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Old 25.05.2014, 01:40
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Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

Hey

I've been looking at Cantons surrounding Zurich where I think my husband and I will be able to get more property for our rent money. We have no children just one old cat and would like a house with space in a rural setting.

Does anyone have an opinion on Thurgau or Aargau? Are they too far to commute to the centre of Zurich (Paradeplatz)

Zug seems very expensive. Would appreciate any other suggestions too.
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Old 25.05.2014, 03:39
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

Frauenfeld in Thurgau is the closest major town to the canton of Zurich and also the largest town in the canton. By public transportation, it takes some 40 mins to get to Zurich main station, from there it's a 15mins walk or a 5mins tram ride to Paradeplatz.

Baden is the closest major town on the other side of the canton of Zurich, i.e. Aargau. By public transportation, it takes some 30mins to get to Zurich main station.

Both are small towns (population in Frauenfeld: 24000, in Baden: 19000), but very well connected to Zurich with public transportation running from early morning to late at night. In Baden, there are a couple of large corporations (e.g. ABB) so it is a bit more popular. My guess is property prices are higher than in Frauenfeld. It may well be difficult to find a house there too (though substantially easier than in Zurich and its direct suburbs) and you might end up in one of the suburbs of Baden - this isn't all bad, but may increase the time spent on commuting. Frauenfeld should have plenty of affordable housing options and I think it's a bit "greener" than Baden, even though it's larger.

Of course if you live in the countryside somewhere in the deepest Aargau close to Basel or at the German border in the canton of Thurgau, it will take you much longer to get to Zurich. The further rural you go, the less frequent public transportation usually is.

I would advise against commuting by car into the city of Zurich and especially to a central location such as Paradeplatz at any rate as it will take substantially longer than by public transport.

Within the canton of Zurich, rent prices may differ quite a bit, so will availability of property, the latter being a nightmare in the city of Zurich. If you want to live rural, you may also want to look into pretty much every smaller village or town within a radius of some 30kms to Zurich. Furttal (Regensdorf, Dällikon, Watt) might fit the bill for you.
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Old 25.05.2014, 09:15
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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Baden is the closest major town on the other side of the canton of Zurich, i.e. Aargau. By public transportation, it takes some 30mins to get to Zurich main station.
16 minutes if you take the direct train (every 1/2 hour)
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Old 25.05.2014, 09:31
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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Zug seems very expensive. Would appreciate any other suggestions too.
Zug is a bit more expensive rent-wise but it has lower taxes. You would need to do some calculations of your husband's income and rental costs of your target apartments (or take an average), then see if you would be better off.

The travel time between Zug and Zurich is slightly under 25 mins by train.

There is also an hourly direct train to the airport, if your husband travels for work.
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Old 25.05.2014, 10:32
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

I've been grappling with the same thoughts on living in St. Gallen/Aargau/Schwyz. Google can give you a pretty good idea of driving time and public transport from any backwater valley that I find a cheap house in.

After a while, you figure out which are the hub stations that have the fast trains to Zurich if you prefer trains (like I do) but most of the time driving seems quite a bit quicker than trains. Another way to find the hub stations would be to look at living around the stops of the fast trains from Zurich to Geneva or Basel (http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html).
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Old 25.05.2014, 12:38
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

Thanks Samaire
This is so helpful. Interesting what you say about driving, my husband was hoping he could drive to a park and ride outside the centre and get a tram in. Assuming these exist of course but most major cities have them now. Google maps often gives a faster drive time than using the train.
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Old 25.05.2014, 12:41
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

You don't want to drive from Aargau to Zurich, the traffic is a nightmare. We live outside baden and commute in, it's just over 30 mins with trains running frequently.
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Old 25.05.2014, 12:51
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

Really grateful for all the responses. We are trying to keep to a budget of 3000chf which puts most of the currently available places in Zug out of our price range, especially as we really want a detached house.
Good point about the taxes Sandgrounder, I came across the recent report ranking the Cantons in order of cheapest to most expensive to live in after fixed living costs. The top five were -

Uri
Glarus
Appenzell Innerrhoden
Obwalden
Thurgau

Only Thurgau looks like a reasonably commutable option. Ultimately we need to weigh up rent costs against tax and insurance in various areas to get a clearer picture.

Am I right in thinking that even within a Canton tax and health insurance rates can vary from town to town?
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Old 25.05.2014, 12:54
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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I've been grappling with the same thoughts on living in St. Gallen/Aargau/Schwyz. Google can give you a pretty good idea of driving time and public transport from any backwater valley that I find a cheap house in.

