9 common mistakes when buying real estate
- Don’t buy a house on impulse ... never be rushed into buying property! A rash decision hardly ever produces good results.
- Before buying a house, make sure you’ve visited it several times. A first visit is just enough for a first impression. On the second visit, you’ll be able to inspect the property for potential defects. When you visit for the third time, you should be accompanied by an expert.
- Wet cellars? Mouldy walls or cracked plaster? Beams in the ceilings infested with woodworms? If you missed any of these, you probably didn’t check all the critical components to ensure they’re in good condition. This can be an expensive mistake!
- Be sure to find out exactly how much the bills for hot water and heating costs will amount to. Ask the previous owner to show you the relevant bills.
- What about thermal insulation? Is there anything amiss that could cause heating costs to go through the roof?
- The Land Registry Office, Cadastre or local municipality would know what to do. How is the property connected to the public infrastructure (i.e. in terms of sewage canal, electricity supply, road, etc.)? Are there any precedents or constraints with regard to third parties? Are there encumbrances, mortgages, attachments or other liens recorded in the Property Registry? Make sure to find out before buying.
- Events tend to unfold rapidly ... don’t allow yourself to be misled by a hurriedly drafted agreement. You are well within your rights to insist that the contract be checked by an expert before signing, or at least to have enough time to thoroughly check it yourself.
- After having checked the contract, make an appointment with a professional to have any sections amended as you require.
- When applying for a mortgage, bear in mind that the property may still need to be refurbished or modified, over and above the purchase price. If you make the right decisions at the outset, you won’t lose time and risk the cost of additional financing.