they replacing things just to help sell it? Make sure to get the full story behind any renovations that have been made.

4. How old is the roof and are there any upcoming special assessments?

Knowing the age of the roof and when work has been done on the building will let buyers know when they will have to be dishing out cash to help pay for repairs. It would be important to find out what kind of roof the building has, how the building was made, and any other pertinent details so you can determine the lifetime of everything.

5. What school district is the home in?

The quality of schools can majorly affect home values. Even if buyers don’t have children, the school rank is still important. Eventually, buyers may sell the home and the next family could have children. The school district could make or break a sale.

6. What is around this property?

Are there grocery stores, shops, and restaurants nearby? Make sure to drive around the surrounding blocks to see if those establishments would be easily accessible. If the area will be expanding in the next few years, this could help with the re-sell in the future.

7. What is the parking like?

Is there a garage? How many cars can fit? Is there easy street parking? Even if the buyer has only one car, having somewhere where friends and family can easily park would be nice. Also, if buyers live in an area where there is snow, trying to dig a car out could be a hassle so a garage could be a huge perk.

8. How many rentals are in the building?

High-rises house a lot of people. Asking this question can help buyers determine how well the building is taken care of. Renters won’t care about the look of the building or amenities as much as buyers will. This will also give an idea if people will be moving in and out more often.

9. What is the commute like?

Buyers should make sure to test out the commute during the days/times they would be traveling to get a real feel for it. No one wants to buy a home then realize the seemingly easy commute they tested out at a random time ends up being hours longer during their actual travel time.

10. Any noise issues?

Is there a bar under the unit or next to the house? Train or highway nearby? Make sure to check the surrounding area to see any noise instigators. Also, be sure to check the area both day and night, weekdays and weekends. The sound could be different in each scenario.