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Old 11.02.2008, 12:19
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Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

Hi all,

My wife and I are considering buying a new house, i.e. a new construction.
To be on top of the situation, we were wondering if anyone knows of a good guide explaining the do's and don't's for the entire buying and construction process here In Switzerland (Lausanne), as well as our rights and obligations.
For example, we would like to obtain a quote on how much certain alterations of the current plan would cost (e.g. bigger bathroom etc.), but the realtor only wants to discuss that after we make an official reservation, thus raising a first issue .

Thanks very much!
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Old 11.02.2008, 12:42
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

KTipp publishes an guide to buying/building/renovating a house, 'Die Eigenen vier Wände'.

http://www.ktipp.ch/shop/buch_shop/1...en_vier_Waende

I see that a new edition is due out end of February...

One thing I learned from buying our house (learned the hard way, that is) - if a realtor /contractor /builder /seller /financier /official won't answer your questions upfront, perhaps you should reconsider. Not a good way to start an important relationship.

Good luck with your house...
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Old 11.02.2008, 12:46
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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One thing I learned from buying our house (learned the hard way, that is) - if a realtor /contractor /builder /seller /financier /official won't answer your questions upfront, perhaps you should reconsider. Not a good way to start an important relationship.
That's the best advice you could take. If anything is not going exactly how you want from the start think how it will be when there are problems.

You need complete transparency in your dealings with everybody and agreements need to be written in detail, to the letter.
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Old 11.02.2008, 12:47
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

Be very careful in buying a house. Suggest that you get engage a lawyer who handles this kind of business.The minimal cost associated with doing this will save you a lot of aggro in the long run. Also be aware if you ask for changes that will entail an architect you can probably end up with a huge bill. A friend of mine was PLANNING on buying a house and he asked the architect for an idea as to what would be required to make certain changes . He is now in court because he received a bill for 40K from this architect. I myself had a lot of problems when my house was built as I did not engage a lawyer from the beginning. It took me TEN years to clear up the problems. I was adamant about not paying all the monies until work was completed to my satisfaction. In the end I won and gave the builder a royal screwing. Make sure that if you do follow this route the house is built schussel fertig.
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Old 11.02.2008, 12:49
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

This old thread might also be useful:
House Building Book or Publication ?

Best of luck, and update us on what you learn.
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Old 11.02.2008, 12:55
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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This old thread might also be useful:
House Building Book or Publication ?

Best of luck, and update us on what you learn.
to build upon that (), search the forum for "build house" and you might find some information.

typically, you will be able to change anything inside but nothing really outside. Of course if there are structural walls in the house, they will not be removed but it might be possible to move them slightly.
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Old 11.02.2008, 13:37
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

To strike a more optimistic note we built a house here ten years ago - without a lawyer and without problems. It was just a bit slow. And we are about to do the whole thing again with another house.

I think it is understandable that the builders/developers/architects don't want to run to the trouble and expense of costing out alterations for people that they do not know are serious or not. Bare in mind it's a sellers' market for houses in most areas.

While you will have budget for floor coverings, kitchen, bathrooms etc, you will find the ones you really want are over the budget. You should reckon on spending at least 10% over the total price on making the house the way you want it...
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Old 11.02.2008, 13:51
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

