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Old 06.08.2011, 06:02
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In limbo

We saw the house we might buy on June 9th and still don't have all of the information needed to decide if we're buying! We're still in the US, so we're relying on my ILs to work with an architect for renovation estimates. We're supposed to get a detailed report on Tues. So excited and nervous! I'm rather terrified what the report will say. It may be too expensive for us with the reno. Fingers crossed!!!

Just not used to such a slow buying process. It's torture!
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Old 06.08.2011, 06:20
armandair
 
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Re: In limbo

Good luck, what a nice project

We also might buy something in Zurich, but it's not yet ready to sign a contract.

Hopefully in September.

I'm looking forward to choose my favourite kitchen, the tiles and planning the interiors.
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Old 06.08.2011, 06:36
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Re: In limbo

I'm very excited about the unfinished attic, but the architect is telling us it'll be too much to make livable, My husband and I are very handy, so we're hoping once we mark off the items we'll do ourselves, it'll be feasible.

It is so fun buying a house and making it your own!
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Old 06.08.2011, 06:50
armandair
 
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Re: In limbo

Having a house of your own is a really, really special moment.

You can fill it with laughter and all the memories of the family, of the kids growing up there.

Doing things on your own is completely easy in Switzerland, you can always find help or a handyman for small things, or difficult ones you don't dare to do yourself.

Friends of us renovated a complete house by themselves (and they are scientists )
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Old 06.08.2011, 08:12
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Re: In limbo

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We saw the house we might buy on June 9th and still don't have all of the information needed to decide if we're buying! We're still in the US, so we're relying on my ILs to work with an architect for renovation estimates. We're supposed to get a detailed report on Tues. So excited and nervous! I'm rather terrified what the report will say. It may be too expensive for us with the reno. Fingers crossed!!!

Just not used to such a slow buying process. It's torture!
A word of caution.

You may well be aware of all this BUT, buying property in Switzerland is not like buying property in other countries, while legal fees and mortgage rates are reasonable there are other considerations:

- unless you expect to stay for at least 10 years buying is not necessarily the most economical route
- there is capital gains tax (Grundstuckgeweinsteuer) in the region of 40% on profit on sale (varies with canton and length of ownership)
- a notional amount is added to your income for not having to pay rent (Eigenmeitwert)
- outside property hotspots like Zurich and Geneva, property can be slow to sell and actually not gain or lose value

Personally, I would live in any country for a couple of years to assess the market, before buying. All these matters have been covered here before...
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Old 06.08.2011, 10:06
armandair
 
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Re: In limbo

Yes, these are facts.

In the post though it's mentioned that the IL are taking care, so there are probably stronger ties to Switzerland than a typical expat situation.

Personally I would always buy instead of rent.

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A word of caution.

You may well be aware of all this BUT, buying property in Switzerland is not like buying property in other countries, while legal fees and mortgage rates are reasonable there are other considerations:

- unless you expect to stay for at least 10 years buying is not necessarily the most economical route
- there is capital gains tax (Grundstuckgeweinsteuer) in the region of 40% on profit on sale (varies with canton and length of ownership)
- a notional amount is added to your income for not having to pay rent (Eigenmeitwert)
- outside property hotspots like Zurich and Geneva, property can be slow to sell and actually not gain or lose value

Personally, I would live in any country for a couple of years to assess the market, before buying. All these matters have been covered here before...
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Old 06.08.2011, 12:16
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Re: In limbo

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Yes, these are facts.

In the post though it's mentioned that the IL are taking care, so there are probably stronger ties to Switzerland than a typical expat situation.

Personally I would always buy instead of rent.
I have no idea of their situation, but to make decisions of the largest life-time purchase based on:

"Having a house of your own is a really, really special moment.

You can fill it with laughter and all the memories of the family, of the kids growing up there."


and
"Personally I would always buy instead of rent."

is not really advice, is it?

To go back to the OP's original question on time. For most Swiss buying a home is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Once they buy, they rarely move. Purchase is approached cautiously and this takes time. A new build can often take 3 years between announcing the plans and moving in. Our first house did...
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Old 06.08.2011, 12:33
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Re: In limbo

AbFab's advice to be cautious is very correct, I don't think it is meant to discourage but rather point out some cultural differences in how people live and view renting/buying, obviously from economical perspective.

