Building your home

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Building an individual home is a serious project. Among the many possibilities of construction, development and financing, everyone can find the solution in keeping with their desires and requirements.

How to finance the project?

Building real estate is often an uphill battle. Most of all, it is necessary to establish a financing plan which shall take the project’s scope into account: purchase or not of land, work payment, professionals who shall be involved, possible costs of connecting to various networks (sewers, gas, electricity), loan costs, etc. It is possible to borrow; a personal contribution shall always be welcome. The future owner must remember to check if he can qualify for assisted loans.

As such, the PTZ + (interest free loan) makes it possible to finance the acquisition or construction of new a housing, which is intended to become the main residence of the borrower. This loan is granted for the main residence provided; the latter hasn’t owned a home during the two years preceding the loan. The resource cap amount is to be respected and the PTZ depends on the area where the future accommodation shall be located.

How to choose your land to build?

The choice of land is an essential step. Before signing, you are strongly advised to set an appointment with your notary or the notary in charge of the sale. The latter will carry out all the necessary research work which allows the future owner to make an informed commitment.

  • Can one build on the land?
  • Does it correspond to the considered real estate project, mainly with the view of town planning constraints implemented in the region (height of construction, pre-emption right, etc.)?
  • What is its true value?
  • Is it affected by easements (specifications or rules of allotment, right of way for the benefit of a neighbor, common fence, etc.)?
  • How much are the land acquisition costs (rights to be paid to the State, fees, VAT, mortgage)?
  • What is the best way to buy: joint ownership? SCI?

How to obtain a building permit?

Except for exceptional cases, anyone who wishes to build a house on land must apply for a building permit to make sure that the project is in keeping with the town planning rules, in force.

The request (necessarily presented using a Cerfa form) must be filed (or sent by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt) by the owner or his representative at the town hall.

  • In case of an acceptance, the decision of the town hall takes the form of a city ordinance (the interested party is also notified via letter or by email)
  • In case of a refusal, it is always possible to file an appeal. Note that in the absence of a response within the period of two-months, it means that the town hall is not opposed to the project. However, it is recommended to request a certificate attesting the absence of an objection.

Is it mandatory to call upon an architect?

Since March 1, 2017, the use of an architect is mandatory when the floor area or footprint of the future construction exceeds 150 m2, against 170 m2 previously.

Below this, the owner can draw the plans of his house on his own… at his own risk. The architect is responsible for any construction defects for a period of ten years after the work has been completed.

How to choose a good builder?

The best way is to start by questioning friends or acquaintances: it is likely that someone close to them have already used the services of a builder for individual homes. Consequently, it is essential to take your time to properly examine the quote in great detail but also all the provisions of the contract.

Which contract to choose?

Many individuals turn directly to a specialist builder. These builders offer turnkey homes for a cost set right from the start. Two possibilities can be considered:

  • Sign a contract with this professional for the construction of an individual home (CCMI) with plan provisions, in which case the builder provides the plans and takes care of the construction.
  • Sign a contract with this professional for the construction of an individual home (CCMI) without providing plans: it is up to the owner to have the plans drawn up by an architect (or to draw these by himself), the builder only takes care of carrying out the work. In any case, it is better to make an informed decision.

The CCMI must include certain information which are used to protect the owner. You must therefore check, or have your notary verify, the presence of these references on the document, before signing it. One of the most important elements is the identification of the land and a statement of title for the deed, the references of work damage, justifications for a refund and delivery guarantees of the builder, the consistency and the technical features of the house which is going to be built (various connections and networks, interior and exterior equipment), the price of the construction, the terms of payment, the building permit, the time limit for completion. To be on the safe side, it is wise to mention the possible subscription to a loan in the contract. Due to which, it will be possible to disengage in case the loan has been refused.

Last but not least, you should know that the law grants the owner with a right of withdrawal within ten days. Beyond that, the latter is definitely engaged.

Is VEFA (off plan) feasible?

As soon as the builder also offers the land’s sale, the contract takes the form of a sale in the future state of completion (VEFA). In this case, once again one is encouraged to get advice from a notary before any signature, the operation must be placed under the latter’s control, for validity.