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Old 05.10.2007, 16:03
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Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

How can this be possible?
I just saw the add in Homegate (came out today at 12.30!!) I sent an email to the contact person asking to make an appointment to check the flat and 2 hours later he replies saying that the flat is going to be rented during the weekend??

Sehr geehrte Frau ,

es sind bereits einige Besichtungstermine vereinbart - und
durch die hohe Nachfrage wird die Wohnung am Week-end vermietet.

Besten Dank für Interesse und freundliche Grüsse

Matthias XXX


This is really frustrating!!
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Old 05.10.2007, 16:56
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

hey Mrs, flats in Zurich are indeed a sellers's market. The rentor's German is a little dodgy, so I can't tell if in this particular case he's telling you don't bother to come because we'll have rented it out by this weekend, or if he means come asap because it'll be gone by this weekend. If your heart's set on this place,call Matthias and say you can come before this weekend.

I've done this apartment-hunting thing a few times in Zurich. It's inevitably a frustrating experience, but here are a few tips that worked for me:

- set email alerts on homegate.ch and nzz.domizil.ch, and look at them each morning, as early in the morning as you can possibly conceive, then start calling the rentors or agents at 8:00 a.m. Don't rely on email - too easy to be put off.

- If you're dealing with the current tenants, make sure they know you can come see the apartment whenever is convenient to them. As in, right now would be good. The sooner, the better because you may be able to pre-empt other applicants.

- Make use of any informal channels you probably have at your disposal. You or any of your friends work for big corporates like Credit Suisse or UBS? Make sure you check the classifieds board they run regularly. These are often apartments that aren't publicly listed. Also check out city newsletters like ronorp.ch and the like - again, the earlier you check them each morning and respond the better.

- If you're really desperate to live in a specific neighborhood, print flyers making your plea and stuff those mailboxes. I've heard ads on Coop and Migros classified board work sometimes too.

Basically, apartment-hunting in Zurich basically means a part-time side job with lots of early morning scouting on the Internet. With perseverance and a bit of luck, you'll be fine .
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Old 05.10.2007, 17:41
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

Goes to show how shopping local can have benefits: make nice with the baker, laundry, deli people and let them know you're looking. They often hear the word on the street and will keep you in mind, seeing as you're in every other day (if you're looking in your neighbourhood). Worked for me RonOrp is also a good tip.

You, the World and his Wife are looking on Homegate for an appartment. Don't rely on them too much. Good luck and let us know...
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Old 05.10.2007, 18:02
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

Thank you for the tips... I will for sure let you know when my part-time job is over. I have been visiting almost everyday like 2 flats per day...It is exhausting...
But, sooner or later I will find something...
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Old 05.10.2007, 18:08
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

What are you looking for? Maybe someone on EF knows....
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Old 05.10.2007, 18:08
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

I am totally with you Mrs. Zurich. Apartment hunting in Zurich is total bull-doo doo. Been looking for a year now and we still haven't found what we want. Vaguely heard that a supplement slyly called vitamin B sometimes works but wouldn't really want to encourage that.
Good luck. May we all find our dream wohnungs.
Leyla
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Old 05.10.2007, 18:12
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

One year?....
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Old 05.10.2007, 18:17
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

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What are you looking for? Maybe someone on EF knows....
I already posted here. Thanks!
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Old 05.10.2007, 18:17
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

Yep, a whole year. I keep telling myself I am missing something. A couple of years ago I managed to find a rent controlled apartment in the East Village in NYC without a broker and on a research assistant's salary. I didn't think any other town's real estate would ever get to me after that. Live and learn. If I do find a fool-proof, or nearly fool-proof way to find an apartment in Zurich, I'll be sure to share it.
In the meantime, I do thank my lucky stars that I at least have a place to live.
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Old 05.10.2007, 20:51
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

I know how you must feel - am hunting right now myself... was at a flat open-for-inspection flat yesterday and before I even got there, the apartment was FULL (40+) of other people hunting... and the people just didn't stop coming and going - this is soo discouraging... but then again I could have lifted my lazy @ss a couple of months earlier..

As for the advertisement you wrote about in the first place, the companies/owners usually stop at a certain number targets they set themselves -I think- (happened to me this week as well), simply saying that they have 'enough applicants'. I guess they would be buried under applications if they waited longer...

The place I was to yesterday had all their applications given away within 10-15 minutes of opening the door AND they had to re-print them the whole time I was there because of the demand....t'was actually quite an eye-opener to me, only having searched for apartments in Geneva and Melbourne.

Anyway, wish you all the best (and try to have your friends or co-workers look out for apartments - it can be quite successful and you might find a real good deal through them! As I heard the best ones often don't get advertised as mentioned before)
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Old 07.10.2007, 10:37
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

In many cases this is because it is s "swiss only" neibourghoud and they realised you are a foreigner.

It happened to me and other friends before, we received a note or answered on the phone the flat was already rented, then have one swiss guy to call for the same flat and we got the appointment..


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How can this be possible?
I just saw the add in Homegate (came out today at 12.30!!) I sent an email to the contact person asking to make an appointment to check the flat and 2 hours later he replies saying that the flat is going to be rented during the weekend??

Sehr geehrte Frau ,

es sind bereits einige Besichtungstermine vereinbart - und
durch die hohe Nachfrage wird die Wohnung am Week-end vermietet.

