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Old 06.05.2011, 11:24
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Horgen vs Lachen

Greetings,

we are awaiting any day now an "offer we can't refuse" (hah) from a company in the Horgen area. I have been searching like crazy the last few weeks and thought I would come to the wise English Forum experts for some advice.

First, a little info on us. We are a family of 5 - children will soon be 7, 5 and 2. Currently we live in the Munich area and the kids are immersed in the German language so that isn't an issue for us. Right now we live very close to my husband's job and we like the flexibility that affords.

However, it seems that not only is housing in Horgen quite expensive (especially for a large family), but the taxes in Horgen ZH are about 30% higher than in Lachen, SZ. Please correct me if I have overlooked something.

We would like to have as similar of a living experience as we currently have (a Reihen house or similar) but aren't opposed to the idea of a bigger Wohnung with hopefully some garden space, although we would have to get rid of a bunch of stuff to make that happen

Does anyone have any suggestions/advice about living in the Lachen area as opposed to Horgen? Is that highway busy during rush-hours? We aren't city people and with 3 kids night life is out of the question anyways, so proximity to Zurich isn't a big deal to us. In fact, we love hiking and skiing, so I suspect out Lachen way brings us closer to those destinations.

I would appreciate any info or suggestions you might have! I have scoured the immobilien websites and think I have a good idea of things, but until you are really there it is hard to understand many aspects of a town!

Thanks in advance...
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Old 06.05.2011, 11:35
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

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However, it seems that not only is housing in Horgen quite expensive (especially for a large family), but the taxes in Horgen ZH are about 30% higher than in Lachen, SZ. Please correct me if I have overlooked something.
Horgen's nearer to Zurich hence more expensive.

Check out the public facilities such as children's playgrounds in Horgen compared with Wollerau for example (also in SZ and with low taxes).

There are places between Horgen and Lachen where prices are a bit lower such as Waedenswil and Richterswil.
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Old 06.05.2011, 11:44
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

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Horgen's nearer to Zurich hence more expensive.

Check out the public facilities such as children's playgrounds in Horgen compared with Wollerau for example (also in SZ and with low taxes).

There are places between Horgen and Lachen where prices are a bit lower such as Waedenswil and Richterswil.
WOW! Wollerau is expensive due to the low tax too tho! That's why Lewis Hamilton moved there!

I'm in Samstagern and to me that has the best of close to Wadi yet "in the Country" Horgan is full of expats and actually I find it quite crowded and you tend to live onto of each other, Lachen is OK, nice stuff nearby but bit of a nothing. If you go further down places like Uznach are fab and the people have a good mentality. Really It depends fully on the facilities you need for the kids, schools etc...
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Old 06.05.2011, 11:55
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

Basically, I'd check out all the towns situated on the S-Bahn routes (S2 and S8) which go through Horgen. That would mean an easy commute for your husband plus the routes go out into Kanton Schwyz which has lower taxes

http://www.zvv.ch/de/

Last edited by möpp; 06.05.2011 at 11:56. Reason: added link
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Old 06.05.2011, 12:01
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

Thanks for the info so far. I guess we just need to figure out what type of commute we are comfortable with! I think probably 30 minutes or less is preferred - so it does look like there are lots of possibilities of where to live, now there just needs to be available housing...And a trip to the area and a drive around would be good - as long as that offer really is too good to refuse.

I have looked at some places in Samstagern as well - it seemed like a nice close commute to Horgen and maybe a bit less expensive. After my husband came back from the interview he wasn't all that impressed with Horgen itself.

Like I said, the kids will go into the local schools, so that is less of an issue for us (we don't need to be near an international school as God knows there is no way we could afford that!) so we are flexible along those lines. We prefer more green space to crammed city or town life.

I have another question about the schools and maybe I need to start a new thread for that - but my daughter will be 5 on June 1. In Germany, this coming year would be her last year in Kindergarten and then she would attend 1st grade in the 2012/2013 school year. From what I have read in Switzerland the cutoff birthday date for school admission is April 30, but if your kids are born before July 31st you might be able to send them to school with the other 6 year olds if the school feels they are ready. I would really like to maintain the 2 year difference between my girls and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this. Is there some sort of testing that you have to do to get the approval for this? Thanks again!
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Old 06.05.2011, 12:02
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

As I live in SZ I'm a bit biased...

You are correct on the taxes; depending on your individual situation, you could see a ca. 30-60% difference.

Both towns are quite nice. Both are 'family' type towns. Both have good transportation, albeit travel to the city from Lachen is longer.

Your most pressing concern will be finding appropriate housing for a large (in Swiss terms ) family. Houses - or even garden flats - are scarce in both towns, and expensive in both towons. The question should be: would the tax savings in Lachen enable you to pay up to get the space you need?

We live in the Höfe area, a bit nearer than Lachen but the same highway; my husband drives in long before rush hour and back home long after, so the commute is easy-peasy. During rush hour the drive is not really a problem until you get to the last bit, the bottleneck before Zürich city - that can be a pain. If you are commuting only as far as Horgen you should be OK.

Lachen is a bit less international than Horgen, but if your and the children speak German you will be fine.

Commuting into Horgen, you could live in any of the towns along the left side of the lake, or even into Einsiedeln and still have a decent commute. The only town I would avoid is Pfäffikon SZ, just a personal preference. (Too built up, not much charm.)

