Things Buyers Forget to Ask Before Making an Offer for a Property – Part 2

This article continues the following post: Things Buyers Forget to Ask Before Making an Offer for a Property.

How good is the neighborhood? What are the surrounding areas next to the property?

Everyone’s idea of a good neighborhood varies.  However, many consider the safety of their family as very important.  Safety comes in different forms — safety from theft, fire, flood, noise, harmful chemicals and pollution  are foremost examples. Is your property backing a busy road, a cemetery, a noisy neighbor, slums, future building project, factory, etc.?  Are the roads kept in good shape or full of potholes? Are the roads congested with parked vehicles? Are the streets painted with clear traffic signs? Is this neighborhood’s location easily accessible from the places you frequent the most?

Am I dealing with the owner? If not, Is the person signing the contract authorized by its owner(s)?

It is quite normal to deal with a representative when the house is just being shown. However, it is vital to know who will be present at the signing of contracts and who will receive payment.  Ideally you should be wary of properties where only a representative is going to sign and receive payment even if they have a Special Power of Attorney. Ask for the reason for the absence of owners and arrange to communicate with real owners in some form of another and find out ways  to check for identities. Do not skip or rush this part and be ready to back out if you notice that there is something that doesn’t add up.

Are any of the owner(s) dead, or not in a physical capacity to legally sell the property?

All owners should be alive and in normal physical capacity to sign for the sale and  never forget that this is non-negotiable. If some are no longer alive then this property still needs to undergo Settlement of Estate and this process take more time to complete and there are  estate taxes to be paid.

This article first appeared at http://easton.ph, a website owned by Easton Real Estate, a professional real estate services company based in Alabang, Muntinlupa. For real estate inquiries, appraisal, title processing and documentation in Metro Manila and vicinity, please contact us at [email protected] or +63 908 451 8698 .

Things Buyers Forget to Ask Before Making an Offer for a Property

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Are property taxes, association dues and utility bills paid? Are there any pending issues or disputes on the property?

Buyers need to know what are the expected and current bills that need to be paid for the property.  Condominium units have monthly association dues as well as yearly taxes for their share of common property tax and insurance  for the Condominium property’s common areas. This is why it is very important to visit the homeowner’s association office to check for any arrears and pending disputes the seller has.  This should be part of the negotiation. It is best to just deduct the costs from the final selling price and let the buyer take care of this themselves for the convenience of everyone and to avoid any loose strings after the closing of the sale.  Also, one cannot assume that the property taxes due are negligible so better check for the amount of yearly taxes that you will pay in the future and whether the property is cleared at the Assessor’s Office of the city government.

Is the title clean?

We hear that a lot but what does clean title mean? It means that  basically the property is free of liens and encumbrances such as mortgage, loans, debts or pending disputes.  Make sure there is no individual or juridical entity that has any reason to have a hold on the property. If the property is mortgaged by the seller, ask for the latest statement from the lender and make an agreement with the seller whether it is paid by the seller prior to the closing of the sale (when you pay the price in full) or the assumed by the Buyer.    Once the mortgage is paid in full, the lender should issue a certificate of Release of Mortgage to the current owner which should in turn be given to the Buyer. Ideally, the downpayment of the buyer should be enough to pay off the mortgage and the full payment is done when the Release of Mortgage has been issued by the lender.

Is this newly built house conforming to local building rules?

When buying a newly remodeled or newly built house ask the local building authority (usually there is a homeowner’s association, if not, the barangay) if the property conformed to local building rules.    For newly built houses, there should be an occupancy permit issued by the city government. Certain basic things that need to be checked are the height of the building, and the setbacks, which are the open spaces required at the front, back and sides of the property.  This will be costly on the buyer’s part if not found out early. Check also if another property is encroaching on your property if the property you are purchasing is encroaching on someone else’s property.

For properties built alongside public roads, make sure there is no road widening planned in place and if there is, that you have enough space between your property and the road.  Find out also from local government office if the property is subject to eminent domain, which means that the government in the future has the power to buy your property from you for public use.

(to be continued on this post: http://www.easton.ph/things-buyers-forget-to-ask-before-making-an-offer-for-a-property-part-2/ …)

This article first appeared at http://easton.ph, a website owned by Easton Real Estate, a professional real estate services company based in Alabang, Muntinlupa. For real estate inquiries, appraisal, title processing and documentation in Metro Manila and vicinity, please contact us at [email protected] or +63 908 451 8698 .

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