Buying an apartment in Paris is an important investment. This is why it is necessary to have all the elements in hand in order to make the right choice and avoid any unpleasant surprises. You will find in this article everything you need to check before buying a property in the capital.
You can consult a real estate agency such as John-Taylor to help you in the process.
Make an evaluation of the neighborhood
Even before visiting the apartment in particular, it is advisable to start by assessing the situational analysis of the neighbourhood in which it is located in order to evaluate all the opportunities in terms of transport, shops and parking in particular. Indeed, is it situated close to public transport? Is the apartment easily accessible to allow you and your visitors to park? As far as the proximity of shops is concerned, this is a positive point unless the commercial premises are located on the ground floor of your apartment. In this case, it may cause disturbance in the neighbourhood. If you are particularly sensitive to this point, you should also check the co-ownership regulations to find out the conditions for allowing a future implantation.
In addition, it is important to check the condition of the surrounding buildings. Obsolete or deteriorated buildings could cause nuisances.
The borough’s inspection also involves a meeting with its residents and merchants. You can introduce yourself to them and measure the atmosphere there and find out about possible neighbourhood problems.
To choose the right location for your future apartment, make sure you check the environment in which it is located. It is also important to find out about urban planning projects for the neighbourhood: creation of a park, establishment of a fast-food restaurant or sex shop, etc. Depending on the nature of the changes, your apartment will benefit from an increase in value or, on the contrary, will be more difficult to resell.
Visiting the apartment at different times of the day can give you a better idea of its surroundings. You can also ask for visits during the week and at weekends to detect potential nuisances.
Check the condition of the facade
The tour of the apartment starts at the façade of the building. The state of the it is likely to give you several pieces of information about the condition of the apartment. It is a question of being vigilant and to locate possible cracks. These can be the cause of problems inside the apartment. However, if it is possible to hide them in the apartment, the clues on the facade do not deter and indicate potential failures.
It is therefore advisable to check the condition of the building’s façades to find out if there have already been any renovations, when was the last renovation carried out or if the condominium is planning to carry out any work. By gathering all this information, you will be able to determine whether the building is being maintained on a regular basis. If major work has not been done recently, expect to see an increase in charges after a few years. A facade renovation involves fairly significant costs.
During your visit, do not hesitate to take a photo of the building in which the apartment to be visited is located. You will then be able to study the pictures of the façade more closely to detect details that you may have missed.
Check the interior condition of the apartment
If the real estate expert has the skills to detect the slightest flaw in an apartment, here are a few tips to check the interior condition of the apartment in every detail.
Very often, the first seconds of a visit determine the purchase of an apartment. However, you must remain vigilant and try to keep your first impression or your crush aside in order to check the interior condition of the apartment you are about to buy.
On your first visit, carefully examine all the rooms that make up the apartment. Check that all the equipment is working properly and whether it needs to be changed: windows, shutters, door, tiles. In addition, systematically look at the walls and ceilings for possible moisture stains. Blistering paint indicates poor ventilation, leaks or infiltration from the roof or the neighbouring apartment.
In particular, check the condition of the kitchen and bathroom. Run the sanitary equipment: flush the toilet, open the taps to assess the quality of the plumbing. Don’t forget the sinks, bathtub, shower and sinks. Study the floor and wall coverings of bathrooms. The state of the electricity is a crucial point to check to see if you need to plan any work to bring it up to standard. Does the apartment have earthing points, a general circuit breaker, connections for a washing machine and a dishwasher? Are the toilets in a separate room? Is there a window in the bathroom?
As a general rule, pay particular attention to traces of moisture. Don’t hesitate to run your hand over the walls in order to detect any flaws that are imperceptible to the human eye.
Also, during your visit, do not hesitate to ask about heating equipment: boiler, radiator, etc.
Don’t hesitate to call on a professional to help you during a counter-visit to evaluate the cost of repairs or changes to be made.
Asking the right questions about housing design
During your visit you should ask the right questions if you are planning to carry out some work. Differentiate between partitions and load-bearing walls to ensure that the walls are not destroyed during your work.
If you are planning any work, it is important to know whether your intervention concerns a private or a common part of the building. In the last case, for the arrangement of a balcony or a terrace, you will need the authorization of the general meeting of co-owners.
If the seller has carried out major work, you should make sure that the work has been done properly with the necessary authorizations and that the changes appear on the various legal documents. These justify interventions and will be used to obtain repairs and compensation in the event of problems arising after the signature.
Ask for the different diagnostics
Before any purchase of a property in Paris, the owner is required to give you the energy performance diagnosis (DPE). Ask for a recent DPE that takes into account all the new elements. This document gives the characteristics of the building with a description of its equipment in terms of heating, water, air, etc. For each category, the annual amount of energy consumed or estimated must be given, as well as an estimate of the annual expenditure generated. It shall identify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as well as the amount of energy used from renewable sources. All these criteria contribute to classify the building or apartment on a reference scale from A to G in terms of energy performance.
Asking for the energy diagnosis of the apartment will allow you to evaluate the energy consumption and to plan works, if necessary, for an improvement.
In addition to the DPE, there are other real estate diagnostics that the owner must provide before the sale of the property according to the age of the building:
– The report on the risk of exposure to lead for buildings built before 1 January 1949,
– Asbestos status for those built before July 1, 1997,
– The parasitic state concerning termites for dwellings located in a determined zone on prefectoral decree,
– Indoor gas and electricity installation condition, for installations older than 15 years,
– The state of natural and technological risks for dwellings located in an area exposed to floods, land movements, etc. or undesirable industrial, chemical, mining effects.
Analyze potential noise and exposure
The sunshine, the orientation and the brightness of an apartment are elements to be taken into account before proceeding to the purchase of your property.
When visiting your future apartment, find out about its exposure to the sun. You can also take out your compass to find the orientation of the living rooms and bedrooms. The optimal configurations are a south / south-west orientation for the living room and dining room to benefit from a beautiful luminosity throughout the day. The ideal for a bedroom is to be oriented east to wake up with the sun. The other rooms of the house, less frequented for a long time, can be oriented south-east or even north.
Check if the glass surface of the house is suitable for you and the presence of people facing the house. The quality of the window glazing has an impact on the sound and heat insulation of the apartment. It is therefore advisable to check their condition to ensure that you are in a quiet place without being disturbed by outside noise while benefiting from good thermal insulation.
When you are in the apartment, you can diagnose the noise environment yourself and assess whether the neighbours are noisy, whether you hear sounds coming from the apartment above, etc. To get a feel for the brightness and potential noise of the apartment, feel free to visit the accommodation at different times of the day. In any case, it is possible to arrange for soundproofing work if necessary.
Ask for the cost of condominium fees
Buying a Parisian property generates many additional costs: notary fees, property taxes but also co-ownership charges. To avoid unpleasant surprises, ask for information to make your calculations.
Before visiting the apartment, you can ask for the cost of the co-ownership charges. In fact, in addition to the usual information, the sale advertisement must indicate the annual share of the current charges of the property. You can also ask for statements of charges as well as the reports of the general meetings several years in advance.
This document indicates which works have been voted on as well as the distribution of costs between the seller and the buyer. If the works were decided before the signature of the compromise of sale, they remain the responsibility of the seller. Nevertheless, if they were voted between the signature of the compromise and the deed of sale or after the sale, they are the responsibility of the buyer. In this way, you can check whether any works have been voted and take note of everything that concerns the life of the building.
The real estate agency will find you the property of your dreams. Make sure you check all the points mentioned before you make your purchase.