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  #21  
Old 06.09.2016, 13:23
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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@xandeo @Samaire13 @eyebeebe thanks a lot for all your time and feedback, guys!! The choice becomes tougher

When it comes to the rental terms--is it typically 1-year or longer contracts?

I am thinking now that if a 1-year is a typical term, I can ease my mind and "just" see if I like any particular apartment available and willing to accept me as the tenant, and go for it, accepting the potential drawbacks, be it the price or the socializing aspects
I can't speak for Winterthur (but don't expect major differences to Zurich), but there are normally fixed moving dates 1st April, 1st July, 1st October and you have to give notice in writing at least 3 months before that or you are liable for the costs to the next moving date or to find another suitable tenant (normally not an issue). In addition to this, there are usually minimum terms in the contract, typically a year, sometimes 2, but could even be 5.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Swiss landlords prefer long term tenants and having a prior history of moving after a year will not put you at the top of their pile.
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  #22  
Old 06.09.2016, 13:26
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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I can't speak for Winterthur (but don't expect major differences to Zurich), but there are normally fixed moving dates 1st April, 1st July, 1st October and you have to give notice in writing at least 3 months before that or you are liable for the costs to the next moving date or to find another suitable tenant (normally not an issue). In addition to this, there are usually minimum terms in the contract, typically a year, sometimes 2, but could even be 5.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Swiss landlords prefer long term tenants and having a prior history of moving after a year will not put you at the top of their pile.
Oi, the fixed dates complicate it all a lot, since I start on the January 2nd, and so renting a place and keeping it empty for almost 2 months just for the sake of it...
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Old 06.09.2016, 13:54
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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Apartment...yeah, I am aware of how difficult it might be to get one , for now I am setting some hopes/expectations on "my" HR folks from the new job, but I am also ready to spend a month or two using airbnb before I manage to find smth....I'm hoping for anything in the 2000-3000 CHF/month range--is that absolutely unrealistic for Zurich and my needs (studio or 1-b)?
There is a way arfound this that I've used myself.

Go onto https://en.comparis.ch/immobilien and do an 'advanced search' for the key work 'befristet' = limited.

This will bring up all the properties available that have limited leases on this. The limit is usually because a building is due to be refurbished or demolished to make way for a boring glass and concrete thing. The added bonus is that most Swiss people won't bother applying for such a property, so you'll likely only be in competition with other ex-pats.


We got our first apartment this way, and landed an 80m.sq, 3.5 rooms 2nd floor apartment overlooking Zürisee (just off Seestrasse) for
CHF 1620 per month.

Good luck!
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  #24  
Old 06.09.2016, 14:02
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

@Blueangel wow, thanks for the tip!! Indeed there are interesting options coming up now...I just wonder how bad is that in reality with those fixed moving dates mentioned before...I really hope to get a place from Jan or Nov, not from the 1st of October...
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  #25  
Old 06.09.2016, 14:16
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

I wouldn't worry much about the moving dates. These days, it's all a bit more fluid than it used to be. Many rental contracts can be terminated by the end of every month (though with a notice period of 3-4 months) except December. That is especially true for Zurich where demand far exceeds supply and beggars can't be choosers - meaning that whoever can move at the most convenient day for everyone will be given priority.

Note that this is not that different in Winterthur. It certainly is much less dire than in Zurich, but not quite easy either. However with your budget, I wouldn't worry - most won't be able to send 2-3k on rent for a smaller apartment, so you'll face less competition.

The only bad month to want to move is early January which I realize is when you want to move. If I were you, I'd arrange for 3 months furnished accommodation through your company (if at all possible) and then start looking for a permanent place once here.

Most rental contracts here are open-ended. Temporary is not common unless it's a sublet from someone who e.g. goes abroad for a while or an impending renovation (usually followed by a rent increase of 50% )
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  #26  
Old 06.09.2016, 15:09
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

@Samaire13 oh, thanks so much for sharing it, it's very encouraging!! In Norway it's quite uncommon to have not a fixed-date rental contract, and we surely don't have fixed moving dates, so I was a little but what-the-heck

Thanks guys, so much input here, I'm really flattered and happy that I found this forum
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Old 06.09.2016, 15:10
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

...and moving in November is sub-optimal, but still much better than October so if I'm ready to compromise on that
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  #28  
Old 06.09.2016, 15:24
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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The only bad month to want to move is early January which I realize is when you want to move. If I were you, I'd arrange for 3 months furnished accommodation through your company (if at all possible) and then start looking for a permanent place once here.

