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Old 23.05.2006, 10:28
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Zurich or Geneva?

Here is my story :

I currently live in Zurich with my wife and I work for a big bank (One of the big 2). I have a job offer in Geneva and we are really tempted to relocate. However Geneva is a city/area that none of us know. We really like Zurich but the problem is that dealing with swiss german on a daily basis is really a hassle specially when you are thinking about raising a family, buying a house, etc....
(we don't really speak high german either). An important point is that I am french.

Does any anybody have the experience of living in both cities? What is Geneva like? The money I am offered in Geneva is higher than what I am on at the moment but I think that the cost of living is higher in Geneva (taxes, health insurance, accomodation....). And I read dreadful stories about finding a place to live in the Geneva area (btw any hint/tip for areas to look for are welcome).

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Cristobal
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Old 23.05.2006, 10:35
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Well,I think your worst problem would be finding a place to live. The horror stories are true as far as I know. I saw a television program about 1 yr ago where about 200 applicants turned up to look at 1 apartment.
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Old 23.05.2006, 10:43
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

I read an article a while ago that said that once the number of properties on the rental market falls below 1% liquidity the market ceases to function properly. At the time Zurich was 0.3%, who knows Geneva might be even worse? I've heard many stories of more than 70 people applying for apartments in Zurich.

I think one thing is true though - the situation in both cities is far beyond the point where the respective governments should have done something about it a long time ago. Recently I've noticed that a lot of building work has been going on to build big apartment complexes (nice ones). This is a step in the right direction.

I have noticed that there are a lot of converted residential houses which are now buildings in my area. There are signs all over the place saying that there is office space to rent, yet finding residential accomodation in Zollikon is pretty much impossible.
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Old 23.05.2006, 11:16
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Well I live just outside Geneva, and to be honest we didn't find it hard to find a new apartment. We want to change again and we have viewed 3 in the past 2 months - ALL of the them wanted US to move in, but we decided against it.

However I know that if you want to live in the city itself then it can be a little difficult to find a place.

My adivce would be to live on the outskirts and commute each day, as it only takes me 15 minutes (or 40 if bad!) when the goings good.

...or a better option would be to live just over the border in canton Vaud.

I've never been to Zurich (I want to but never find the time!) but I like living in Geneva... it's a nice place to be.
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Old 23.05.2006, 14:41
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Yeah, everyone's so doomsday about everything. Go to Geneva, earn more money, find a nice flat, enjoy yourself, those who seek find, those who want get. The granularity to which with which people who have been living here for a long time break things down to perplexes me. I think the 'swiss germaness' is permeating your minds. It's all so cut and dry.
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Old 23.05.2006, 14:53
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Quote:
Yeah, everyone's so doomsday about everything. Go to Geneva, earn more money, find a nice flat, enjoy yourself, those who seek find, those who want get. The granularity to which with which people who have been living here for a long time break things down to perplexes me. I think the 'swiss germaness' is permeating your minds. It's all so cut and dry.
Sounds like the words of someone who had a very lucky time of finding an apartment - did you get it from an expat who was leaving? Unfortunately those of us who've been through the "game" do tend to have a few scars from it. That's why I've never moved since I got my first place in CH.
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Old 23.05.2006, 15:08
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

I got my job in CH off jobserve, the first link that came up i applied for, i got it (with a great salary), i got my apartment off homegate, the second one i viewed. the transition to CH could not have been easier, it was seamless (i was given corporate accomodation for 2 months, but I found a flat within that time and got an extension to the two months). although this might be the exception to the rule, it just goes to show that it can happen. i also firmly believe that should i progress in CH and find myself in a similar position as the poster of this thread, that the trend is most likely to continue. it's even easier, surely if one already lives in CH to plan these things.

I might well be in for a shock in the future, i might be riding high on luck and spending all the karmaic dollars deposited in my cosmic bank account, who knows. but if i was french (and i'm sure this would assist our friend in finding a place in geneva) adn was offered a job in geneva with a better salary, i'd probably drop what i was doing and have a go at it.
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Old 23.05.2006, 15:57
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Plus, seeming how he is French then he could live in France, afterall it's only just over the border and the cost of living is cheaper there... he could commute the distance each day, it doesn't take long at all.
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Old 23.05.2006, 18:53
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Everybody (or almost everybody) seems to agree that finding a place to live is not easy. I thought of living in France as well. But it looks like there are thousand of "frontaliers" doing that every day and the traffic is a nighmare.

Or leaving in Canton Vaud? What is the real estate situation there? Nyon, Rolle, Gland..... Is it as bad as Geneva?

I am offered 20000CHF more per year. That looks good but I have to take into account the higher income tax and health insurance in Geneva. I have to look into it in more details.....
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Old 23.05.2006, 21:23
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

I would say take it... if you've been offered 20k more then that should more than cover the increased cost of living!

Living over the border in France isn't as bad a commute as you think, there are plenty of crossing points, and several are un-manned 90% of the time so there won't be much 'filtration' going on.

Out of interest how much health insurance do you pay each month?

I pay with a franchise set at 1500 CHF (28 year old male) about 380 CHF.

Finding somewhere to live wont be such a nightmare I assure you.

Canton Vaud doesn't have quite the same housing problem as Geneva...

Nyon is a good place to look or perhaps Gland, there always seems to be Duplex's going there and the prices are rather good.

I think you can get a 5-6 pieces duplex for about 2400 - 3000 CHF.

I reckon in Geneva you'd be looking at double that!

Oh and a tip, 4 piece in canton Vaud is the same as 5 piece in Geneve...

