7 Things To Check Before Buying A House
You have found a condominium or house that meets all your criteria, which is unanimous in your couple and of course located in the neighborhood that suits you best? There are several things to check to make sure you can buy this home and avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards.
Know the solutions to finance your purchase
Do you have an upcoming real estate purchase in mind? Find out what real estate loan conditions it may grant you. Having a more concrete idea of your budget, you will better reconcile your desires and your means and you will avoid a crush on an inaccessible good.
Your mortgage will spread over the next 15 to 25 years. Of course, during this period the economic situation as well as your personal situation (growing family, new professional opportunity …) will certainly evolve and it will always be possible to renegotiate the terms of your loan.
The government regularly sets up financial aid for future real estate buyers, and you may be able to use tax benefits at the time of your real estate purchase.
Check the condition of the accommodation
From your first visit, you will have to pay attention to all the details including the essential structural elements of housing, which are important budget items:
- The roof and frame: Check the quality of the beams, rafters and joists.
- The walls and facades: search for cracks.
- The ceilings and floors: Is paint peeling? Is there mold? Is the parquet curled?
- The boiler, the plumbing, the electrical installation : ask to know their states.
As a buyer, you have rights. Feel free to ask for evidence of work, such as invoices, to make sure everything has been done properly. You can provide part of your budget for the work. You still have to be able to estimate the amount of repairs or changes you could make. Do not hesitate to carry out a counter-visit with a professional of your choice.
Really know what you are buying
Before buying a house or property, it is best to check the cadastral records. This document found in town halls, allows you to know precisely the limits of your future property.
For an individual property for example, it is necessary to know if the walls are private or adjoining or if there is an easement of passage. Some old properties do not have access to the public road, their owners can ask to take a passage on the land of the neighboring owner.
Also check that the annexes such as the garage or cellar are part of the lot for sale and that the veranda or garden shed have been built with permission.
In the context of a co-ownership, it will be necessary to check that the previous owner has not annexed a space of the common parts without authorization: use of a part of the court, the roof or attics, for example. You may have to make that space or buy it.
Inquire about the condominium
Before investing or buying real estate condominiums, you must check the minutes of the last general meetings. They will give you partial information on the atmosphere of the condominium but especially the condition of the building. You will know what were the last works done and which are planned.
The works voted in general assembly before the signing of the notarial act of sale will be the responsibility of the seller, even if the work will be carried out when he will no longer co-owner. However, it is possible to negotiate between buyer and seller for the distribution of these costs during the compromise and the deed of sale.
The environment and construction projects
The environment gives value to a good house. It is therefore important to be interested in what is happening beyond the 4 walls that have seduced you. The proximity of public transport, parks, schools and shops are assets. But they are also potentially noisy places.
Check with the condominium regulations if businesses are allowed to settle at the foot of your building: they can be a nuisance. Also observe the condition of the buildings next door. Do not hesitate to question the neighborhood to know the atmosphere of the neighborhood.
At the town hall, you can consult the LOP (Land Occupancy Plan) and LPU (Local Plan of Urbanism) to know the construction projects and planned or possible developments around your future home.
Also check the urban planning by-law if you wish to carry out work in your future home: change the shutters, repaint the façade. These changes are sometimes regulated to ensure the harmony of the neighborhood.
Calculation of surfaces
There are different definitions of “surface” in real estate. The most important for a purchase are the living space and the “Loi Carrez” surface required for condominium lots. The area via the Carrez law is more important although it does not take into account floors with ceilings less than 1m80.
You have the opportunity to dispute the calculation of the area during the year following the sale. If the missing area is greater than 5% of the indicated area, you may request a price reduction in proportion to the error.
Mandatory diagnoses and taxes
If possible before buying and making an offer to purchase, ask to view the mandatory diagnostic reports. It will be easier for you to make a decision by being aware of the risks associated with termites, asbestos, lead, floods and of course the energy consumption of housing.
Also inquire about the amount of property tax, housing tax and condominium fees.
A last tip and not least: visit the accommodation at different days and hours of the day to realize the brightness, noise … and to better soak up the atmosphere.