Most rental contracts here are open-ended. Temporary is not common unless it's a sublet from someone who e.g. goes abroad for a while or an impending renovation (usually followed by a rent increase of 50% )
Agreed.

I saw our first apartment on homegate at the beginning of last October, 4 weeks before we arrived. We spent the first 13nts in a hotel in Opfikon, but only because I was still entitled to travel agent rates at that time, so it worked out cheaper than a short stay apartment. Then we moved into a short stay apartment in Oerlikon for 10 nights, and into our first proper apartment on 1st December.

I went to see where the apartment was on Day 2 of being in Zurich, and had the proper viewing on Day 9. Told the owner I would definitely be applying during the viewing and posted the application the same day. My OH didn't see the apartment inside until the day we moved in, and we both absolutely loved living there. The views of the lake and over to the mountains were stunning.
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  #29  
Old 06.09.2016, 15:29
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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Agreed.

I saw our first apartment on homegate at the beginning of last October, 4 weeks before we arrived. We spent the first 13nts in a hotel in Opfikon, but only because I was still entitled to travel agent rates at that time, so it worked out cheaper than a short stay apartment. Then we moved into a short stay apartment in Oerlikon for 10 nights, and into our first proper apartment on 1st December.

I went to see where the apartment was on Day 2 of being in Zurich, and had the proper viewing on Day 9. Told the owner I would definitely be applying during the viewing and posted the application the same day. My OH didn't see the apartment inside until the day we moved in, and we both absolutely loved living there. The views of the lake and over to the mountains were stunning.

Thanks! And about that application--is it something that all the candidates are supposed to submit to landlords? We don't have it here Could you maybe point me to any standard template of such a thing, in German it is fine too..I just have no idea what to write there, I can imagine I better tell them that I'm good, but also I suppose I will need to provide some personal details and references from my employer in Switzerland?
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Old 06.09.2016, 15:37
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

Some advice on public transport at your desired locations


If you move to Winti, you'll really want to look closely into how and when you travel by train. On S-Bahn there isn't such a big (seat-material wise) difference between 1st and 2nd class, but on IC and IR trains the seats look more comfy in 1st class. In 1st class you generally have more space if you travel outside rush hours. In rush hour in 2nd class you'll end up standing most of the time, while in 1st that is possible as well as Winti-ZH is a very very well-used section of the CH train network, with the airport in it and many many people commuting to and from ZH for work.

Note though that 1st class tickets are generally much more expensive than 2nd class tickets.
You can reduce this cost by getting the half-fare card (Halbtax), though I'm not sure if that's valid on the 1st class ticket prices or on 2nd only.
One way or another you'll be paying a lot for public transport by living in Zürich or Winti, as the canton is split into zones and one pays an amount per zone per day/month/year/single trip. Zürich and Winti count as double zones so that will increase your travel expenses. ZVV network pass seems the most economical decision as you'll be traveling Mon-Fri presumably - note though that on monthly and yearly passes, there is no reduction for half-fare card owners.
The most expensive public transport option is the 1st class GA: The GA entitles you to travel on Switzerland's (not only Canton ZH's) entire train, bus and boat network (with some exceptions). If you don't venture out of your canton very often it is extremely expensive by comparison, though.

In general, from expensive to cheap, the Swiss public transport goes like this:

1st class > 2nd class > half-fare price
Provided you travel multiple times per week: GA > Yearly pass ZVV > monthly pass ZVV > day pass ZVV > multi-day ticket ZVV > single ticket ZVV

Forget driving and parking in Züri city - take public transport.



Some threads:

Swiss pass vs Halb Tax
Swiss Pass and monthly abo
some confusion regarding the GA Card and Swiss Pass ...!!!




As for the application form for your flat, probably Blueangel means the document which normally is called "Anmeldeformular" in German. Contact your prospective landlord and ask for it or, better, search their website for it (that annoys the landlord less and can thus increase your chance of getting the flat).
Info re: flat searching can be found here, among other threads: Giving up..
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  #31  
Old 06.09.2016, 15:42
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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Thanks! And about that application--is it something that all the candidates are supposed to submit to landlords? We don't have it here Could you maybe point me to any standard template of such a thing, in German it is fine too..I just have no idea what to write there, I can imagine I better tell them that I'm good, but also I suppose I will need to provide some personal details and references from my employer in Switzerland?
Yes cause there'll be 40-100+ other people wanting the apartment you want As said, not easy these days.

