7 Questions You Should Ask at an Open House #6: Are Any Special Costs of Ownership Attached to the Property?

Real Estate Agent with Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD Maryland #318884
An open house is a perfect opportunity for the listing agent to ask prospective buyers lots of questions, such as "have you been pre-qualified for a mortgage?" or "how long have you been looking?"  Instead of being on the receiving end of all the questions, why not ask a few of your own?  Questions that will help you decide if this is the perfect house for you or if you should walk away.  Here is Question #6 of "7 Questions You Should Ask at an Open House."

7 Questions You Should Ask at an Open House

#6:  Are Any Special Costs of Ownership Attached to the Property?

Sometimes, a home isn't just a home and what you see isn't always what you get.  This is true even in real estate unfortunately.

So, the sixth question you should ask at an open house is are there any special costs of ownership attached to the property.  Is there a homeowner's association that levies dues and assessments? If so, who belongs to the association and who manages its affairs? Is the home located in a special property tax assessment district? If so, how much is the annual tax assessment and how is that money used? Is the home in a flood hazard zone? If so, how much are the annual flood insurance premiums? Are there any other hidden costs of ownership (like tax liens)?

If you want to buy a home with as few surprises as possible, find out if there is anything else coming along with the purchase of the house!

Emcee Arah
RE/MAX Excellence Realtor with Architectural Dimension

Serving all your Real Estate needs in MD, VA & Wash., DC

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John Cunningham
eXp Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Helping Phoenix Sellers and Buyers find each other

Emcee- Everyone gets so caught up in the warm and fuzzy stuff (can't blame them..........houses can be pretty exciting!), and these are the kind of questions that all prospective buyers need to make.

Anyone looking to buy or sell a home in MD, VA, & DC would be well served to connect with Emcee!

Nov 28, 2010 11:25 PM #1
Clark Cook
1st Choice Realty of Fayetteville, LLC - Fayetteville, NC
Marketing Homes For Sale In Fayetteville NC Area

Good questions for consumers to ask. Sharing this type information demonstrates concern for your clients, and reflects positively on you, Emcee. Good job!

Nov 28, 2010 11:26 PM #2
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I just sold a house and the cat comes with it!  The neighborhood has had a semi-feral cat for about five years and everyone has a food and water bowl out back for Skittles.  Although the owner of the home did not make it a contractual condition of the sale, she made sure that new buyers were aware of the cat and asked that they not call animal control because everyone took care of her.  The new owners have a weimeraner who just lost his cat to old age and they were excited to see if the dog and cat would become fast friends.  Skittles has befriended all the other dogs in the neighborhood, just not the people! 

Nov 28, 2010 11:38 PM #3
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Great Questions! These questions should serve to remind all Realtors of the questions we should be asking on behalf of our clients.  - David

Nov 28, 2010 11:45 PM #4
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Emcee, this is a great question that needs to be addressed by all prospective buyers.

Nov 28, 2010 11:48 PM #5
Emcee M. Arah
Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD - Silver Spring, MD
Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, AHWD CRS B-Arch

Thanks so much, John! And that's why we're around, right? To help keep our buyers grounded in the midst of all the hoopla of buying a new home.

Thank you, too, Clark. It's important to me to let my buyers know that I'm 150% on their side.

That's really interesting, Marnie.  I haven't had the pain um, pleasure of dealing with animals that are being left as part of the deal.  I know yours isn't in the contract but still...  Hopefully the new buyers will be excited to get a cat that they can share ownership of with their neighbors!

That's exactly it, David.  If we're thinking from our buyers point of view, there are lots of questions that they should ask that they may not even think about.

You just never know, right Gabe - as we see with Marnie's cat! :-)


Nov 29, 2010 05:44 AM #6
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Emcee M. Arah

Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, AHWD CRS B-Arch
Need help buying or selling real estate in Silver Spring MD?

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