Building a house vs. buying a house vs. refurbishing

Like everywhere else on this blog, of course, you’ll find our subjective opinions here. We share our thoughts on the subject of “building a house vs. buying a house” to make it understandable what led us to this decision. Whether this in turn applies to you, only you can judge!

In addition, we made our decision well before the Corona crisis and the Russian war in Ukraine. We are right in the middle of the construction boom with low interest rates. In the meantime, the general conditions for construction have changed significantly – from interest rates to inflation and a shortage of raw materials to the cancellation of KfW subsidies for new buildings, circumstances have arisen where we would have had to use a sharp pencil again. We would probably still have opted for a new building and against the purchase and renovation of old stock

The most important aspects for us
  • Floor plan flexibility: We would like to design the rooms, ergo the floor plan, according to our wishes and needs. We do not want to have any restrictions in the planning, i.e., for example, face the obstacle of wanting to remove a wall, but cannot do so for structural reasons.
  • We want it to be warm: We want a “feel good” feeling when coming home. Means being able to walk around on socks all year round. In my parents’ house, which is just about 30 years old – so far from having to renovate it, if you were to buy it “used” today – it is sometimes really uncomfortable when the heating is not on. And there, after all, there is already the comfort of underfloor heating. We have had various living situations over the years and can therefore judge them from our own experience. And this feel-good factor, which to a large extent is reflected in a temperature that is also comfortable for the feet, can simply only be achieved with a really well-insulated new building.
    We are currently living in a passive house with energy efficiency class 70 – our new building has 40+ – and it has so far been the only living situation where even now, when it’s sub-zero outside, I can walk around barefoot on the real wood parquet without underfloor heating. In addition, not even the heating is on (!). If we had done that in our previous apartment, a renovated, listed old building, in winter, it would have amounted to 14 degrees room temperature and ice lumps on the feet. It happened to us once, the intelligent thermostats on the radiators, which we had retrofitted, were not set up for the fact that our visitor was there earlier than we were. And then he froze. Besides, of course, it saves a lot of energy costs, especially with today’s conditions.

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