Buying a house is an important, demanding step, a passage in life that is certainly not obligatory but which, for many people, is still a fundamental goal. It is a choice that involves sacrifices in terms of time and money, and that is why it is necessary to plan it in the best possible way, so as to avoid (or at least reduce) the risk of running into big mistakes which, unfortunately, regret. Let’s see what are the main things to know and do before buying a house.
Evaluate the location, size, and various characteristics of the house
It may seem trivial, but in fact, it is not always so obvious. Sometimes, and it also happens when you decide to buy a house, you let yourself be taken by the initial enthusiasm and act on impulse, without carefully evaluating all the important aspects and without reflecting on your real needs. As long as it comes to buying a dress, for example, it doesn’t hurt if you make some mistake in judgment. But if you buy a house, what aspects affect the valuation of a property? In this case, surely there are essential elements that must be carefully evaluated:
- The area where the property is located: this choice must take into account your family and work needs, as well as any preference you may have, for various reasons, towards a specific neighborhood rather than a certain city. It is useless to choose an area just because we like it if, in the long run, we will find ourselves cursing the hours spent in the car to go to the office or the excessive distance and inconvenience from friends and relatives.
- The spaces available to the house: evaluating whether the size and internal layout of the house are optimal, or in any case can be made so with some renovation, is very important. Realizing, in retrospect, that we physically lack the space for an important room or that it would have been much better to have an extra bathroom, certainly is not good.
- The orientation of the house: not everyone always thinks about it, but this is also an important aspect to take into account. A house that is beautifully bright during the day, especially in certain parts such as the kitchen and the living area, so in practice in the areas where you spend most of your time, it will always be very pleasant to live in compared to another dark one. and, consequently, more sad, cold, and maybe even humid.
These are aspects that must be evaluated before buying. There are things that can be worked on even afterward, such as a wall to be demolished, a floor to be redone or a piece of furniture to be replaced, but there are others that unfortunately cannot be changed and for which, therefore, it is necessary to think in time, certainly before proceeding with the purchase. It is always better to be far-sighted and also look at what may not be immediate needs, but which will easily appear in the future.
To learn more: is buying a house to renovate conveniently?
Buying from a private person or through an agency?
Another crucial point, when deciding to buy a house, is to evaluate whether it is better to do it directly from a private person or whether it is more convenient to contact a specialized agency.
It is clear that, without any kind of intermediation, there could also be some economic advantage. Moreover, nowadays it is also quite simple for supply and demand, even directly between individuals, to meet thanks to the various websites dedicated to this sector.
It should also be said, however, that behind every private negotiation there is a risk of hiding some not indifferent pitfalls, which could only emerge when the negotiation is almost completed. Furthermore, there are many formal requirements that must be completed before buying a new home, and you do not always have the knowledge and the time necessary to easily extricate yourself in this complex and articulated area.
This is why, in fact, it is very often more convenient to rely on an agency or in any case a real estate consultant who knows, first of all, to move with ease and give the right advice (also in terms of price), who takes care of carrying out the necessary checks to ascertain that everything is in order and that it handles even the most purely bureaucratic matters, accompanying the buyer (and the seller) step by step, up to the drafting of the actual contract in front of the notary.
What to check before buying a house?
As we said, relying on a real estate agency to buy a house can simplify many steps (it has its cost, but also its merits).
An aspect that, for example, should always be ascertained is that the one who sells is really the actual owner of the property and that, on the latter, no mortgages, mortgages, legal proceedings, etc. are pending.
Another thing to check before buying a house is that all the town planning documentation is in order and that, from a cadastral point of view, there are no problems whatsoever. If there are small discrepancies, however remediable, the seller must be responsible for them.
It is then necessary to verify the accuracy of the declared square footage, always making the necessary distinctions between commercial surface and walkable surface. Even the systems must comply with the law, and if they are not this must clearly affect, and greatly, the price of the property. The energy class, which must necessarily be attributed to the house, also has its importance and is another of those things to know before buying a house.
There are, then, many other aspects: for example, it is necessary to verify that the owner has always regularly paid all the installments of the condominium expenses and, again with regard to these, to make sure that the extraordinary expenses have not already been foreseen by the condominium the refurbishment of the roof or other.
Before choosing, it is always preferable to view the house several times, to get a more precise idea and to be able to identify any defects. Sometimes it happens that you buy a house after having seen it very little, only to discover, unfortunately when it is too late, certain negative aspects that had initially escaped. Therefore, it is better not to be afraid and ask to be able to see the property several times, perhaps even at different times, so as to be able to have a complete picture of the situation.
Most of the time, buying a house still means having to face some expenses to carry out more or less substantial renovations: the important thing is that the extent of these works is clear right away, even before proceeding with the purchase. Just so as not to incur unpleasant surprises that could unexpectedly raise costs.
To read: What are the costs of buying a first home?
Other costs not to be underestimated before buying a house
Speaking of costs, one of the very first assessments to do before buying a house is to establish a spending budget.
This budget must not only take into account the purchase price of the property, because in reality there are many other items of expenditure (more or less substantial) that, added together, will inevitably end up increasing the total outlay. Among them we remember:
- Any brokerage fees, in case you contact a real estate agency. Indicatively, they could be equivalent to a percentage between 2% and 4% of the house price.
- The costs related to taking out a possible mortgage: an installment that is usually considered accessible and sustainable, cannot exceed 30% of the monthly family income. Better, therefore, not to “take the longest step”.
- The various sales taxes, which vary depending on whether you are buying as a private individual or a construction company and also depend on whether it is the first home or not. In any case, these are also expenses to be considered in advance and on which it is good to inquire carefully. There may also be significant differences, depending on the case.
- Notary fees: the notary who deals with the stipulation of the sale contract will not only have to pay the amounts provided for by law (all the various taxes mentioned above), but will also clearly demand his own remuneration, usually not indifferent, for the work done.
A final consideration that can be made, regarding the many things to know to buy a house, is to read up on the numerous tax breaks currently provided by our legislation (just go to the Revenue Agency website to stay up to date). Renovation works, in general, those related to energy-saving improvements and others, are all interventions for which, for some years now, very interesting incentives have been provided.