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Old 24.01.2019, 01:06
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Advice for house purchasing

Hi Guys

I am interested on a house, but for me it would be difficult to see if there are defects or not. Do you know if there is a service that will ensure everything thing is in a good shape?, like floor, walls, location, price, etc?

thanks
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Old 24.01.2019, 09:29
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Yes, you can indeed have a house inspection done.

However, unlike purchasing in some other countries, a house inspection is not necessarily a standard part of the process. If you want one done you need to understand exactly what you want looked into, then find someone who is qualified to do what you want. There isn't an association of home inspectors (as there is at home) and there isn't a standard checklist of what to inspect (as there is at home.) So you might have more work to do than you might realise.

Be aware that not all sellers welcome, or even allow, a home inspection. - although it seems that home inspections are indeed becoming more common. I have looked at properties where once I proposed an inspection the seller then told me to take a hike. (Dodged a bullet, likely.) There is no regulation saying a seller must allow an inspection - at least in the cantons where I have looked at property.

There is also no standard 'get out' clause if, after an inspection, the faults found are so massive as to make the purchase untenable. You should either try to get an inspection done before making an offer, or if the sellers only agree to one post offer, then you should include a get-out clause covering specific faults found on inspection in your offer. The former is less messy.

Who you choose to do the inspection is another question, generally one looks for either an architect or a Bauleiter. These two might have different areas of expertise, so question whoever you choose carefully to make sure you are on the same page.

I had a home inspection done with an architect that was very thorough, the architect really knew his stuff - sadly we were outbid on that house. The architect who did the inspection for the house we bought seemed only interested in cosmetics and selling his renovation services, pretty much money down the drain. (OH is pretty savvy wrt construction stuff so we nonetheless had a rough idea of what we faced, good enough to make our offer.)

For later properties I've tried to buy I have used Bauleiters to inspect the homes, this based on my experience renovating our current house. IME the Bauleiter is the guy who seemed to best understand the issues of greatest concern to me.

Just make sure you are comfortable with whoever you hire.

Be aware of the cost; 15-plus years ago it seemed that CHF 1500 was pretty standard. More recently I have had quotes ranging from 1500 to 5K for an inspection.

Given that it is easier to have an inspection done before making an offer, you might then be facing some serious cash outlay with nothing to show for it should you not make an offer or lose the bidding round. On the other hand, inspecting after making an offer could throw up expensive surprises - so you have to weigh your options.

---

tl;dr:

While a bit of a pain to organise, and perhaps more expensive than you might anticipate, IMO and IME one would be very foolish to buy without having an inspection done. It's a multi million purchase, an inspection is just basic due diligence.

---

Good luck with your purchase!
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Old 24.01.2019, 09:38
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Hi,
I will join the topic with one variant of the question - which option would you recommend for a new house?
elo3
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Old 24.01.2019, 10:02
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

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Hi,
I will join the topic with one variant of the question - which option would you recommend for a new house?
elo3



What are you smoking ?
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Old 24.01.2019, 10:20
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

what is wrong with my question?
I am buying a new house (in construction) - I am thinking that maybe the advice is different in such case compared to a house built in the past...
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Old 24.01.2019, 10:22
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

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what is wrong with my question?
I am buying a new house (in construction) - I am thinking that maybe the advice is different in such case compared to a house built in the past...
A new build house comes with a guarantee (or should do).

There are two parts - for the bits you can see and the bits you can't. The length of the guarantee for the bits you can't see is longer.

Even before you move in, start a comprehensive list (with photos too) of everything you find wrong (there will be lots - that's pretty normal). Most will be fixed by the builders in the first few months.
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Old 24.01.2019, 10:34
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Thanks Tom.
This part I understand - my only worry is that to be able to claim something under guarantee, you need to spot it and know that this is not normal, but is due to (faulty) construction execution.
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Old 24.01.2019, 11:02
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Many thanks for your advise

Quote:
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Yes, you can indeed have a house inspection done.

However, unlike purchasing in some other countries, a house inspection is not necessarily a standard part of the process. If you want one done you need to understand exactly what you want looked into, then find someone who is qualified to do what you want. There isn't an association of home inspectors (as there is at home) and there isn't a standard checklist of what to inspect (as there is at home.) So you might have more work to do than you might realise.

Be aware that not all sellers welcome, or even allow, a home inspection. - although it seems that home inspections are indeed becoming more common. I have looked at properties where once I proposed an inspection the seller then told me to take a hike. (Dodged a bullet, likely.) There is no regulation saying a seller must allow an inspection - at least in the cantons where I have looked at property.

There is also no standard 'get out' clause if, after an inspection, the faults found are so massive as to make the purchase untenable. You should either try to get an inspection done before making an offer, or if the sellers only agree to one post offer, then you should include a get-out clause covering specific faults found on inspection in your offer. The former is less messy.

Who you choose to do the inspection is another question, generally one looks for either an architect or a Bauleiter. These two might have different areas of expertise, so question whoever you choose carefully to make sure you are on the same page.

I had a home inspection done with an architect that was very thorough, the architect really knew his stuff - sadly we were outbid on that house. The architect who did the inspection for the house we bought seemed only interested in cosmetics and selling his renovation services, pretty much money down the drain. (OH is pretty savvy wrt construction stuff so we nonetheless had a rough idea of what we faced, good enough to make our offer.)

