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Old 15.06.2015, 10:19
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Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

Hello,

I have never used a forum before so I apologise if I am committing any taboos.

We (my fiancé and I) have just been informed we will be moving to Geneva in August. We luckily have company accommodation near Balexert for the first few months.

I have tried looking for houses online but am finding it quite difficult, especially what areas to look at. My fiancé will be working in Geneva but we have considered living in France. But I don't want us to be too far and him have to commute for too many hours a day.

We would like to find a house but it's just the two of us and two cats with no plans for children, so we don;t need a massive house, however we would love to encourage visitors so would be happy with 4 bedroom or even less.

I am 29 soon and he is 36, I am South African and he is Scottish, We live in Qatar at the moment and have been expats for 14 years collectively.

I would love some advice on;

1. Great suburb to live in with decent travelling distance to Geneva city centre
2. To know if there are any health food shops and fitness groups

Thank you so much
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Old 15.06.2015, 10:42
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

You do know of the housing crisis in Geneva I hope. What you eventully get will often be what you can find and is available. Expect a long wait to find something unless you have a relocation agent working for you.

Furthermore, unless you have a very high expat salary, an individual house may not be possible. Apartment living is the norm. For individual houses expect a very high cost and longer commute. For 2 persons I would consider a house a luxury unless you are planning to have kids soon.
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Old 15.06.2015, 10:44
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

Thank you for your feedback. I was not aware of housing crisis. I presume we will probably then look to live in France and commute.

We will stay in an apartment at first and get a feel for things.

Thank you
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Old 15.06.2015, 10:59
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

As you are not married yet have you looked into the permit situation?

Assuming you don't have a job yourself here yet then you will be coming here as a 'concubine' and as you are non EU that may not be very easy. Your fiancé will have too prove that he can support you and agree to do so for the next five ( I think) years plus you will have to prove your commitment to each other. Bring engaged already is a good start but be prepared for them to ask when you're going to get married.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 15.06.2015 at 11:25.
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Old 15.06.2015, 11:18
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

Your life would be made easier if you qualify for an EU passport. Any chance of that?
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Old 15.06.2015, 11:21
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Haha "concubine".

We will be married by the time we move. I also have schengen visa for the next year and will be travelling a lot until end of October. So I should be fine.

Thank you for your message

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Your life would be made easier if you qualify for an EU passport. Any chance of that?
Haha, if that were possible I would have done so AGES ago.

I will be married by the time we move and have existing Schengen visa and will be travelling in and out a lot until end of October when the move will become official

Last edited by 3Wishes; 15.06.2015 at 15:59. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 15.06.2015, 14:01
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

You've got some quite good answers above. Just a few salient points:

- you don't mention which area of Geneva nor what type of work your fiancee is doing. The commute time will so much depend on which side of the lake is your housing and place of work.

- 4 bedroom house, while not impossible to get, will cost. Anything between 5-10k in downtown Geneva (i.e. near Balexert, Chambessy, Cologny, even Grand/Petit Sacconex). Further away near highway you may be lucky if it is around 5k (Bellevue, Genthod, Chavannes (all the way up to Divonne in France).

- not sure about whole 'frontalier' business (and especially EU and non-EU, even if you are married); however for sure you cannot expect to live in France on a Schengen (tourist) visa - it allows you maximum 90 days stay in each 180 days period, of course within duration of your visa .
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Old 15.06.2015, 14:43
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

Quote:
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You've got some quite good answers above. Just a few salient points:

- you don't mention which area of Geneva nor what type of work your fiancee is doing. The commute time will so much depend on which side of the lake is your housing and place of work.

- 4 bedroom house, while not impossible to get, will cost. Anything between 5-10k in downtown Geneva (i.e. near Balexert, Chambessy, Cologny, even Grand/Petit Sacconex). Further away near highway you may be lucky if it is around 5k (Bellevue, Genthod, Chavannes (all the way up to Divonne in France).

- not sure about whole 'frontalier' business (and especially EU and non-EU, even if you are married); however for sure you cannot expect to live in France on a Schengen (tourist) visa - it allows you maximum 90 days stay in each 180 days period, of course within duration of your visa .
I think after joining a forum in France it is going to be the best option for us to live there.

I definitely do not plan to try live there on a Schengen visa, I am a stickler for the rules. I am not worried about our visas etc as our company will help. I am hoping there is some sort of spousal visa. Just for the month of September I will be there on my schengen.

The company is in finance and is right near the airport.

Luckily we have the company apartment for a few months until we find what we are looking for. Was just interested in getting common areas people choose to live.

Thank you very much for your advice
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Old 16.06.2015, 15:56
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

We have just moved into a small but lovely apartment in Grand-Saconnex, which is a quick bus ride or 15 minute walk from the airport. It's in Switzerland, but right on the edge of Geneva and very close to France (so we can do our shopping there). There are cows (with bells!) across the road. We love it! And although it is only small (3.5 rooms - 1 bedroom), we decided that visitors could either camp on a sofabed in the loungeroom or we would put them up in the charming B&B down the road, and use the savings in cost and home-maintenance time for trips on the weekend.
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Old 18.06.2015, 19:59
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

On the airport side then you will be looking first at pays de Gex, just across the border. I have many colleagues who live happily there. Now it is very heavily built up, with few facilities in proportion to the number of inhabitants. We spent two years renting there before looking around and finally making the big leap to the Annecy area. I only regret that move,briefly, when the snow is heavy - a few days a year.
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Old 26.06.2015, 18:30
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Re: Moving to Geneva and have no idea where to live

Hi there,

I'm currently in the process of moving to Geneva from London, and my partner and I have just secured a lovely 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom property in Russin, which is about 20 min drive from Geneva (or a couple of stops on the train). It is an apartment in a house which is split into 4 properties, so it doesn't really feel like a flat (it also has a terrace and a garden). Russin is a very charming village with lovely views. We have visited many places during our search, and it was by far our favourite.

It is not easy to find a larger property in Geneva, especially compared to London, and there are many rules and regulations one has to take into account, but it is not impossible. We have - actively - searched for 7 weeks and filed two applications. Frst one got rejected as they have considered the property too big for a couple (4 bed, 2 bathrooms); second one (3 bed, 2 bathrooms) got accepted.
Good luck with the move and if I can be of any more help, please do not hesitate to ask.
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