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Old 03.09.2019, 15:03
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Questions to ask if buying a chalet to renovate

First rule of home renovation:

Take the estimate and double it. And then put even more aside against the 'unforseeable' expenses.

Second rule of home renovation:

If you still have any money left, invest in a wine cellar. You will have drunk it dry by the time the project is finished.

BTDT, and have the ulcer to prove it.


Being serious - trust no one, especially not the agent. He has no responsiblity to you.

Whether the price reflects renovation costs depends on the mindset of the buyer. Some live in cloud-cuckoo land, some have no real need to sell and will wait for their price, some need to move on and so are realistic. The only thing that is important, though, is that the price is sensible for you, by your own definition of fundamental value. And that is where you need to do your own due diligence.

Verify every little detail yourself, and then ask the person/bureaucrat/expert you consulted if he or she indeed has the authority to make that decision or evaluation.

Have an independent Bauleiter (my preference) or architect do an inspection and come up with an estimate of the cost of renovations. Be aware that this will cost you, somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple thousand.

Then check that every renovation is at least theoretically allowable. This is a question for the Bauamt. If a renovation requires a permit, or agreement of neighbors, be aware that you might never get that permit or agreement. Could you live without that aspect of the project? If not, walk away now.

If the land value supports the renovation project you should have no trouble with the mortgage including renovatin costs. But if not... You should start by having a friendly chat with your banker. They can generally give you a ballpark idea if your project is sensible, or cloud-cuckoo.

Is this a primary or secondary residence? If a secondary, be aware that you generally need a larger cash deposit. But again, YMMV, property dependent.

Key questions... there are so many. Perhaps you could describe the property a bit, that might help us give you more focused answers.

I'd start with: What is the property zone? Much of what I have wanted to do has been restricted by zoning.

Just a start... Good luck!
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