As someone purchasing real estate, you're well advised to work out contracts with your contractual partners which are as specific and detailed as possible. Read here what this involves.
by Jürg Zulliger
The old saying about the purchase of a «pig in a poke» isn't completely without justification because as the purchaser of your own home, you don't know exactly what you'll get in the end.
If it's a new construction, everything has to do with a project that starts in the architect's mind or that exists only on paper. You're dealing with an entirely different process than when you drop into the supermarket and pick up some items for everyday use off the shelf. For a home buyer it's therefore critical that you commit your contractual partner to promises that are as specific and detailed as possible. The basis for this are carefully worded contracts, clearly defined prices and deadlines but also floor plans/blueprints and detailed specifications of the construction project. Anyone who doesn't take these principles regarding price and cost information to heart should not wonder later on about «exploding costs».
In relation to the overall cost of building a house, any extra fees for experts are completely justified, such as for consulting an experienced attorney who reviews all the contractual documents - and certainly before they are signed! Information and advice are also available from notaries and land register offices.
Especially when purchasing a home, you should remember the words of wisdom «look before you leap» and act accordingly. Anyone, however, who blindly considers everything already down in black and white as being fair and balanced will likely fall into some sort of contractual trap.