Seven Questions to Ask When Buying a Home in New Hampshire

Verani Realty

buying a home in new hampshireSo, you’re getting ready to purchase a new home. In general, there are a lot of good high-level questions to ask when buying a home in New Hampshire. There are also more specific, detail-oriented ones as well. When it comes to looking at, assessing, and purchasing a home, you want to make sure you’re covering all your bases. It is, after all, one of the most significant and costly investments you’ll make in your life.

At Verani Realty, we look to make your real estate acquisition as painless as possible. We also like to ask questions ourselves, so, we figured that it might be helpful to marry both of these things and offer you the seven questions to ask when buying a home in New Hampshire. This will give you a baseline of how to go about the business of educating yourself about a property when it comes to having a look around and figuring out if the home in question is right for you and checks off all the boxes.

Without further ado, (and in no particular order) here we go…

Is there radon in the home?

This is important. And, for many, this is a question they didn’t ask. It’s a fairly new focus when it comes to looking at properties and figuring out inspections, etc. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas that’s found in about 1 every 15 homes. In New Hampshire, that number is even higher given that radon is naturally occurring, due to the breakdown of rock and other variables in the soil on certain property. New Hampshire is a rockier geographic locale (hello, “granite state”), so it’s an important question to ask when buying a home.

How do schools rank in this town and around the area?

If you’re planning on starting (or if you have) a family, schools are important. You may fall in love with a house, and, you might get so excited that you lose sight of the big picture. Make sure you ask how the schools are. Education is important, and you want to make sure your kids are getting a quality one. And, quite honestly, you’re paying for the service as part of your taxes, so why not make sure that what you’re paying for that “free” education is setting your children up for a better prospective future. Check out some of the top places to live, with the top school systems, in NH.

How old are the appliances?

Look, this might seem silly, but think about it… You don’t want to move in to a house and have to start replacing antiquated appliances if they’re near the end of their lifecycle and start to die on you. Appliances aren’t cheap, and if you’re just getting into a new mortgage, you don’t want to think about shelling out hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars to make your home and the appliances within it work for you. Remember what your teacher told you in school: no question is a dumb question. Setting yourself for potential budding expenses by not asking the question? That’s a questionable practice.

What is that smell?

Again, don’t think it’s silly for asking questions when buying your home. If there’s a curious smell in the air, it could be a sign of a potential problem. Like dampness in the home or walls that can lead to mold, mildew, etc. This isn’t good for your health, or the integrity of the property. Also, if there’s a pungent perfume running rampant amidst the air, it may be a sign that the seller is trying to cover something up.  Like the smell of dead rodents under the floorboards. Who knows?! If there’s “a smell,” ask what the root of the smell is. There’s nothing wrong with being a sleuth – if only for a moment.

What’s the grading of the property? Does the ground slope to, or away from the house?

Hey, sometimes it’s hard to tell. And, you don’t want to buy a home and figure out that, after that storm passes by, there’s a buildup of water in the basement… This is one of the most important questions you can ask when buying a home, especially in New Hampshire, where terrains are inconsistent, and the grading of a property could very well be amok. Water damage is no simple fix, and, further, think about the length and slope of whatever the driveway happens to be. Why? Winter, that’s why. Snow removal and/or the ability to cruise in and out of a driveway is of crucial concern. Unless you drive a tank…

What are the neighbors like around here?

Again, the questions we’re posing here may be somewhat silly or uncomfortable on the surface, but it’s imperative to get “under the surface” sort of speak in order to get a good understanding of what you might be getting yourself into. You don’t want to move in to your brand-new house and be awoken in the middle of the night because the neighbors host a weekly glow-in-the-dark laser tag expedition in the woods out back. Or, by the neighbor that built a dirt bike track in his backyard… Sure, the pictures we just drew were funny. But we’re speaking from experience here. The sounds of birds chirping are serene. The sounds of gunfire during a daily practice shooting round are, well, uncomforting, and, yes, the complete opposite of serene.

What are your utility expenses here?

Sure, utility expenses are going to differ by the individuals tapping into them, but an early indicator of inflated costs could clue you into the fact that perhaps the windows and/or insulation in the home aren’t up to snuff. Or that there’s strange wiring issues going on that are making it questionably inefficient. In any case, the cost to get utility expenses in check are, well, costly. If the seller says they’re spending (x) amount on heat and it throws up a red flag, you can throw out a secondary question that’s sure to uncover another layer of a potential onion that could send you packing: why? Or, if there’s negotiation to be had, you can remedy these problems before you learn that they’re indeed a problem. New windows aren’t cheap, folks.

Now, keep in mind that these seven questions aren’t the holy grail. There are many questions you can and should be asking when you set out to buy real estate in New Hampshire. Consider these important, but only a starting point. If you’d like to dig deeper and are in the market, give us a shout. We’re here to talk, and, if you’d like, we’ll ask the questions for you, because we’ve already asked them countless times before. We want to make sure what you’re getting yourself into is solid and exactly what you’re looking for.

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