Best Questions To Ask When Buying a House

Here’s what you’ll need to find out from your realtor, mortgage lender—and even yourself.

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Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, so it’s critical to make the right choices during the purchasing process. The more questions you ask (even if they're fundamental like, how do I get a mortgage?), the more information you’ll gather. And that information is what you’ll need to make an informed buying decision.

If you’re a first-time buyer in particular, you’ll find the best questions below for each step of the way.

Questions to ask yourself when buying a home

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time or experienced homebuyer: The first person you should question is yourself. Be honest, and you’ll give yourself answers that will provide valuable direction for topics like:

  • What is my housing budget?
  • How much money can I afford to put down on the home?
  • What features and amenities are most important to me?
  • Do I have a location preference?
  • Am I searching for a home in a specific school district?
  • Do I plan on expanding my family in the future?
  • Am I interested in a move-in-ready home or a fixer-upper?
  • Have I taken into consideration real estate taxes, HOA fees and the maintenance budget of owning a home?
  • Do I have a budget for furnishing and decorating my home?
  • Will I move myself or pay movers?
  • Why did I decide to buy right now?
  • What is my credit score?
  • Do I have a clean credit report?
  • Am I purchasing the home alone or with someone else, such as a spouse or partner?
  • What’s most important to me in a home?
  • Do I have a steady income?
  • Do I expect my income to increase or decrease in the near future?

Questions to ask a real estate agent

It's beneficial to get the advice of an experienced real estate agent. They know the area and have industry connections that can help you along the way. Ask:

  • What are your thoughts on the area?
  • Can you provide more information on crime statistics?
  • How does the school district rank?
  • How far away are shopping, dining, entertainment and medical care?
  • Can you make a referral to a mortgage broker or mortgage lender?
  • How much experience do you have helping clients buy and sell homes in the local area?
  • What sets your service apart from other agents?
  • How long have you been a local real estate agent?
  • Do you work full-time or part-time?
  • Do you have enough time in your schedule to take on another client?
  • What’s the ratio of buyers to sellers that you represent?
  • How long does it generally take you to help a buyer find a home?
  • Do you have references I can contact?
  • Will I work with you individually or with a team?
  • How does your commission structure work?

As you get answers, you’re likely to have follow-up questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information. A real estate agent who truly cares about you as a client will be willing to provide answers. Use this downloadable checklist to help you get the information you need. 

Tip: Speak with three to five real estate agents before deciding which one to hire.

Questions to ask your mortgage lender when buying a house

Unless you’re buying your home with cash, you’ll want to consult with a mortgage lender as early in the process as possible. There are several ways to find a lender:

  • Talk to your local bank about the lending products it offers.
  • Ask your real estate agent for a referral.
  • Contact a lender you’ve used in the past.

Contact three to five mortgage lenders to better understand what the market has to offer. Questions to ask include:

  • Which types of mortgage products do you offer?
  • Do you have any special borrowing programs that I qualify for?
  • What will my monthly payment be?
  • What are current interest rates?
  • How much are closing costs?
  • What credit qualifications do you require?
  • Do you offer mortgage points?
  • How long is my preapproval good for?
  • Do you offer a mortgage rate lock?
  • Is there a down payment requirement?
  • Do I meet the income requirements for securing a loan?
  • Is there a prepayment penalty?
  • Can you explain how private mortgage insurance works?
  • What fees are associated with securing a mortgage?

Use this downloadable checklist to help you get the information you need. 

AAABanking is here to help you purchase your dream home—without the hassle and stress that many homebuyers have come to expect. We take three steps to help make your purchase as smooth and affordable as possible.

  1. Request information regarding your financing needs, such as your price range and down payment.
  2. Submit your application, gather documentation and process your loan.
  3. Close on your loan.

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