Real estate is in great demand for a long time. Those who carefully examine will still find attractive and affordable objects. But not every purchase is a goldmine. Twelve criteria must be checked before the signature is placed we buy home.
The word real estate comes from the Latin word “immobilis”, which means immovable. For years this was also true for the prices of houses and apartments, which stagnated. But now movement has come on the market, because in times of the euro crisis concrete gold is considered more than ever as a stable alternative to cash.
Germans are still particularly interested in their own four walls. According to a survey from last year, more than a third of Germans dream of their own home or have already planned their purchase. But who wants to invest in a property, often faces a mountain of questions. Even the search for a suitable object is difficult and tedious, few can estimate whether the price of an offer is realistic or excessively overpriced. Even real estate buyers who want to rent are often insecure: Only if the object and the environment are right can an attractive return be achieved.
Euphoria is there a bad adviser. On the other hand, if you carefully examine the market and the situation and do not put yourself under pressure, you will still find attractive offers. The joy of home ownership is then inclusive.
The test criteria: Avoiding risks
For most buyers, real estate is the biggest investment of their lives. It is all the more important to observe some basic rules. Often “dream house” or attractive apartment have hidden defects, and even in the complicated and extensive contracts may lurk some pitfall. But that who carefully checks and cannot be put under pressure avoids expensive mistakes and nasty surprises.
Paper is patient: do not trust only the prospectus
Under no circumstances should the prospective buyer buy an object that he only knows from the prospectus. Such glossy brochures are nice to look at – but sometimes they have little to do with the truth. The greater the disappointment then, if the new owner determines that the building is poor, the house is next to a busy street or an apartment cannot be rented because of other serious deficiencies. Therefore: without personal inspection no purchase. If possible, the prospective customer should visit the object several times and at different times. For example, a weekend’s quiet street can turn into a noisy “highway” on weekdays or rush hour.
Brokers also have interests: Inquiries are worthwhile
A real estate agent is not a neutral adviser, but also has its own interests: He wants to sell, because only then he gets his commission. In case of doubt, he will not emphasize the disadvantages of a property and will rarely explicitly warn against any defects. Therefore, healthy skepticism is appropriate when describing the benefits of a property in bright colors. The prospective buyer should specifically inquire about damages and defects and inquire several times in case of doubt. It can also be helpful to make inquiries with the neighbors or the municipal administration: there, for example, the interested party learns of any planned road or other construction measures.
The location counts: analyze the location of the object
The location of a property is one of the most important factors for the buyer: it decides on a possible increase in value, the leasing opportunities and the quality of living. Buyers should pay attention to the macro and micro location. Is the property in an economically prosperous region with good future prospects? Then one can expect further rising real estate prices. But also the infrastructure of the surrounding area is important: Are there enough schools, doctors, pharmacies and shops? What is the recreational value? What is the connection to public transport? Such information is not only important for self-users, but also increases the leasing opportunities.
Experts know more: turn on the expert
For used real estate applies as for cars: bought as seen. Only for maliciously concealed defects the seller must be responsible – and bad faith can hardly be proven in practice. Therefore, the cost of an expert is usually a worthwhile investment. The expert examines the dream home and can also detect hidden defects that remain hidden to the layman, such as inadequate seals in the basement or poorly insulated roofs. The cost of the check depends on the size of the object and the scope of the test. As a rule, 800 to 1500 euros are due, but are well spent given the risk of expensive repairs. A publicly appointed and sworn expert is also liable if he has culpably overlooked defects.
Files make smart: Check documents and logs
When buying a property file study is helpful: So it should be clear what burdens are still on the object or whether rights of third parties are registered. Construction plans or invoices can provide important information about the condition of the property. For condominiums, the prospect should necessarily read the minutes of the owners’ meetings. “As many as possible,” advises Matthias Schwarzer, specialist lawyer for tenancy and condominium law from the law firms Weber, Schwarz and Schwarzer in Munich. The logs often give indications of imminent repairs or planned investments. Also important is the community order, because, according to lawyer Schwarzer, “the basis for all regulations in the community of owners”. For example, she specifies in detail together with the declaration of division,
Hurry with while: do not put under pressure
In no case may the buyer push for completion or be put under time pressure. Dubious providers like to argue with “other prospects who are just waiting to sign the contract,” or a “last opportunity.” But such a hasty purchase many repayers have regretted. Only after careful consideration of contracts and object should the buyer sign. Even if the certification in an appointment at a “midnight notary” – ie to take place at night or on weekends, mistrust is appropriate. Such practices are uncommon in legitimate businesses.