New is a little more expensive than old, of course. But can be desirable, with the big added advantage of assistance and guaranties.
Clearly the old sometimes has a little more of a cachet. But new is …new. New can be built to suit your image. Furthermore, even though the price per square metre is still more than for older properties, the State does not leave the purchaser helpless or out on their own. Those who set their heart on an apartment in a large scale new property development programme have the same advantages as those who have opted for an individual, even isolated house. As there are many forms of assistance – or options – for financing to facilitate access to property ownership.
Direct assistance in the form of capital, or purchasing or construction subsidies is available to facilitate the acquisition or construction of housing (individual family house or apartment). The amount is set according to the revenue and financial situation of the applicant’s family: the level of subsidies ranges between 250 and 9700 euros. If the housing concerned is an apartment in a co-ownership arrangement, or a townhouse, the subsidy is increased by 30 %. If it is a semi-detached house, the subsidy is increased by 15 %.
The purchasing or construction subsidy can only be granted once to the same recipient. This subsidy is paid to the body that agreed the mortgage loan to finance the residential property, on behalf of the beneficiary. In addition, communes of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg encourage access to residential property through capital allowances. In most cases, this kind of assistance is linked to the condition of the granting of a State subsidy. The State has also provided an interest subsidy in order to reduce monthly repayment charges on a mortgage loan taken out for construction, acquisition or improvement of housing used as the main or permanent place of abode. And indirectly, State assistance can take the form of VAT reduced to 3 % for the construction of new housing.
As well as non-cash or fiscal benefits, guarantees confer a particular attraction upon new build properties. In particular the construction completion guarantee that runs for one year from the date of acceptance of the works. Following acceptance of the works, for a period of one year, each company that was involved in the creation of the accommodation is liable for their part in the works carried out and must carry out repairs in the event of any problem.
Another guarantee, referred to as the “maintenance bond”, is effective for two years as from the date of acceptance of the works. This extends the construction completion guarantee by one year and covers the elements of equipment that one wishes to remove, disassemble or replace, without damaging the construction, to the exclusion of domestic appliances and furniture. This guarantee relates to radiators, rolling shutters, the hot water tank, etc…
Ultimately, there is also the decennial guarantee (ten years as from the date of acceptance of the works) which covers, amongst other things, all damage that compromises the soundness of construction and would render it uninhabitable.
Finally, new build is expected to comply with energy efficiency regulations, to be less energy hungry, and much more besides. Buying a new build often means the certainty of living surrounded by innovative materials. In principle, the electricity, plumbing, and materials should meet the latest requirements in terms of safety and energy performance. Come what may, the “Energy passport” should set out the building’s advantages in black and white.
Emilie Di Vincenzo