What is the biggest purchase you’ve ever made? For many, the answer to that question is a home. Buying a home is a big deal… and a big task. It’s important to do your research before signing on the dotted line. Make sure you’re asking the following questions before you commit to anything:

Why am I paying what I’m paying?

This is an important question to ask whenever spending money – however, it’s especially relevant when deciding on a home. You want to make sure you’re examining the offering price and whether the cost matches up with the value of the home. A good way to gauge this is to examine other home sales in the area. Are they selling at a similar price?

Another important aspect to consider is the condition of the home. For example, you want to be sure you’re considering the cost of any repairs that will need to be made to the home. Think about if you’ll need to fix something immediately or if there’s a known issue that will cost you money in the future. Make sure to factor those expenses into the price you’re willing to pay for the home.

Am I committed to living in this area?

Location is another crucial factor to consider when it comes to committing to a home. It’s important to think about what activities you do throughout your day-to-day life – and whether the home is centrally located to them. For example, what would your commute to work or school look like? Will it be easy to get to the gym or the grocery store – and does that matter to you? It’s key to make sure that you don’t get so distracted by the inside of the home that you forget about where it is geographically.

Have I considered what type of an investment this will be?

While it’s important to factor in how buying the home will affect you in the here and now, it’s also critical that you think about the impact the purchase will have on your future financial state. Make sure you think about whether you’ll be able to resell the house later – and for how much. Consider how long you plan on staying in the home, and align that with the estimated value of the home when it’s time to resell.

Have I considered costs associated with the sale?

Because homes are already so expensive, it’s easy to forget about the other costs associated with buying a home. You’ll need to hire a real estate agent and factor in closing costs. Think about how these extra expenses will benefit your bottom line. In addition, make sure to ask the seller if they’re willing to help with any residual costs.

Have I researched the history of the home and its previous/current owners?

Using data from the past can help indicate what your experience in the home will be like in the present and future. Make sure you look at things like crime rate and school performance around the home in recent years. Also, ask you potential neighbors if anything strange has gone in the home or if it’s been affected by natural elements in the past (i.e. trees coming down, a past flood or fire, etc.). Look into whether or not the home has a high turnover rate – if the home has changed hands several times, there may be a reason.

While there’s an endless amount of questions that could be asked –these questions attempt to cover the most important concepts to be considered. Be on the lookout for future posts that go into more specific inquires you should make before buying a home.