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Old 08.02.2020, 22:21
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Is renting really that expensive?

I currently live in northern Europe, but I'm considering moving to Switzerland. I run my own business, and what I'm most worried about is the extremely high living costs that everyone seems to mention about Switzerland.


However, I've done some searches for rental apartments in the northern parts of Switzerland. I was able to find many small (studio) apartments in the canton of Schaffhausen that had a monthly rent of about 700-800 CHF. That seems very reasonable and actually less expensive than what renting costs in my country.


Maybe there is something I'm missing here? Is, for example, Schaffhausen somehow a bad area to live in? I would imagine that rent is not much more expensive in other cantons (with the exception of larger cities such as Zurich, Geneva, etc.)?
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:28
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

Schaffhausen is a lovely area to live in. Finding something for that price is not that easy, also the taxes are higher in SH than for example in Kanton Zurich.

You would have the advantage of being able to do some shopping in Germany to save money.

But why do you want to come to Switzerland?
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:33
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

Just depends. Out in the sticks the rent could be quite low compared to what you'd pay in the cities here.
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:39
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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But why do you want to come to Switzerland?

For the same reason most people would like to live in Switzerland: searching for a place where I can live a better life. If you are interested in more details and/or would like to give more advice, I'd be happy to message via PM.
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:42
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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Just depends. Out in the sticks the rent could be quite low compared to what you'd pay in the cities here.

Do people commute via public transportation easily from these lower cost areas (for example from Schaffhausen to Zurich)? Also, are groceries significantly cheaper compared to the cities?
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:42
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

The cost of life here is more than just the rent you pay. Do a search for "cost of living" and you can browse some threads that will give you an idea of costs here.
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:45
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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Do people commute via public transportation easily from these lower cost areas (for example from Schaffhausen to Zurich)? Also, are groceries significantly cheaper compared to the cities?
Yes, forget doing that by car, it is a nightmare. Train is ok but it depends on where you live and need to go to in ZRH. Groceries cheaper? No way.

As 3wishes said, do a search. Switzerland is not a low cost country
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:47
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

Schaffhausen is seen as countryside and an hour drive from the first proper city, that reflects in the rental prices, if you than go small and outside center it becomes even cheaper.

So yeah, if you are happy with like 30 square meters sure you can find places for that money.
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:49
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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Do people commute via public transportation easily from these lower cost areas (for example from Schaffhausen to Zurich)? Also, are groceries significantly cheaper compared to the cities?
Daily commute is best with public transport unless you are lucky with the location of your work and the company provides a parking spot (which mostly is not the case)

Groceries are nowhere significantly cheaper unless you cross the border.
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:52
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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The cost of life here is more than just the rent you pay. Do a search for "cost of living" and you can browse some threads that will give you an idea of costs here.

As far as I'm concerned, the main costs would be:
1. Rent + utilities

2. Groceries
3. Health insurance



It seems that #1 is actually not that expensive if you don't live in the cities.

#2 may be the most problematic, but if I can do shopping in Germany, that would solve the problem.
#3 I suppose this is around 500CHF/month for a young person?



I don't eat out or use many services.



Anything important I'm missing there?
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:54
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

Yes, if you are EU, it is easy to get a permit. If not, no.

Have a search on cost of living, there is a LOT more than just rent, food and health insurance.
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:57
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

It sounds like you are single, if you're looking at small studio apartments. Even so, some of the threads about family's costs can give you a general idea. I think this thread is quite a good example: https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...4-basel-3.html


Here's the Swiss Rail website where you can look up prices and timetables of public transport.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-an...ailpasses.html
Many cantons also have their own local public transport systems, for example, here's the Schaffhausen one:
https://vbsh.ch/en/


Here, in German, are some sample budgets, so you can learn roughly what would go into a budget, and how income of different levels could be distributed.
http://www.budgetberatung.ch/Budgetbeispiele.19.0.html
If you are, as I surmise, single, then scroll down to "Einzelperson".


Of course, it is always a question of how frugally you're willing to live. Many people who discuss budgets on this forum have way more income than those budget examples. You can see, there, that those budgets don't include much for holidays, or no setting aside moneys for children's education, etc., so you can add such matters on the the standard basics. Onyl you can know which extras are important to you.


It has largely been against the culture of Switzerland to speak openly about what one earns, and this relatively new website is an attempt to break throught that tabu. Obviously, the users of this website who are willing to post about their salaries are not likely to be the executive bankers.
https://zeigdeinenlohn.ch/


Tax is municipal and cantonal and federal, and varies from municipality to municipality.
Some accommodation ads will also give you some indication of the tax in that region. As a general (but not immutable) rule: the rents are lower in higher-tax areas, and vice versa.

Many things, in fact, in Switzerland, differ regionally.

Government schools for children are free, with only small extras such as costs of excursions being covered by the parents.

An excellent site to learn about Swiss procedures is the government's www.ch.ch.

www.comparis.ch can give you ways to compare all sorts of things.

www.tutti.ch will give you an idea of prices of privately sold second-hand goods.

