Nine things you should look into before buying a home
SAVINGS AND INVESTMENT I December 14, 2021
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments most people will ever make, so it is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
We have summarised the nine things you should check before buying a home:
In order to check that the seller of the property is the legal owner, you must request a Nota Simple or certificate from the land registry, which will include a description of the house and indicate whether the house comes with any encumbrances (mortgage, confiscation, etc.). You should always confirm that the property is unencumbered.
Bear in mind that while the Nota Simple is for information purposes only, the land registry certificate is a public document that comes with an assumption that the instruments and agreements recorded in it are legal, falling under the protection of the Courts.
One of the most important factors when choosing a home is its location. Buying a home in the middle of a city is not the same as buying a home in the countryside, so you should check that the most important services and facilities for you and your family are available: local schools, hospitals, supermarkets, public transport, good communications, etc.
For buildings that are more than 50 years old, this technical control must be performed every 10 years. Autonomous Communities and City Councils may introduce more rigorous regulations, which will provide information about the overall conservation status of the building, the degree of accessibility and its energy certification.
If the house you are interested in buying is a flat or is part of a residential complex, you will have to pay a community of owners fee, which could increase the total amount you will need to pay if it has not already been factored in. Talking to the president of the community of owners before buying the property will also help you to find out if there are any building works being planned and what the cost will be for each owner. You will also be able to find out what the economic situation of the community of owners is like (i.e. whether there are any defaulting owners) and what the rules are (pets may not be allowed, for example).
You can find out whether there are any complaints from a neighbour about the property, or whether there are any projects in process that may influence the value of the property (such as the construction of a new road right next to the property) by contacting the relevant city council.
If you are buying a second-hand property you should check the condition of plumbing systems, electrical systems and drainpipes, to find out whether you may need to fix them in the short term.
Autonomous communities set minimum prices a property can be sold at, in order to prevent fraud in the form of creating a deed for a lower value than is actually paid in order to reduce taxes. This minimum value is usually calculated by using the cadastral value as a reference, to which a correction coefficient is applied depending on the location of the property, its age, etc.
Buying a home involves a significant amount of money. The costs of the estate agent that is managing the transaction, the cost of notarising the public deed of sale at the notary's office, the Land Registry property registration costs, corresponding taxes (VAT or Property Transfer Tax depending on whether it is a new or second-hand property, etc.) and administrative costs.
In order to buy a home, it is normal to apply for a mortgage, so you should review and analyse the different types of mortgages in order to find the most suitable one for you depending on your financial circumstances. You can calculate your mortgage repayments using our simulator. In addition, you should take into account any mortgage-related costs in the overall cost of buying your house.
By following this short guide, where we have summarised things you should look into before buying a home, you will ensure that the purchase of your new home is a thoughtful and wise decision.
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