How do I inspect old house before buying?

I’ve found an offer to buy a flat in the area I’m looking at, but with a catch. It’s two flats or nothing. The price for the two is 1.8 mil, but I can afford it and would sell one of them immediately, but … somewhat the risk of spending half the price for the part you want seems reasonable, whilst spending twice as much for an additional garbage exaggerates the risks. I’m hesitating, how would you check if the building is really worth purring any money into it? I’ve been observing the area since 2 years, in the building in question 3 apartments were sold last year. I don’t know, but maybe people are fleeing the sinking ship (large renovation costs ahead etc)

Any pointers for expert surveay service?

Well, in that case, I’d definitely talk to the 3 new owners who bought last year AND talk to my bank. I imagine that finding the 3 who sold might be tricker, but if possible, probably the best source of info.

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Finding them is rater out of question.

If so, I’d avoid. Better stay safe and find another property than be the bagholder.

In the process of buying an apartment in a very old building in France, we asked for and got the last 3 years’ Annual Meetings of the cooperative. That revealed no huge items–in fact, they debated things like a ride-on mower. Is that possible in CH?


Yes. Sellers will usually make available a dossier which should include this and other info. The bank will also want to see this, I expect. You could also bring an expert to assess the property or at least review the dossier.

OP, when you say you can resell the second apt immediately, do you have a buyer lined up?

And finally, if it doesn’t feel right stay away. Or drive a hard bargain.

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Yes, we did just this. Got four years’ worth of the annual meetings minutes, which only revealed issues the selling agent already made us aware of.

There was a property for sale in Wallisellen, if I recall correctly, some years ago, just like that. A 4,5 room apt plus a 2,5 room apt sold together. Very good for someone who wants to use one of them as office and/or would like their kids to still live with them for a while when they grow up.
There are people who actually like this sort of combination, but if the building is old and has many/some issues, better stay out of this deal.

In Vaud notary fees and tax would be irrecoverably lost - they would be levied for the whole amount and then again for the resold apartment.

One thing I have found very useful is if you ask for the minutes of the owners council “Stockwerkeigentum” meetings. This will often tell you all you need to know!

How old is it?

What renovations (if any) happened over the years?

I’ve got the list of renovations made over the years. The building wasn’t neglected, sure, but that doesn’t exclude a possibility of an expensive investment to be made or of knocking down the building in the future due to some structural issues, etc. Definitely renting is risk free compared to that.