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What questions to ask when buying a second-hand home?

Posted by KHADI on February 28, 2020
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Buying a home is an important decision, since you are choosing what will be your new home. And, in addition, you are making a large repayment. So when we focus our attention on a home we must study it carefully to ensure that everything is in order. It is the way to avoid surprises. Especially when it comes to a second-hand house. What should be considered before signing the contract of sale?

Buying a home: the general condition

When visiting the house you have to pay attention to all the details: state of the floor, height of the ceilings, walls, humidity, bad odors … and even the state of the plumbing and electrical installation. For this, it may be useful to make the visit accompanied by an architect or technical architect who analyzes these aspects.

Ask the seller all your doubts, such as the age of the property, which will be key to know its condition and may involve future disbursements in repairs or renovations. Also make sure which are the useful meters, since it is often the built meters that appear in real estate ads.

General condition of the building

In addition to the state of the house, it is also important to know how the entire building is located. That the ITE has recently passed is a good sign, since it indicates that it complies with the required safety and health conditions.

The year of construction will give you clues about the quality of the materials used. For example, those buildings built before the enactment of the Technical Building Code in 2006 will be more likely to have insulation problems. Those built during the post-war period probably used more precarious materials due to scarcity. In other cases, depending on the quality of the cement, the structure may suffer from aluminosis problems.

In this sense, it is advisable to go to the town hall to consult the urban situation of the area and the building.

Property charges and debts

Before buying a home, it is important to check that the house is free of charges or debts, since these weigh on the property. To do this, you must go to the Property Registry and request a Simple Note, which will indicate if there are charges, such as mortgages, and also report on the ownership of the property. This way we also make sure to avoid scams in which the seller and the owner do not match.

On the other hand, you must go to the Community of Owners to make sure that the community payments are up to date. It can also be used to know if there are any spills scheduled for the near future.


Although you love the house during the visit, keep in mind that depending on the time of day you go the situation may change: noisy neighbors, crowded streets, bars, feeling of security … It is advisable to visit the house and walk around the neighborhood at different times of the day and night to get an idea of ​​what it will be like to live there.

Budget and final price

The sale price is not the final price. Your budget must have the Property Transfer Tax, which must be paid when acquiring a second-hand home. The amount of this tax varies in each Autonomous Community, but usually ranges from 6% to 10%. In addition, there may be other complementary expenses such as notary, agency, registration …

Legality of the home

To check the legality of the house it is essential to check if it has a valid habitability certificate. There are premises, studios, lofts, etc. They do not have this certification, which means that they are not legally considered as housing. This can generate numerous problems, including the denial of a mortgage or the inability to register electricity, water and gas supplies.

Energy efficiency

By law, every home that is rented or sold must have an energy efficiency certificate. This certificate allows knowing the energy efficiency of the property and, therefore, the expense that it can generate in energy consumption.

Older buildings generally have a lower efficiency level. It is important to take this information into account when buying a house, since it will affect the comfort and the amount of the bills. If the aim is to increase the level of efficiency in the future, the price of the reform must be included in the budget.

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