One more point, you are getting ready to buy on June 9th? Next year?
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Old 06.08.2011, 12:36
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Re: In limbo

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AbFab's advice to be cautious is very correct, I don't think it is meant to discourage but rather point out some cultural differences in how people live and view renting/buying, obviously from economical perspective.

One more point, you are getting ready to buy on June 9th? Next year?
If you read it as 'On June 9th we saw a house'......then it makes sense.
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Old 06.08.2011, 12:44
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Re: In limbo

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You may well be aware of all this BUT, buying property in Switzerland is not like buying property in other countries, while legal fees and mortgage rates are reasonable there are other considerations:
Am I correct in my understanding that you will also have to pay additional tax on the value of your house, a "wealth tax" that is levied on your assets?
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Old 06.08.2011, 12:54
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Re: In limbo

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Am I correct in my understanding that you will also have to pay additional tax on the value of your house, a "wealth tax" that is levied on your assets?
I think that's what AbFab is talking about in post no. 5
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Old 06.08.2011, 13:00
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Re: In limbo

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Am I correct in my understanding that you will also have to pay additional tax on the value of your house, a "wealth tax" that is levied on your assets?
Yes, but assuming you have the capital anyway, you will be already paying this. Mortgages are deducted from a property's value before wealth tax is calculated and the tax is low anyway...
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Old 06.08.2011, 13:14
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Re: In limbo

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Am I correct in my understanding that you will also have to pay additional tax on the value of your house, a "wealth tax" that is levied on your assets?
Your income is increased by the notional rental value, so it's fair for renters. This is a one of the very good reasons that home ownership is low, required deposits are far higher than elsewhere. Historically it's not been a good investment as imflation has always been low in CH.
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Old 06.08.2011, 13:24
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Re: In limbo

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If you read it as 'On June 9th we saw a house'......then it makes sense.
True that, yes.

Gives me heebeegeebees somebody would buy a house, and in CH that is and without living here first, so fast. Just getting the rigth pair of shoes takes me ages.
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Old 06.08.2011, 14:04
armandair
 
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Re: In limbo

I completely agree with your post, but buying a house is also a very emotional moment for someone. Well probably not for all.

Besides the legal and tax aspects - I would assume a future buyer informs himself BEFORE buying - there are many positive ones.

Not each buying of a house is or must be complicated. It hugely depends on the partners you are working with (like almost every project in life). Here common sense sure helps.

Not everything is a troublesome project, but to be cautious definitely helps.

In addition there are many partners who can help, e.g. banks, notaries, architects etc. There are many sources one can tap to. But you have to ask. Then matters are not complicated at all.

I have seen people with money and without much of it buying property - Swiss and people living abroad.

A link I just found: http://www.homegate.ch/buy/steps-to-...ault&l=default

PS: My mind is obviously already on holiday. For me buying a house is a very emotional moment. I do know & accept the facts, but tend to neglect them, as I don't consider them important, e.g. Eigenmietwert is something I completely don't agree with, but that's how it is. On the positive side, you pay taxes for the society as a whole to profit from - so I'm fine with it.




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is not really advice, is it?

To go back to the OP's original question on time. For most Swiss buying a home is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Once they buy, they rarely move. Purchase is approached cautiously and this takes time. A new build can often take 3 years between announcing the plans and moving in. Our first house did...

Last edited by armandair; 06.08.2011 at 14:39. Reason: PS & Link
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:29
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Re: In limbo

I completely understand where you're coming from regarding the differences of buying a house in the US and in Switzerland. DH and I have had this talk a lot over the last years. We've looked at houses for about 10 years and just fell in love with this one. It's in the town where he grew up and is actually is connected to his parent's house (yeah, crazy for most families, but his parents won't drive me crazy and will be very handy with the kids! lol).

I've moved a lot with my family and have lived in the UK 4 separate times throughout my life. I know CH is nothing like the UK, but I'm also not naive about what we're getting into. I'll be homesick, but I'm homesick everywhere I move. I even have things I already miss in CH from all our visits! lol (nut cheese, this one special mocha yogurt, bread, weather, etc). We've been together since 1996, so I've spent a fair amount of time in CH.

While I logically know it takes longer there, it is torture not having the information we need to really analyze the decision. I'm not in a rush to actually buy, but I feel like I can't even get my head around it til we have some numbers!

(and yes, I could've worded that clearer. We saw the house on June 9th.. no idea when we'd buy it if we do! )
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