The short answer we received from Mark is “Yes, do it as soon as possible, if need be based on estimated prices. And then do a second round just before the moment of the purchase.”
Below is a machine-translated (corrected) copy of question and answers.
1) At what stage did you hold the confesseur process in Brutopia (or in the other groups)? Was that at the very beginning, or rather just before you started looking for a site?
“The confesseur seems useful to me after a common and private program has been decided to which a probable budget can also be linked + it is clear where the site should be looked for. Then an important step has already been taken and it would be a good time to confront everyone with their financial possibilities.”
2) If it was rather in the beginning:
- On the basis of what financial cost data did you hold the confesseur process?
- Or also: how can someone ever know what he/she/they can afford if we do not know what our budget looks like, the exact price per m² and the “fourchette” / “accordéon” in function of the sales value?
- Or also: should we wait for a more precise estimate, or can we start the process with the estimate of S+F (3500 euros / m² (with finishing and parking)?
"You can’t help but work with a theoretical budget. So start from the current market price in Brussels, but then everything included. If the market price has been determined, a group can also decide to stay below that by 20%, which of course has an impact on the program or location of the site.
This theoretical market price is an average price which means that once the site has been chosen the possibility is examined whether a fork in the price is possible. For example, if you buy a beguinage, everyone has exactly the same home and a fork is not possible. At this stage, it is only possible to work with “rough” figures, but these are good enough to confront everyone with the financial reality.
It is a good exercise to find a financial balance between the private and joint programme. This balance can also be made clear with simple examples: based on the current desired program, a 2-room apartment of 90m2 has a private cost of X€ and a common cost of Y€. If I have a budget that is only the amount X€ I might be able to settle for 70m2 or a more limited budget for the community. Of course, the latter is only possible if everyone agrees with this.
This exercise must be made before you begin the search for a site. This is because there is no time for such discussion when the site is found. This theoretical exercise can be seen as a benchmark. Everyone knows that if a site is purchased that is more expensive than this “benchmark” after completion, cuts will have to be made in the private or /and common program."
3) If it was rather towards the end: How, then, can we make an early assessment of whether our resources correspond to our wishes?
“I am therefore in favour of a relatively early check (see.1) of the finances because this brings reality into the project. A second test is of course necessary at the time of purchase. There it is important that only those people buy that we know can also handle this financially.”