Asking These 6 Questions Can Save You Money When Buying a New Home

September 25, 2019
Last updated:
March 22, 2022
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Short summary: If home buyers ask certain questions during the buying process, they may be able to save themselves money. In this article, we’ll identify 6 questions that can help buyers save money when buying a home.

The home buying process is a complex, time-consuming matter. Between searching for the right house, applying for a mortgage (if necessary), negotiating the deal, and finalizing everything, there are plenty of odds and ends to think about.

Given that buying a home tends to be among the largest purchases a person will make in his or her lifetime, one thing which you should spend extra time thinking about is how to save money during the home buying process. There are many ways you can go the extra mile and save yourself money when you buy a home.

In many cases, people end up failing to save significant sums simply because they don’t want to put in the effort to do so. Saving money, after all, typically involves putting in the effort, and it’s not uncommon for home buyers to take the easy route and avoid putting in the effort required to save cash.

If you’re looking to buy in the State of Washington, saving money should be an especially prominent concern, because many key markets in Washington are becoming quite expensive to break into. If you’re planning to buy a home in Seattle or Bellevue, for instance, you should certainly be concerned with saving as much cash as possible on your transaction.

In this post, we will go over 6 questions that people can use to save money when buying a new home. These questions are useful for determining whether a given home has certain financial issues. When someone sells a home, that person may or may not be exceptionally straightforward when it comes to the current and potential financial issues with that home.

In some cases, sellers may omit information in order to present a home in a better light. If you ask the right questions, however, you can get a better sense of the financial issues involved with a certain home. This, in turn, can translate into a great deal of savings in the future, because you may uncover that your prospect may be a lot more expensive than the sticker price makes it

To recap, we will cover the following questions:

  • How old are the appliances?
  • What is the past insurance claim history?
  • When was the roof installed?
  • Is the seller willing to contribute to closing costs?
  • Has there been any water-related problems?
  • How much time has passed since the last major renovations?

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How Old are the Appliances?

Appliances – stoves, microwaves, etc. – commonly break down and experience problems. Fixing these problems can add up and become quite expensive very quickly. When you buy a home, you should make a note to ask the seller how old the major appliances are within the home. Also, ask about general condition.

As a rule, older appliances are more susceptible to having issues, but this may not always be the case if they were maintained properly. If you buy a home with appliances which are prone to issues, you may be bogged down with significant repair costs in the near future. And this is definitely something you want to avoid.

What is the Past Insurance Claim History?

Another question you should ask when you go to buy a home relates to the insurance claim history of the property. Ask the seller if there any claims have been filed for damages caused by natural disasters (such as floods), or for theft.

If you’re living in an environment which is likely to experience a natural disaster, this is certainly something you’ll want to be aware of. And, if you’re living in an area which has a high crime rate, this is also a noteworthy thing.

If an area is either disaster prone or suffering from high crime, these things can translate into higher insurance costs for you. Aside from the financial burdens, these things can also generate significant hassles in other ways too.

When Was the Roof Installed?

This is a big one. Whenever you buy a home, you should always be sure to ask when the roof was installed. New roofs can cost many thousands of dollars. And roof repairs can also add up quickly. If you inquire about the age of the roof, you can get a sense of when you’re likely to encounter structural issues, and at what point a new roof may be necessary.

Given the costs involved, sellers may often omit any reference to the age of their roof. This is why you need to inquire specifically about this issue.

Is the Seller Willing to Contribute to Closing Costs?

Closing costs, such as broker’s commissions, appraiser fees, inspection fees, transfer taxes, title insurance fees, and so forth, can rapidly add up and total many thousands of dollars. One question you should ask is whether the seller is willing to contribute toward any costs which may ordinarily be absorbed by the buyer.

In some cases, you may have a seller who’s eager to dispose of a property and may be willing to help with some of these costs in order to get the property off the market. Simply by asking, you may be able to save yourself thousands. You may not always be successful, but it’s easily worth asking.

Has There Been Any Water-Related Problems?

Be sure to ask about any water-related issues. Ask about the pipe system. Has the seller seen or repaired any pipe leaks? What about the sewer system, has it always been sound, or has it experienced problems? Repairing pipe systems and sewer systems can also add up very quickly and translate into large repair bills.

When you buy a home, you want to make sure it’s structurally and functionally sound, otherwise you’re going to be on the hook when the repair person comes out to fix something. Water-related problems are very common, and this is why you want to check this out before completing a purchase.

How Much Time Has Passed Since the Last Major Renovations?

Even the most exceptionally well-constructed home will inevitably experience all kinds of structural issues. This is just a normal part of owning and maintaining a home. When you go to buy, ask about how much time as gone by since the last renovations to major parts of the home.

For instance, how long has it been since the flooring has been renovated? What about the foundation? Homeowners renovate their home not just for cosmetic reasons, but also for structural reasons. If you buy a home which hasn’t been renovated in a very long time, then you may end up being saddled with significant renovation costs in the coming years.

Contact Sammamish Mortgage if You Want to Learn More

These are just 6 recommendations for those planning to buy a home in the near future in Washington State. There may be plenty of other questions you can ask to help place yourself in a better financial position, but these 6 questions will help you get off to a good start.

The more competitive the market, the more useful these types of questions are likely to be. If you’re planning to buy a home in Bellevue, you’ll want to make sure that all peripheral costs are kept to an absolute minimum.

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At Sammamish Mortgage, we understand the buying process inside and out. Our team of mortgage professionals has a detailed knowledge of the home buying procedure and is willing to make this knowledge available to you for your benefit. Family-owned, we’ve been in the mortgage industry in the Pacific Northwest since 1992, and we proudly serve customers in the states of WA, ID, OR and CO. We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and products with flexible qualification criteria.  Contact Us to learn more, View Rates, or Apply Now to check if you’re pre-approved for a mortgage loan right now. We hope to hear from you soon!

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