More than half of Belgians renovate their homes shortly after the purchase. This is evident from a 2018 study by Incidence, in the context of Batibouw. In most cases it is the owners, namely 65%, who have the renovations carried out. Renters also carry out renovations, but less so. But from when exactly can you start the renovations?
Start renovating after buying a house
The general rule
In the case of a purchase, a sales agreement is generally first signed between the buyer and the seller. A maximum of four months later, the notarial deed will be executed by a notary. Only from that moment the buyer is the new owner of the property. Before then, the new buyer is not yet able to live in the house, and therefore cannot have any works carried out. The full sum for the house will therefore only be paid with the notarial deed, with the exception of any advance payment.
Mutual (deviating) agreements - Key agreement
Of course you can also make other arrangements with the seller. It is important that you put everything on paper. Suppose it is agreed verbally that work may already be done, but in the end the sale cannot go ahead due to circumstances, the seller may claim compensation for the minus value that was caused to his property.
What is often drawn up here is a "key agreement". This contains all the conditions that were agreed upon when the keys were handed over, even if this takes place before the notarial deed. This includes if, for example, a fee (or rent) is paid to the seller, if work may already be carried out, what would happen if the final sale did not take place, and so on. Very often it also includes a description of the location, so that it is clear in what condition the property was at the time of handover.
Because such a document must also meet certain conditions, and the legal terms must also be used, this document is usually drawn up by the notary. A lawyer may also be a possibility.
Have the notarial deed executed as quickly as possible
What is often said (and thought) is that the notarial deed can only be executed four months after the signing of the compromise. This is not entirely correct. The maximum term is indeed four months, but this can perfectly be done after one or two months. A condition for this, however, is that you complete the loan in time, and that the notary also has all the necessary certificates available in time to have the deed executed. If these matters are in order within two months, nothing will stop you from having the notarial deed executed sooner. After that, the works can start without any problems.
Start renovating your current home
The preparation and estimation of the renovation works
Everything starts with a good preparation. It is certainly advisable to map everything out before the works. It is important to determine exactly what needs to be done, what the cost price of these works would be, and what the approximate duration of the works would be. Count on plenty of space on every level to avoid unpleasant surprises. Ideally, you should also discuss this with the professionals you will be working with. They often know much better how to estimate the timing.
The right time to start the renovations
Depending on the duration of the works, and the possible financial budgets, you can then determine what the perfect moments are to start the renovations. Although renovations with good weather may be most favourable, the weather conditions are not nearly as decisive as they used to be. Certainly in Belgium, where the weather is extremely unpredictable, renovations can be carried out perfectly all year round. So we think it's more important to consider when it's financially and practically feasible, and when you want to complete the works. The weather conditions can play a role in the (re)construction process, but that impact will be limited.