Finding a house can be extremely difficult in Myanmar, so many potential homeowners are opting to buy a condo or an apartment unit instead. Perhaps even more difficult than buying a quality house, there can also be many challenges with buying a good apartment. Ensure that you get your own real estate agent—someone who will represent you during real estate showings.
The agent for the seller will have the seller’s best interests in mind, and may just cover up some of the issues involved with the apartment. Never purchase property without viewing it first.
The two main concerns with apartment buildings are going to be with aging of the structure, and whether the building has good sound insulation.
The age of the building will play a large factor in its current level of upkeep and maintenance. If the building is more than 10 years old, things will naturally break and need replacing. If the agent discloses this to you, you can make an informed decision. But if they don’t, and the roof needs replacing a year from now, all the owners of the condominium may need to pay for it.
Most likely what you’re going to see in your potential purchase is going to be cosmetic changes. Yes, you can spray for pests, paint the walls, and buy new appliances. But what are you going to do if the structure itself isn’t safe? Can it hold up to a flood or an earthquake? Does the electrical and plumbing fully work, or will it need to be torn out (an extreme but necessary part of aging buildings) and if so, when does it need to be done?
It’s important to hire an impartial building inspector to do a thorough inspection on the property you are wanting to purchase. They can find issues that you can’t see with the eye. This is information that will guide you through your purchase.
Some potential homeowners are willing to purchase a new home knowing that there could be substantial renovations required, but the asking price should reflect this. Other homeowners may not be willing to do anything, and may ask that any repairs should be done before the contract is signed.
As for sound insulation, you should visit the building during both daytime and evening hours. Often a building gets considerably noisier at the end of the day. Are you willing to add more insulation into walls and floors if it bothers you? What’s the traffic like outside? Is there a school nearby that can cause excessive noise during the day if you’re at home?
You should also view the rest of the building. Find out how much common property is owned by the building. You’ll also want to know how much maintenance fees cost, and how much increases have been over the past decade.
Don’t be rushed into placing an offer on your apartment or condominium. It can be tempting to find one at a reasonable price in Myanmar, but ensure that the structure is reasonably sound, and that it’s well-maintained before placing your offer.
Freelance Writer : Mel Dawn