For later properties I've tried to buy I have used Bauleiters to inspect the homes, this based on my experience renovating our current house. IME the Bauleiter is the guy who seemed to best understand the issues of greatest concern to me.

Just make sure you are comfortable with whoever you hire.

Be aware of the cost; 15-plus years ago it seemed that CHF 1500 was pretty standard. More recently I have had quotes ranging from 1500 to 5K for an inspection.

Given that it is easier to have an inspection done before making an offer, you might then be facing some serious cash outlay with nothing to show for it should you not make an offer or lose the bidding round. On the other hand, inspecting after making an offer could throw up expensive surprises - so you have to weigh your options.

---

tl;dr:

While a bit of a pain to organise, and perhaps more expensive than you might anticipate, IMO and IME one would be very foolish to buy without having an inspection done. It's a multi million purchase, an inspection is just basic due diligence.

---

Good luck with your purchase!
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Old 24.01.2019, 12:14
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

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what is wrong with my question?
I am buying a new house (in construction) - I am thinking that maybe the advice is different in such case compared to a house built in the past...



What exactly is your question ?
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Old 24.01.2019, 12:26
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

If it is an old house assume that heating system, electrical installation, and roof has do be redone. The electrical installation must be checked if the last check was more than 5 years before the purchase date. And honestly I would get one anyway. House owners are known to do some dodgy DIY sparky stuff.

The local HEV Hauseigentümmerverband (Real Estate Owner Association) https://www.hev-schweiz.ch offer such services as house appraisal and hand over inspections.
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Old 24.01.2019, 13:12
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

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what is wrong with my question?
I am buying a new house (in construction) - I am thinking that maybe the advice is different in such case compared to a house built in the past...
It should be easier with a new house or flat, particularily when it is part of a larger housing estate. A friend got a Bauleiter to give his or her opinion of the construction company and the plans -we relied on the very detailed plans and the reputation of the company. As mentioned by others, there is a guarantee, which one should use to the limit, taking photos and documenting all problems. Our own and friend's experience has been that getting the guarantee properly respected can take time and effort -here having neighbours in a similar situation can be of great value.
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Old 24.01.2019, 21:14
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

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I think you can pay someone to check whether the house is of good condition or not.
The thing is, that i do not know anyone doing this service

thanks
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Old 24.01.2019, 21:17
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

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The thing is, that i do not know anyone doing this service

thanks

Well in this case, buy a new house with a guarantee
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Old 31.01.2019, 12:28
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Talking about a new house under construction and guarantees, I have a question too.

I was recommended by a friend who had bought a house 5 years back to have all the Guarantees of covered directly by the builders, which was in his case, but seems it depends upon builders these days. My builder is offering limited liability for his work and putting 3rd parties responsible, although the builders are the 'Verwaltung' and they will directly coordinate for repair of any damages whatsoever.

Is it common for builders to take direct ownership of guarantee limited to their line of work(construction) and put 3rd party companies doing the electrics, kitchen, etc directly responsible for the work done by them?

I guess the current rock bottom leasing rates is making buying property affordable and Builders have an upper hand as there are enough buyers willing to buy whatever best is available.
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Old 31.01.2019, 13:05
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Actually if you are getting a mortgage for the house the bank might provide you with the service. One bank did it for us, they contracted an expert who did the inspection and valued the property. We were allowed to be present and we could talk to him about all the possible issues. In the end we decided not buy that house and eventually went for a different cheaper bank so we had to pay the first expertise out of our pocket, which was pretty steep (2000CHF).
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Old 31.01.2019, 22:03
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Is it possible that my posts are not visible?
If you can read this, then sorry for being impatient as I don't mean to be rude. I see people often replying within a short span and thought someone could share from their experience how guarantee was covered in their contract.

Thanks in advance!

Quote:
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Talking about a new house under construction and guarantees, I have a question too.

I was recommended by a friend who had bought a house 5 years back to have all the Guarantees of covered directly by the builders, which was in his case, but seems it depends upon builders these days. My builder is offering limited liability for his work and putting 3rd parties responsible, although the builders are the 'Verwaltung' and they will directly coordinate for repair of any damages whatsoever.

Is it common for builders to take direct ownership of guarantee limited to their line of work(construction) and put 3rd party companies doing the electrics, kitchen, etc directly responsible for the work done by them?

I guess the current rock bottom leasing rates is making buying property affordable and Builders have an upper hand as there are enough buyers willing to buy whatever best is available.
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Old 02.02.2019, 21:02
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Re: Advice for house purchasing

Having a new build inspected is not a silly idea at all.

While you have a guarantee, it doesn't mean a lot when it comes to houses.

A lot of stuff can be done wrong already when building it.

Contrary to popular belief, the general contractor does not work for you, he works for himself. So all the contracts are worded in a way that disadvantages the customer. If you sign them, you might find that it's very easy to have something "wrong" with the build that is perfectly "OK" as per the contract.
Trying to battle that through the courts might work - but you'll find that the opposing party has far more financial means and is willing to go all the way, while you have to pony-up money upfront to pay lawyers and experts...

The (German language) Haus-Forum (https://www.hausgartenleben.ch/forum/3-hausbau/) may be more helpful with names of experts.

I would be extremely hesitant to buy property in a country if I wouldn't speak the language. It's difficult enough if you are a local, as the various cases in that forum show.
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