As a home buyer, you want to compare potential homes on an equal basis. This allows you to decide which home best meets your needs for the best value. But since sellers understandably want you to see the best side of their home, the homes you look at are likely to be dressed up with fresh paint and maybe even home staging. So how can you get to the bottom of what condition the home is really in and how much it's really worth to you?
Here are a few strategies to help you figure out what the home's real condition and value are.
1. Ask to see maintenance and repair records
The maintenance and repairs done on any house can tell an interesting story. First of all, if there are no maintenance records, you could be dealing with someone who's disorganized or someone who simply doesn't take care of their house. In either case, that could be bad news for systems like the drains, electrical system, and roof.
If there are maintenance and repair records, they can give you information on problems the house has had in the past, whether all the systems are up-to-date on professional servicing, and so on.
2. Compare assessed values and sale histories
The home's assessed value and sale history can also tell you a lot. For instance, if the home sold for a quarter of its current asking price just a couple of years ago, why is the current asking price so high? Maybe it was a flip house, in which case you should be wary of amateur repairs or surface-level solutions. In addition, if the home's assessed value is much higher or lower than the asking price, you may want to investigate why. Maybe the house has decreased in value lately. If so, you'll want to know if it's decreasing still.
3. Hire professional inspectors
You should never skimp on a home inspection. First, you'll need to hire a professional home inspector to check the house over generally, which can give you an overview of any problems the house may have (such as roof damage or old wiring) and how severe they are. Your real estate agent can help you find a reputable inspector.
Then, you can ask the inspector if any other inspections are needed; for instance, if they suspect mold, you may want to pay for mold testing and inspection.
4. Talk to the neighbors
You could also ask other people who live near the house what they think about living in the area. Even if they don't have specific information about the house you're considering, they may have information about the neighborhood and property values that could affect your future home.
Your real estate agent can help you with these and other strategies to get to the bottom of each home's actual value and condition so you can compare them fairly before buying. For more information, contact a company like Nashville HomeGuru: Compass Real Estate.
Welcome to my website. My name is Larry Silva, and I want to talk a bit about private mortgage insurance. You may have heard the term PMI mentioned when you were in the process of purchasing real estate. When I first heard my lender talking about PMI, I was very confused. It was my realtor who sat me down and explained what private mortgage insurance was and when someone is required to purchase it. He told me that PMI is not lifelong insurance; it can be cancelled when the mortgage principal balance reaches a certain point. Once it was explained to me, private mortgage insurance was no longer a mystery or a confusing concept. I would like to pass on what I learned and hope that you find it to be of value.