Before you buy your first home—or any home, really—there are four questions that you must ask:

1. How is the neighborhood? You’re going to live there for a long time, so make sure that you like and enjoy the area. I tell everyone to drive through potential neighborhoods during the weekend and at night. Most of the time, everyone is home. The neighbors may be outside working on their lawn. If they are, you can ask if they like living there. Their answers will give you a good frame of reference.

2. How are the schools in the area? Your Realtor usually will tell you what school your kids may go to, what kind of activities are going on, and if the school is a good fit for your family. Even if you don’t have any kids, I recommend that you buy a home in a good school district because your property value will go up faster. Plus, if you need to move in the future, you will be able to find a buyer for your house quickly.

“Don’t forget to ask about the utility bills.”

3. Ask about the utility bills for the home. Most buyers skip this one, but utility costs vary a lot between different counties and even different cities. People care so much about their monthly mortgage payment that they often forget to take other bills, like utilities, into account. Ask the owner how much they pay for utilities for each season. Here in Florida, we have hot weather most of the time, so you can easily ask, “When it feels like hell outside, how much do you pay in utilities?

4. How old is the roof? How old are other appliances? If you take nothing else away from this video, remember this. If you don’t know how old certain big-ticket items really are, they can cost you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road. Make sure that you ask about the water heater, air conditioner, roof, and other major appliances.

We try to help out by offering a one-year warranty to cover all of those devices through American Home Shield. If they cannot fix it, they will replace it with a brand-new appliance. We know that a water heater can break unexpectedly, so we want to do anything we can to help you guys out.

If you have any other questions about finding a home in today’s market or would like to learn more about home warranties, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!