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Buy a house or an apartment

In terms of real estate buying, if the crush is obviously in order, some essential questions should nevertheless occupy the mind of any prospective buyer. The priority is to ensure that the property meets long-term needs and is financially accessible.

Questions to ask yourself before buying a property

Establish criteria
To be more profitable than a rental, the acquisition of an apartment or a house must allow you to receive you for a sufficient number of years.
We must ask ourselves:
- if there is a risk of moving geographically because of his professional activity in the coming years;
- what living space we need;
- if the family has a good chance of getting bigger and if so, when?
- if it is to do a principal residence, a second home or a rental investment;
- if the property is adapted to the evolution of his state of health with age?
- if one is willing to do work for the upgrade of the property.
It is necessary to establish clearly a list of criteria which takes into account at the same time its tastes, its aspirations, but also the concrete needs dictated by a way of life; this will make it easier to target the goods for sale on the market that could meet these criteria.

The financial capacity to buy a property

The financial capacity of each is the essential information to have in hand before embarking on a research. For this, the best is to go to the banker and make with him a balance sheet of personal situation inducing a borrowing capacity over a given period. It will also inform about the additional subsidized loans envisaged. We will know in which price range must be located the goods that we will visit. It is from this moment that the methodical consultation of the ads can begin.
Do not neglect to take into account all the costs that are added to the gross value of the property:
- notary fees;
- possible agency fees.
But also, after the purchase:
- condominium fees;
- local taxes;
- possible maintenance costs (in the collective);
- commitment of future fees in a condominium.
It is generally considered that the contribution (accumulated savings and / or savings) should be able to cover purchase costs (including notary fees). In the new, these fees represent about 2 to 3% of the price of the property, against 7 to 8% in the old.
If you sell a property to buy another one, you have to watch:
- do not overvalue it;
- to consider the cost of a bridge loan if it is necessary;
- to assess the cost of any prepayment penalties the initial loan and the cost of a possible mortgage waiver on the property concerned.
The financing of an acquisition will merit putting banks in competition and, eventually, resort to a broker, easily accessible by internet.

Concrete criteria for buying a house well

When a number of criteria match those predefined, do not hesitate to move quickly to visit the property. The field visits (especially if it is a first purchase) will verify that the reality corresponds to the previously established criteria.
Do not hesitate:
- to visit the neighborhood at different times of the day or the week;
- to discuss with neighbors to appreciate the quality of the neighborhood;
- to question the traders around the nature of the neighborhood.
All this will really make you aware of the environmental quality of the property.
Make sure to take into account any easements (including passage), contained in the deed of ownership of sellers (which can be requested copy).

When we consider making an offer to purchase, we must ask to make a counter-visitthat is, to visit the property a second time, possibly with a "man of the art" or with the head of the company who will do future work. Unless the owner knowingly conceals building disorders (hidden defects), do not forget that you are supposed to have identified any defects in a building during these visits.

The local urban plan (PLU)
Even if the agency or the seller is in a hurry to make a decision; it is necessary to give the necessary time to learn about the immediate environment of the good and the urban planning projects which could develop around. The local urban plan (available in town hall) allows to know the planned environmental and structural changes of the site. The construction of a road to see a highway, a shopping center, a railway line or worse, an airport nearby, are worn. On the other hand, the arrival of a metro line, tramway or the construction of a school could considerably increase the value of the property in the future. The PLU also allows to know the construction constraints according to the geographical zoning.

Recourse to a real estate professional

In real estate transactions, many professionals can help a lot. Their knowledge of real estate news and administrative machinery will be a precious help for all the steps.

Real estate agents are specialists in the sector in which they operate: they follow the news of ads for sale and sale and know the particularities of a sector. They can help to get an idea of ​​the market and indicate the right price. Almost all of them now offer the possibility of making a pre-selection by a magazine or a dedicated website bringing together announcements of the properties for which they are mandated.


Although the "paper" media have almost all disappeared, many websites nowadays make it possible, through classified ads, to select a selection of real estate for sale in a given region, from agency to individual, as well as between individuals themselves. This method of investigation is convenient, but it must encourage the utmost caution, especially in the absence of responsible professional intermediary.

Agreement to sell

The decisive act in terms of real estate acquisition, is the promise of sale (usually called "compromise of sale"). It can be written:
- private agreement, including the real estate agent who presented the property;
- in the form of an authentic instrument, at a notary.
Note that the promise of sale is an essential act, which integrates all of which will include the deed of property. This is not an innocuous document. That is why many prefer to entrust the drafting to a notary, ministerial officer.
The act of ownership, which sanctions the transmission of this one, is obligatorily written by a notary. Seller and purchaser can bring in their own notary. It will not cost more, the two brothers sharing the remuneration of the act.

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