Purchase of second-hand homes allows to secure investment before acquiring new home. In this post, we want to give you some clues about what you should consider before entering into the purchase of a second-hand house.
What should a potential buyer verify that is looking for a second-hand home?
The most important thing is to check that the general structure is in good condition, that there are no load-bearing walls that prevent us from adapting the new distribution, in addition to the location and number of downspouts that the house has. And of course, that it meets very good hygienic conditions, a good orientation, if possible that has cross ventilation (by opening gaps in two opposite facades) and check in the case of basements or attics that there are no problems of presence of moisture, or lack of thermal insulation.
What are the elements that should be inspected in a second-hand home to know their status?
The main aspects that we must inspect are the state of the general structure; if the farm presents structural problems we will surely have to face a heavy spill for its future settlement, or there are even cases in which the defects are so serious that the ruin file is considered to demolish the building. Another important aspect is the general facilities, especially the disposal of the downspouts that will greatly condition the new distribution that we want to make. We must also look at the free heights, especially when in reforms a false ceiling is usually installed in the house; the flatness of the floors, if there is a lot of unevenness in the flooring, we will assume an important expense to fix it, the state of the walls and its completion.
In general there are many aspects in which we must look at when buying a property and should be advised by a technical expert in the field. And we must not forget to request the status of the house in terms of its adaptation to current regulations and of course being free of charges or debts.
How to detect the defects of humidity?
Normally they can be seen with the naked eye, by stains on the walls (usually yellowish) or with the appearance of moldy areas of dark green to black in them. Also in the areas where the walls are tiled, the tile usually jumps, or in the floors with the presence of floorboards or parquet, as well as raised tiles. In this sense we must also observe if it has been a humidity that has already been corrected, or it is a recurrent humidity and that can continue to give us problems in the future.
How can we verify that the plumbing installation is good: pipes, drains, possible blockages?
It is also usually detected with the naked eye and many times by smell. On many occasions we arrive at a house and it smells bad, this may be because the toilet siphon or one of the toilets is empty, or because there are gaps in the network. If we see that the pipe network is not copper, we know that we must change it for a new one, or if it is made of copper and it has been installed for a long time, it is possible that when the tap is turned on the water will come out with color or with little pressure.
In the electrical installation, how can we know that the power is sufficient or that the wiring system is adequate?
All new wiring must be halogen free and the electrical network adapted to the regulations on thermal installations in buildings (RITE). Except for the most modern homes, almost none is adapted and when we buy a second-hand home the best thing is to renew the electrical installation, adapt the wiring, as well as the frame, especially the power limiters (do not oversize them) and use differentials of first quality. The power that we will need will depend on our needs and the previous invoices we will know what installed power had the previous owner and whether we should adapt it or not to them. In the case of modifying the power, we must also hire a new electric bulletin to the official installer.
The certificate of energy efficiency of the houses is useful to determine the possible defects that present a second-hand house or there may be defects that are not collected in the rating of the housing?
Do not confuse the certificate of energy efficiency of the houses as an insurance of it, the certificate as expressed in its name, study the energy efficiency of the house. That is, if it consumes more or less energy at the time of being inhabited, but does not get into constructive issues of structural scope or aesthetic failures. That itself is very good for us, to know if we are going to have to consume more energy when heating or cooling the house, if the windows or the holes of the same have breakage of thermal bridges, if the union between walls facade and slabs is well resolved, if we have a camera with insulation and so many details, yes, all related to the aspect of energy consumption, nothing more.
We hope that all these tips are very useful when buying a second-hand home.