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Old 24.01.2011, 19:44
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Buying land (property) in Switzerland

Hello,
do you know if it is possible to buy a farm that is advertised as a renovation project that is on agricultural land and then to knock it down and build something else in its place?
We are trying to buy a land to build on which is proving to be difficult and nearly impossible to buy somewhere a bit more isolated. The Swiss seem to enjoy living on top of each other.
We have just came across some lovely farms in need of renovation in the middle of nowhere surrounded with agricultural land only and we're wondering what the swiss regulations are...
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Old 24.01.2011, 19:46
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Re: buying a land

Have you read up this thread ?

http://www.englishforum.ch/daily-lif...land-farm.html
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:00
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

Thanks for the link. However, it hasn't really answered my question. I'm not wanting to buy any agricultural land. This is an old farm in the middle of agricultural land that is being sold for renovation, so I anyone can buy it, no permits required. What I want to know is whether there are some regulations preventing you from knocking it down and building a new house in its place, not taking any extra m2 from the agricultural land.
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:02
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

Each Gemeinde/Commune has a map of land allocation within it's boundaries.
Land within each given zone can only be used for said purpose, but sometimes land usage within a zone can be changed and become another zone; i.e. land within an agricultural zone can sometimes be turned into residential zone, but I think in the case of just one farmhouse, you probably can only replace like with like.
Your first port of call should be the local Gemeinde/Commune office, where they will sell you a copy of said map (or direct you to where it can be purchased), and advise further to change of land usage.
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:13
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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The Swiss seem to enjoy living on top of each other.
Not really, but a) there isn't a lot of room and b) there are strict building rules to avoid what is known as "Zersiedelung", i.e. people living all over the place and filling up every green spot there is. Which would probably happen without the strict "Zonenplan" currently in place. For example, the massive field just outside Zurich (as in, one step, tadaaa, you're in Zurich) that I'm moving to only was opened up for construction in 2003/4 - after 50 years of arguing what to do with it. The first time someone considered it for building was in the mid-fifties, women didn't even have the vote then.

So I would go to the Gemeinde and make absolutely certain about what the conditions are, I reckon you can't just knock it down unless the village is desperate for inhabitants / taxpayers. And even then, you'd have to ask for a building permit, which can be vetoed by anyone in the village and it probably will, people get emotional about farms here.

But maybe you are lucky and this is the one rare exception in Switzerland where something is "just that simple".
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:57
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

I guess I'm asking what I already suspected, see the commune, fight lots of opposition and eventually give up and settle for a tiny parcel in the sea of houses and nosy neighbours. Ah well, should have gone to France...
Thanks to all of you. You have confirmed by biggest fears.
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Old 24.01.2011, 21:01
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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...settle for a tiny parcel in the sea of houses and nosy neighbours...
If you have nothing to hide, this won't matter, will it?
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Old 24.01.2011, 21:47
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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I guess I'm asking what I already suspected, see the commune, fight lots of opposition and eventually give up and settle for a tiny parcel in the sea of houses and nosy neighbours. Ah well, should have gone to France...
Thanks to all of you. You have confirmed by biggest fears.
The border was open earlier today, although this may have changed by now
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:08
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

I know, it sounds like I plan on printing money in the cellar away from neighbours' eyes. But, no, unfortunately my life isn't so exciting.
I just want to get away from situation like this one: Just bought a new car, waiting for winter tires, so it is sitting outside of our house unused. The neighbour thinks that we have visitors and every single time we leave the house she rushes to her balcony door to see who does this car belong to. The funny thing is that she thinks we can't see her. Well, she has a curtain hanging up covering her face and the glass is sort of brown in colour. And so she stands there pressed against the glass not realising that we can see the rest of her body...but then again maybe I'm misreading her, perhaps she wants us to know that "she's watching!" Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:12
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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..but then again maybe I'm misreading her, perhaps she wants us to know that "she's watching!" Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.
Why don't you wave at her, and then invite her for a ride. She's obviously just wanting to make friends.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:12
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

The simple answer is NO.

Basically - most farms sit in agricultural land (unsurprisingly) and if you knock down the house you won't be able to build a new one. You'll also struggle to get permission to buy if you are NOT going to farm the land. You might be able to rent it to another farmer - but even then you'll struggle to buy.

HOWEVER when we were looking at a place years ago we got talking to one of the farmers. He said - he'd mow/maintain the largest chunk of the garden - if he could keep the grass - and if he could fence it off once/twice a year for grazing.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:16
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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I guess I'm asking what I already suspected, see the commune, fight lots of opposition and eventually give up and settle for a tiny parcel in the sea of houses and nosy neighbours. Ah well, should have gone to France...
Thanks to all of you. You have confirmed by biggest fears.
You gave up rather easily. A couple of answers on a public forum to what was a very vague question and you quit.

We have no idea where this property is and whether there are any limits or protection on the property. Certainly a renovated farmhouse sounds more attractive to me that knocking it down and building a modern house...
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:16
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

Also, I would like to hang my laundry on Sunday without being told off and my husband's favourite day for dyi is Sunday...
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:24
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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You gave up rather easily. A couple of answers on a public forum to what was a very vague question and you quit.

We have no idea where this property is and whether there are any limits or protection on the property. Certainly a renovated farmhouse sounds more attractive to me that knocking it down and building a modern house...
No, I haven't given up. It was sort of a lighthearted message. We are going to speak to the commune and see what the situation is. We want to build a timber house and so it wouldn't be out of place, but first we want to see the state of the existing farm.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:25
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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Also, I would like to hang my laundry on Sunday without being told off and my husband's favourite day for dyi is Sunday...
Have you considered America as an option? Or the Ardèche?
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:25
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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Why don't you wave at her, and then invite her for a ride. She's obviously just wanting to make friends.
I've tried that, she then pretends that she can't see us.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:25
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

And you know how much all this will cost you?? How long do you want to stay in Switzerland?

And you do know that big/modern/funky stuff doesn't fetch a premium in the countryside - strangely the Swiss expect (and want) to find traditional houses
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:27
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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Have you considered America as an option? Or the Ardèche?
We are staying put in Switzerland, so America is not an option. Where is Ardeche?
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:30
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

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I've tried that, she then pretends that she can't see us.
Next time, take a photo of her. Print it out, and with a marker pen circle her face, and write "Du bist da".
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:30
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Re: Buying land (property) in Switzerland

^One of the more remote parts of France where French hippies went to raise sheep in the 70ies.
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