(crazy I know)
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Old 30.05.2006, 17:30
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Maybe a bit OT.

but 380 CHF/month for health insurance sounds pretty expensive.

I pay 149 CHF/month , sure I'll probably get the cheapest possible healthcare if i fell sick. But it's Switzerland, how bad can it be.

I would rather save up some money privatly to cover my health costs if needed.

So far i have to give the swiss healthcare a 5-star rating ,
Hade some smaller accidents (broke my arm skiing etc) , and every time it has been incredibly professional and smooth. It's really value for money.
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Old 30.05.2006, 17:42
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Quote:
(broke my arm skiing etc)
Is that how you got your handle?
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Old 31.05.2006, 00:56
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

hehe...

believe me... in Geneva it's the norm... just over the 'border' in canton Vaud that drops by about 100 CHF...

That amount, actually is wrong... it's 349 CHF ... still it's pricey.

I know it's a little off topic but....

for that price my franchise is set at 1500 CHF... and I have LAMal: AL, Ass. complement. sleon LCA: HUV and TOP97 (whatever that means... lol) my rebate is 80%

For my daughter of 3 years old she gets 90% refund of costs, but more coverage and it only costs her 130 CHF

For my wife, roughly the same as me at 343 CHF...

Total for health insurance... over 800 CHF per month

As for the docs themselves... well they vary and a lot of them are happy to try the more expensive medications out on you

Aie aie aie!
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Old 31.05.2006, 01:07
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Hi Tony,

That still sounds really high. Are you saying that you have 1500 franc excess, and just the very basic cover - like you don't have private options or any additional insurances other than those required by law? You are paying pretty much twice what I pay. I have the same 1500 franc excess.

I'm also presuming you've shopped around on comparis.ch because you don't enjoy paying more than you have to.

800 for the family - it's no wonder some people have trouble putting food on the table in this country - and we are supposed to have a high standard of living. Well some of us at least
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Old 31.05.2006, 01:27
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

oh yeah we get high wages (well for what we do anyway...)

When I tell people in the UK what we earn together then they are usually bowled over...

but of course they don't quite understand the cost of living until you come here.

For us it's creche for our daughter that's the real killer (but of course she's worth it!), followed by rental costs and finally health insurance...

what a shame we have to pay impot federal et cantonal...

The car and insurance goes without saying a word... but then again the UK isn't so far behind in that respect either.

Well I suppose it might be time to search out another health insurer, but to be honest I really feel we wont save very much.
It's possible to save by going to an insurer who limits which doc you can see, and also limits you to generic drug brands...
At the moment we'Re with >Progres< they're pretty good actually and have always given rapid repayments and service.
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Old 31.05.2006, 02:22
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Don't assume that you can't save money by switching to another insurer! There are huge differences between companies. Last time I checked there was a 100% difference between the lowest and the highest offers. It really pays to do the homework here. Some companies might be cheaper for one person and more expensive for others, it all depends on the circumstances. Remember also that if you have additional insurances you can have these with one company and your "basic" insurance with another.

Another thing to watch our for - if you want to change you have to cancel by Sep 31 for the following year. Unless your current company raises the price for the following year then you can change much later I think. But in any case, as is the case with all insurance in Switzerland get prepared early and inform yourself of your rights!

When I first arrived in Switzerland my company signed me up to their preferred health insurance. It cost 250 per month and I thought that was normal. I later switched to another company at 130/month. That was a while ago now, I'm up to 180 now.
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Old 04.07.2006, 12:06
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

I work (intern) for a real state agency in geneva, so here are maybe a few things that you have already known but incase you didnt

geneva housing seems to be abit corrupt and overpriced place
there is abnormal amount of demand for the housing in the so called left bank (rive gauche), however right banks are fairly competitively priced

insurances are not as high as some other cantons but it is still fairly high

you need to inform office cantonal de population in geneva that you have moved here

overall living costs are higher than zurich, estimate about 5% higher

here are following sites that may assit you with basic informaiton, unfortunately they are all in french

http://www.cagi.ch/en/Informations_i...net_presse.htm

http://www.geneve-central.ch/liens.asp?id_rubrique=15
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Old 04.07.2006, 13:42
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

1 more thing,

the income tax in the vaud (geneva neighbour) is supposed to be lower than geneva, however since you will be employed by an employer in geneva, you will be taxed on source thus if you are looking for a lower tax situation i suggest looking in to this matter in more detail.
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Old 05.07.2006, 10:27
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Are you sure about that? I remember colleagues of mine (with a european B permit) working in Zurich but moving their home from Zurich to Thalwil and saying that they were paying less tax in Thalwil because of a lower Steuerfuss in Thalwil (compared to Zurich). After all your employer knows your home address. Can anyone shed some light on that?

By the way there was an article yesterday in 20 Minuten (Zurich edition) about finding a place to rent in Zurich. It seems tougher than ever at the moment. Some tenants organise auctions to sell their furniture, some others ask for money......
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Old 05.07.2006, 10:37
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Re: Zurich or Geneva?

Quote:
Are you sure about that? I remember colleagues of mine (with a european B permit) working in Zurich but moving their home from Zurich to Thalwil and saying that they were paying less tax in Thalwil because of a lower Steuerfuss in Thalwil (compared to Zurich). After all your employer knows your home address. Can anyone shed some light on that?
You are maybe getting the canton and the community tax mised up? The previous post was comparing cantonal tax between canton Zurich and canton Geneva. You are referrring to the difference in community tax between Thalwil and Zurich. Thalwil still pays cantonal tax to canton Zurich.
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