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Old 07.12.2011, 16:10
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buying a house: where to start?

Well 'tis time now to make the big step: buying our own house (done and dusted hopefully before the kids start school) - Im here quite a while in switzerland but ive never known anything about 'buying' property even back home ... so...

i was wondering if anyone could give me pointers ... for example - which banks to go to about a mortgage... and which sites seem to be the best or maybe theres something i missed completely like a property magazine (one thats not so glossy it blinds you into thinking the houses in it are way better than they are in real life and one that also has 'affordable' housing

oh and im looking to buy around the Yverdon-les-bain region if anyone knows of any current good deals?!?

tx (",)
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:12
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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Well 'tis time now to make the big step: buying our own house (done and dusted hopefully before the kids start school) - Im here quite a while in switzerland but ive never known anything about 'buying' property even back home ... so...

i was wondering if anyone could give me pointers ... for example - which banks to go to about a mortgage... and which sites seem to be the best or maybe theres something i missed completely like a property magazine (one thats not so glossy it blinds you into thinking the houses in it are way better than they are in real life and one that also has 'affordable' housing

oh and im looking to buy around the Yverdon-les-bain region if anyone knows of any current good deals?!?

tx (",)

Seriously,

You could start with the "Search Function" at the top right corner.


In summary,

"Don't buy in Switzerland"
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:16
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

thats quite funny i have already looked through this site and googled many others but i need to buy here lol - i love this place. BUt whats your reason for not wanting to buy here?? so i know what to watch out for?
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:22
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

Starting here might help

Buying a house in swizerland

The "Buying a house in Switzerland" thread

If you are asking for help or advice, groaning others might not get you very far.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:25
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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thats quite funny i have already looked through this site and googled many others but i need to buy here lol - i love this place. BUt whats your reason for not wanting to buy here?? so i know what to watch out for?
Well, now that you have groaned me, I'm sure to be a lot of help.


a) Consider your permit...... B Permit holders can only buy a house they live in.
b) Capital gains is a killer within the first 10 YEARS
c) It's not clear if you have to leave the country if you are forced to sell
d) If you haven't noticed - IT'S EXPENSIVE !!!!
e) re: point d), what is your projected 'increase in value' to justify the return.


My personal conclusion to the Swiss property market is that a house here is a 'Luxury', not an investment.

If you can throw an obscene amount of money at a house here with little to no return, and not be bothered, then go ahead.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:29
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

Oh no no no no! Not again!
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:30
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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Oh no no no no! Not again!
No we have to

This discussion has never been had before......... according to the search function.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:32
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

A very big step indeed- but Yverdon area may be a perfect opportunity to get a house which will appreciate in value- as it is easily commutable by car or public transport to Neuchatel, Lausanne, Berne, and prices are still very reasonable compared to the Riviera or even Neuchatel. You could of course find much cheaper still if you are prepared to move slightly out of town and towards Vuiteboeuf/St Croix or Ballaigues/Vallorbe.

Each Canton as different rates of purchase duty, etc. and Vaud may well be different to Neuchatel. Faery would you be buying jointly with your Swiss partner, in which case no restrictions apply.

I'd talk to partner and make a list of good and bad points about buying. What is it you want most of all- character, space, land, modern, old- and what amenities are essential for you, or not and start looking. There is plenty out there in your area.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:41
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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In summary,

"Don't buy in Switzerland"


A tad harsh, yes house prices don't go up like in other countries, they also don't plummet in value overnight.

Why buy? well our mortgage is around 1/3 the cost of renting, we can do whatever we like to the house, whenever we like and in the current climate what else do you invest in?? sorry but the savings on rent over mortgage alone made it a no brainer for us.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:53
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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A tad harsh, yes house prices don't go up like in other countries, they also don't plummet in value overnight.
But they can do. I mentioned this on another thread but a neighbour of ours (non-Swiss) bought and had to sell after three years due to job-relocation.

They sold within a couple of weeks for a good profit - even after the "Selling after less than five years" percentage penalty was taken off the proceeds.
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Old 07.12.2011, 16:59
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

All I want to add to this extremely well-debated topic is: in my own experience, it is very possible and indeed likely to spend 2% of the original purchase price on maintenance and upgrades per year, especially when you are going to live in the property.

Even if you differentiate correctly accounting-wise between:
  • 1% maintenance p.a. as an operating expense,
  • 1% upgrades p.a. as a capital expense
you will find that your house's value will not grow with the 1% you spend on upgrades per year. You are doing it to keep your house on standard - and the standard (the competition) is always rising. This process is called hedonic adjustment.

