If you are looking for a building plot, you need time and, above all, good planning. Your budget and requirements play just as much a role as the condition of the property. We have compiled tips, experiences and checklists for a successful property search.
The most important facts in brief
- Start with your budget planning and then start looking; that way you know what you can afford.
- Create a checklist of criteria that are important to you: Commute to work, school nearby, plenty of sunshine, garden, nearby recreation area, and so on.
- You can find offers for plots of land at relevant online portals, but also at the local government, brokers and local developers.
- Take your time and check exactly what condition the property is in and whether you still have to invest a lot before construction can begin. How to avoid nasty surprises.
First clarify budget and financing
At the beginning of the property search there is always the desire for your own little house, which you can design according to your own needs. Whether in a new development, on the outskirts of town or in the countryside, the perfect plot of land is different for everyone.
Having wishes is good. But when planning your own home, you need to reconcile your ideas with financial reality. Before you start looking through the offers, it’s worth asking the question: What can I afford?
If you know how much money you can spend on the property, you also know how high your budget is for land, house construction and ancillary costs. Normally, you can now also estimate how much money you will have to raise through financing. It makes sense to involve your advisor at this early stage. How to succeed with realistic, far-sighted planning. You make the final financing when you have found the property.
The right property for you
Money is many things, but not everything when it comes to planning. Because you know now, what the property may cost approximately. However, beyond that, you have special needs that only you know about: Should a daycare center or school for your children be close by? How far is the way to work? Are there shopping facilities nearby?
Make a list of criteria that are important to you. What absolutely has to be met, what would be more of a bonus? No matter how trivial it may seem to you, you are making a decision that will have an impact for years, perhaps decades to come. Therefore, play it safe and write everything down.
Where is it still cheap to build?
Our map shows a forecast of price trends in the coming year by government district. The forecast is based on data from LBS Research and was published in "Market for residential real estate 2020".
Find a plot of land
There are different ways to get a building plot. What is the best way to look for land? Most start on online portals such as Sparkassen-Immobilien. There are plots of land offered for sale. These building plots are advertised for sale by local developers, municipalities, brokers or private owners.
Once you have sifted through the offers, things get really exciting. How do the individual plots of land fit your budget and your demands? Can you agree with your partner on one or more building plots that come into question?
This is where desire and reality collide. Give yourself some time and carefully check what best suits your situation. In the best case, you will end up with two to three plots on the shortlist.
From land awaiting construction to building site
But this is not the end of the story. The decisive factor is whether and how construction is permitted on the site. That is, whether it is designated building land in the sense of §30 or §34 of the Building Code (BauBG). In this case, the municipality has stipulated in the development plan that residential properties may be built there.
If this is not yet the case, you can submit a preliminary building application. Experts often advise against a purchase if the land is ready for construction. It may be many years before building can actually take place there.
Building, but how?
Before construction can get underway, the site must be developed. The easiest way is to buy a completely developed plot of land, i.e. a finished building site. Then there are no more nasty surprises.
If not, appropriate measures still need to be carried out: Water and sewage pipes are laid, as well as electricity and gas, telephone and street connection. Before you buy, check very carefully whether everything is already in place. You can also ask the local authority and telephone and electricity providers whether the lines already exist.
Back to the development plan: There it says not only whether, but also how you may build. This sometimes means not only the height, but also the style. Does a log cabin style house fit into the settlement? The development plan regulates how plots of land may be designed in the area in question.
If in doubt, request a soil expertise
How expensive your building project will be also depends on the quality of the soil. Problems are caused, for example, by a high groundwater level or boggy subsoil. Sometimes it is also necessary to remove explosive ordnance or clean up other contaminated sites. If you are unsure how good the soil is, it is worth commissioning a soil survey. That costs 1.000 to 2.000 Euro. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises as far as the building site is concerned.
What else is there to consider?
Now you are sure: The plot fits your budget and your requirements. It is a developed building site or you are already planning the development. The ground can be built on without major problems. The development plan allows you to build your dream house there.
Can I now sign the purchase contract? Yes, almost. Before you sign the contract, you should check the land registry entry for the property. See if there is a building charge on the building site. In some federal states there is a register of building encumbrances, z.B. in Brandenburg.
In any case, you should take a look at the land register entry. In addition to building encumbrances, other restrictions on building are also listed there. This can become an issue if the site is located near a nature reserve or the like.
After all this is clarified, you can sign the purchase contract. However, you should be aware that, like buying a house, there are incidental costs:
- Real estate agent fee
- Real estate transfer tax (3.5 percent)
- Possible development costs
- Survey of the property
How high the incidental costs are overall varies greatly and depends on the state, size of the property and many other factors.
So, managed! You can start breaking ground on your new home!
Three tips for a successful property search
Tip 1: Network as best you can
Online real estate exchanges are a good starting point for your search. But do not rely on finding there quickly. The best thing to do is to put out feelers in all directions. You might get a tip from friends or acquaintances. The better networked you are, the greater the chance of getting to a plot or property via a private clue.
Tip 2: Make compromises, because that’s how you get there
Everyone has their own idea of a dream home. The fact that the reality does not completely correspond to this is part of it and is not at all bad. Make the best of your situation and you’ll see: The result can still be great.
This also applies in case of disagreements with your partner. Everyone has things that are especially important to him or her. Make sure no one is shortchanged and both partners are equally involved in the project.
Tip 3: Find trustworthy partners to guide you through the process
Unfortunately, there are many black sheep on the real estate market, because large sums of money are involved in building or buying a house. No matter if you are a realtor, architect or financing partner: Inform yourself well and look for reliable partners.
Find a reputable broker
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