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– The valuation price is practically worthless
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Published September 30, 2010

A valuation price says very little about the technical condition of a property. Don’t forget this when planning on buying a new home.


Skylights are one of the things that should be examined when buying property. Photographer: SINTEF Building and Infrastructure

Real estate owners are obliged to inform about faults and deficiencies when selling their property, but buyers are nevertheless obliged to examine the property. It is expensive to bring professionals to viewings, and if you don’t have the economy to do this, you should examine the property closely yourself before buying.

More people need legal aid
Help Forsikring, who offer insurance for buyers of real estate, experience a constantly increasing demand for legal aid in connection with real estate purchases.

– A lot of people believe that a valuation price is a technical review of a property, but the valuation price is practically worthless if one wishes to know something about the technical condition of the property, says legal manager at Help Forsikring, Tore Strandbakken.

– Behaving unscrupulous
Real estate buyers who don’t examine the property closely will often have unrealistic expectations to what they have bought, bearing the risk of major, unforeseen expenses. By spending a little more time prior to the purchase, money can be saved in the future. This doesn’t need to be very difficult, if you know what to ask and what to look for.

– We also experience that sellers of real estate are behaving more unscrupulous than before. This should encourage buyers to be extra cautious, says Strandbakken.

SINTEF Building and Infrastructure recommends demanding a report of the technical conditon of the property, and that one makes certain reservations at the time of the bidding, e.g. that the seller covers the expenses in case of need for repairs.

– Not all sellers will accept such reservations, but then you should think twice. One alternative is to lower the offer, another is to set aside money for repairs, and a third alternative is to consider another property instead, says senior scientist Trond Bøhlerengen at SINTEF Building and Infrastructure.

 

1. Check the building’s energy consumption. Is extra insulation or new windows needed?
2. Check the electric system. The owner should be able to show that it has been controlled. 
3. Check new bathrooms at least as closely as older ones. Is the bathroom built according to approved solutions (Byggforskserien and Byggebransjens våtromsnorm)?
4. Check the age and condition of the piping system. Does the piping system or hot-water tank need to be replaced? 
5. Check drainage and moisture protection. Are there signs of moisture, or is there a smell of mould in the basement? 
6. Check external walls and roof. How old is the facing, surface treatment and roof covering?
7. Check the balcony/terrace. Water must be able to run off, flashings and drains must be in order. 
8. Check the loft. Is there fungus/mould on the roof underlay, chimney, windows, walls or floors?
9. Check if the property has good ventilation and if the radon level has been measured. 10. Check risk information thoroughly or make reservations in writing that the seller will cover the expenses in case of need for repairs.

Source: Boligkjøperboka, SINTEF Building and Infrastructure and Forbrukerrådet

Senior scientist Trond Bøhlerengen

Web journalist Kathrine Nitter