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Old 17.12.2011, 20:50
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Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

While looking for cheap place off the beaten track north of Lausanne I've seen a few old farms with some farm land - a few thousands square meters.
Now, for the building there is a lot of other ads to compare with and see what the prices are in a region. But as to the farmland I have no idea. Where are properties like pure farm land being traded here? How to find out a market value of one hectare?
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Old 17.12.2011, 22:13
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

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While looking for cheap place off the beaten track north of Lausanne I've seen a few old farms with some farm land - a few thousands square meters.
Now, for the building there is a lot of other ads to compare with and see what the prices are in a region. But as to the farmland I have no idea. Where are properties like pure farm land being traded here? How to find out a market value of one hectare?
You may need to check out the Federal "Farmland Law" Act and its various restrictions on property transfer.
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Old 17.12.2011, 22:29
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Caribeangeorge has made some interesting contributions
Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

location, location, location


but between 5-20.- a sqm is realistic
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:00
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

It's very difficult for non-farmers to buy farm land. Sometimes they will sell the house with a small section of the land and then sell the land to someone else. But if they won't split it and you are not a farmer, you won't be able to buy the property.

Here is the link to the law in French.
http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/211_412_11/index.html


Also be very careful about a farmhouse that needs work. We got quotes and they were scary especially as you'll be hard pressed to recoup that investment.
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Old 17.12.2011, 23:34
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

Depends on what you mean by 'work'. Providing all the basics are strong and healthy- then you can do without a new kitchen or bathroom, etc. Just depends on what you want, and if you can do it yourself. Providing the roof and roof beams structure are sound, good windows, good heating, strong this walls - but internal re-decorating etc is almost irrelevant. Depends too if you want a long-term beloved home or an investment. Much better to have sound roof structure and walls, then a posh kitchen hiding a multitude of sins behind.

Most farms/farmland are sold by word or mouth and will never get on the market- unless there is a reason. You need to speak the language well and know who is who in the area.
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Old 18.12.2011, 01:03
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

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Depends on what you mean by 'work'.
Yes it does. Even if it "a beloved home" it still needs to make financial sense. No need to get stuck with a money pit.

Anyway, I'm sure the OP knows what to look for and what she wants. My post was just to give the link of the law on farming land in French not get into the same issues we discussed on the last thread she started.
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Old 18.12.2011, 01:05
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

My comments apply to trying to buy farmland in SZ; your experiences in VD may be different.

Do make sure you understand if the property is held under the Bundesgesetz ueber das Bauerliche Bodenrecht (BGBB), and if it is, make sure you understand the law to the letter. The ability to buy land held under the BGBB may be severely restricted, and what you may do with the land may be as well.

We found a farm we wanted to buy, and the sellers were eager to sell to us. We came to an agreement with the sellers and then made our application for permission to buy.

Although we (that is, my husband) have a farming background (important, at least in SZ), although in making our application for the permit to buy we had what we thought was a good presentation for how we would take care of the land, uphold tradition, support the local farming ethos - nonetheless we were turned down. Farms do not go to foreigners (we have C permit, but are non-EU) - at least not in this community.

I have no idea how being EU might impact the BGBB.

Farmland is held at an artificially low price; sometimes as low as CHF 20 per m2. In our area this was increased to something like CHF 280 per m2 a few years ago, to reflect the huge increase in land prices. (In contrast, buildable land goes for 2-3000 m2 here.)

The issue of farming subsidies plays a part - do make sure you understand this as well.

There are some farm properties not under the BGBB - you would have an easier time buying one of these. However, these are still zoned Landwirtschaft, which means the use of buildings , how much living space is allowed, what you can or cannot put up on the land, and what you may do with the land all still may be restricted.

For instance, locally the powers that be are cracking down on non-farm business activities that take place in the Landwirtschaft zone. I know of one dog training school (not the one we go to, thank doG) who rent farmland and a farmer who runs side business doing engine repair in his barn who have been told to cease and desist.

And if you are dreaming of converting the barn to living space... I know serveral people who have tried to do just that, and were denied because the buildings have to stay in their originally permitted usage.


But as I said, perhaps VD takes a looser approach, perhaps you will find it quite easy. I do hope so. It's such a shame that it is so difficult for folks who want to actually farm, who appreciate and want to preserve tradition, to acquire land - when then down the road 'somehow' a zoning deal is done, the farm is sold to a developer who puts up luxury villas. And the heritage of the area is lost.