Access to some doctors and other services tends to be (broad generalization) better in ZH than in SZ - but there is hospital in Lachen, so you are probably fine there. Just make sure your insurance allows you to see a doctor/ hospitalization in another canton. (SZ insurance is less expensive than ZH.)

Honestly - given the scarcity of housing everywhere in the ZH metro area (which includes Ausserschwyz), I'd go with wherever you can find an house that meets your family's needs. As mentioned I'm biased towards SZ, so I'd recommend looking there first - but be open to all possibilities.

Good luck!
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Old 06.05.2011, 12:02
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

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Basically, I'd check out all the towns situated on the S-Bahn routes (S2 and S8) which go through Horgen. That would mean an easy commute for your husband plus the routes go out into Kanton Schwyz which has lower taxes

http://www.zvv.ch/de/
Thanks, that is something I haven't done yet (looked into the s-bahn) so I have something other than Homegate to occupy my internet surfing time
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Old 06.05.2011, 12:08
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

It's a bit further out, but the rents in Canton Glarus are dirt cheap, and if you can find somewhere near Bilten or Ziegelbruecke stations (both on the S2 line), your husband can be in Horgen in less than 45 minutes.
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:04
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

another vote in favour of SZ and Lachen- The cut off school wise is end of July in Sz as opposed to end April in Horgen. I live 10mins from Lachen and ised to live in Horgen and both are great. I am very happy where we are now - we moved because we wanted a house and it is cheaper down here in SZ.

My kids are in local school and I would advise that you look at the mittagstisch set up in the area you move to. I am in a very small village with no set up but Lachen would hopefully have something set so you can maybe get a few hours ohne Kinder - the school hours are short - 8 till 1120 for mine.

Lachen is a decent sized town and close to lots of lovely countryside. There is a shopping Centre at Pffafikon (Seedamm).

hth

Caz
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:13
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

I'll chuck in x2 rappen.

I looked at both Lachen and Horgen. Lachen seemed in a bit of a building site at the moment mid clean up sort of thing. The town was pretty but I wasn't as impressed as Horgen.

Perhaps try semi-rural Canton Zug/Schwyz? Remember the further you come from civilisation the cheaper stuff gets, so if you and the wife drive it shouldn't be a problem to find somewhere reasonable.

I live 10 mins from Zug and about the same from Baar it takes me 45 mins to drive into Central Zurich from where I live. It's 15 mins to Horgen.
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:23
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

I think you should find the right house in a suitable place rather than set your goals on a particular town as you may never find what you need when you need it like that. Towns here are very green and quiet in any case. Even "cities" like Zurich only have a few small areas that are like big "cities" in other European countries.
I may be wrong but I think children go to kindergarten, in Zurich at least, from 5 years old and so usually start first class at 7.
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:25
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

Well since everyone is throwing in their 2 cents worth, I have to say that housing for big families is still available in Kt. Aargau, and the rents are much lower than in Zürich. Low taxes in other cantons means high rents and often very few properties available.

Husband living close to work is always nice but if it means commuting a bit further to have somewhere really nice to come home to, in my experience, most will usually opt for this.
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Old 06.05.2011, 13:26
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

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somewhere really nice to come home to
Aargau?
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Old 06.05.2011, 14:00
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

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I may be wrong but I think children go to kindergarten, in Zurich at least, from 5 years old and so usually start first class at 7.
The cut off is for being 4.
So my daughter who turned 4 on 23 April 2004 started Kindie in August 2005-
we moved to an end of July cut off in SZ and my son who turned 4 in June 2010 started Kindie in August 2010.
Therefor my daughter has just turned 7 but will start year 2 in August.

hth
Caz
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Old 06.05.2011, 14:42
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

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another vote in favour of SZ and Lachen- The cut off school wise is end of July in Sz as opposed to end April in Horgen. I live 10mins from Lachen and ised to live in Horgen and both are great. I am very happy where we are now - we moved because we wanted a house and it is cheaper down here in SZ.

My kids are in local school and I would advise that you look at the mittagstisch set up in the area you move to. I am in a very small village with no set up but Lachen would hopefully have something set so you can maybe get a few hours ohne Kinder - the school hours are short - 8 till 1120 for mine.

Lachen is a decent sized town and close to lots of lovely countryside. There is a shopping Centre at Pffafikon (Seedamm).

hth

Caz
thanks for that info!

I know, I went through culture shock last September when we got the schedule for my daughter's first grade here in Germany!
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Old 22.06.2011, 10:02
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Re: Horgen vs Lachen

I live in Lachen and have a son at the local primary school. Regarding cut-off dates for school years, there may be some flexibility for children coming from outside CH.

My son finished Year 4 in the UK but his calendar age & August birthday put him into the 3. Klasse here when we arrived last autumn. So they assessed him before he entered school. They felt he'd be best off with children of his own age, as he isn't especially mature, and we were delighted with the chance for him to be one of the eldest in his school class instead of always the youngest - however I did have the option of putting him into the 4th year instead, even though he didn't have much knowledge of German at that time.

Perhaps they have more of a feel for the similarities and differences between the CH and DE school systems though.

I have heard of a couple of cases of children being considered for early promotion, and they also have a 2-year entry to school for children who aren't felt to be quite ready, so the age ranges of the children in each school year are not as strict as they are in the UK, for example.
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