When starting the purchase of a selected property, we need to check many issues to be sure that the investment is safe and will bring us specific benefits. We should have no doubts in terms of formal and legal and the actual technical condition of the premises. Therefore, we present the 10 most important points that should be absolutely verified before buying an apartment.
1. Who is the effective owner?
The land and mortgage register is the basic source of information about the real estate, its location, owner and legal status. We have to make sure that we buy apartments from a real owner. From such a book you can read whether the person with whom we are to conclude a purchase and sale agreement is the owner of the premises, its co-owner or maybe the owner's representative. It is enough, therefore, to ask the seller for the number of the land and mortgage register and check entries in it via the book browser on the website of the Ministry of Justice.
However, the land and mortgage register is not always established for the flat we want to buy. This is the case, for example, in the case of a cooperative ownership right to a flat, for which such a book may or may not be kept. If this is the case, then you should ask the person selling the property for a certificate from the cooperative that will dispel doubts as to whether they actually own the property.
2. What is the subject of the purchase contract?
It seems to us that the seller is putting up a flat for sale, even with a basement, attic or storage room. Meanwhile, it may have nothing to do with what is disclosed in Section IO of the land and mortgage register. We can sign the contract if the real estate address in KW and in fact match, as well as the area, number of rooms and their functions. It is very important to check the purpose of the property - in the case of the entry "apartment", we can still check important points before buying.
3. Mortgage charges
In addition to verifying in the land and mortgage register who is the real, legal owner of the apartment, we can also find out whether the property is under mortgage. Such information important for the buyer is disclosed in section IV of the land and mortgage register. If the apartment is encumbered with a contractual or compulsory mortgage, then it will be listed in the land and mortgage register, along with the title to establish it and the amount for which it was established.
You can buy an apartment with a mortgage, but we should be aware that it exists. Remember that the mortgage is assigned to the property, not the owner. Therefore, it should be specified in the purchase and sale contract that the seller undertakes to pay off the mortgage and release the mortgage from the money obtained as a result of the sale of the flat. After signing the contract, the current owner should provide a document enabling the mortgage to be deleted, which is already the responsibility of the buyer.
4. Property rights and easement of real estate
Before the final purchase of a flat, we can check in the land and mortgage register whether it is encumbered with limited material rights, i.e. the right of usufruct and easement. It discloses claims and personal rights, such as:
- tenancy law,
- right of redemption,
- the right to life imprisonment,
- the right to use a dwelling at a fixed time every year (timesharing agreement).
5. Technical condition of the apartment
If we are not able to assess the technical condition of the apartment we are buying, it is best to use the help of a construction specialist. Let's take a look at the property with him, room by room. You usually have to pay around PLN 200 for such help, but in many cases this expense can save you many unpleasant surprises in the future. We will be aware of whether, for example, it will be necessary to carry out a major renovation in the apartment immediately after moving into it.
When inspecting the technical condition of a dwelling, the following issues deserve attention:
- The condition of the electrical system, e.g. if all lights on will cause network overload.
- Water pressure - is it too weak when all the taps are turned simultaneously.
- Gas pressure - will the flame weaken after opening all cocks on the stove.
- The condition of the floors.
- The condition of the wooden elements in the apartment.
- Condition of the walls - whether there are any traces of damp and mold.
- Window tightness.
- The condition of the front door.
6. Status of people registered in the apartment
You should make sure that the apartment you are buying is not a subject of joint ownership, and if it is, check that the other joint owners have agreed to the sale of the property. It is worth asking categorically for a certificate of the state of registration of people in the premises. Before going to the notary public, preferably on the day of signing the notarial deed of sale of the flat, the seller should check out all existing tenants from the flat.
7. Payment of receivables by the former owner
You cannot buy an apartment without first making sure that the current owner has no debts in paying rent or utilities. We should require the seller to present a certificate issued by a cooperative, housing association, energy company, water supply, gas company or municipal office that all the amounts due have been settled. If this is not the case, you must force the seller to pay all the bills.
8. The issue of deleting a mortgage on real estate
Even if the real estate has been secured in the form of a mortgage, you must be able to delete it in the future at the time of purchase. This is already a job for a new buyer. After the mortgage has been repaid, the mortgage is not automatically deleted by the bank. After paying the last principal and interest installment, the lender should give the client consent to cancel the mortgage, and the buyer will be able to cancel the real estate mortgage in the district court on this basis.
9. Spatial development plan
Before signing a flat purchase contract, it's a good idea to check what may happen in your neighborhood in the near future. The answer to this question will be provided by the spatial development plan for the immediate vicinity, which can be checked at the commune office. You can read it after submitting the application. Thanks to this, we will make sure that, for example, a gas station, high-rise office buildings or a garbage dump or a highway will not be built next to our block.
10. The condition of a housing community or a cooperative
Finally, before signing the final contract for the sale and purchase of an apartment at a notary, let us consider the financial condition of the cooperative, the resources of which the apartment is located, or how the community in which the premises is located has been functioning so far. The cooperative or manager, with the consent of the owner of the property, may provide the buyer with all information regarding whether there are pending court cases for which the new owner of the premises may be charged with costs as a new member of the community or cooperative. When visiting a cooperative or the manager of the residential property in which the apartment you are buying is located, you can find out about the technical condition of a multi-family building and ask about what renovations and improvements are planned in the near future.