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Buying real estate : 10 reasons to opt for the resale property !

Posted by Michel on May 19, 2022

If you are planning to buy a property, you may have wondered about buying new. There are a number of advantages to building or buying off-plan as part of an existing scheme, including a reduction in notary fees and, of course, the assurance that no one has occupied (and damaged) the property before you arrive. 

The calculation is not so obvious, however, and resale properties have many advantages that can enrich your thinking and ultimately guide your choice differently. Let’s explore 10 reasons why buying a resale property seems the best option. 

#1 Reduce the acquisition budget

It is a proven fact: the purchase budget of a resale property will always be lower than that of an equivalent purchase in the new. A buyer who is (inevitably) careful about the cost of his investment, if not absolutely convinced of the advantages of new build, will therefore prefer to turn to a resale property, the price of which will be 20 to 30% lower and will more than cover the difference in notary fees.

Another advantage of a resale property is that it may need to be refreshed, fitted out or even partially or completely renovated. These are all arguments that can be used to negotiate the price further and arrive at a very low purchase price. This can result in a nice capital gain on resale if the cost of the work added to that of the purchase is less than the final market value of the property. 

It is also an opportunity for the landlord to reduce his initial investment and thus optimise the profitability of his project from the outset. 

#2 Benefit from much greater choice 

The market for resale property offers the possibility of finding properties of all kinds, from all eras and with a thousand characteristics. In contrast, new developments are (relatively) rare and have similar characteristics, corresponding to contemporary building standards and tastes that are supposed to suit the majority of people, which may not be yours. 

Many buyers prefer the charm of the resale to the coldness of the new, and so much the better because they are then free to carry out a thorough search allowing them, why not, to access a property almost designed for them among the thousands on sale at any given time in each sector. Provided, of course, that their budget allows for such a purchase, but if it is limited, an acquisition in the new property would in any case be out of the question.

#3 Multiplying geographical possibilities 

The new developments are mostly located on the outskirts of towns, in fallow areas to be rehabilitated or directly on agricultural or previously natural areas. While this leaves plenty of room for the housing estates sought after by certain families, a buyer wishing to live as close to urban life as possible will not necessarily find what he is looking for. In the same way, a new residence in the heart of the city may be appreciated but will not necessarily be located in the desired area. This is the problem with new build: programmes are rare and therefore offer few geographical possibilities. 

Resale properties are, by their very nature, scattered throughout the country and in every residential area, from the capital to the hamlet. Each of them will be put up for sale regularly and will give a buyer the chance to invest in the desired neighbourhood or street with, at worst, a little patience. 

#4 Buy concrete

Buying off-plan can be unreassuring. While the technical rendering of the building site is guaranteed and all the elements described on the plans must be present and correctly completed or installed, other elements of appreciation of the property, which are equally essential for a future owner, cannot be foreseen in advance. 

This is true of the general feeling within the dwelling, both visually and in terms of temperature and luminosity, which may differ from what was imagined. For an owner-occupier, joy can then give way to regret and make the purchase of a new home a step not to be repeated. 

The former makes it possible to appreciate all the characteristics of the property and to choose a place where one feels good, which is sometimes based on totally subjective criteria. 

#5 Reduce your ecological footprint

Building new homes pollutes: this is an obvious fact that is increasingly difficult to accept for households concerned about reducing their impact on the environment and, in particular, about not participating in the increasing concretisation of our land. 

Even if it is necessary to renovate, an resale property will never consume as many materials as a new building and its ecological footprint will be much smaller. However, be sure to improve insulation if necessary to avoid over-consumption of heating, which is harmful to the environment and to energy bills. 

#6 Move in faster

For a purchase in a resale property, the notaries allow a maximum of 3 months for payment of the property and therefore for the handover of the keys by the former owner. In the case of a new build, there is uncertainty about the date of handover, which can be counted in months or even years: on average, 12 months of work are required to deliver a VEFA, a period which can be extended for various reasons.