After a while, you figure out which are the hub stations that have the fast trains to Zurich if you prefer trains (like I do) but most of the time driving seems quite a bit quicker than trains. Another way to find the hub stations would be to look at living around the stops of the fast trains from Zurich to Geneva or Basel (http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html).
Thanks Bozza. Where did you end up or are you still looking?
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Old 25.05.2014, 13:05
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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Thanks Samaire
This is so helpful. Interesting what you say about driving, my husband was hoping he could drive to a park and ride outside the centre and get a tram in. Assuming these exist of course but most major cities have them now. Google maps often gives a faster drive time than using the train.
They do exist and outside the center is fine at least from the Eastern part (Thurgau), but not so much from the Western part (Aargau). The latter has a lot of traffic, more than the other side, and it can be a nightmare. If you were to settle in the Baden area, there is really no use in driving close to the city - traffic will start to congest shortly after Baden in direction of Zurich. Should you settle towards Frauenfeld, it might be an option to drive by car to somewhere closer to the city as traffic is a bit less awful from that direction, but I'm nevertheless not sure your husband would really save time. This is all under the assumption that he has to get to and leave Zurich during peak hours, traffic is brutal between 7-9 am and 4-6 pm.

Google Maps will only produce times when there's no traffic. And public transportation is so great that there's really no need to take the car. And even though the Swiss constantly complain that the costs for public transportation are too high, they really are not, compared to pretty much every other country and especially every major city in the world and in relation to income and whatnot

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Really grateful for all the responses. We are trying to keep to a budget of 3000chf which puts most of the currently available places in Zug out of our price range, especially as we really want a detached house.
Good point about the taxes Sandgrounder, I came across the recent report ranking the Cantons in order of cheapest to most expensive to live in after fixed living costs. The top five were -

Uri
Glarus
Appenzell Innerrhoden
Obwalden
Thurgau

Only Thurgau looks like a reasonably commutable option. Ultimately we need to weigh up rent costs against tax and insurance in various areas to get a clearer picture.

Am I right in thinking that even within a Canton tax and health insurance rates can vary from town to town?
Taxes in Thurgau have come down quite a bit over the last years (at least for Swiss citizens, but I assume from the above that the same applies for non-Swiss residents), so I agree it is a very good option and good value for money.

Yes, taxes and health insurance costs vary from town to town. The differences within the cantons are not massive, usually, but may be considerable between different cantons.

Last edited by Samaire13; 25.05.2014 at 13:18.
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Old 25.05.2014, 13:17
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

Thanks Samaire
Janetmacp was saying the same about the drive from Baden. I think hubbie would prefer to use the train. Have yet to go online and check out station to station costs but it can't be anymore expensive than London! Here in the Netherlands they have a great service, frequent and affordable but I'm getting the idea from perusing the forum that the Swiss like to charge a premium for everything (said with a smile!).
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Old 25.05.2014, 13:43
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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Really grateful for all the responses. We are trying to keep to a budget of 3000chf which puts most of the currently available places in Zug out of our price range, especially as we really want a detached house.
Good point about the taxes Sandgrounder, I came across the recent report ranking the Cantons in order of cheapest to most expensive to live in after fixed living costs. The top five were -

Uri
Glarus
Appenzell Innerrhoden
Obwalden
Thurgau

Only Thurgau looks like a reasonably commutable option. Ultimately we need to weigh up rent costs against tax and insurance in various areas to get a clearer picture.

Am I right in thinking that even within a Canton tax and health insurance rates can vary from town to town?
Yes, commune taxes are usually a percentage of the cantonal ones. For example here our commune taxes are 88% of Fribourg canton's calculations. Fribourg has a list on its website of what the percentages are for each commune so you should be able to find something similar for the other cantons - assuming you can read German of course.
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Old 25.05.2014, 15:01
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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Thanks Bozza. Where did you end up or are you still looking?
We're still looking (and going to be looking for a long time) for a place to buy.

But first, we'll need to find somewhere to rent in the Thalwill area from July/August. It's close to work and we can settle for an apartment for 1-2 years while we get our bearings and so should be able to find a 3-4 room apartment for under 3,000. (we're still in London at the moment).
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Old 25.05.2014, 19:39
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Re: Cantons Neighbouring Zurich

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We're still looking (and going to be looking for a long time) for a place to buy.

But first, we'll need to find somewhere to rent in the Thalwill area from July/August. It's close to work and we can settle for an apartment for 1-2 years while we get our bearings and so should be able to find a 3-4 room apartment for under 3,000. (we're still in London at the moment).
Yes we will be on the ground in late July/August too. Planning to rent for a month or two while house hunting. From what I've seen you shouldn't have a problem finding an apartment in your budget.

Good luck with the move!
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