Before you can call a house, home, sweet home, it’s important to do your homework. For most families a home is the single largest financial transaction of their lifetime. Home buying mistakes are best to be avoided, as they can end up costing thousands of dollars. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to ask these home-buying questions. It’s better to find out you have a nightmarish commute before you move into your new home.

What will your commute be like?

Besides our time spent at work, we spend a surprisingly long time commuting. Whether it’s driving to work, taking the kids to school, or running errands at the mall, we spend hours in transit. You may be able to buy a bigger house in a far away location, but try the commute first to see if it’s manageable. If you’re commuting more than two hours a day, you should really think twice before buying. If you don’t own a vehicle, buying a home that’s near public transit is crucial. Not only does it help with your home’s resale value, it will help you get home sooner so that you can spend quality time with your family.

What are the amenities in the neighbourhood like?

You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” Well a similar saying can be used for a neighbourhood and its amenities. The amenities in a neighbourhood says a lot about it. Take some time to check out nearby malls, stores, libraries and parks. If the mall has a lot of vacancies, it can be a sign that the neighbourhood is on the way down.

Are the house appliances in good condition?

Before buying a house, be sure to ask about the appliances. It can be costly for new homeowners if they move in only to discover the fridge leaks and the dishwasher is broken. Be sure to ask the age of the appliances along with if they are in good working order. Even if the sellers say the appliances work, take the time to test them out for yourself. Run the dishwasher to see if it works. Turn on the oven to see if it preheats. It’s better to find out the appliances have issues before you move into the house than after.

Is the house a fixer upper?

While you can save money by buying a home that’s a fixer upper, you could end up biting off more than you can chew. Unless you’re handy around the house, you could end up spending thousands on home renovations to bring your new home up to living standards. Old homes often come with surprises. If you’ve ever seen the show Income Property, you know old homes often have things hidden in their walls like mold or asbestos. Not only can these lead to renovation delays, they can push a homeowner over budget. Take a look at a home’s condition and ask yourself whether it’s worth the money and headache of fixing it up.