Good luck, as you do your research!
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:57
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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As far as I'm concerned, the main costs would be:
1. Rent + utilities

2. Groceries
3. Health insurance

It seems that #1 is actually not that expensive if you don't live in the cities.

#2 may be the most problematic, but if I can do shopping in Germany, that would solve the problem.
#3 I suppose this is around 500CHF/month for a young person?

I don't eat out or use many services.

Anything important I'm missing there?
You're new. I'll help you out.

Here are some threads that I think cover the topic nicely, including links and examples of actual expenses. They're not the most recent, but costs here don't change much (inflation is quite low):

Cost of living - help needed to get it right

Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

There are more than 100 threads that talk about cost of living. Some might be relevant to you and others not, but do have a read through the more recent ones. There's a LOT of good advice in there, you just have to do a little of the leg (er, reading) work yourself:

http://www.englishforum.ch/search2.php?q=cost+of+living
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Old 08.02.2020, 22:59
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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Yes, if you are EU, it is easy to get a permit. If not, no.

Have a search on cost of living, there is a LOT more than just rent, food and health insurance.

Thanks for all your replies (I would give thanks and reputation, but I don't for some reason have the ability on this forum).


You mention that there is a lot more than rent, food and insurance. Could you please give an example of what the biggest item would be? Because I live a very frugal life. If shopping can be done in Germany, I don't see what else I would be paying for?
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Old 08.02.2020, 23:05
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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I currently live in northern Europe, but I'm considering moving to Switzerland. I run my own business....
It is of central significance whether you "live in northern Europe" and ARE an EU or EFTA European, or whether you are non-EU.

For non-EU, everything is more difficult.

You see, an EU citizen will be given a permit to live in Switzerland as soon as they can demonstrate that they have an employment contract at a non-dumping salary that is sufficient to support themselves. That is pretty much automatic and straightforward.

However, as you run your own business, that will bring a certain duty upon you to present convincing documentation to the authorities, to show that your income from the business suffices.

Either way, by "sufficient", that's a question of what the local (cantonal?) immigration authorities consider reasonable, and enough that you will not end up ever needing to claim social security benefits. That is their key responsibility... to issue permits only to those people whom they think will make it, financially.
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Old 08.02.2020, 23:08
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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Thanks for all your replies (I would give thanks and reputation, but I don't for some reason have the ability on this forum).


You mention that there is a lot more than rent, food and insurance. Could you please give an example of what the biggest item would be? Because I live a very frugal life. If shopping can be done in Germany, I don't see what else I would be paying for?
Thanks for the thanks. Yes, on this forum one has to have been around for a while, (time? post-count? sorry, I'm not sure which) and then, magically, once you have a bit of posting history here, you'll gain the ability to thank.

I think your post must have crossed with those by 3Wishes and me, in which we provided you with a number of links of budgetting information, some of which set out long lists of possible costs, just to live. They are quite a bit of work to plough through, but worth it, I think, as you'll find a wealth of information there, and that many of your questions have already been answered.
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Old 08.02.2020, 23:08
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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It is of central significance whether you "live in northern Europe" and ARE an EU or EFTA European, or whether you are non-EU.

For non-EU, everything is more difficult.

You see, an EU citizen will be given a permit to live in Switzerland as soon as they can demonstrate that they have an employment contract at a non-dumping salary that is sufficient to support themselves. That is pretty much automatic and straightforward.

However, as you run your own business, that will bring a certain duty upon you to present convincing documentation to the authorities, to show that your income from the business suffices.

Either way, by "sufficient", that's a question of what the local (cantonal?) immigration authorities consider reasonable, and enough that you will not end up ever needing to claim social security benefits. That is their key responsibility... to issue permits only to those people whom they think will make it, financially.

I understand, thanks. This should not present a problem. I'm also considering applying for jobs and running my business on the side, if need be.
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Old 08.02.2020, 23:13
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

About grocery shopping in Germany...how much of a hassle is it really if you live near the border? Can you cross the border using public transportation, carrying shopping bags with you? I heard that you need to show the receipt to prove that certain items are not bought in excess?
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Old 08.02.2020, 23:17
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

Post count is a minimum of 10 before the thanks and groan buttons appear.

Bear in mind that for being self-employed, depending on what type of business it is, you may need to have 3 or more clients lined up ready to use your services before you'd be granted a self-employment permit. Also as a sole proprietor here the company's official name must include your surname. If you want an GmbH then you'd need a minimum of CHF20,000 capital.
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Old 08.02.2020, 23:19
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Re: Is renting really that expensive?

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About grocery shopping in Germany...how much of a hassle is it really if you live near the border? Can you cross the border using public transportation, carrying shopping bags with you? I heard that you need to show the receipt to prove that certain items are not bought in excess?
You would certainly need to have receipts to hand if needed and you're limited on how much you can bring back with you.

https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home...d-tobacco.html
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