Tips about buying your future house: 6. 5 construction controls for your new home. A painful story, for your life and pocket


Part 1

Investment in a new house (some call it a villa too) is more difficult than an apartment inside the city. It requires more personal involvement and the resolution of many problems which at first glance appear as "easy". After the "first wave" of investors in this segment (2000 – 2004) and the second one (2005 – 2008), during 2010 the market clearly heads to a new direction. People are more careful and "opportunities" are analyzed thoroughly by everyone. Many people tend to evaluate a property only based on its price. But the major issue, especially for a house, is the quality of construction. If this is bad (80% of the cases) then prepare for endless problems, lower quality of life and never ending investments.

10 + 1 controls you should always ask / try to do before acquiring your new house

I know, you will tell me again that "they don't allow me to control, they say that the house is perfect and I should buy it as I see it. Well, their business is to defend their interests and yours is to defend your pocket and the quality of your future life. So, insist and reject any property whose owner tells you that you can not check it carefully before buying it.

1. Ask for the photos during every phase of construction

This is the only easy way to check how the foundation was made, how the bricks were placed, how everything was built in order to reach today's shape. If your developer does not have them (60 – 70% of them don't) then be ready for a "treasure hunt", searching to find out where the mistake(s) exists.

2. Electrical circuits: A non visible "bomb"

Your home is very important for you. But for almost all the builders who built it, it is not. For 80% of them it is just another small or big project to accomplish, ideally by finishing fast, without too much work. There are many problems that you can discover just by looking around, but this does not apply for the electrical circuits. If the electrician was in bad mood, bored or upset, he may have connected them in the worst possible way. No, he will not care if this will cause you huge problems, if you will end up with burned home appliances. So, ask the plans of the electrical circuits and also verify them carefully and thoroughly.

3. Check if the walls bend, before you start thinking that you question your sight

I know a quite "famous" developer who has the amazing track record of "many constructions delivered without not even one straight wall"! You enter at his constructions (where many families have moved in) and you start thinking that you have a problem of sight. The walls are bending, or simply they do not create corners of 90 angles when intersected. You will be surprised by the number of developers who can not control this basic feature. Don't be ashamed. In the second property check (after you will decide that you want it and you start checking it) go with that tool that measures angles and straight surfaces. If the developer won't like it, then simply go. It is almost sure that there is a problem…

4. Does your developer know what "isolation" is?

Usually they place some cheap isolation on the walls, just so as not to be caught having nothing. If you demand a better quality (meaning the normal good quality of Western Europe) this is called "extra" and "it should be charged more". Your windows and doors are important too. Check very carefully how they are installed, if you don't want to replace them in couple of years. Last but not least: Plastic ones are cheaper, the ones of aluminum cost more and the wooden ones have an even higher price. Don't expect something better than plastic, except if the price is seriously higher than "promotion price".

5. Heating system. Where is the catch?

With all due respect, do you have any idea about the cost to heat your new home? What? Very few people are willing to tell you? So you want to discover it by yourself, after you will buy it? A house with more than 120 – 150 sq.m. surface costs you a lot to keep it warm. Much more than you can imagine. Please be very strict in this issue. Control the specifications of the installed system, verify the correct function of each and every heating machine. Ask to know the estimated costs. Save yourself money, nerves and effort in the future. (I have heard even a story where "all machines must work 24 / 7, in order not to be ruined, this is how they work").

Next Monday, 12.07.2010
6. Is this kitchen convenient for your daily life?
7. A trap called bathroom
8. Sockets, switches and other electrical appliances: Are they ready to burn?
9. "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire"…
10. Parquet: Easy to guess that it has problems…
+ more…

Solving problems…

When you will verify everything, create a list of problems and ask the developer to fix them before selling the property to you. Even when he tells you that he did fixed them, please crosscheck again. Chances are that he didn't. Always take into consideration that an additional 5 – 10% of the price will be required to resolve small problems. If we talk about more serious ones, then this figure can reach even 25 – 30%, or more.

Ask for an expert's help

I keep on telling you: Don't pretend that you know everything, noone is perfect! If you are not a constructor yourself, ask the help of experts in order to verify everything. The electrician and plumper you trust, an architect and others should control everything before you go to the notary, pay your money and enter at your new home. If not, then… be ready for surprises!

Important tips to refresh your memory with:

Who are building these houses and what is the average quality of construction when we hear for "very low prices"? Read more about them here.

I have already explained to you how important are location, utilities and access to your property.
Read more about them here.

Also I had focused on the potential added value that you will gain by investing close to a forest, a hill or a lake.

Refresh your memory here.

Don't forget that a land for a house is an investment and it should be treated accordingly. Check out why here.

Last but not least, there is too much talk about major public infrastructure, sports facilities and available schools for your children, in case you buy a land out of the city. Check out the reality here.

Coming up, every Monday:

  • The environment of your new house. 10 possible traps you should avoid
  • The "map" of Bucharest: Where is good for what
  • Can we consider a land located on a plain agricultural field as "a land in the center of nature"?


  1. Virtual Memory Jul 5, 2010

    Thank you so much for your sharing£¡

  2. trade show videos Jul 5, 2010

    You need to seriously write some more about this.

  3. Kevin – Moncton REALTOR® Jul 27, 2010

    Thank You very much for this very helpful story. It is very important to plan first before buying your future house for it is very fulfilling to see the house that you bought is the house that you’re really expecting to have. In addition, having a REALTOR® could make this house buying process a lot easier and successful. Also, it is very important to monitor all the progress and the people responsible in creating this house. Again, thanks for this post!

Speak your mind