Land can be a very good buy – but it should be treated with caution!
If you are purchasing with a view to building a new home, you will require services, ie. water, electricity and telephone. Getting these onto the site can be very expensive. A rule of thumb used to be
1,000 Euros per service, but those days have long gone.
Firstly, you should be aware that the electricity board will not supply electricity to a caravan – this is forbidden. They will arrange a temporary supply for work to be done.
Secondly, all three services must dig trenches for supply – overland cables are no longer acceptable. The length of the trench determines the cost – so the longer the trench, the higher the bill. When viewing your potential plot of land for the first time, it is advisable to note the distance from the nearest electricity pole, telephone pole and standpipe as this will seriously affect the cost of connection. Digging the trench must be done in accordance with the regulations of the equivalent to the Department of the Environment which have rigorous specifications applying to both the trench itself and the materials being used. On top of this, there is vat currently at 19.6%.
Thirdly, the mayor of the commune needs to be consulted by the service suppliers to make sure they are in agreement with the extension to the network. Whilst we have never known a mayor to refuse, on the other hand, we have never known a commune to agree to pay towards the cost.
Fourthly, estimates tend to be high because the various suppliers have to apply for their own “permis de construire” (planning permission) and they charge a substantial administrative charge for this. This is the case even if the land already has outline planning permission (certificate d’urbanism).
Parcels of land for sale on mini estates called “lotissements” are often more expensive than private “one off” sales of plots of land. The reason for this is clear – the services are already connected and included in the price.
A building plot offers you the freedom to design a brand new home to your own specifications. The construction of the house is obviously going to be the major expense of your project compared to the purchase cost of the land. Just make sure that you make the necessary allowances in your budget so that you can achieve your planned result and live happily ever after!