So when you do the rent vs total cost of ownership comparison, be sure to add this 2% annual cost (on book value) on top of your mortgage payment, to make the comparison meaningful. The "clear winner" picture of buying has a way of changing drastically.
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:22
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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A very big step indeed- but Yverdon area may be a perfect opportunity to get a house which will appreciate in value- as it is easily commutable by car or public transport to Neuchatel, Lausanne, Berne, and prices are still very reasonable compared to the Riviera or even Neuchatel. You could of course find much cheaper still if you are prepared to move slightly out of town and towards Vuiteboeuf/St Croix or Ballaigues/Vallorbe.
I'm certainly not in the "don't buy the sky is falling" camp.

But it's good to point out that the prices in those regions are lower and will always be lower for a reason. They are also more difficult to sell later on. It may well take much longer to sell and they may have problems renting out the house if they need to leave in a hurry. The prices in that region go up at a slower rate.

Somethings for the OP to think about and research.
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:23
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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Seriously,

You could start with the "Search Function" at the top right corner.
I agree with this. There's plenty on here (I know as I've contributed to it) on this topic.

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In summary,

"Don't buy in Switzerland"
However, this is not correct. It really does depend on your needs. BUT you need to do the first part before deciding if you need to and indeed should buy a house.
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:30
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

Just in case the generally negative response to buying hasn't put you off totally, I would point out that when it comes to mortgages, you really have to shop around. There is a great range in the offers, deals, variability, and maximum amounts you can borrow, between the different lenders. The spread is in the double-digit percentages.
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:34
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

1. Large Deposit
2. Credit Suisse
3. Do not wait, good luck
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Old 07.12.2011, 17:44
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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"Don't buy in Switzerland"
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However, this is not correct. It really does depend on your needs. BUT you need to do the first part before deciding if you need to and indeed should buy a house.
Well ......... I obviously wasn't entirely serious.

However, for me all the threads listed excellent advice if:
a) you are Swiss
b) Intend to live here forever
c) Are buying only for the 'house' to live in, and not necessarily for an investment.
d) You have pocketfulls of cash to throw at the place.


but my earlier point C remains unanswered:
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c) It's not clear if you have to leave the country if you are forced to sell
This is where all the advice for me falls into a heap.

This is a giant risk, as NOBODY knows what will happen in 5 years time.

Unless you are guaranteed to stay here, it seems like hedging potential financial suicide over a love for a country.


If I had security in knowing I could leave the country and protect my investment here I'd buy tomorrow.

especially based on BigBlue2's comment:
(that I was aware of, and got me interested in property here in the first place)
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Why buy? well our mortgage is around 1/3 the cost of renting, we can do whatever we like to the house, whenever we like and in the current climate what else do you invest in?? sorry but the savings on rent over mortgage alone made it a no brainer for us.

So I guess for the OP (Irish national), that all the budgeting in the world won't help if she hasn't got the right foot in the door to start with.

Love for the country alone isn't enough reason to buy property here. You need to know you CAN stay, not just want to.

Worst case scenario:
If someone could explain to me what would happen to a "Property owning", non-EU, "B Permit" holder, that is forced to leave Switzerland.... I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 07.12.2011, 18:03
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

You may want to have a look at this recent related thread.
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Old 07.12.2011, 18:15
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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I'm certainly not in the "don't buy the sky is falling" camp.

But it's good to point out that the prices in those regions are lower and will always be lower for a reason. They are also more difficult to sell later on. It may well take much longer to sell and they may have problems renting out the house if they need to leave in a hurry. The prices in that region go up at a slower rate.

Somethings for the OP to think about and research.
Absolutely - however, these areas might eventually see price rise as a knock-on effect of businesses moving away from the Riviera and house prices along said Riviera to price themselves out for the 'average' buyer. Same goes for the Fribourg region.
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Old 07.12.2011, 18:26
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

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Absolutely - however, these areas might eventually see price rise as a knock-on effect of businesses moving away from the Riviera and house prices along said Riviera to price themselves out for the 'average' buyer. Same goes for the Fribourg region.
Maybe. And they might take a bigger hit when prices on the "Riviera" go down. The "Riviera" is always more desirable and if the prices go down there, those would need to buy further afield because they can't afford to be closer to the Lake will start migrating back.

There are very cheap areas around there. But they are historically cheap & I can't see them all of a sudden become big markets. Remember "location, location, location"? Those are not desirable locations so if the market goes down you'll find it harder to sell and the drop may well be bigger.

Same as what happened in other bubble bursts. Desirable locations get hit less hard.
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Old 07.12.2011, 18:30
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Re: buying a house: where to start?

Absolutely - agreed. And yet some desirable locations are becoming so crowded- that other areas become more desirable for those who want space and character. Also some areas are currently having a lot of new businesses settling there due to a/ overcrowding and rising costs elsewhere b/ new lower tax for businesses. But a gamble, I agree.

Main thing to remember Faeiry is that you need to find that elusive 20% deposit from somewhere.
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