We set off early for Ostbeven with the aim of arriving early. Sadly we got caught up in a traffic jam for almost two hours due to the Autobahn being completely closed.
When we did eventually arrive, we were immediately welcomed, given a plan of the five houses and a free pen, and then sent on our way to have a look around.
I think we spent almost two hours in the Maxime 300 show-house, looking at every room in detail. Immediately we wanted to ask if we could just take the house with us, packed up in a box!
A few snapshots we took of the show-house…
We arrived home late in the evening, having travelled more than 800 kilometres during the day.
We were both really happy that we had done it – we liked what we had seen, and we have added even more questions onto our list of things to ask during the meeting tomorrow!
Since we were in Koblenz for the weekend to go to the Rhein-in-Flammen fireworks display, we spend a lovely warm sunny afternoon sitting outside with our iPad looking at all (more than 50) of the different house types that Viebrockhaus offers.
Viebrockhaus seems to be one of the larger house builders in Germany, and builds with blocks on site, rather than building with prefabricated frames.
We also did some research into what other people have to say about the company – generally, the reviews seem very positive. As with absolutely everything, you can find some critical comments.
We also found some comments that deviations from the standard house layouts are possible, but the prices for such changes are apparently very high.
It sounds like they would rather build completely standard, but are happy to change anything the customer wants, as long as the customer is happy to pay for it.
That seems understandable and fair – the way I look at it is that as long as the overall price is OK (with any changes you want to be included), no need to complain about it.
The choices of house styles, layouts, shapes and sizes are somewhat overwhelming at first, but we quickly came to a shortlist of around 5 different houses which we liked and would fit on the building plot nicely. Eventually, somehow, we came down to just one favourite.
Once we are home, I will make a 3D model in Sketchup and see how the house looks, and how it fits onto the plot.
So we are back down to just one option under consideration, one of two plots on the new housing area on the edge of town, near the bus stop.
The two plots are more or less the same width and length, with one being a corner plot (with a road on two sides). In addition, because they have built a chicane in the road to the side, the back of the plot is also partly road.
(Please keep in mind this is a housing development,and that neither of these roads are main roads – the only people who would be driving on these roads are the other residents).
The roads provide additional distance from other houses, and also on the south side, a play area (a few swings and a slide etc.) is being built, so no house overlooking the garden from that side.
For these, and various other reasons we never considered the other plot and started thinking about houses!
So we started reading www.viebrockhaus.de …
During our search for a building plot, we came across a few ‘new housing areas’ – generally areas on the edge of existing towns or villages which are being sold off for new houses to be built.
We drove around a few of these areas and quickly found that in many cases the building plots had not only already been sold, but the houses have already been built, and people have moved in. Too late.
We visited one area where half of the area had been sold a little earlier than the other half. In the ‘first half’, almost all of the houses are already built, and in the other half a couple of houses are half built, a few more are at the groundwork stage, and most plots were completely empty.
Since the small town does not have a railway station, we were happy to see a bus stop, right on the edge of the development.
- In morning and evening peak periods, a direct bus into the city every 15 minutes, taking less than half an hour
- At other times, once an hour.
Even though the town is very small, with less than 14000 inhabitants, it is well connected to the main road / Autobahn network and has one large supermarket, a medium sized ‘high-end’ supermarket and of course both of the two internationally renowned German discount supermarkets.
Perfect! That all works for us so far, and once we got home we started to look for adverts for the remaining building plots and made a list of the people to call…
Today we cycled to a small village not far from here – to look at a building plot which we saw advertised for sale.
Although the plot has more than enough space for a good sized house plus ample parking / garage, it is effectively the existing back garden of a small three-storey block of apartments. Since we plan for a two-storey detached house, we would be overlooked from three sides by some quite tall buildings.
On the positive side, the small village has a railway station just a few minutes walk away, so it would be possible to get to work by train with no issues (this is important for us, as neither of us likes to drive our car’s in the snow and ice unless we really have to!)
Sadly we decided very quickly that this plot was not for us, but it inspired us to start a search of all building plots for sale within 20 km or so and started a list of people to call.