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Old 29.09.2020, 00:51
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Housing near farmlands

Hi friends,

Need your advice regarding housing near farmlands. I was looking to buy a house in the countryside, and found one in a very close proximity to farmlands (<100m from the proposed property). Wondering if any of you have had any experience/inconvenience with respect to spraying of pesticides during the farming season. Any insight would help. Thanks in advance
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Old 29.09.2020, 01:14
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Re: Housing near farmlands

In terms of inconvenience there could be things such as smell, flies, loud cows and bells and increased particulate matter in certain periods. Pesticide drift could happen during spraying, however I've never heard someone complaining about this issue specifically.
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Old 29.09.2020, 01:58
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Re: Housing near farmlands

You need to understand if there might be restrictions on what you can do to your property as well.

For instance, the last 10 meters of my property are a 'green zone', meaning I cannot do anything there that could impact the bio farmer's certification. I cannot use pesticides, cannot plant invasive species, etc.

I have seen similar clauses that go further, such as restricting the type of fruit trees one can plant if cross pollination could affect an orchard.

I am required to maintain the fence between my property and the farm, this is part of the deal made when the land was rezoned.I would assume the fence clause is specific to the deal made when the farmer sold the land our Quartier is built on, rather than a general rule.

If you anticipate landscaping work on the property, be aware of the impact anything you do might have on water run-off into or away from the fields.

Is the house in a Bauzone or considered Landwirtschaftszone/ Ausserbauzone? If the latter, be aware that there are a whole slew of restrictions that could impact renovation plans you might have for the property.

So research if there are any covenants that might impact your use of the property. Start with the Grundbuchamt, and ask them if you should consult any other agencies. FYI, Landwirtschaftsland is often regulated by the canton, not the Gemeinde.

---

As for how a farm might impact you:

It's a farm. There will be dung-based fertilizer sprayed over the fields several times a year. Yes, it smells until it rains, usually that evening. Close your windows.

Quiet times do not apply to farms - the work needs done when Mother Nature says it's time - Sundays, holidays, in the middle of the night if necessary. If the noise bothers you, close your windows.

If the farm is not bio, assume the farmer is using pesticides. Most farmers only spray on windless days, otherwise expensive chemicals would be wasted, so there is likely not too much drift. But as above, the farm comes first. If you are bothered by the idea of pesticides being used, perhaps this property is not for you.

In a rural community, farming is sacred, the farmer likely has far more Vitamin B than you ever will. Newcomer non-farmers are expected to adjust, not the other way around. Be very careful before you object to what the farmer is doing - it rarely ends well for the non-farmer.

Living next to a farm is a wonderful thing (Fresh eggs! Cowbell symphony!) ) - as long as you truly enjoy life 'auf dem Land'.

Good luck with the purchase.

Last edited by meloncollie; 29.09.2020 at 02:08.
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Old 29.09.2020, 02:33
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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Hi friends,

Need your advice regarding housing near farmlands. I was looking to buy a house in the countryside, and found one in a very close proximity to farmlands (<100m from the proposed property). Wondering if any of you have had any experience/inconvenience with respect to spraying of pesticides during the farming season. Any insight would help. Thanks in advance
Have you ever actually lived in the countryside? I have one friend who grew up in the city and moved his family to the country.... for about 5 months and then moved back...

Now I grew up in the country and I just took it for granted that he knew stuff... apparently I should have warned him it gets very dark, quiet and spooky at night... that animals like to get up early even on Sunday and farmers spray slurry around etc...

Perhaps renting in the area to start with might be an idea
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Old 29.09.2020, 05:31
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Re: Housing near farmlands

And tractors!
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Old 29.09.2020, 08:32
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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And tractors!
Yep, I often fantasize leaving the city center for the country, but I am not too pleased to be woken up at all hours by tractors and weekend motorcyclists - might as well stay in my neighborhood of moderate noise and convenience.
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Old 29.09.2020, 08:37
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Re: Housing near farmlands

I live in the "countryside" and pretty much everything that Melloncollie has pointed out is 100% spot-on.

The Pros:
- It's quiet. At night we can hear the train passing by...which is around 1km away. It's THAT quiet.
- You get to know your neighbors, which is usually a nice thing. People are quite kind, they say "hi" when you pass each other in the street, it's really the proverbial village life.
- It's fantastic for sports: mountain biking starts at your doorstep, you can jog without a care about cars and smog.
- Kids can play outside and you don't have to worry about traffic and strangers (I guess this depends on each individual neighbourhood).

The Cons:
- The most obvious: the commute. Chances are you won't work close by. Plan this seriously, as it can be a burden, particularly if eventually you will be looking for a job. The local job marketplace is probably the biggest factor I can think of.
- As Melloncollie mentioned, the cowbells, the goats bleating and every few weeks the tractor working on a Sunday. Nothing that bothers us AT ALL, but it may bother some people. Actually I would really miss the animal sounds on warm summer evenings, when I'm sitting outside, if I ever moved.
- The Gülle: you WILL smell it a few times each springtime/summer. At the very least 3 or 4 times a year, or as many as 6/7 times a year. It only lasts a few hours...no big deal.
- If you have a cat...it WILL live outside. He WILL fight other cats and potentially other animals. Mother nature, I guess.

Last but not least: you will have nightmares for the rest of your life that they will rezone next to your house, and they may build a tall building. That one never goes away.

