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Old 21.02.2018, 16:06
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What should I check for buying an old apartment?

I am seeing an old apartment from 1970s to buy. What should I pay special attention before I move in? Many thanks!
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Old 21.02.2018, 16:13
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

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I am seeing an old apartment from 1970s to buy. What should I pay special attention before I move in? Many thanks!
How much life is left in the building? Does the price reflect this?
When was the roof last replaced?
How much money is in the kitty to replace the roof?
How much are yearly service charges?

and many more.
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Old 21.02.2018, 16:17
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

1970s? Old?
My current apartment was built in 1912, and the previous one in 1950.
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Old 21.02.2018, 16:19
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

Is there a document which dictates a life for a building? Will the life be extended if the building was renovated?
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Old 21.02.2018, 16:37
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

There are literally thousands of websites and forums on this topic - maybe it makes more sense to ask what stuff you should look out for that is specifically a concern in Switzerland.

For example:

- Baurecht (ground rent)
- bin storage space
- parking
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Old 21.02.2018, 16:39
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

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Is there a document which dictates a life for a building? Will the life be extended if the building was renovated?
There is no such document, only a very rough expectation based on current condition and materials used.

If you yourself cannot make a proper overview of the condition of the building and it's installations I would very strongly suggest to spend some money on somebody who can do this for you. It gives a pretty accurate idea of upcoming costs for the next years, and the findings often can be used to negotiate the price.
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Old 21.02.2018, 16:40
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

Also: is everybody paying the service-chargers and the Erneuerungsfond-payments (the "kitty" above, I presume)?

What heating does it have? When was it last replaced?

Just about any renovations/repairs.

You should really ask to obtain several years worth of protocols of the "Eigentümerversammlung".

You'll then see if all the other owners get along or if there's some obnoxious guy or couple that stirs up shit etc.pp.
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Old 21.02.2018, 17:10
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

In the seventies, they still used asbestos. Could get expensive, if it's (still) there and has to be removed at some point in time. Sewer system might also be worth a look (could be difficult, though). And windows. Roof and central heating have already been mentioned. I would likely use an expert.

OTOH, if the building is structurally sound and of good build quality, it can easily live for another hundred years.
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Old 21.02.2018, 18:12
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

My first look would be the renewal fund. If the building is around 50 years old, you will face several renewals: Windows, facade, waterpipes. During the seventies and eighties they used cheap pipes for the buildings. Replacing them is quit pricey and most renewal funds are way below the capital required to meet these renovations.
Cheers
Andy
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Old 21.02.2018, 18:45
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

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obtain several years worth of protocols of the "Eigentümerversammlung".
This is excellent advice.

When there is shared ownership you really need to get a sense of not only how decisions are made, but who the (real) decision makers are. You are not the sole master of your fate when there is shared ownership. The extent to which your fellow owners, or the Verwaltung, impact your life and pocketbook from now on will vary from association to association, the past protocols will give you an idea of what you are getting into.

(She says, looking daggers at the 15K mailboxes she was forced to pony up for, having lost that vote. Democracy in action applies to owner associations as well.)

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My first look would be the renewal fund. If the building is around 50 years old, you will face several renewals: Windows, facade, waterpipes.
Another good point.

Our shared property is the Quartier garage, built in 1988. We have been paying a fair chunk into the renewal fund every year, which so far has been sufficient for any repairs with a nice cushion. Just got a notice today, however, that the annual fund contribution will be trippled from now on, as not only is the structure of an age that major repairs must be anticipated, but also due to the pathetic interest rate the fund gets these days.

So as you look at your expected expenses, ask the Verwaltung - not the owner, not the agent - what sorts of changes to owner contributions might be expected in the short and medium term.

Good luck with the purchase.
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Old 21.02.2018, 19:03
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

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In the seventies, they still used asbestos.

Ah, yes.

This mainly concerns the bath-room.
It's not a problem if you leave everything in place.

But who wants a bathroom from the 70s these days?

A specialized firm has to be tasked with removing the tiles and they also have to be deposed as special waste...

But in a lot of cases, the contractor doesn't bother to even tell you this might be a risk and you might end up with asbestos fibers all over your apartment....

A building from the 70s, with otherwise no renovations, will have some very expensive energetic renovations coming to it.

Moreover, as these expenses will have to be shared, there will have to be agreement between the co-owners about this.

If one or more parties can't pony up the necessary funds, this will usually get delayed and delayed...

If all the renovations were calculated into the price, a significant discount would usually have to be given by the seller.
Unless the seller wants to close the deal quickly (divorce, inheritance, emigration), that doesn't really happen and a bigger fool will buy it...
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Old 21.02.2018, 19:11
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

And check that the previous owners paid in into the kitty and has no money to pay outstanding, also check with the tax office if some tax is still due/unpaid on the apartment (assuming that in Switzerland you pay tax on that)
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Old 21.02.2018, 19:20
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

Check for asbestos!

Used everywhere like insulation for stove tops, padding the kitchen linoleum, pipe insulation, etc..
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Old 21.02.2018, 19:21
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

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I am seeing an old apartment from 1970s to buy. What should I pay special attention before I move in? Many thanks!
It's all here.

And here. (That one is random, you might find a better .... yet not cheaper than free .... one.
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Old 21.02.2018, 21:57
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

From these list, I found this advise:

"Wer kein Baufachmann ist, sollte sich Rat holen und sein Traumhaus von einem unabhängigen Sachverständigen auf Herz und Nieren prüfen lassen"

Meaning, one should get the advise from a professional.

So ... where can I find such a person?
What would be their name/prefession?



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It's all here.

And here. (That one is random, you might find a better .... yet not cheaper than free .... one.
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Old 21.02.2018, 22:03
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

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From these list, I found this advise:

"Wer kein Baufachmann ist, sollte sich Rat holen und sein Traumhaus von einem unabhängigen Sachverständigen auf Herz und Nieren prüfen lassen"

Meaning, one should get the advise from a professional.

So ... where can I find such a person?
What would be their name/prefession?
Search for "Baufachmann" "Immobilienbewertung" (my second link is a company which does "Immobilienbewertung", did you study it?

If you get a mortgage the bank will be able to give you names and addresses. The bank wants this done too.
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Old 22.02.2018, 15:56
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Re: What should I check for buying an old apartment?

Good advice from everybody in the forum. Also worth checking when the next annual or bi-annual meeting is for owners and going along if its due shortly. Also meet the administrator / concierge and find out what they are like from the other owners. They can be excellent, terrible or anywhere in between. Good luck
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