Are you about to start your visits to potentially move into your new home ? We give you a few tips to make these visits effective
Before the visit
First piece of advice: it is essential to visit the neighbourhood and the surroundings of the property in order to observe the environment and the atmosphere of the area. You will quickly realise if the area is or not for you.
Be careful, don't be fooled by the peace and quiet during the weekend, preferably plan to visit the property during the week to get a realistic opinion of the property's situation.
About the urban situation, we advise you to ask the estate agent or the owner if the property is not in breach of town planning regulations. Many owners have carried out extension work or divided their property into several dwellings without any permits or authorisations. Approximately 800 infringement reports are drawn up each year in Brussels alone.
An advice : Include a suspensive clause in your offer to protect yourself against possible breaches of town planning regulations.
It is also important to check whether the property is in a flood zone. To do this, simply go to these websites and enter the postal address of the property. You will have access to all the information on this subject.
During the visit
After visiting the neighbourhood, it is time to analyse the house.
At a glance, you will already be able to determine the general state of the house: cracks in the walls, worn roof, damaged fence, ... . A set of elements that will allow you to know if renovation work should be considered.
First of all, ask for the orientation of the property. South-west facing living rooms will allow you to benefit from a natural supply of light.
Take the opportunity to analyse the glazing, a high-performance double-glazing will insulate you both thermally and acoustically.
Next, find out about the electrical installation, is it modern and conform?
It is now compulsory in Belgium for owners intending to sell or rent to have a EPC certificate. You have therefore the right to request the energy performance of the property. Poor performance is often synonymous with poor insulation of the walls, roof or glazing.
When looking at the walls, if you see traces of mould, dampness or cracks, this is probably due to poor insulation.
It is also important to ask if a ventilation system is installed. The best remedy for dampness is the supply of fresh air and a good evacuation of humid air.
Check the floor can also be beneficial to determine its condition and insulation level. A floor in poor condition will increase rising damp.
Many homes still contain asbestos in their infrastructure. Although this material is now banned from the market, it is still present in certain infrastructures. It is therefore essential to check this, given the harmful effects of asbestos on our health.
Find out what type of heating is installed and how it works. Replacing a boiler is never welcome.
Also check the state of the kitchen and the plumbing: dripping sink, used cooker, ... . These living spaces are often very expensive to renovate.
In the case of a rental, don't forget to ask which costs are included in the rental price (heating, hot water, electricity, ...). The rental conditions are not the same for all properties.