We're in the process of buying an apartment (Attikawohnung) in a new development. Once we had agreed to go ahead (and paid a reservation fee of 20K plus a deposit of the remainder up to 20% of the property value) we are now in the process of choosing the interior "details", i.e. kitchen, bathroom, flooring etc. The property was designed with a specific budget for all these items (e.g. 5K for the fireplace, 80.00/m2 for the floor coverings etc.) and any changes we want over and above these basic prices has to be quoted separately and agreed and signed by us. The basic standard is pretty high already, but we're still about 13K over the basic price at the moment. Kitchens and bathrooms are ruinously expensive!! We're doing this without a lawyer, but we are in very close contact with the architect over every step.
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Old 11.02.2008, 14:06
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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We're in the process of buying an apartment (Attikawohnung) in a new development. Once we had agreed to go ahead (and paid a reservation fee of 20K plus a deposit of the remainder up to 20% of the property value) we are now in the process of choosing the interior "details", i.e. kitchen, bathroom, flooring etc. The property was designed with a specific budget for all these items (e.g. 5K for the fireplace, 80.00/m2 for the floor coverings etc.) and any changes we want over and above these basic prices has to be quoted separately and agreed and signed by us. The basic standard is pretty high already, but we're still about 13K over the basic price at the moment. Kitchens and bathrooms are ruinously expensive!! We're doing this without a lawyer, but we are in very close contact with the architect over every step.
As I understand when buying in a new development you have a budget at a certain supplier only when fitting bathroom/kitchen? (probably Troesch)
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Old 11.02.2008, 14:39
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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As I understand when buying in a new development you have a budget at a certain supplier only when fitting bathroom/kitchen? (probably Troesch)
This is usually true and you will lose 10% of the budget to change from that supplier (typically).

Extra costs - factor in 7-10% of the cost of the house build. You will get sucked in and you will become an expert in Excel worksheets
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Old 11.02.2008, 15:01
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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This is usually true and you will lose 10% of the budget to change from that supplier (typically).

Extra costs - factor in 7-10% of the cost of the house build. You will get sucked in and you will become an expert in Excel worksheets
For bathroom's I'd recommend http://www.royalking.ch/, it's worth loosing 10% for.

We factored in a lot more than 10% (and spent a lot more) but we were renovating so there is a lot more potential for surprises.

As well as the 10% think of some price cutting options that can come in late in the project if you are desperate (e.g. cheap flooring). Also consider what will you do if you actually run out of cash.
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Old 11.02.2008, 15:39
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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As I understand when buying in a new development you have a budget at a certain supplier only when fitting bathroom/kitchen? (probably Troesch)
Yes, that's right, although in our case this also applies to flooring, fireplace and electrician (for the wiring).
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Old 11.02.2008, 15:45
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

Many good ideas posted here. I heard you have to add 5% to the asking price, 10% might become difficult for us, so we will have to be careful.
Thanks again and I'll keep you posted!
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Old 05.08.2008, 19:36
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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Hi all,

My wife and I are considering buying a new house, i.e. a new construction.
To be on top of the situation, we were wondering if anyone knows of a good guide explaining the do's and don't's for the entire buying and construction process here In Switzerland (Lausanne), as well as our rights and obligations.
For example, we would like to obtain a quote on how much certain alterations of the current plan would cost (e.g. bigger bathroom etc.), but the realtor only wants to discuss that after we make an official reservation, thus raising a first issue .

Thanks very much!
I am opening this thread again as recently my husband and I have stepped into the same shoes of the OP. Would anyone (including Deplanck of course ) care to share some other experiences?

In specific to the OP - did you end up purchasing the property referred to in this post and what was your experience in dealing with the realtor and getting the information you needed?

Many thanks!
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Old 05.08.2008, 20:15
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

We bought ours with the help of a relocation agent. She was very helpful, negotiated us a free dryer because we were bringing our own washing machine and sorted out everything, as we had no german at all. Had significant alterations done to the original plans without a hitch. One of the key deciders in picking this new build was that the budget for kitchen etc was higher than usual and although we spent a good bit over selecting really nice stuff the basic was perfectly adequate and nice. If i was to do it again I'd save more on getting cheaper tiles throughout. We have a mix and you can't tell which is dearer, we just got suckered into it the first time. On the other hand I'm really pleased we spent extra getting wooden doors etc in the kitchen and larger wood pieces than the standard tiny wood for the upstairs floors - they both really look good. happy to share more if need be, just pm me.
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Old 06.08.2008, 05:29
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

After renting for 8yrs we decided to buy a house in Gipf-Oberfrick, Aargau (in mid 2006). We couldn't find what we were looking for so we went to an estate agent and chose a new build which advertised the plot of land and an artists impression of the detached house with architectural drawings. The building company had built some similar houses in the area so whilst we were cautious....we also felt some comfort. They nominated an english speaking project manager to liaise with us throughout the build process. For every design change we were presented with a quote and the changes reflected in the architecture drawings.

