Before you decide to opt for a newbuild rather than an existing home, you'll need to factor in a number of considerations. The cost of a newbuild involves much more than just the bricks and mortar (see our concise overview below).
Before you can start building your new home, you’ll first need a plot of land. Prices vary considerably depending on the part of the country you're in (Flanders, Wallonia or Brussels). According to the Federal Government's website, the average price in Belgium is 105 euros per square meter, so the price of a plot of building land of 10 ares (1 000 square metres) soon runs up to at least 105 000 euros.
Other fees and expenses
When you purchase a plot of land you'll also need to pay registration duties, the notary-public's fee, deed costs, credit charges and insurance premiums. Registration duties vary according to the region you're in: 10% in the Flemish Region and 12.5% in the Brussels Capital Region and Wallonia Region. You may qualify for reduced rates of tax so it's worth checking the conditions on the Federal Government website.
Notary-public fees can run up and are calculated based on the purchase price of the land. It's therefore best to request a precise estimate from them beforehand.
Credit charges and insurance premiums also vary considerably so you should speak with your bank.
You may also need to pay for a registered land surveyor (easily up to 500 euros) and soil survey costs.
The price of your house
Now to the house itself. First of all it will need to be designed by an architect and their price will depend on whether you're building a large detached house or a small terraced house, but also on their brief.
Architects may charge a fixed price or a percentage of the total cost of the house. Most architects apply an hourly fee for an expert appraisal. Some do the same for a consultation. Ask your architect in advance exactly how much they will charge, and what precise services will be provided. The method of payment is specified in the contract.
The price of a house and the building work also depends on many other factors, such as the type of materials used. It's therefore best to get several price quotations from different construction companies. And don't forget that they have a validity period.
Be sure to have your quotations checked by your architect to ensure the bids/tenders meet the provisions of the plans and specifications.
Other costs you'll need to consider include an energy-efficiency survey (insulation quality of your newbuild) and a stability survey. If your building plot is in a new development project or is fairly isolated, you'll also need to factor in the additional cost of connecting to essential utilities such as electricity, gas, water, sewage and telephone lines (Internet, television and telephone).
Turnkey building solution
If all this sounds too complicated and off-putting, you can always opt for a turnkey building solution. Many construction companies offer land with ready-built houses which can take the sting out of your worries.