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A Property Buyer's Checklist

A checklist for people buying or building property

Buying or leasing land or building can be vey expensive and may be very risky. It is important to take care. Here is a checklist of things you can do to protect yourself from mistakes or malpractice in the process.

See also:

How to Protect Youself When Buying Land or Property

If you are buying property or land do you:

  • Insist on seeing the original of the land certificate and understanding whose name it is in before you handover money?
  • Insist on using your own lawyer and not the same one as the developer?
  • Check the documents that link you to the land certificate?
  • Make sure the land actually matches the land certificate?
  • Make sure you have full legal access to the land?
  • Insist on seeing the original of the building permit before you hand any money over?
  • Insist on seeing the drawings that support the IMB and make sure there are structural design drawings (not just the architectural drawings) that indicate the foundation design and the reinforced concrete columns and beam designs for the building?
  • Read and fully understand every single clause in the building contract?
  • Insist there must be a full set of drawings attached as part of the contract?
  • Insist there must be a very detailed specification list attached to the contract stating exactly what you will get and how much it will cost?
  • Insist on standard guarantee periods of 5 years for structure, 3 years for roof and one year for everything else?
  • Make sure that the contract has protection clauses for yourself as well as for that nice developer chap?
  • Demand a schedule of payments that makes sure that you will not have paid 90% of the money when the building reaches only 60% complete?
  • Insist that contract provides a retention of at least 10% of the total price to be withheld until all agreed rectifications are completed?
  • Insist that deposits are fully returnable should the developer default?
  • Refuse to pay any money until you are positive that all conditions have been agreed and your position is safe?
  • Refuse to hand over the last payment (before the retention) until you have received the original of the building tax receipt to prove it has been paid?
  • Insist the building is fully inspected by qualified people and rectifications are agreed by the developer in front of witnesses before you make the final payment?
  • Make sure that the developer or builder cancels his insurance on your building or else, if the building burns down, he will get the payout?

It is also a good idea to not take a real estate agent's word for things, check out the value of land and the cost of building in an area before you accept the sale price.

See also:

Copyright © Phil Wilson May 2010
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