When you are making a home purchase, there are three sets of questions that you should ask before making the transaction.  Having the answers to these questions will help ensure that you make the right choice when selecting your next home.

Three Questions To Ask Yourself

1.     What is my budget?

Prequalifying for a mortgage will help you know what your payments will be on the mortgage so you can remain within your budget guidelines. Prequalifying for a mortgage also helps you fine-tune your home search because you know exactly what you can spend. However, be sure to include the additional costs of ownership in your budget. Don't forget the obvious, taxes, and the not so obvious, maintenance and general upkeep.

2.    Are there features I must have to be happy?

Making a list of the amenities that you absolutely want in a home is very important. Purchasing a home is a large investment, and you're likely to be there for a while, you'll want to be comfortable.

3.    Have I explored the area?

Before you begin house hunting, you should explore the neighborhoods or cities you are considering. Take your visits on several different days of the week and times of the day. You'll get a better sense for the ebbs and flows of the neighborhood. Consider shopping, restaurants, medical centers and entertainments venues in the area. Check out schools on your trips as well as their rating online. Even if you don't have family members who will be using them, good schools will add to the resale value when the times come. Your varied visits will allow you to check traffic patterns so make sure one of those visits are early in the morning or late afternoon on a weekday.

Four Questions To Ask Your Realtor

1.    How long has the property been on the market?

Properties that have been on the market for a longer period of time indicate that the seller may be more likely to negotiate a lower price on the home. Their may also be underlying issue with the home itself.

2.    What are the home values in the area?

Home values of similar properties in the area should be comparable to the asking price of the home you are considering for purchase. Your realtor would have this information readily available to help you negotiate the best price.

3.    Is the home in a flood zone or prone to other natural disasters?

Being in a higher risk area does not have to be a deterrent in purchasing a home. However, knowing this information will allow you to purchase the right insurance for your property.

4.    How old is the roof?

The roof of your house is perhaps the most important part of the structure. Depending on the location of the house, you can expect a roof to last between 15 and 30 years. If the roof is older, you may have to replace it soon and should adjust your offering price accordingly.

Two Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Broker

1.    What are your closing costs?

The cost of closing a mortgage varies from company to company.  Be sure to shop interest rates as well as closing costs early in your home search process.  

2.    What type of loan is most appropriate for me?

A mortgage broker works with multiple mortgage companies to find the "best" deal for you. Before he begins his search, discuss the various options available and those that might be the best fir for your circumstances. Options will include FHA or VA as well as varying terms, in essence 10, 15, 20 or 30 years.