Rehabilitation of old buildings has been increasing at the expense of building from scratch or buying a new building.

If you intend to rehabilitate, you should take into account the importance of a diagnostic study on the conservation and safety conditions of the building in order to verify the main characteristics and existing pathologies, allowing a more detailed knowledge of the building, allowing to identification of the necessary actions for the future project of rehabilitation.

If you are thinking of acquiring a property to rehabilitate it, find out in this article what you need to know before moving forward.


Tips for buying an old building to rehabilitate:

As a rule, old buildings to be rehabilitated for sale on the market require major interventions. Therefore, it is important that you know the state of degradation of the property to be
acquired, as this is one of the main influencers of costs.

Before buying a building to rehabilitate, pay attention to the following points:

  • Budget available for works;
  • State of degradation of the property (will influence the value of budgets for rehabilitation);
  • Time to carry out the entire project, that is, from purchase to completion of interventions.


How to make a first assessment of the works to be carried out

As mentioned, it is essential to carry out an initial analysis of the property. In this way, a survey of the current state is carried out. Therefore, the presence of an architect is fundamental.

Contrary to what you might think, hiring an architect is the best thing you can do when it comes to renovating a building.
Because? Because it will help you to invest intelligently, valuing the property. As a result, the cost of the work is lower than its final valuation.

In addition to analyzing the constructive characteristics of the property and identifying which elements to conserve, this professional will define the project. Thus, the new proposal will be adapted to current needs in terms of comfort and functionality.


Aspects to consider during the inspection of the building to be rehabilitated

Before buying, you should visit the property to be rehabilitated with the assistance of an architect. Thus, it is able to analyze the main pathologies or other aspects that prove necessary for carrying out the future intervention.

In the first place, it is interesting to mention that the main cause of anomalies in old buildings is natural and has to do with the inevitable aging of the materials themselves. To understand the extent of this problem, just think that a residential building, for example, is designed and built for an average expected life of 50 years.

In this sense, when visiting the building to be rehabilitated, check that:

  • Anomalies in resistant walls;
  • Anomalies in pavements;
  • Roofing anomalies;
  • Anomalies on stairs;
  • Anomalies in partition walls;
  • Anomalies in window frames;
  • Anomalies in water, electricity and gas network installations;
  • Iron anomalies;

If you detect any of these situations, it is likely that the cost of the works will be higher than expected. In that case, you can try to maximize the reduction in the purchase price of the property, assuming that you will spend a greater amount to resolve these issues.


Obligations of anyone who wants to rehabilitate an old building

There is an obligation in case the owner wants to carry out any type of work on a building that shows “evident signs of degradation”.
Which one? The preparation of a seismic vulnerability assessment report, according to Ordinance No. 302/2019, of September 12th.

In addition, the report must contain all the works that involve changing the structure of the building or in case the intervened area exceeds 25% of the gross construction area.

If the seismic vulnerability report concludes that the building does not comply with the safety requirements in 90% of what is required, then it becomes mandatory to prepare a seismic reinforcement project.


Are there supports to rehabilitate buildings?

Yup. Currently, there is support for the rehabilitation of old buildings, as is the case with IFRRU 2020. However, there are other advantages in tax terms, such as exemptions from the IMT on the acquisition of properties for rehabilitation interventions or on the first onerous transfer following rehabilitation.

Looking for help restoring a home? Get in touch!