There is a process when buying a home. You have to get pre-qualified, hire a realtor, search in the area that you would like to live. For us, that wasn’t so bad. I felt like the process was quick and not too difficult. What I was not expecting were things that came up after we bought the house. We have been living in our first house for about 8 years and we have seen and learned a lot. If I would have known, I would have asked these questions before I bought the house just so I knew what to expect in the long run. It’s always good to be prepared and count the cost before you commit yourself into a 15 or 30 year plan. These are the 5 questions that I wanted to share with you.

What is the average cost of the utility bills

Did you know you can call a city’s electricity provider and get the average cost of what the electricity bill is for that address? You can also ask the city’s utility department for the average cost of the sewage/water for the area. It’s good to have an idea of what your monthly expenses will be so you don’t stretch yourself thin.

Is the A/C unit registered with the manufacturer

We had to get a new air conditioning unit shortly after we moved into our home. It wasn’t even that old. By the grace of God, someone blessed us with more than 80% of the funds to buy a new unit. After we got the unit installed, the contractors didn’t tell us anything about registering the unit with the manufacturer. When you buy a brand new A/C unit, it should get registered with the manufacturer so parts are covered for 10 years. So if the unit needs repairs, parts will be covered, though the labor is not. So 7 years later, our A/C broke down. We had to pay for both the part and the labor. Don’t make this mistake. Make sure that one of the most expensive appliances in your home is covered.

Does the Appliances stay

When we moved into our home, we found out that the previous owners took the water heater and placed a broken one in its place. The shade of it all. We do not recall anyone mentioning this. Hot water heaters are not cheap to replace and install. Next time, I will not only ask if the major appliances stay, I’ll probably have them add to the contract as well.

How old is the roof

Most of the time, the year the roof was replaced is listed. But if it’s not, ask for this information. Many homes in Florida have asphalt shingle roofs and they last about 20-25 years. So if the roof is 15 years old just know that leaves you about 5-10 years until you may have to replace it. Is that something you are willing to overlook or is it a big deal? Would you be concerned during hurricane season? The average cost to replace a 1600 square foot home is about $15,000.

Are there top-rated schools near

This is actually a good question for anyone whether you have kids, plan to have kids, or don’t want any kids. When you live in a neighborhood that has “A/B” rated schools, your property value increases and it makes your area desirable. This attracts people, many people. So if you choose to sell your home, later on, you know you will get a good profit from it.

These questions can be applied to any home buying process whether this is your forever home or an investment property.

What questions will you be asking when you purchase a home?