When you search for and find the house you want to buy, there are a number of important steps and verification you should do before you get a loan, sign the papers, and take legal ownership. Here are some important due diligence tasks you don't want to forget when you buy a house.
Research the Market
Before you start touring through open houses in your area, you want to find out a bit of information about the local real estate market. This will help you to know information about your specific real estate market, such as how much homes are selling for in any given neighborhood. Two neighborhoods can have different prices of homes, and a home in one neighborhood may be affordable but a similar one in the other neighborhood could be out of your price range.
It is helpful to find out what neighborhoods in your area have homes that are within your price range. For example, you might find a neighborhood with affordable single-family homes, but another neighborhood has an affordable range of smaller townhouses or condominiums. Talk to your realtor about what your needs are and determine a plan where you can look for a home to buy.
Check and Professionally Inspect the Home
Once you select a home which you would like to get a more up-close view of, make an appointment with the listing agent and tour the home. This provides you and your agent a chance to make sure the home is all it advertises to be. You want to make sure the home has, for example, working fixtures, and the updated cabinets and kitchen that is listed in the home's listing details. As you tour through the home, look in closets and turn on the dishwasher, for example, to make sure the home appears in good working condition.
If you decide to make an offer on the home, you should follow it up with a more thorough inspection and hire a professional inspector. A professional inspector will go through and check the home's systems and components, such as the furnace, plumbing, chimney, and the attic insulation, are all working as they should. Your professional inspector will provide you with a final inspection report with details of anything amiss in the home so you can proceed with the home's purchase or request some repairs or updates that you would like to be made prior to your purchasing it.