However, it's not an actual application in that sense. You get a form you need to fill with some details on your income and employer etc, you submit that together with proof that you have no debt (though I'm not sure that applies for someone just moving here, others will be able to comment on this), and ideally a copy of your work & residence permit, usually. I hear 'real' applications are becoming more common, though I don't know anyone who's had to do that as of yet. And about 50% of my friends are not Swiss, so nationality or Swiss vs non-Swiss can't be the deciding factor - it's probably again an issue of demand > supply.

That's another reason why the temp accommodation is a good idea as it buys you time. Seriously, don't underestimate how difficult it may be to get a place if you decide to move to Zurich. Only about 0.5-1.0% of apartments are available at any given time and it's not unusual for 250 people lining up (literally) to see an apartment that becomes available. As said, your budget is on the higher end, so you'll face less issues than someone e.g. looking for 4.5-rooms at a budget of 2500. But don't underestimate it. It's really bad these days.

That is another reason why I'd vote to not move to the city. To me personally, it wouldn't be worth the hassle unless I was an absolute city mouse intending to make excessive use of the city's infrastructure incl nightlife. There's a ton of smaller communes right outside of Zurich with a commute into the city that may even be shorter than within it, and where the housing situation - while not rosy either - is a bit better.
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Old 06.09.2016, 15:47
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

@glowjupiter thanks! My employer will provide that yearly half-price card

And I absolutely intend to use the public transportation as much as possible: I love trains and I can't stand road jams Thanks for the thorough input!

@Samaire13 thanks again, I will definitely try that ball asking my employer if a temp housing can be provided for me just to "enter the market", though so far the HR is not looking uber-proactive. Housing...dohh we have it also pretty bad in Oslo but surely not hundreds applicants lining-up :/
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Old 06.09.2016, 15:56
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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@glowjupiter thanks! My employer will provide that yearly half-price card

And I absolutely intend to use the public transportation as much as possible: I love trains and I can't stand road jams Thanks for the thorough input!

@Samaire13 thanks again, I will definitely try that ball asking my employer if a temp housing can be provided for me just to "enter the market", though so far the HR is not looking uber-proactive. Housing...dohh we have it also pretty bad in Oslo but surely not hundreds applicants lining-up :/
If your income is on the (very much) higher side, sitting in 1st class could look very nice indeed - but the prices for 1st class tickets (even yearly passes) are eye-watering
Note also that for ZVV yearly and monthly passes there is no half-fare option, you'll have to pay full price no matter if you travel 2nd or 1st class.
If you want to consider getting 1st rather than 2nd class public transport, at any rate I recommend traveling 2nd class for a month first and comparing it to 1st before paying up for a 1st class ticket and finding out that 1st is just as packed as 2nd during your main travel hours.
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Old 06.09.2016, 16:03
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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If your income is on the (very much) higher side, sitting in 1st class could look very nice indeed - but the prices for 1st class tickets (even yearly passes) are eye-watering
Note also that for ZVV yearly and monthly passes there is no half-fare option, you'll have to pay full price no matter if you travel 2nd or 1st class.
If you want to consider getting 1st rather than 2nd class public transport, at any rate I recommend traveling 2nd class for a month first and comparing it to 1st before paying up for a 1st class ticket and finding out that 1st is just as packed as 2nd during your main travel hours.
ohh, thanks, I think that for ~30 mins ride I must be able to handle the 2nd class, plus I might have that privilege sometime to escape the common rush-hours times (as I will be working in the IT consulting). In this case, I guess the ZVV for the weekdays, plus half-fare for the weekends might be the best economical option?
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Old 06.09.2016, 16:06
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Re: Winterthur OR Zürich?

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ohh, thanks, I think that for ~30 mins ride I must be able to handle the 2nd class, plus I might have that privilege sometime to escape the common rush-hours times (as I will be working in the IT consulting). In this case, I guess the ZVV for the weekdays, plus half-fare for the weekends might be the best economical option?
Indeed it does - indulge in 1st on the weekends from time to time if you like

Before I forget, Winti and other cities (Zürich City is NOT included) do offer the Tageskarte Gemeinde, a railpass for free travel on the entire Swiss rail, boat and bus network for a price around CHF 45.-. This day card are normally given only to residents of cities which give them out, and the earlier you order one the better. You don't need a half-fare card to be able to travel with this day card.

Winti link
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