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5 steps to buy a second-hand house

Buying a house is a moment of happiness. For this feeling to endure for a long time, you should take into account some important aspects when buying a second-hand house. In this article, we explain what steps you should take before buying your dream house.


When visiting a property, be accompanied by a real estate agent. He has the expertise to notice everything that needs to be changed. (check all the advantages and disadvantages of buying a second-hand house, here)



  1. Make questions

Choose the ideal house for you, do not conform to the first one you visit. Look for a house that fits the present and the future. Think that you may eventually enlarge your family or even need an office to work in. Therefore, you should have in-depth knowledge about the construction of the property. You should be aware of all the characteristics, such as the location of the structural walls of the house, the materials used and the quality of these. All this is important, so that you can make the renovations you need.

All this information is also relevant if perhaps, you need a mortgage loan and have to add value to that if you do any home renovations.

We know that there are some monthly costs associated with the house. To anticipate the monthly value, ask for the energy certificate to estimate if the value is high or not. (know more about energy certificate, here)


  1. Water seepage


When visiting the property, be curious and observer. Notice the walls, if they show some yellow or dark tones it is a warning sign for water seepage. This is one of the most common issues, but also one of the most annoying and expensive to solve.

The outside of the property or building can also show future issues of water seepage. Be careful and consider if you want to have these kinds of expenses after you start living in the house.


  1. Thermal and sound insulation


Thermal insulation is what makes a house comfortable and help you save money too. If there is good insulation in the house, you will not need heaters, fans or air conditioning and you will save in electricity invoice at the end of the month.


Pay attention to the windows and doors material, confirm if there are double-glazed windows or which is the blind and shutters system. The house orientation is a factor to take into account, if the house is turned to the south, it will have a lot of sun exposure which will make the house warmer in the winter. In the summer, to reverse the situation, you must have shutters or blinds that cover the windows completely, in the hottest hours.


The wooden floor helps a lot for a good thermal sensation, but if you prefer the slab, know that you can save money on house insurance.

The wall’s thickness will influence the thermal and sound insulation of the house as well, as the thicker it is the better. If the house doesn’t have this kind of characteristic and you want to choose a heater system, consider the central heating system. These devices require low maintenance and will heat your house efficiently.


  1. Technical details

When you are visiting the property, try to open the hot water tap and watch the water flow. These are the taps that accumulate more sediments and influence the water flow. The water heating system must be completely assembled, make some questions about it.

In each room, notice the number of existing electrical outlets. In the construction of houses, a few years ago, there was no need to put several plugs per division. If this is the case, ask when was the last time there were renewals in that sense.


  1. After buying the house


Once you find your dream home, you must be prepared for the changes and with them come other very important tasks to take into account.


  • Safe doors and windows – If the house doesn’t have safe doors and windows, consider replacing them, for example, for armoured doors, the most resistant of the market, to prevent robberies.


  • Change the locks – If the existing doors in the house are resistant and safe, don’t forget to change the locks.


  • Filters – Change the filters of the air conditioner and cooker hoods. They are one of the most mite concentrated spots in the house, as well as carpets.


  • Bathroom – The toilet seat must be immediately changed before you start moving. Another object that you won’t want to keep will be the shower curtain, as this is something personal and it shouldn’t be used by other people.


  • Cleaning products – Take time to deep clean, before you start moving all the boxes. This way, you can guarantee that every corner will be clean so for that, take with you all the products and cleaning accessories.


  • Tools – you will probably need to do some DIY, and for that you may need to keep your tools nearby for little house works.


  • Boxes for house moving – To facilitate the arduous task of house moving, do not forget to write on the boxes, the objects that are inside. Thus, you can distribute the boxes in the right place, where the objects correspond.


Be careful about choosing your future home, do not be surprised by problems that the house may have. Talk with one of our real estate agents, and understand all the items that deserve more attention. Casas do Barlavento has more than 15 years of experience in the field and will advise you to follow the best path.