Good luck, I hope you are able to find (and allowed to buy) your farm.



ETA:

Assuming you find your farm and are planning on keeping livestock, do have a gander at the TSchV, the federal animal protection law. This (and several other laws) govern animal husbandry. You might be surprised at some provisions.


ETA 2:

ETA:

Another thing to think about:

While the main reason for refusal was that we were foreigners (bearing in mind I have no idea if EU is treated the same as CH), a secondary objection was that my plans to farm were different than the current usage. I did not plan to keep cows, I wished to focus on cultivating the orchard. The Whateververein wanted the land kept primarily for dairy. So as you look for farmland, perhaps you should concentrate on areas where the type of farming you wish to do is already being practiced.

But again, things could be handled entirely differently in other cantona/areas.

Last edited by meloncollie; 18.12.2011 at 14:59.
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Old 19.12.2011, 01:50
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Hello, thank you all very much for all the pointers and comments.
I know a total rebuild would be an expensive thing here, also re-purposing a barn into a house is a no-no - I'm pretty sure the locals would explore all such possibilities instead of letting an outsider profiting from it.
However, there are here and there houses or old farms to buy with some farm land, usually too little for any real farming - e.g. 5000 sq. m. That would be maybe good for green house intensive cultivating but wouldn't feed a cow year round if one thinks about anything remotely serious.
However, buying a house far away with some field for good money - I need to know if the price is justified or is it priced like a house with big garden in the suburbs.
In my old country farming is tough as the subsidies are low, land is plenty and competition is cut-throat. So what we did was rather like subsistence farming - for our own needs, selling the surplus if any.
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Old 19.12.2011, 10:02
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

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Hello, thank you all very much for all the pointers and comments.
I know a total rebuild would be an expensive thing here, also re-purposing a barn into a house is a no-no - I'm pretty sure the locals would explore all such possibilities instead of letting an outsider profiting from it.
However, there are here and there houses or old farms to buy with some farm land, usually too little for any real farming - e.g. 5000 sq. m. That would be maybe good for green house intensive cultivating but wouldn't feed a cow year round if one thinks about anything remotely serious.
However, buying a house far away with some field for good money - I need to know if the price is justified or is it priced like a house with big garden in the suburbs.
In my old country farming is tough as the subsidies are low, land is plenty and competition is cut-throat. So what we did was rather like subsistence farming - for our own needs, selling the surplus if any.
Well thank you for thanking us for the "pointers and comments". Did you bother to read them? You have no bl**dy chance in hell to buy "farmland" that falls under federal farmland law. Relatives of the owner or other farmers in the area can pre-empt you for an artificially low price.
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Old 19.12.2011, 11:20
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Re: Farming land pricing - northern Vaud

Concentrate on land that is not BGBB.

But understand that land that is 'aus dem BGBB entlassen', taken out of the BGBB, is still likely to be zoned Landwirtschaft land, not Bauland - and the rules for use/development of farmland will still apply.

Once you find a likely property (or even before, best to be prepared as you search), you should likely speak to the cantonal Amt für Raumentwicklung (sorry, no idea what the French name would be - but you can search) - in my canton these are the folks who (most likely) govern the use of land that is not zoned Bauland. You will also likely need to speak to the Gemeinde and cantonal Bauamts, the Landwirtschaftsamt, possibly also the Forstamt and Wasseramt if there is forest land or any type of water on the property, or if there are ground water issues.

It took me ages to find the 'zuständig' officials who could answer my questions, I spent weeks talking various agencies and officials in order to find out who the decision makers really are. The governance of farming land (both BGBB or non-BGBB) is a maze not easily penetrated, and the BGBB is a very complex piece of legislation. At every turn you need to determine if you are asking the right questions of the right people; proceeding based on answers you get from officials who are not responsible/have the final authority will not save you if you find out down the road that things are different than you had understood.

As always, it's what you don't know that you don't know that will trip you up - so make sure you read the BGBB and all other relevant Landwirtschaft legislation very, very carefully.

If you need legal help, seek advice from someone who is involved with Landwirtschaft law. Other lawyers might not understand the legislation fully.

And if you enter into a contract, make sure that you include a clause that gives you a get-out should you be denied permission to buy.

---

If you are serious, start by getting to know the movers and shakers in your community. That means, start buying your produce 'direkt vom Hof', and brush up on your Jass skills.


Again, good luck.

.

Last edited by meloncollie; 20.12.2011 at 00:45. Reason: Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod. ;)
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