All you need to know when buying a house
Location, condition, land register: How to avoid a house purchase failure
A sought-after location, a beautiful garden and that certain something extra – old houses often have a very special charm. You save the stress of building a new house, can move in quickly and know what to expect. But there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your dream house doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
You have been looking for a long time and finally found a house – at first sight everything fits. Don’t put yourself under pressure now. Take your time to make the decision to buy so that you don’t have a rude awakening after the purchase. Clarify the most important questions in advance.
Anyone who wants to fulfill the dream of owning their own four walls must realistically assess their financial situation – and if possible already have some savings. Even in times of low interest rates and favorable loans, the purchase of a property should be well thought out and planned. When calculating the budget, take enough time to ensure that you will be able to afford the monthly installments later on.
“In view of the current tense market situation with used real estates one should mark out the own financial framework clearly, already before one makes itself on the search for a suitable real estate”, recommends the editorship of Metahome24. “A financing consultation with the own house bank, perhaps also still with further institutes, is essential”.
So clarify in advance whether and how you can finance your dream property. Get an offer for financing before you buy and have it confirmed by your bank. This will improve your chances of winning the bid if the seller or agent has several interested parties for a property.
“If you know your financial possibilities, you can decide spontaneously and offer to conclude a purchase contract at very short notice.
It is and remains the most important criterion when buying a house: the location of the property. After all, it plays a decisive role in determining the value of the property, including its subsequent resale value. Is the house far away from the action or are you close to everything that is important for everyday life? Take the time to explore your future living environment in detail – especially if you are new to the city or town.
Look out for local shopping facilities, doctors’ surgeries and good public transport connections. Otherwise you will have to put up with long commutes later on. For families with children, it is interesting to know what the childcare options are like – are there schools and daycare centers nearby, for example?
Also check whether the area is quiet or whether there is any noise pollution from road traffic or a commercial enterprise. To determine this, it’s best to go to your dream home at different times of the day. This is especially important because “noise” is something that is very subjective. You may already be able to get to know your future neighbors on this occasion.
Find out if there are any new buildings planned in the immediate vicinity of your future home that may be detrimental to you. For example, commercial properties or a gas station. Here, the development plan for the residential area provides information.
It’s certainly nice to live by the river – but how often does it flood? Find out what elementary insurance costs for such cases and whether the insurance company will even take you in this location.
Write down which criteria for the location of the house are important to you and make a comparison with the local conditions. This way you can quickly see what fits and what doesn’t. If the location is not right, it is better to leave the purchase alone.
At first glance, the property looks chic? Beware! Do not be deceived. As a layman, you usually can’t tell if the house has defects. A reputable broker does not offer a property without mentioning the defects.
“If one buys an object privately or from a broker, whom one cannot estimate, one should ask an expert or an appraiser in any case, in order not to experience bad surprises after the purchase.” Because so some apparently favorably acquired bargain turned out later as scrap real estate.
Support gets you for example from the experts on Metahome24. Is there a load with pollutants such as wood preservatives or asbestos? Has sponge taken up residence in the masonry? How good is the thermal insulation? These are just a few criteria according to which the house is assessed by the expert.”
If the thermal insulation is inadequate, as is the case with many old properties, even the best modern heating system is of no use. Here, he says, significant improvements often have to be made. Typical weak points are also outdated electrical and sewage pipes.
Take a checklist with you when you inspect the house and note down any defects you discover – room by room. The best solution is to book an inspector for real estate.
The following applies to the purchase of a house or condominium: “Purchased as seen”. As a rule, there is no warranty for damage that is only discovered after the contract has been signed. Therefore: Eyes on before the purchase!
During an inspection with an expert, it quickly becomes clear where improvements need to be made. After inspecting the property, the expert makes a rough calculation and gives a guideline as to what costs the buyer may incur. Whoever buys a house makes some compromises, but everything has its limits. If the buyer must make too many compromises or if the financial expenditure for the repair or reorganization is disproportionately high, then we advise against the purchase.
Discuss with the specialist which defects need to be urgently eliminated and which measures may still have time. Get cost estimates. Is the expenditure still within your financial framework? Because one thing is often underestimated with used real estate: They can be quite more favorable in the acquisition than a new building, pull however often substantial subsequent costs after itself, if still much must be made.
The seller of the property must provide you with a valid energy certificate before you buy a house. This certificate, sometimes called an energy pass, works like a traffic light: If the arrow is in the green zone, energy consumption is low. If it is yellow or red, there is a lot of potential for improvement. Heating and thermal insulation may need to be modernized.
As a buyer, you can see right away what the energy balance of the house is like and what operating costs you can expect for your own home. Ask to see the heating bills from previous years to get a more accurate picture. It can also be useful to involve an energy consultant who can point out energy weaknesses in the house and give you tips on how to eliminate them.
You like the house, but there is not enough space, so you are planning an extension or want to add a floor to the building? Or do you want to have walls removed to create a larger room? Is it allowed to have a garden shed in the garden – and if so, how big can it be? Each building area has its own rules. Therefore, before buying, go to the building office and get smart. The buyer should inform himself about the local peculiarities before the purchase. That way, he won’t have any surprises later when not everything he would like to change is possible. In the case of very old buildings, there may be requirements from the monument protection authorities that must be observed. Also clarify the financial requirements for conversions and extensions. A good realtor will certainly be happy to help you with these questions. All Metahome24 partners around the world are experts and ready to help you.
Request an inspection of the land register at the land registry office. There you can see who the owner of the property is, but also what encumbrances may still be on the property. Land charges, for example. There may also be restrictions on the property. And check whether all annexes and alterations are listed there. Otherwise, as the new owner, you will be liable for them in the event of an inspection.
You have found a great property that meets your requirements? Now you just have to agree on the price with the seller. If you are not sure if the offer is really in line with the market or if the seller is possibly trying to rip you off, use our Metahome24 Price Finder. With it, you get a free initial estimate of the value of a house or apartment. We process real market data into a realistic price indication.
In the end, of course, it may be one thing that is decisive for you alone. For example, a very special place with which you personally connect something. In the end, other factors are decisive here.
You have decided to purchase the property? Check the purchase contract before you sign it. As a rule, the draft must be available at least two weeks before the notary appointment, so that you still have time to make changes. This will give you time to consider the contents without being pressed for time and to reconsider your decision to buy. After all, once the contract has been notarized by a notary public, it is practically impossible to reverse it. To mitigate expensive disputes in court, legal protection insurance can also be useful when buying a house. In any case, buying your own house is a great thing to do. If everything was done right and no surprises come, it means for most people in the world as one of the most important moments in life.
When you buy a condominium, there are additional aspects. You will become a member of an owners’ association. Therefore, take a close look at the declaration of division, the business contract and the administrator’s contract in advance. Ask to see the minutes of the last owners’ meetings. This way you will quickly see what kind of community you are buying into. After all, you are living in closer quarters with your neighbors. And don’t forget: Inquire about the amount of the housing allowance that you, as the owner of the apartment, have to pay on a regular basis.