Olde Town Brokers homeYou’ve searched the internet. You’ve spoken with realtors in Orlando. And you’ve even found a property you want to see in real life. But what should you expect? Viewings are an important opportunity to find out as much information as possible about your potential investment. In order to make the most out of your viewing, here are 10 questions you should be asking your Realtor . 

When was the home built?
Older homes can offer their fair share of issues. From wiring to garage sizes to insulation, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line.

How old is the roof?
A roof’s age can determine a lot about a house. It tells you what kind of weather it’s been through and survived. But more importantly, you need to know if it’ll need replacing in the near future.

What is the insulation/ window situation?
Florida can throw some wicked stuff at your house. Bugs, rain, heat, and humidity. Keep the outdoors where they belong (outside!) by making sure the windows are sealed and fairly new. It’ll save you money in repairs and maintenance costs. Good insulation keeps your home the temperature you like all while saving you money on heating and cooling costs. Ask about the type of insulation and don’t forget to check out attic space. An insulated attic can save you a lot of money particularly in the summer time!

What is the neighborhood like?
Neighborhoods are often catered to certain lifestyles. Do you have children or are you planning on starting a family? If so, schools are probably important to you. You might also want to consider the home’s location in proximity to main roads or shopping plazas. If you’re looking to maintain an active lifestyle check for sidewalks, parks, and other recreation spots.

What are the neighbors like?
This one might be tricky. Look around for flyers or head to a coffee shop for bulletin boards. Is anyone planning a neighborhood barbeque? What about a garage sale? If there is a park nearby, ask around and see what locals have to say about the area and their neighbors.

What is included in the price?
It is important to clarify what the price of the home actually covers. Washing machine? Dryer? Dish washer? Refrigerator? What about light fixtures? Any furniture? It is also beneficial to find out what additional fees you will incur (closing costs, down payment, taxes, etc). You don’t be surprised on closing day.

What are the utility costs?
Many things can determine how much money you’ll be paying a month for your utilities. Be sure to ask about the age of the AC unit, in-city or out-of-city water fees, and lawn care costs. The seller should have a good estimate on what a typical monthly bill will look like for the house.

Image Courtesy of American Advisors Group

Image Courtesy of American Advisors Group

How long has the house been on the market?
Finding out how long the property has been listed can actually open up a new set of questions. If a house has been on the market for a few months you don’t really have anything to worry about. However, if the listing is a few years old further research should be done to determine why it hasn’t sold. Is it overpriced? Is the neighborhood bad? It may be nothing. But it may be something.

Has there been any work done on the house?
Finding out if the previous owners completed any remodeling projects or large maintenance repairs could alert you to future work or needed updates. Prior remodeling can also set a precedent for future project approval. You will also want to ensure that any and all previous work done on the home was completed to housing standards and codes.

Are there any problems I should know about?
Of course, a general question regarding any issues is crucial. It serves as a catch all and provides an opportunity to discuss negotiation.

After you walked around the property (both with your Realtor and on your own) there’s one final question you should ask yourself: Can you picture yourself living there?

If you need help navigating Orlando real estate, give the professionals at Olde Town Brokers a call at 407.425.5069. Since 1994, we have helped people like you Get Busy Living!