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...but I am not too pleased to be woken up at all hours by tractors and weekend motorcyclists - might as well stay in my neighborhood of moderate noise and convenience.
Te tractors make a low kind of rumbling noise. They are not particularly loud (they cut the grass literally 5m away from my bedroom window). They would do this only a few times a year...maybe twice, or three times. And Motorcyclists don't drive around in the small streets of a village, they stick to main roads around here. Never have I heard bike noises.
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Old 29.09.2020, 08:58
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Re: Housing near farmlands

Wolfs, no I kid you not. They say wolfs are coming back to Europe...

But talking wildlife I live in the mountains, surrounded by forrest basically. There is a lot of foxes, one of my neighbours has lost her pet rabbits to them, several have had their rubbish spread across the neighbourhood for everyone to see. [Never put your rubbish out after dark].

We have cows, bulls, sheep, goats, chickens even emus in the farmland that there is.

The only thing I really don't like is the fact that they think the 2nd world war is still going on and we have barbed wire fences to keep the animals in. Fences that are simply dangerous to young kids and domestic animals alike.

Worse than that, in the winter they lay the barbed wire on the ground, its nuts.

But most days it nice and quiet. The air is fresh, on average its around 10 degrees colder all year round here than the valley. I can go for a walk on a Sunday morning and see max 2 or 3 moving cars. People walk to places. The sun shines here more than it does in the valley. We're frequently above the clouds. And the tourist invasions have been almost non-existent in 2020 so far. They all left in March and didn't come back for the summer, don't know at this rate if their going to return for the winter either with the never ending covid-19 crisis.

Didn't mention I don't hear trains, sometimes I hear planes, but less so in 2020 now I come to think about it.
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Old 29.09.2020, 08:59
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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The only thing I really don't like is the fact that they think the 2nd world war is still going on and we have barbed wire fences to keep the animals in. Fences that are simply dangerous to young kids and domestic animals alike.

Worse than that, in the winter they lay the barbed wire on the ground, its nuts.
Odd, I have never seen barbed wire around here.
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:05
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Re: Housing near farmlands

A Valais mountain property that I am interested in is surrounded by zoned land, does it mean that those zones belong to some private person already or does it mean that the government has created zones for any future sale?

There is nothing on those zones currently and has not been for many hundred years.
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:14
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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A Valais mountain property that I am interested in is surrounded by zoned land, does it mean that those zones belong to some private person already or does it mean that the government has created zones for any future sale?

There is nothing on those zones currently and has not been for many hundred years.
You can find out the exact zoning categories for your village here: https://www.geoportal.ch/
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:21
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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Last but not least: you will have nightmares for the rest of your life that they will rezone next to your house, and they may build a tall building. That one never goes away.
Excellent point, Caleb!

Urbanity is ever encroaching. If part of your reason for wanting this property is it's small farming village character, the view of open fields, you have to factor the possibility of rezoning in. Switzerland will only get more and more crowded, green space is rapidly disappearing.

If the area is a reasonable commute from a metro centre, prepare yourself for this happening.

Rumor has it that most of the farmers in our area have optioned their land to deep-pocketed developers. Certainly no farm land has come on the open market in the time I have been here, but ugly concrete boxes have sprung up here and there.

When I moved here our village was a typical little farming community. It's what drew me to the area. Fast forward 15 years and the village is now a bedroom suburb of Zürich. There are still farms, but the village character has changed.

Fortunately the farmer next to me is young so my immediate view is likely safe for some time. But the barrels of cash that developers are brandishing means the time will come when the whole area is rezoned.

The general rule of property buying, 'The only view you can count on lasting is the one you own yourself' unfortunately applies in rural areas commutable to a city as well.

Don't let that deter you, but do keep in mind that change is the only constant, even in Switzerland.
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:28
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Re: Housing near farmlands

One other smell I miss is fresh-cut hay. Divine (as long as you don't have hay fever.)
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:34
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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You can find out the exact zoning categories for your village here: https://www.geoportal.ch/

I looked on Kanton Wallis website and the zones right next to my potential property say-

Liegenschaften/Real estate

Bodenbedeckung/Land cover

Art: Acker / Wiese /Field / meadow

1 zone away it says:

Art: Geschlossener Wald/Closed forest

So the zone right next to me can potentially end up with a house?
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Old 29.09.2020, 09:57
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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I looked on Kanton Wallis website and the zones right next to my potential property say-

Liegenschaften/Real estate

[...]

So the zone right next to me can potentially end up with a house?
So if a zone says "Liegenschaften", I would assume it's open for building. That doesn't mean necessarily "Buildings", as within "Liegenschaften" you will also have different "usage rates" (i.e. max. allowable residential units per m2, # of floors/unit, etc). If you're in a sparsely populated part of town, the zone might be limited to single-family houses.
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Old 29.09.2020, 10:02
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Re: Housing near farmlands

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So if a zone says "Liegenschaften", I would assume it's open for building. That doesn't mean necessarily "Buildings", as within "Liegenschaften" you will also have different "usage rates" (i.e. max. allowable residential units per m2, # of floors/unit, etc). If you're in a sparsely populated part of town, the zone might be limited to single-family houses.
Thanks, yes I think in that area no large buildings are allowed as all are single family houses.
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Old 01.10.2020, 12:45
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Re: Housing near farmlands

My sincere thanks to all. Your inputs have been very useful, and very detailed. Let me enquire on the property and will let you know how it goes. Stay safe
 




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