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Old 08.03.2011, 17:58
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Property market in the Basel area

Hi all,

I am going to relocate to Basel at the end of this year.
As my wife and I are likely to stay there for 2 years, we are thinking of buying a flat rather than renting.
I have seen the house prices in Basel City and the surrounding swiss area are too high for our pockets,
but apparently you can get decent flats in Germany (e.g. Weil am Rhein and Lorrach) for 100K€ or even less.

I wanted to ask whether anyone has some experience with the property market in the German area surrounding Basel
and more specifically:

- how easy is it to re-sell a flat
- what kind of taxes is one looking to pay for buying and selling a property
- is buying rhather than renting a sensible choiche if one is staying for a relatively short time (2 years)
- in case one cannot resell his property or the process takes a while, what is the rent market like there (i.e. is it easy to
rent out a flat if it is within a sensible distance from Basel).

Many thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Gigi.
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Old 11.03.2011, 10:31
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Re: Property market in the Basel area

I haven't got a clue but would be very interested in the answers to your questions so bumping this thread!
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Old 11.03.2011, 12:59
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Re: Property market in the Basel area

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I haven't got a clue but would be very interested in the answers to your questions so bumping this thread!
Please search these forums on Swiss property. You will be subject to capital gains tax on any profit and addition to your income (Eigennietwert). For 2 years you will be much better off renting. Unless you are staying in Switzerland for at least 10 years or longer, buying is not a viable option...
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Old 11.03.2011, 13:36
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Re: Property market in the Basel area

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For 2 years you will be much better off renting.
+1 message too short
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Old 11.03.2011, 16:33
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Re: Property market in the Basel area

My experience of the German property market is that prices are cheaper than Switzerland.However there quite a few downsides to residing in Germany, not the least being that as a German resident you will be paying German tax on your income, which is considerably higher than Swiss income tax, not to mention the complications of doing your tax returns etc. German health insurance etc

As to the actual buying of a place in Germany you need to remember that the buyer pays the estate agents fees and they are usually much higher than UK agents fees. At the price you mention I'm thinking you would be paying between 12 and 15% for all the agent's/legal/land registry/tax fees. As to selling the place, the market is not particularly buoyant at the moment and you might even find yourself with a loss on your hands. If you sell there are the usual legal fees (no agent's fees at least). If you actually manage to make a profit when you sell, the capital gains tax is 20% if you live there less than 10 years. You might just about break even if you are lucky. But could be looking at a loss. In other words, if you factor in higher income tax the whole buying/selling doesn't stack up.

If you do decide to go ahead and buy and then want to let your place rental income is automatically taxed at 25%. German tenants will expect a freshly painted property or a couple of rentless months if they decorate themselves. Also getting rid of unsatisfactory tenants is really difficult even if they don't pay the rent and trash the place. The rights are all on the tenants' side.

In other words I can't really think of any reason why you would want to buy for a period of 2-3 years. If you really want to live in the Lörrach area, why not rent somewhere, the rents are low and if you are still keen to buy you will have the time to find the right place.
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Old 13.03.2011, 10:19
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Re: Property market in the Basel area

Hi guys,

thanks very much for your replies, they have been really useful. I was actually hoping for a better deal buying a house in Germany, but it looks like after taxes and various fees this move is not worthwhile.
I just need to make my mind about living in Germany or in Basel, but I have seen there are dedicated forums for this.
Special thanks to Nixi for the comprehensive analysis of the German property market, I really appreciate that.

Gigi
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