Questions to Ask a Realtor When Shopping For a Home

If you are going through the home-buying process for the first time, the laundry list of preparatory questions can be a bit overwhelming. How do I secure financing? Is the APR the same thing as my interest rate? What are closing costs, and are they calculated into my mortgage payment?


With all of these financial and clerical concerns, it can be easy to forget about the most important questions of all: those that pertain to the quality of the home. 


Therefore, when speaking to a realtor, really make sure to ask the right questions about the home’s quality because with the plethora of innovative building materials on the market in 2020, all houses are not created equal.

1. What Modern Features Does the Kitchen Have?

More often than not, when home shoppers fall in love with a kitchen, they are going to be strong candidates to make an offer on the home. As such, some of the most cutting-edge home renovations have taken place in the kitchen in recent years. When speaking to your realtor, really listen for any of the following features, as they can greatly increase your resale value, should the need arise:


  • An open floor design that makes use of bars and islands as space-breakers instead of walls
  • Countertops made of quartz or other nonporous materials that will reduce maintenance and replacement costs and streamline cleaning efforts
  • Open shelving in place of traditional closed cabinets 

2. How Old is the Roof?

Quality roofing is your home’s first line of insulation and provides defense from the many forces of nature that can wreak havoc on your property. While most roofs in Arizona may not have to deal with intense winds and heavy snowfall like roofs in other areas of the country, there is arguably no other location in America that will see its roofs under the constant glare of the sun.


Asphalt and cedar shake roof life expectancy is typically capped around 30 years, even in the mildest conditions with regular maintenance efforts, so you can expect these materials to degrade even faster when constantly exposed to high-intensity UV rays. Therefore, if your realtor says that the roof is getting a couple of decades old, it may be worth trying to get an upgrade included as part of the closing package.

3. Does the Home Come with Any Eco-Friendly Features?

As society becomes increasingly conscientious of slowing climate change, people are willing to pay a premium for sustainability, from food sourcing to transportation.


Real estate falls right in line with this trend, as eco-friendly homes typically have much higher resale values than their less sustainable peers. In addition to making your home more marketable, any energy-efficient features will help you save money in utility costs.


Some of the most relevant eco-friendly features in the Arizona market could include:


  • Solar panels to source renewable electricity in-house
  • Large windows that allow for the flow of natural sunlight
  • Low-flow sink faucets and toilets to reduce water waste
  • Polyiso roof insulation to help regulate interior temperature

4. Will the Siding Hold up in the Arizona Sun?

Wood-sided homes may face difficulty in Arizona, as frequent painting and treatment will be necessary to prevent the siding from drying, cracking, and splitting under the strain of the persistent sun.


Therefore, if you want the timeless beauty of natural wood siding, consider modern synthetic options such as fiber cement or steel log. Not only do these innovative products have much longer lifespans while maintaining the beauty of natural wood, but they come in a variety of colors and designs that make them a strong choice to pair with any exterior door trim idea.


Buying a home can be a daunting process, especially if it is your first time exploring the market. In order to ensure that you are making the wisest investment possible, be sure to ask your realtor the right questions about the quality of the house. Factors such as modern kitchen features, age of the roof, eco-friendly additions, and appropriate siding choice are all extremely relevant considerations when shopping the Arizona real estate market.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.