The house took 9 months to build and we moved in in May 2007 with no delays and no problems....apart from really minor post build snags which were rectified a day or 2 after being reported. Whilst I have heard many nightmare stories from friends, colleagues....I have to say that our experience was pleasurable.

I agree with earlier comments regarding bathroom, kitchen tiling budgets and we did spend more than planned, on the other hand I had expected some budget overrun but this was also due to additional design changes eg, balcony, office, walk-in wardrobe, small hallway. The fittings and design extras added 10% to the cost of the house (exc. land price).

In the meantime, the house is now for sale, after 10yrs in Switzerland we have decided to move back to the UK....we are excited and happy to move back but sad that we will be leaving our beautiful new home.
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Old 06.08.2008, 08:05
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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After renting for 8yrs we decided to buy a house in Gipf-Oberfrick, Aargau (in mid 2006). We couldn't find what we were looking for so we went to an estate agent and chose a new build which advertised the plot of land and an artists impression of the detached house with architectural drawings. The building company had built some similar houses in the area so whilst we were cautious....we also felt some comfort. They nominated an english speaking project manager to liaise with us throughout the build process. For every design change we were presented with a quote and the changes reflected in the architecture drawings.

The house took 9 months to build and we moved in in May 2007 with no delays and no problems....apart from really minor post build snags which were rectified a day or 2 after being reported. Whilst I have heard many nightmare stories from friends, colleagues....I have to say that our experience was pleasurable.

I agree with earlier comments regarding bathroom, kitchen tiling budgets and we did spend more than planned, on the other hand I had expected some budget overrun but this was also due to additional design changes eg, balcony, office, walk-in wardrobe, small hallway. The fittings and design extras added 10% to the cost of the house (exc. land price).

In the meantime, the house is now for sale, after 10yrs in Switzerland we have decided to move back to the UK....we are excited and happy to move back but sad that we will be leaving our beautiful new home.
Not everyone has the patience to build a new home and make all the decisions that it involves. Some people appreciate that someone had the patience to do all the planning and make the choices and are happy to buy a resale with a lot of the extras already there, especially if it is quite a new house. Good luck with selling your home. One thing to keep in mind...in my experience, the first offer is almost always the best.
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Old 06.08.2008, 08:40
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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Not everyone has the patience to build a new home and make all the decisions that it involves. Some people appreciate that someone had the patience to do all the planning and make the choices and are happy to buy a resale with a lot of the extras already there, especially if it is quite a new house. Good luck with selling your home. One thing to keep in mind...in my experience, the first offer is almost always the best.
Yes it does take time and of course when you have made the decisions, you have no one else to blame when the end result isn't as expected.

However, the availability of 'a resale' in the areas we wanted (commuting to Zurich) was zero. This is perhaps reflected in the fact that we sold our first house in 3 days using Homegate at a cost of CHF135. The phone started ringing within 15 minutes of the ad appearing there...
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Old 30.08.2008, 21:50
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

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We're in the process of buying an apartment (Attikawohnung) in a new development. Once we had agreed to go ahead (and paid a reservation fee of 20K plus a deposit of the remainder up to 20% of the property value) we are now in the process of choosing the interior "details", i.e. kitchen, bathroom, flooring etc. The property was designed with a specific budget for all these items (e.g. 5K for the fireplace, 80.00/m2 for the floor coverings etc.) and any changes we want over and above these basic prices has to be quoted separately and agreed and signed by us. The basic standard is pretty high already, but we're still about 13K over the basic price at the moment. Kitchens and bathrooms are ruinously expensive!! We're doing this without a lawyer, but we are in very close contact with the architect over every step.
I'm having a similar experience over www.edendrei.ch - bathroom/ kitchen etc. pre-chosen to high quality, but I get choice of colours, worktops etc., and can upgrade certain items etc. I'm finding it fun...
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Old 30.08.2008, 21:51
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Re: Guide for buying a new home (new construction)

And as I currently rent round the corner(ish), I can check on progress daily
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