The building permit may be delivered late, the intervention of companies may depend on the weather or the correct delivery of materials, etc. In short, delays in construction are frequent and, while they may give rise to compensation, the future owner’s patience may also be sorely tested.

In the case of resale properties, the calculation is therefore more precise and the timeframe is necessarily shorter. A buyer who is in a hurry or who does not have an obvious place to go during the construction period will certainly opt for an existing property. 

#7 Make it easier to transform housing 

A new building will rarely be transformed by its first occupant, even if he or she did not dictate the plans (houses on housing estates, condominiums). However, the choice criteria will surely have been based on a price, a location or the general aesthetics of the property. 

The interior layout, the size of the rooms, the kitchen provided may be secondary considerations on the plans, but they will become important once the property is occupied. Allocating an additional budget to refurbish the property is often not appropriate and even seems illogical. 

A resale house, on the other hand, will be more easily renovated, leaving the door open to all kinds of modifications to ensure that the property meets all the particular expectations of its new owner.  

#8 Tenfold styling possibilities

As mentioned, new properties all look the same, or almost the same: smooth white walls, grey, black or white tiled floors, similarly designed spaces… While this may appeal to some, others will want to mix materials, to take advantage of the infinite possibilities offered by nooks and crannies, mouldings and fireplaces, and resale parquet floors to be renovated – or not! In short, many buyers will prefer to create an interior that reflects their own personality, and for this, new homes leave little room for imagination. 

The trend can be to mix styles. A brick wall, mouldings or exposed beams on the ceiling, for example, will blend perfectly with a kitchen with lacquered fronts or a state-of-the-art wood-burning stove. 

Making the atmosphere cosy and welcoming is a must if you want to feel at home! However, it is still possible to simulate the resale look without changing the structure of the new property: a wall embellished with facing bricks or a floor covered with herringbone parquet can give a certain charm. 

#9 Receiving renovation grants

As far as financing is concerned, and in addition to the lower purchase price, buying in the resale building with a view to renovating also offers the possibility of reducing the bill even further thanks to subsidies and financial aid.  

First, let us clarify which grants are available in 2022, most of them subject to conditions: 

  • The Ma Prime Rénov’ scheme, granting financial aid to reduce the cost of renovation. The home must have been completed more than 15 years ago and the craftsman involved must be a recognised environmental guarantor (RGE).
  • The Energy Savings Certificates (CEE), thanks to which the energy supply companies allocate premiums to households carrying out work to improve the energy performance of the home. The procedure is to be carried out on the website of the energy supplier whose offer is selected by the owner, even before signing an estimate with a craftsman who must also have the RGE label. 
  • Other financial assistance may be available from local authorities, contact your local council to find out what is available in your area.

On the other hand, some schemes facilitate the financing of renovation works: 

  • The zero-interest eco-loan, for a maximum amount of between €7,000 and €50,000 depending on the type of work carried out, to be taken out with a bank that offers it and with a view to renovating a dwelling that is more than 2 years resale.
  • The reduced-rate work loan, granted by Action Logement for a maximum of €10,000 at a preferential rate of 1%. 
  • The renovation advance loan, available since the beginning of 2022 from Crédit Mutuel and Banque Postale, which allows owners deemed insolvent to defer repayment until the date of resale of the property.
  • Reduced VAT, directly applied by the craftsmen on their invoices. 

#10 Realising a potentially significant capital gain

Finally, and thanks to all the savings made when purchasing a resale property that we have listed, the realisation of a sometimes significant capital gain can be envisaged. Even if purchased at the right price and if it is in perfect condition, an old property can benefit from a relatively rapid increase in value in view of property inflation. A new property, on the other hand, which was initially purchased for 20 to 30% more, will have to wait for an equal amount of inflation before it can be resold at its purchase price. 

On the resale market, a property that has benefited from a quality renovation may also be resold at the high end of its valuation, insofar as the work and improvements carried out make it an exceptional property or at least, are likely to trigger a love affair. 

If we have convinced you, all that remains is for you to look for the property that will win you over, but of course you must add your own touch!

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