Besten Dank für Interesse und freundliche Grüsse

Matthias XXX

This is really frustrating!!
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  #12  
Old 08.10.2007, 07:06
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

I have been in Zurich for a week and I am fed up with the entire apartment search. I went to "inspect" 5 different apartments and no luck. Two I liked and I applied for but was not selected. The entire inspection date thing is a bunch of BS in my opinion. Especially when the inspection date and time is usually on a weekday and during working hours. You get there, like the place, and tell them you will take it. You show them your employment contract with a nice fat paycheque but they pass you over and select a local Swiss or give you a lame excuse.

One of the excuses was ""Sir, you needed to attach a credit report" To which my answer was" I just arrived from Canada. Haven't been living in Switzerland. Here is a contract, I make 10X more a month than the rental costs, just give me the damn apartment" I also called the agency 4 days after applying and asked if they made their selection. Reply was "No, we will at the end of the week." So end of the week came and I noticed the agency has set another inspection date! 10 people applied for the apartment but they are not satisifed and want more applicants. It says the apartment is available immediately. What's taking so long to make a selection? Why are things moving so slow in this country??

Another frustrating thing is that the entire apartment hunting is not allowing me to concentrate on other things in life. ie work, studying, shopping, etc. I went to an agency, paid a search fee and agreed to pay 75% of first month rent if I select an apartment that they present to me. The guy managed to find ONE apartment for me to view and it was crap.

For the moment I am living in serviced studio and overpaying 600CHF/week. Can anyone recomend a good real estate agent who will actually book 5-10 appointments for me within a day or two so that I can go and view the apartments in a day/two and finally find one? Obviously I am ready to pay a finders fee to the agent.

Thanks for reading my morning rant.
Now I can go and have my coffee

Last edited by mikejones1; 08.10.2007 at 07:17.
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  #13  
Old 08.10.2007, 07:32
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

At one of the inspection sites, locals presented themselves to the landlord with a CV, other docs and pictures! I noticed that the landlord was sorting through a pile of applications and making his selection based on the following:
Pile 1) Good looking female & local Swiss, 2) Local Swiss, 3) Auslander

Guess who will get the apartment?
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Old 08.10.2007, 07:47
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

Get the credit report anyway: tick the box, logic does not apply.
I got one after 3 weeks in the country, to tick the box...

Also, do you all mean Zürich canton or Zürich city?
Going further out makes it easier, especially if you stick to a train route...
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Old 08.10.2007, 10:14
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

Mike, here are a few tips another member culled when he was looking to clinch an apartment (including a few pointers from me). He got it, by the way:

http://www.englishforum.ch/housing-g...html#post50833

BS or not, you have to submit all the papers they want if you really want the flat, otherwise you'll be taken out the running before you even get started, even if you're flashing a fat paycheck.

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I have been in Zurich for a week and I am fed up with the entire apartment search. I went to "inspect" 5 different apartments and no luck. Two I liked and I applied for but was not selected. The entire inspection date thing is a bunch of BS in my opinion. Especially when the inspection date and time is usually on a weekday and during working hours. You get there, like the place, and tell them you will take it. You show them your employment contract with a nice fat paycheque but they pass you over and select a local Swiss or give you a lame excuse.

One of the excuses was ""Sir, you needed to attach a credit report" To which my answer was" I just arrived from Canada. Haven't been living in Switzerland. Here is a contract, I make 10X more a month than the rental costs, just give me the damn apartment" I also called the agency 4 days after applying and asked if they made their selection. Reply was "No, we will at the end of the week." So end of the week came and I noticed the agency has set another inspection date! 10 people applied for the apartment but they are not satisifed and want more applicants. It says the apartment is available immediately. What's taking so long to make a selection? Why are things moving so slow in this country??

Another frustrating thing is that the entire apartment hunting is not allowing me to concentrate on other things in life. ie work, studying, shopping, etc. I went to an agency, paid a search fee and agreed to pay 75% of first month rent if I select an apartment that they present to me. The guy managed to find ONE apartment for me to view and it was crap.

For the moment I am living in serviced studio and overpaying 600CHF/week. Can anyone recomend a good real estate agent who will actually book 5-10 appointments for me within a day or two so that I can go and view the apartments in a day/two and finally find one? Obviously I am ready to pay a finders fee to the agent.

Thanks for reading my morning rant.
Now I can go and have my coffee
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Old 18.10.2007, 14:36
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

Well well...
Yesterday I met the owner of the flat (who lives on the last floor, by the way... I hope this is not too bad...)... Can you believe that he invited me in, almost offered me coffee and cookies?!
I thought it was so sweet! or shall I say Swiss?

I felt almost like in a job interview. He asked me the usual (?) questions...and off I went.

Today I got a call from the "Verwalter" offering me the contract!
I guess I have to celebrate tonight! Too bad today is not one of those wednesdays...
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Old 18.10.2007, 14:39
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

That is SO awesome! Congratulations!!!
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Old 18.10.2007, 14:48
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

I very pleased for you - congratulations. It's also cool that you posted how the whole thing turned out - thank you!
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Old 18.10.2007, 14:51
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them

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Well well...
Yesterday I met the owner of the flat (who lives on the last floor, by the way... I hope this is not too bad...)... Can you believe that he invited me in, almost offered me coffee and cookies?!
I thought it was so sweet! or shall I say Swiss?

I felt almost like in a job interview. He asked me the usual (?) questions...and off I went.

Today I got a call from the "Verwalter" offering me the contract!
I guess I have to celebrate tonight! Too bad today is not one of those wednesdays...
I am corruptable
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Old 18.10.2007, 14:57
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Re: Flats in Zurich or ...lack of them



Natasha!... you are always upto something!

I have to give you your CDs anyway....
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