Buying a house might seem scary. There’s no refund policy, no 30 days to think about it, you just can’t get it wrong!

As San Francisco real estate experts, we know exactly what you should ask before buying a house. Here are the top 10 questions you’ll want to answer before committing to your new home. Committed real estate agents will help you think through these issues and prioritize. When it comes to San Francisco real estate, it’s not always easy to get everything you want, but you’ll feel better about your purchase if you go into it feeling informed.

Here goes:

1.What are you looking for?

Are you looking for a house with three bedrooms or two? Do you want a freshly remodeled home with brand new floors and appliances? Or maybe you want a fixer upper so you can customize it exactly to your taste. Make a shortlist of what your must-haves are and what you nice-to-haves are so that you can start narrowing your search down.

2.What is your budget?

This is always a tough thing to stick to but you should always keep your budget at the top of your mind. Don’t look at homes outside of your price range because the houses you see after that just won’t compare. To avoid disappointment, narrow down your search only to what you know you’re willing to pay for your house.

3.Who is helping you?

The key to a successful purchase is a great real estate agent. We know all the ins and outs of buying and selling a San Francisco property. We know how to negotiate with buyers and sellers so that everyone feels good about the outcome. Plus, we can make the entire process less stressful and make the purchase of your home happen quickly. Contact Danielle Lazier + Associates to find an agent who can help you find and purchase the perfect home.

4.What is the neighborhood like?

Be sure to learn about the neighborhoods you’re looking to buy a home in. A great place to start is a Google news search. How often is the area or neighborhood in the news for crime? Is it too noisy, too quiet, too close to the busy city, or too far? Keep questions like this in mind while you’re considering potential homes. Visit sites like Street Advisor to learn more about neighborhoods with potential homes for you.

San Francisco offers a huge variety of choices, from the community feel of Bernal Heights real estate and sleek SOMA condos to Pacific Heights mansions, there is something for everyone.

5.Are you near enough to schools and/or work?

Consider whether this house would create a better or worse commute for you and your family. Are the houses you’re looking at close enough to work or your children’s’ schools? Will you be commuting so much that you’ll only get to enjoy your home on the weekend? If a tough commute is a deal breaker for you, try to imagine what that commute would look like in the neighborhood you’re shopping in. Real estate is all about location, and San Francisco, though it is a compact city, is no exception.

6.Will your home fit your lifestyle for the foreseeable future?

Are you a married couple looking to start a family or are your kids moving out in the next few years? While no one can predict the future, buying a home is usually a long-term commitment. Will you, your partner, or your family be happy in the home you’re considering for the next 5-10 years? Keep future plans and milestones in mind while looking at potential houses to buy.

7.How many renovations would you need to make?

No house is ever going to be perfect but when looking at a house to buy, if you are already imagining yourself remodeling the entire kitchen, retiling the bathroom, replacing the floors in the living room, and adding another bedroom, then it might not be the house for you. A new coat of paint is one thing, but if you’re not looking for a fixer upper, a laundry list of things to change can make your house purchase more expensive than you planned for. Try taking a hard look at your lists from #2 and re-evaluate your budget to make your home purchase fit your budget, your style, and your appetite for construction.

8.Are there any structural issues with the house?

Inspections are a must! From leaky roofs and termites to plumbing issues and insulation, you’ll want to make sure that the house has had all of the necessary upgrades made and that you won’t have any major structural issues in the near future or, if you do, you understand exactly what they are and what the implications are for your budget and your peace of mind.

9.What’s parking like?

Ah, parking! Every San Franciscan has experienced the frustration of looking for parking, and with our dense population, it’s hard to avoid the issue. Whether it’s street parking or a one car garage when you need two, it’s important to consider your needs and know what you can live with. When evaluating your purchase, consider the surrounding streets. Are they crowded and competitive when it comes to find parking? Are cars safe on the street or would you be apprehensive about leaving your car outside? If you have cars, or plan to do a lot of entertaining, this will be important to consider.

10.What’s the history of the home?

This can be a fun one! San Francisco has a colorful history filled with interesting characters and events. You’ll definitely want to ask questions about the home to find out important information like how many owners the home has had, how old it is, how long ago the floors were replaced, or whether it has gone through any kind of natural disasters. Find out any other important information that you may need to consider when buying a home. But also do a little research and find out about the history of the neighborhood and the home. Maybe you’ll learn that Jimi Hendrix stopped by at a party and played a tune or two.

Get help answering these questions with a top San Francisco agent. Contact Danielle Lazier + Associates to get starting with looking and buying the perfect home.


In 2018, Danielle Lazier + Associates sold over $104,000,000 in SF Bay Area residential real estate selling more homes than any other SF Realtor (per MLS). We specialize in listing marketing and home buyer representation. We work with a diverse clientele in terms of budget, property type, and location, but one thing remains consistent: our clients have a clear goal to maximize their San Francisco real estate investment and want us to help them because we deliver both results and an enjoyable experience.

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