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Yulia Dymova, director of Est-a-Tet resales sales offices, gives five simple tips on what you need to pay attention to before buying a property.

Is there a redevelopment in the apartment and is it agreed?

Today, 70% of buyers are mortgage holders, and the presence or absence of redevelopment in an apartment directly affects the receipt of a mortgage loan. The bank may not approve an apartment with an uncoordinated redevelopment and the buyer will lose time.

If the apartment is not bought with a mortgage, other problems may arise. For example, due to the fact that wet spots were moved or a door was removed and an arch was made in the kitchen with a gas stove, a load-bearing wall was demolished, a heating radiator was moved to the balcony, the owner of the apartment may be fined by the relevant services, and the housing inspectorate may issue an order to return everything to place. If the owner, for some reason, does not do this – it may simply be impossible after all the changes – then his apartment can be sold at auction, of course, below the market value. The money will be given to the owner, but he will lose the apartment.

There are many apartments with redevelopment on the market, and the buyer should sensibly assess whether to buy such “problematic” housing or not. When asked if the apartment has redevelopment, a competent realtor will provide a BTI plan (explication and floor plan), which must be compared with a real apartment.

How long have they owned the apartment – more than three years or less?

Photo: 123RF/legion-media.ru

The tenure of an apartment is important in two ways. The first is the cost that will be indicated in the contract of sale – full or incomplete. If the apartment is the owner’s only residence and it was bought more than three years ago, then he will not pay sales tax, it makes no sense for him to hide its value from the tax authorities. The contract will show the full price. If the apartment has been owned for less than three years, then the seller will most likely indicate an underestimated value in the contract. This is illegal and risky for the buyer.

The second aspect is that buying an apartment that was recently, that is, less than three years ago received as a gift (donation agreement), inherited or received under an annuity agreement is always a risk. In the case of a “fresh” inheritance, new heirs may appear after the conclusion of the contract. In the case of a recent donation, it may turn out that the deed of gift has been revoked or invalidated for some reason. In the case of a contract for the sale and purchase of an apartment, which is even less than a year old, it may turn out that the apartment was acquired by criminal means and it was resold. An annuity agreement that is several months or even more days old raises even more questions if the person who concluded it suddenly died immediately after the conclusion of the agreement (an apartment purchased under an annuity agreement can be sold only after the death of the owner).

Who is the owner?

It is desirable that the apartment is sold not by power of attorney – this always causes justified suspicions for the buyer – but personally: there are options for canceling the power of attorney, there is the concept of “exceeding the powers specified in the power of attorney”, etc.

But even before negotiating the apartment, the realtor needs to find out the identity of the owner and his age. The ideal owner is a middle-aged, single, never-married seller. Young sellers under 20 can be infantile, and the question immediately arises: will any of the adult relatives be present at the transaction. For an elderly seller, over 60 years old, a transaction can be challenged if he sells an apartment under the condition of misleading him or in a state in which he cannot be fully aware of his actions and consequences. Such sellers are too gullible and often become victims of scammers. If a person has children and they are owners or registered in an apartment, then this is a very long and scrupulous deal with the participation of guardianship authorities. Preparation for it will take one and a half to two months, you need to be ready for this.

Julia Dymova

If the person is married or married, the consent of the other spouse is required. Even if the owner divorced his spouse a few years before the sale, but the apartment was not divided in court, then the “second half” may well lay claim to the apartment after the sale. If the second spouse died some time ago, then his heirs may demand that the apartment be included in the estate.

How many owners are there?

The more owners, the worse, the more difficult it is to agree with them all, and what guarantee, if they entered into the inheritance recently, that another contender for the inheritance will not appear soon?

How will we pay: letter of credit or safe deposit box?

This is the last question to ask the realtor. A bank letter of credit, when funds are deposited in a blocked bank account and, on behalf of the buyer, transferred to the seller’s account after the transfer of ownership is registered, is the most secure method of payment. If they tell you about a safe deposit box and cash, then the reasons may be different. But one of them – the buyer still intends to underestimate the cost of housing in the contract. If you decide on a safe deposit box, then do not forget to demand from the seller a receipt for receiving all the money.


By Yara

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