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Old 01.08.2020, 00:07
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New house- land acquisition and construction

Hello,
We are looking to build a house in Canton Vaud. We have found a piece of land for it. We got the approval from the bank to move forward based on the quotation provided by the builder. Our builder is recommending to move ahead with purchase of the land and then sort out the house plan and the finishes needed as long as the volume remains the same. Since, there will be time between acquisition of land and start of construction, the builder believes that we should acquire the land. However, I have some reservations about this approach as we do not want to acquire the land without finalizing the details about the house. Our concern is related to associated cost of building the house and we would like to finalize all the details related to house so that we have clear idea related to the construction cost. However, I am looking for advice from you to understand the ways of working in Switzerland. Is it normal to buy land and then finalize the details of the interior including finishes?
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Old 01.08.2020, 06:12
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

Is the land in a good area? If so, someone else may come along and buy it, while you're still deliberating.

Even so, if I were in your shoes, I would certainly want to understand the process and costs before I bought the land.

For me, this would include at least the following:
  • understanding the local municipal regulations which define/restrict what you'd be allowed to build on the property,
  • knowing the costs of getting plans drawn up passed,
  • investigating the costs of construction and which factors influence them, and
  • having a project management structure in place, this latter all the more so if you do not have a good command of the local language.
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Old 01.08.2020, 09:50
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

Is there a building permit in force for the land? If yes you can't make any exterior changes on the plan approved by the commune, only inside.
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Old 01.08.2020, 09:54
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

As well as getting the details and related cost maximums agreed and signed off by all parties for most details well beyond the basic plans.
Also before purchasing the land I'd be very interested to know of any other adjacent parcels of land that are now or could become eligible for building permissions and what use they could be put to.
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Old 01.08.2020, 10:56
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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As well as getting the details and related cost maximums agreed and signed off by all parties for most details well beyond the basic plans.
Also before purchasing the land I'd be very interested to know of any other adjacent parcels of land that are now or could become eligible for building permissions and what use they could be put to.
The building costs could easily escalate 50% from budgeted.

All the surrounding land if in the same zone will have IDENTICAL building rights as the land in question.
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Old 01.08.2020, 13:15
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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All the surrounding land if in the same zone will have IDENTICAL building rights as the land in question.
Yes, you're right within the same zone.

Even so, it's worth making the enquiry about what's permitted in the zone. The land may be in a zone in which large buildings are permitted, already, or are potentially permitted subject to x, y, and z (for example, written permission by the neighbours).

Besides that, every zone has an end, a border, beyond which is a different kind of zone. And it's worth finding that out, and whether a big construction is planned, or could be built, just down the road. (Depending on OP's aims, this could be a positive or negative matter.)
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Old 01.08.2020, 13:25
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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All the surrounding land if in the same zone will have IDENTICAL building rights as the land in question.
As with the weather, the next day might be the same as today but we still look in the forecast before we go on a hike.

The land might be at the border of a building zone and the next parcell might belong to a zone which permits more stories, or will be used for a school or such, or might even be industrial.

Actual zoning can be found in your cantons GIS browser.
For Vaud see: https://www.geo.vd.ch/theme/amenagement_thm
(Zoning plans should be active, but you will have to zoom in to see it)
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Old 01.08.2020, 13:37
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

You can always sell the land agaim ?
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Old 01.08.2020, 13:41
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

If your quotation doesn't include a consultation within local regulation, you have to employ one consultant for submitting all plans to the local council that includes every detail and aspect in the process of building...Builders are keen to build but in the end, you have to pay the bills...I have a friend who already is building for two years, he submitted three times his modified drawings...have to downsize and change the exterior design...
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Old 02.08.2020, 12:22
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

Dear all,
Thank you very much for all your help on this topic. I will follow up with the builder to ensure we have answers prior to moving forward
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Old 02.08.2020, 17:58
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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Dear all,
Thank you very much for all your help on this topic. I will follow up with the builder to ensure we have answers prior to moving forward
And I recommend you enquire from the seller and from the municipality, as well, and do not just rely on the builder's word in this. You owe it to yourself to find out.
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Old 02.08.2020, 18:44
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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Dear all,
Thank you very much for all your help on this topic. I will follow up with the builder to ensure we have answers prior to moving forward
If you have no experience of construction Id advise you not to rely on the advice of a builder.
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Old 02.08.2020, 21:18
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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If you have no experience of construction, and specifically of construction in Switzerland and of understanding the zoning and the processes to get plans approved, as well as of buying land with the intention of building and specifically of doing so in Switzerland, Id advise you not to rely soley on the advice of a builder.
Expanded. By all means listen to everything that the builder tells you. His is an important voice. But should be only one amongst all the others.
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Old 02.08.2020, 21:30
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

I understand your point. I already got clarity from commune on the lot and the future developments in surrounding areas. I already submitted the permit to build to the bank. So, the only question left was regarding the construction of the building. Your suggestions will help to navigate next steps.
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Old 02.08.2020, 22:55
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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Expanded. By all means listen to everything that the builder tells you. His is an important voice. But should be only one amongst all the others.
Except your expansion is not what Im talking about... Im talking about all the little tricks the builders get up to on a daily basis... every thing from product substitution to changing the cement mix to slicing the raw materials.

IF you dont know enough to manage it yourself it is worth having an architect supervise it fro you.
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Old 02.08.2020, 23:17
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

Good point. Yes.
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Old 03.08.2020, 21:46
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

Hopefully not going too far off-topic here, how does it work if you buy a plot of land and want to build? Do you still have to put up the marking sticks (for lack of a better word) and wait 2 years for all the objections to roll in?
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Old 03.08.2020, 22:19
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Re: New house- land acquisition and construction

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If you have no experience of construction Id advise you not to rely on the advice of a builder.
Yep. Buy a house someone built ten years ago. All snags will be worked out or obvious by then.
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