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Build inexpensively: How to reduce costs

House building is expensive and many costs are inevitable. For most people, it's the biggest investment of their life. It is all the more important to keep the total costs as low as possible. Some tricks allow the construction costs to be reduced significantly. For example, through forward-looking and well-considered planning. With your own work, you can reduce costs by a fifth.

B-location is the trump card

The land prices depend on the location. If you can do without the top location and instead choose a B location with good infrastructure, you can often buy property more cheaply - without any significant loss of quality of life.

House on foreign soil

Building plots are particularly expensive in metropolitan areas. Hereditary building rights offered by churches and municipalities often offer a solution here: Instead of buying a piece of land, you acquire the right to use and develop land for a certain period of time - usually 60 to 99 years. Annual ground rent of around three to four percent of the property's value is paid for the leasehold. In return, the users of the heritable building rights manage the property like real owners.

The art of omission

Question your own space requirements. A spacious home certainly promises a lot of comfort. But every extra square meter of living space also costs additional money, not only when purchasing or building, but also later in maintenance. By the way, every resident in Germany has an average of 46.5 square meters of living space available. When building a house, you can also save a lot by doing without a basement - this item accounts for around 50,000 euros in most cases.

Patience is rewarded

When building a house, it makes sense to postpone measures that are not required to move in: for example, the roof extension, the construction of a carport or garden design. This not only gives you time to consolidate your finances. Anyone who employs craftsmen in their own household can deduct their working hours for tax purposes. A maximum of 6,000 euros for tradespeople can be deducted per year. This results in a tax refund of 1,200 euros.

Take funding with you

Whether residential Riester allowances, child benefit or low-cost KfW loans for energy-efficient construction: the state supports buyers and builders in purchasing property with a whole range of subsidy programs. Anyone who finances their own home with a residential Riester home loan savings contract not only receives state allowances, but also enjoys tax advantages: Every year you can claim repayments of up to 2,100 euros as special expenses in your income tax return.

Architect: a professional when it comes to saving

Cheaper house construction starts with the planning. It is particularly worthwhile for the price-conscious to build with an architect. Because the professional can design your house in such a way that your individual living wishes can be fulfilled in the best possible way even with a limited budget. He advises the building owner and thus helps to avoid costly mistakes.

Own work when building a house brings a lot of savings potential

If you build your house yourself, it is possible that you save up to 20 percent of the costs. But don't overestimate yourself. In addition to manual skills, you need all kinds of tools, machines and a few helpers. Furthermore, it is important that the self-construction measures harmonize with the rest of the construction process. If you decide to build yourself, you will need additional insurance as well. The construction workers are automatically insured against accidents, but you as the client are not.

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Avoid unnecessary costs

Warranty claims against the construction company are often lost if you take the initiative. Especially when defects appear later and it cannot be proven who caused them. You should therefore get good advice and documentation prepared before starting construction. In this way, you can prevent later compensation claims.

Lower costs with a carport

The cost of a carport is lower than an in-house garage. Some building authorities may even allow the construction without their own building permit. If you do decide to build a carport, you can cut the cost in about half compared to the garage. You also need less space to build a carport. For this reason, building authorities relatively often approve exceptions to the distance rule to the street. If you also live in a good neighborhood, it is possible to place the carport directly on the property line.

Bare houses

If you want to do a lot yourself and save costs, an extension house is ideal for you. While you and your family are already living in the house, you can inexpensively finish the parts of the house that need to be built step by step, for example expanding the attic or setting up a granny flat. In this way, you can convert your single-family home into a multi-generation house over the years without financial pressure and build your retirement home at a young age.

Partition walls are inexpensive

If you value massive external walls, you can use lightweight partition walls inside. This can help you reduce the cost of building your home. Installation is quick and hardly makes any dirt. There are no long drying times and you can wallpaper the walls immediately. Thanks to the quick erection of the partition walls, you can move in three to four weeks earlier than with conventional solid construction. Another advantage of lightweight partitions is that they can be torn down again. The house is thus flexible and adapts to your various needs over time.

Build the house barrier-free with foresight

You can save costs in advance by planning ahead and building your house so that it is barrier-free. We all get older and accidents can always happen. Therefore, think of wide door openings, large bathrooms and enough space in front of all doors. You can plan and wall up stepless entrances. If necessary, these can then be opened again. In any case, a house that has been planned with foresight is cheaper than one that has been converted afterwards.

Tips for buying a house

Sauna lowers tax

Buyers of existing properties can save by buying furnishings. The assessment basis for the real estate transfer tax is the value of the property, i.e. of the house and property. However, inventory such as fitted kitchens, awnings or saunas are not part of the property. You should therefore have the purchase price for the inventory shown separately in the notarial contract. Then you do not pay any real estate transfer tax for these things. The same applies to the maintenance reserve in apartment buildings.

Negotiating is worth a try

Basically, you can negotiate the purchase price of a property. Whether the talks promise success for the buyer naturally depends on the demand. Sometimes sellers are in a hurry because they urgently need money. The purchase prices for emergency sales are often well below the market value. There is also the option of buying cheaply at foreclosures. But be careful: in order to seize the opportunity, the buyer must also make a quick decision. You should therefore hire an expert who can warn you of a wrong decision.

Planning on a tight budget

Building a house is expensive. Hardly anything can be changed about the high prices for land, the fixed costs for materials and wages. The Association of Private Builders gives tips on how you can save several thousand euros in construction costs:

If you do without the basement and place the building services in an adjoining room, you can save 20 percent of the costs for the shell from the start. Doing without the cellar shortens the construction time and later problems caused by rising groundwater or even flooding do not arise for you. Modern heating systems, regardless of whether they are gas or solar powered, can be installed directly under the roof.

Wooden constructions are recommended and inexpensive. The walls and roof elements are completely pre-assembled by carpenters in the workshop - including insulation, cable ducts, window and door openings. The parts are then put together on your construction site within a few days. That reduces the costs and construction time immensely. This means that you can move into your own home with your family more quickly.