Buying A Home: What You Should Know Before You Purchase

Access to housing, both in the case of purchasing or renting, with any type of financing, is usually one of the most important economic investments in people's lives. It is natural to ask oneself what considerations are necessary in order to have a knowledge base before acting.

On many occasions the benefits of acquiring a new or used home exceed those of building: it is impressive to see the number of vacant houses and apartments available in the city waiting for future businesses and renovations - this is where one can take advantage of what already exists and reduce large expenses. The contemplations of buying go beyond the ones of renting, as they address issues ranging from regulations to the passage of time both in relation to materials and the urban context. The following are some tips that might be useful!

Location: Check the Urban Context and Its Development


It is not only the orientation that is fundamental in housing- reducing the energy costs of heating and lighting - but also the understanding of proximity and access to basic services regarding health, supply, security and transport, among other minimum requirements such as electricity and gas systems, lighting, waste collection and sewerage (to visit during a rainy day is a good idea to check for waterlogging or flooding). In this sense, it would be useful to inquire about infrastructural projects and social processes that are occurring both in the surroundings as well as on a neighborhood scale, related to issues that may increase or decrease the value of the property in future purchases or sales.

Sihouettes for cutoutmix francescaperani. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image © Fabián Dejtiar

Know the Local Regulations and the State of Regularization of the Property


Think about your long-term plans and check if local regulations will allow your next home to adapt to your needs: in many cases, ignorance of building regulations can defeat your plans of extension or renovation. It is also important to know if the housing is properly registered and complying with the municipal requirements, to avoid any legal inconvenience or major additional expenses (especially if the former residents had pending fines).

Take the Materials Into Account ...and the Way They Will Age

The materials do not last forever. It will always be necessary to understand that at some point you will need to invest in both painting and repairs of some kind. Taking time to review the finishes and the quality of the materials may be relevant for knowing with what you will be confronted in future maintenance.

Sihouettes for cutoutmix francescaperani. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image © Fabián Dejtiar

The Structure and the Installations Are Very Important


Not only is it necessary to check the installations - you can try out the water pressure or check the electric meter and boards - but also to understand the structural system of the house: this will help you to quickly understand the capacity of extension in the case of renovation and to avoid a headache. Going back to issues related to regulations, it is especially important to check that the installations are meeting the current requirements, it can be a big problem for your economy to update them. 

Beware of Home Staging

Remember that furniture and decoration determine the success of a space- especially due to the relationship you have with them. You will not want to buy all the furniture new in the case that yours do not fit the future home. In this sense, it is necessary to pay attention to the staging offered in sales situations and to try to visualize the space with your own belongings.

Check Recurring Expenses and Anticipate Maintenance Costs

You can buy the most economical house you can find, but quickly notice whether it was a good or a bad idea based on the expenses you have on a regular basis. It is essential to check these costs in advance to avoid surprises, finding out for example if there is any subsidy in the rates of services, the cost of cleaning, sweeping and lighting of public spaces in the sector or taxes associated with owning housing.

Sihouettes for cutoutmix francescaperani. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image © Fabián Dejtiar

Search for Price References


Check in what price range similar housing is listed in the desired sector, you might be surprised how ignorance of the market might affect you. In this sense try to inquire about construction costs and what different real estate companies offer: it is always advisable to become an expert on the subject and to have different views on the matter.

Talk to Your Possible Future Neighbors

Whether it is a house or an apartment, it is not only interesting to know who your future fellows might be, but they might also tell you those small and important details and their perception of the area - or at least the reason why the former residents have decided to leave.

Sihouettes for cutoutmix francescaperani. Licensed under CC BY 4.0. Image © Fabián Dejtiar

Check the Procedures That Have to Be Done and the Extra Costs to Be Faced


The process of buying and selling housing is clearly not a simple task, therefore, there are multiple factors that might affect the amount of money you had considered- especially with issues related to regulations, such as payments to commissioners and notaries. For any matter, we always recommend turning to a professional for advice.

Know Your Rights as a Consumer in the Real Estate Market

Oftentimes we know our obligations but are unaware of our rights. In the case of real estate, where investments are very high and there are a lot of variables at play, it is important to find out which ones correspond to you and to be prepared. 

About this author
Cite: Dejtiar, Fabian. "Buying A Home: What You Should Know Before You Purchase" [Cómo comprar una casa: consejos antes de adquirir una vivienda] 05 Apr 2019. ArchDaily. (Trans. Johansson, Emma) Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.