6 Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying an Apartment
Buying an apartment is never a trivial act, so it’s best to ask yourself the right questions before taking the plunge. Here’s a quick refresher to find out if you’re ready to become a homeowner!
1. Where to buy it?
Geographical location is the number one criterion in real estate. A purchase farther from the city infrastructure will be less expensive, as will the property tax and the housing tax. For instance, if your apartment is far from the city, it’s shops, transportation, schools, sports, and health facilities. It will help if you take into account the cost of travel and gasoline.
2. Should you invest in new or old buildings?
It is, above all, a question of taste: does the charm of old stones make you melt, or is it the comfort and modernity? On average, a new property sells for 15% to 20% more than an old one. The price of an old property is determined by the local market price and similar transactions in the area. The price of the land determines the price of a new home, the cost of construction, and the developer’s margin.
Good to know: another difference is that in old buildings, you can take possession of the property immediately, whereas, in new buildings, you may have to wait up to 24 months to move in.
3. How to finance the purchase?
Beyond the personal contribution and the classic loan granted by a bank, you can finance the acquisition in various ways: loan with reinforced zero rates, loan housing saving, and the loan given to the civil servants.
Even if there is no official maximum debt ratio, it is considered that a person’s debt ratio should not exceed one-third of their income.
Good to know: the real estate agent’s negotiation fees, the notary’s fees, and the fees related to the loan must be taken into account in the financing.
4. Do you have access to financial aid?
First-time buyers with modest incomes can benefit from social benefits. However, to receive these benefits, the home must meet certain comfort and safety standards. For this, sincerely, I don’t have much info, so you will have to enquire with the local authorities, which may vary between states. And, please remember to share the word in the comments below.
5. What are the benefits of new housing?
First of all, a new apartment meets the most current safety standards such as electricity, plumbing, gas, heating, and the standards in force such as low energy consumption, good thermal insulation, antiseismic standards, fire standards, and handicapped standards. Moreover, as a purchaser, you automatically benefit from guarantees that engage the builder’s responsibility, such as a guarantee of perfect completion. However, the other side of the coin is that the demand is strong for this type of housing, mainly since it is located near all amenities.
6. How do you see your professional situation?
Buying with a view of the future is a plus because it ideally allows you to harmonize with your personal and professional projects. The questions to ask yourself are, for example, if you have a stable professional situation, can you count on an increase in your income, do you wish to have children? If so, is the property fit to accommodate them? Can you imagine yourself in this apartment in 10 years, or do you aspire to something else? And finally, are you sure that you can go the distance with a mortgage that will put you in debt for 15, 20, or 25 years?
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