Viewing a property: what you must take notice of?
You are going to view an apartment that you like? Which questions do you ask? Everything you notice will help you make the right decision.
You have finally arranged to visit the property you like! Fine, but be prepared, you have to pay attention to both the interior and exterior
Let’s see what you have to take with you:
- Notebook and biro to make notes
- A camera to take pictures
- A tape-measure
All the details that you can see in the apartment, will allow you to get an idea of its state in general. It is advisable to be clear about the strengths and weaknesses of the property, as this will help you make a better decision. Make a list:
- Strong or positive points are those that you consider essential. For example: the availability of a lift, a parking space, a bathroom adapted for people with reduced mobility, a terrace ...
- Weaknesses or not so positive points could help you when negotiating the sales price in the case of the purchase, or the monthly rent if this is a rental property. For example: if there is no where to park, if the apartment needs repair work doing...
Second hand, Brand new
Whether with an agency or without their help, if you are going to visit a second-hand apartment, it is necessary to keep these points in mind:
If you can, visit the property several times, on different days and also at different times of the day. Check the noises and smells that you notice and the natural light that enters through windows and balconies. Get a clear idea of the characteristics of the apartment: the distribution of the rooms, the dimensions, the living surface, its orientation, its general state, what energy rating it has...
It is advisable to visit the apartment with an architect or survey or, as he will provide you with his point of view and answer more technical questions. In addition to checking the general condition of the apartment, it is also advisable to know the status of the building and community areas. Check the facade, the entrance, the hallway, the staircase, the lift, the drainpipes, the terraces, the garage, the storage rooms, the gardens, etc. If they are in poor condition or are very old, they will need renovation very soon.
Before or after the visit it is also essential to check out this data:
The registration situation. Go to the Land Registry and request a “nota simple” or registration certificate. The document indicates who owns the property and if it has any debts: mortgage, embargos, etc.
The urban situation. Go to the corresponding town hall and check which plans could affect the apartment or the building, such as could it become a green zone, the line of the pavement, height, etc. The plans could be in the phase of study or public consultation.
The local “catastro” office. Go to the town hall and check the metres of the apartment and its location. Also, find out about the apartment’s yearly IBI tax: how much it costs and if it is up to date with payments.
Situation of the community of owners. Ask the current owner, the other neighbours or the community administrator, if the apartment is up to date with payments, which maintenance works have been carried out on the building and which ones are planned to be carried out in the coming months.
Consult the Office for the Technical Inspection of Buildings. Make sure that the building does not suffer from any structural deficiency such as, for example, aluminises.
The energy certificate. Check if you have this mandatory certificate needed to proceed with the purchase and what rating the apartment has obtained.
Situation of water, electricity and gas supplies. Check that there is no bill in need of payment. Calculate he best one for yourself