Rainy, you have all the great questions, first of all I suggest to get a great Buyer's agent on your side with experience in this market who will be representing you in the purchase of this or any other home that maybe of interest to you. The agent will have a duty and responcibility to you to find out facts and provide answers to all of your questions. Buying a home is not an easy process and definatelly it does not become any easier to buy it from the bank! So, get yourself professional help and you will be on your way to a great start.
PS: Your buyer's agent will research sales records of all the homes that are comparable in the area and will advise you on the possible sales value of this home, so you may have an idea what it may worth before you spend your money with the lender on the appraisal. The agent may also suggest to have a contractor to look at the home before finalizing your final offer as you may have unexpected repairs needed and most banks want you to sign an AS IS addendum and will not do or provide for repairs. Your great agent will also consult you on the value and the low cost of the Home Warranty that maybe included in the offer and will cover you for all major repairs. There are many other valuable ideas to consider and talk about when buying any home in the area and your agent should be a great resource!
Let me know if you have questions on how to find the best representation for you.
Your Real Estate Connection!