Pensioners regret buying Mross-Villa – what you should pay attention to when buying a house

Protection against mold, asbestos and monuments

Pensioners regret buying Mross-Villa – what you should pay attention to when buying a house

Wednesday May 29, 2024 | 11:08 a.m.

A retired couple bought a property near Passau (Bavaria) from “Always on Sunday” presenter Stefan Mross. The new owners are making serious accusations against the pop star because after moving in, the dream property turned out to be a nightmare.

Anyone looking to buy a property is faced with many decisions. Some are lighter, others heavier. One of the hardest things is deciding whether it should be a new build or a pre-owned property. New buildings and existing properties have certain advantages and disadvantages.

It is not possible to say generally whether a new or used property is better.

These are the advantages of a second-hand good

The main advantage of purchasing an existing property over a new building is that the potential new home can be viewed in its entirety at any time. While when it comes to new construction, only plans or comparable properties can give an idea of ​​the future home, the existing property is practical… you can touch it.

What you should pay attention to when buying a house

However, a seemingly good offer can quickly turn out to be a scam.


Protection of monuments

You should be careful if the property is listed. A listed property can certainly be an advantage as an investment, but the owner is often obliged to carry out costly maintenance. Some conversions are not possible due to monument protection. It is best to call the Landmark Protection Office to find out more before purchasing.


Renovations can also make the purchase more expensive, especially if legal regulations restrict the freedom to carry out renovation work, such as replacing the heating system, or if the property needs to be redesigned to be barrier-free.


If damp or mold appears in a house, it is clearly a construction defect. Mold can be harmful to your health and humidity can damage the home, especially the walls. If nothing is done to address the cause of the moisture damage, the building structure will be lost.


Until the 1990s, asbestos was one of the most popular building materials in Germany. Due to its excellent properties such as heat resistance, durability and resistance to chemical influences, it has been used in many areas of house construction. It was only later that the enormous health risk posed by asbestos fibers was recognized. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can cause serious lung diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Due to these risks, strict regulations apply in Germany for handling asbestos. To ensure safe disposal, materials containing asbestos must be removed by certified specialist companies. This is not only technically demanding, but also expensive. Depending on the scale and difficulty of the work, the cost of asbestos removal can amount to several thousand euros.

How to identify construction defects in old buildings?

Before signing the contract, it is therefore advisable to examine the property closely. Basically, the “bought as seen” principle applies. Therefore, when dealing with second-hand properties, it is very important to carefully inspect the property and identify problems that could reduce the value of the property or even lead to its total loss.

“It’s amazing how naive so many people are when it comes to buying property. Even though many buyers are laymen, they are confident enough to carry out a complex real estate valuation,” emphasize consumer advocates interviewed by FOCUS online. However, experience shows that many visits are carried out in a very superficial manner. It is also not properly assessed whether the building structure or building amenities are worth the asking price, nor are major issues and future subsequent costs identified or even discussed.

The condition of the roof is more important than a beautiful bathroom

It is not possible to know at first glance whether a property is in “good condition”. Even if a house appears well maintained, it may still have serious construction defects. An expert, such as an architect or certified appraiser, can accompany the potential buyer during the property inspection. He checks the property before purchasing and must determine whether major renovation and modernization work will be necessary in the coming years.

When viewing a property, laypeople usually pay attention to the furnishings and design of the floors and walls. However, the beautiful tiles in the bathroom or the expensive fitted kitchen are less important. Items that become expensive during a renovation have a much greater impact on the value of a property. This concerns, for example, the roof, the heating system, the windows or the pipes. If these are in good condition and meet current requirements – particularly in terms of energy – this has a positive effect on the value of the house. If questions arise regarding damp areas, musty odors or visible cracks, these should be carefully clarified.

An assessment can be useful for security purposes

If you want to further protect yourself as a buyer of a second-hand property, you can commission an appraiser to prepare a valuation report for the property you are considering. This can be particularly useful for properties over 30 years old. In the 1960s and 1970s, for example, many architectural sins were committed that are not apparent at first glance. The report clearly indicates what defects the building or property may have. The condition of the house or apartment is also documented.

This allows the buyer to better plan any renovation, redevelopment or modernization work. However, an assessment is not free. Typically, this is a four-figure investment, which is a manageable size compared to the typically six-figure value of the property being purchased.

View the property multiple times

Not all important details of the surroundings are visible during the first viewing appointment. The noise from construction work in a new development area can be very different on weekdays and weekends. Odors from industry or agriculture may depend on wind direction, and takeoffs and landings at a nearby airport may depend on the time of day. This is why you absolutely must plan several visits before making the final purchasing decision.

You should check these documents before purchasing the house

An important source of information is the extract from the land register. There is a separate cadastral sheet for each property. The entries are divided into three sections:

  • The first section provides information about the owner of the property.
  • The second section provides information about the rights and encumbrances associated with the property. These may also be usage rights.
  • The third section contains mortgages. In practice, these are essentially mortgages. Banks register these rights as security for financing.

The construction file also offers interesting information for the buyer of a property.

  • You can find them in the building file Building permit A Description of the site THE History and the Furnishing of an object. It contains approved construction drawings, sections, area and mass calculations.

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