Homeowner's Manual

What to Ask Before Moving In

Finding a new home is a tricky business, and it's hard to know what you're truly getting into until after you've unloaded the truck on move-in day. Like picking a new romantic partner--when you ask a million questions on the first date, and try to imagine yourself with this person long-term--the search for a new house, or condo, or apartment, means equal parts interrogation, gut instinct and amateur fortune-telling.

You pace the floors, open and close the freezer and closet doors, and bombard your agent or broker with every question under the sun, er, roof. But inevitably, you will forget to ask about something, and will receive an unwelcome surprise. (Not The Money Pit-level, hopefully, but unfortunate nonetheless.)

Christine Toes from The Corcoran Group and Suzanne Simon of Long & Foster Realtors offer these "must-asks" for prospective buyers and renters: "Are there any major capital improvements coming up (hallway, lobby, elevator renovations, repainting of the building's exterior brick, new windows) that might lead to an assessment or maintenance increase? What is the sublet policy? Are pets, pieds-à-terre and co-purchases allowed? What is the owner-occupancy rate?"

Check out the slideshow above for 10 more questions to ask now to avoid headaches later.
Photo Credit: DIY Life

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