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15 questions you must ask before buying a second-hand property

15 Preguntas antes de comprar una casa de segunda mano que no debes olvidar hacer - 15 questions you must ask before buying a second-hand property

Buying a home is a process that takes time. An overlooked detail may have a high cost in the future. The best advice would be to make a list of all the issues you must not forget. It's essential to answer all your questions before the purchase if you don't want undesirable surprises.

Questions you must ask before buying a home

Next, we summarize the most frequent and fundamental issues before buying a home:

1. General information: in addition to the year of construction, it is essential to know if it has an elevator, storage room, garage or common areas. The square metres are different if we talk about the total and the usable surface, so you must get informed.

2. State of preservation: some reforms carried out (floors, coatings, windows, etc.) are obvious, but others are not. You have to ask about what's hidden, that is, wiring and plumbing. If your case is that you buy a second-hand home to modify to your liking, our article Buying a home to reform: what to take into account, will be helpful.

3. Facilities: whether there is natural gas for cooking and heating, whether it has underfloor heating or air conditioning help determine if the sale price is fair. For example, hiring gas will involve an added expense.

4. Equipment: if the apartment gets sold with furniture or appliances, its price will be higher. You have to decide whether you are interested in paying for them.

5. Energy certificate: a low rating means that the facilities are obsolete and there is not good insulation. Therefore, the electricity bill will be higher.

6. Community expenses: sometimes the bill is high, don't forget to look into it. Besides, you should find out if the current owner is up to date with the payment, so it doesn't fall on you.

7. Apportionments: they are approved to meet extraordinary expenses, such as improvements or reforms. It's relevant to find out before buying the home because it'll raise the receipt of the community for a while. Figure out if there have been any recent apportionments, if they pay for them monthly, or if there will be any soon.

8. ITE and IEE: these are technical inspection reports that guarantee old buildings are well preserved. If they are favourable, they represent a guarantee. If they are not, it will be necessary to face reforms that will mean a disbursement sooner or later. Therefore, it is advisable to ask when was the last technical inspection, its result and when will be the next one.

9. Charges and IBI (Property Tax). There may be charges that imply limitations on the use of the property, especially mortgages and rentals. As for the Property Tax, you'd ask if it's up to date with the payment of this municipal tax.

10. Available to move in: whether there are tenants or the owners need time to move, the house will not be available. That should get negotiated.

11. Bare ownership and usufruct: the first means that the owner sells the ownership of his home but is still allowed to live there as long as he lives. The usufruct is not a permanently purchase, but until the beneficial owner dies. It is possible that the seller only wants to sell the bare ownership, so don't forget to look into it.

12. Why is the home listed: knowing if it is due to a move, a real estate business, or financial problems allows you to negotiate the sale price. If many properties in the same building are for sale, it could mean the building is in trouble or the neighbourhood is devalued.

13. Orientation and views: the first can affect the cost of air conditioning. Also, it is convenient to ask if there are urban plans that may alter the view from the property in the future. You can also search the press for related news.

14. Area and neighbours. Regarding the neighbourhood, security, transportation or services (health care, schools, etc.) affect the quality of life, so it is essential to know them. Regarding the rest of the owners or tenants, the key thing is to know if there are problem tenants or squatters in the building.

15. Possibilities to rent or share the home. Knowing if the property can be profitable is interesting if you want to put it to rent. On the other hand, we may seek to share the home to obtain an extra income to pay the mortgage. It is convenient to ask about the real estate activity in the area or other aspects such as proximity to study or work centres.

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1 thought on “15 questions you must ask before buying a second-hand property

  1. Celeste

    All very good questions.
    I would also add a question about any past damage to walls / roofing due to flooding or other extreme weather conditions that the buyer may need to know about. Sometimes these are hidden or temporarily covered (for example damp walls) that can add significant refurbishment costs.
    Hope someone finds this useful
    Celeste

    Reply

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