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Old 04.07.2015, 22:11
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Buying [property] in ZH - Specific Case - Advice

Hello EFers!

After reading a few posts on buying properties in Switzerland right now (July 2015) I want to ask the gurus of the Forum for their sage advice, based on our situation:
  • Young couple, both employed with high/very high combined income
  • EU Citizens, holding B Permits
  • See Switzerland as a long term to live
  • However, due to work, we may leave the country for 1-2 years, then come back again
  • Enjoy Real Estate as an investment, own properties in our respective countries. IE, we like the buy and hold kind of asset
  • Have reasonable income out of our respective jobs
  • Would have cash for the downpayment

We just moved in an apartment with a pricy rent in Zurich but are seriously considering buying a property (apartment, house?) where we could live on and rent, if needed, whenever we have to work abroad for 1-2 years. We would see such property as a very long term asset (ie, for ever)

We also have been told that indeed the 20-30% required downpayment is the norm when working with banks, however, not required always when working with insurance companies (ie, Helvetia, Zurich, etc)

With all this as a background, what would be your advice? Would you go and buy given current prices in Zurich and interest rates?

In Zurich, we would be looking at either Kreis 6 OR Silver/Gold Coast.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by jvia; 04.07.2015 at 22:48.
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Old 04.07.2015, 23:18
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Re: Buying in ZH - Specific Case - Advice

House or apartment?
I wouldn't do more than 80% financing - whatever your financial means may be at the moment and however low the interest rates are.
Even if your income puts you in the top 1% earners in Switzerland.

Not sure if property at prime locations is still a good investment - prices have plateaued, if I'm not mistaken.

In your situation, I'd just put in a "saving-year" and see how far you can get.

How much do you save per year now and how much do you think you can save?

Given your cash-influx, you should have 500k in cash by next summer, easily.
That should afford you a nicer property - but be aware that the 80% financing rule does not generally apply to higher-end objects (ISTR above 1.5 million).

A lot of real estate is currently still being built (with a net influx of 80k people per year, that's necessary). We will see how that works out once the forex-shock really settles in and companies don't need new employees at the current rate anymore.

After six months out-of-country, you will lose your B-permit.
I think you can keep the mortgage (can't find the thread - I think it was discussed here before)
You rental-income should (well: must) be declared to the Steueramt - I'm sure you're aware of that.
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