So you have finally found that dream home, but before you close the deal, there are some things that you should do first to make sure that it is your dream home. For example, if you are looking at a home and see a basketball hoop, you may think that this is a great place to raise your children, but upon further inspection, the basketball hoop is rusted and does not look it has been used in a long time. When you drive around the neighborhood, you do not see any swing sets or jungle gyms in any of the backyards so this may mean this is not the home for you, especially if you have children.
Do ask the sellers if there have been any problems with the house in the past, even if they have been fixed. Ask if the basement, if there is one, will flood if it rains a lot, if there is any type of electrical problems, etc.
Make sure that you do get a home inspection so you will be aware if the home has any defects that the owners are not telling you about. If there is, are they fixable at a reasonable price or will they cost thousands of dollars to fix? If they are fixable at a reasonable price this may help you negotiate a lower price. You should also make sure that the home inspection covers inspections for radon, lead paint, and wood eating pests.
If the seller tells you that they have done improvements, ask if they have a record of it so you can see when it was done and approximately how much it will cost you if you do the same improvement later on. You can also tell by the price they paid as to whether or not cheap materials were used and if you might have to make the same improvement sooner than you thought.
One thing that might help you decide whether to buy the house or not is to see the utility bills. This will let you see how much it costs to heat the home in the winter and summer plus the amount of the water bill. The bills will vary because no two families will use the same amount of water and electricity. You should also check to see how much the property taxes cost.
Once you have all this information take another good look at the house. Make sure that it has the right number of bedrooms, or if you live with the number it has, is the kitchen big enough, etc. Then, make your decision.