The 6 Essential Points to Check Before Buying Your Dream Home!

Are you about to buy your house and starting to line up visits in search of that special find? This is a crucial step that mixes moments of stress and excitement, but you must not forget to put all the odds in your favor to make the right choice and avoid any unpleasant surprises. To keep in mind the main points and small details to inspect during your visits and revisits (recommended!), here are six essential points to consider before finalizing your purchase project.

Investigate selling prices and the state of the local market

You've gone through numerous ads in search of the ideal house, but have you taken the time to investigate the real estate market prices? Even before scheduling your first visits, find out about the prices in the targeted area. On one hand, listed prices are sometimes overestimated, and there is often a gap between the asking price and the actual selling price.

Moreover, there are several possible negotiation levers. Therefore, knowing the market well allows you to expand your search to properties listed slightly above your budget, but also to avoid disappointments and not give up without negotiating, armed with the right arguments. Another major factor: real estate market trends. Are prices rising or falling? Is your area's market tight or are properties struggling to find buyers? To aim accurately, several solutions exist :

  • Conduct a free online estimation or get an idea of the price per square meter in the city or neighborhood of interest;
  • Gas aConsult real estate barometers, such as those from Notaires de France, to know the market status and the median price of an old house by area.

Inquire with online or local real estate agencies to obtain price ranges, the state of the supply, and many other useful information.

Check the overall condition of the house

Whether recently renovated or in its original state, all houses can hide unpleasant details that are better to spot in time. This is especially true as a first visit is often conducted in a spirit of discovery guided by emotions, where one should keep a rational mind to inspect the premises more thoroughly. If a house catches your eye, do not hesitate to schedule a revisit to scrutinize the place closely for any hidden defects. Be sure to check:

  • The general state and maintenance, as a well-cared-for house is reassuring, while the opposite should prompt further investigation;
  • The condition of the roof, frame, attic, walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as exterior facades for possible cracks, moisture traces, mold, and other waterproofing issues;
  • The carpentry, doors, and windows;
  • The electrical installation, boiler, heating, air conditioning, ventilation systems, and plumbing;
  • Also, the exteriors and outbuildings (sheds, garage...).

Explore the environment and exteriors of the house

It’s often overlooked when there's a coup de coeur, but choosing a house means choosing to live in a specific location, which can have advantages and disadvantages. Beyond appreciating the house's exteriors, exposure, possible easements, or noise nuisances due to the proximity of schools, roads, or railways, think about taking a “tour of the property,” including outside of visits, and find out about the neighborhood, its safety, the community, the proximity of shops, transport, and other essential services for you.

Take an interest in the new DPE

Mandatory and at the seller’s expense, the DPE (energy performance diagnosis) has become a priority criterion in deciding to buy a property. Visitors understand this well, as according to a Seloger study, 90% now consider a “good” DPE a key factor in their purchase project, while 40% see a poor rating as a bargaining chip for the property price.

Indeed, many properties have fallen under the “thermal sieve” category (rated F or G) since the DPE overhaul in July 2021, indicating not only excessive energy consumption and inflated bills but also recommended, though not mandatory, work to upgrade the property’s DPE rating (A or B) and optimize its market value over time.

    Utilize data from the energy audit

    For owners of thermal sieves selling their property, they are required since April 1st to present a regulatory energy audit during visits. Complementary to the DPE, this more detailed energy assessment of a house provides valuable information to the future buyer regarding energy consumption and, most importantly, recommendations for work, with several proposed scenarios and associated financial estimates. This allows the prospective buyer to make an informed decision and incorporate this data into their overall financing plan.

    Analyze other mandatory property diagnostics

    Besides the DPE and energy audit for properties rated F and G, the seller must also provide a DDT (technical diagnostic file), at their expense, including all mandatory documents for buying a house, such as :

    • Asbestos, lead (Crep), and termite diagnostics;
    • Gas and electricity diagnostics if the installations are over 15 years old;
    • Non-collective sanitation diagnostic;
    • Information on dry rot;
    • The housing information booklet (CIL).

    Other diagnostics may be mandatory depending on the geographical area of the property and associated risks (natural, termites, noise, pollution, soil...). For more information, visit

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