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Old 15.01.2015, 14:17
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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Do you mind sharing which area/region you live?

Glarus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canton_of_Glarus
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Old 15.01.2015, 14:28
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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Don't laugh but when I was interviewing for this job I had a romantic idea of having a balcony overlooking the lake and a fireplace. Is this possible?! Maybe I'll even meet a lovely man. Ah one can dream. The joys of having a relationship with your career for too long.

I'll have a look at those two areas. Are there others you suggest? Oh, an invite to one of your parties will be appreciated!

Sure it is, but probably not the size you want on your salary, this would be more for CEO level probably.

You're not going to get anything close size wise to what you have in Scotland. (speaking about houses )
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Old 15.01.2015, 14:37
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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No, EU nationals aren't limited by the 5 year rule.

https://www.ch.ch/en/real-estate-foreign-national/

Still, I wouldn't advise looking to buy straight away. The housing market here is much slower than in the UK and also capital gains tax is designed to hit you hard if you sell after buying only a few years earlier unless you buy a more expensive property. 20% deposit is also a requirement and mortgages are never paid off in Switzerland due to the fact that the mortgage/interest can be used to reduce your taxes.

You can secure a balcony with special netting so the cats can go outside if you want to.
Thank you so much for being so helpful.
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Old 15.01.2015, 14:54
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

You shouldn't let the stories you hear worry you, but on the other hand you should be careful of rose colored glasses as well.

I'm one who has lived the horror story. Suffice it to say that neighbors can make or break your Swiss experience. This is not due to a prevalence of neighborhood nasties, but rather because Swiss law (Nachbarrecht) can give neighbors more power over you, should they wish to exercise it, than you might have experienced in other countries.

In many communities people are friendly, or politely mind their own business and let you get on with yours - there is a saying, 'kein Richter, kein Klage' - pretty much like back home. Hopefully you will find one of these.

In some communities, though, you might find yourself in a fish bowl with every action watched and commented upon, where anonymous notes are standard neighborhood interaction. What in my home is called nosy busybody-ness here, in this neighborhood, is considered by some 'civil courage', a postitive attribute.

Hopefully you won't run into this kind of community. As you can see from other posters, many, perhaps most, have not.

The first neighborhood I lived in, where I rented, was absolutely lovely. The neighborhood I eventually bought a house in is... difficult. It's not always the type of accommodation (house vs flat), or the area (urban/suburban/rural) that is the problem, but more often rather the outlook of the particular people around you.

The key thing is to try to get a measure of neighborhood attitude and norms before choosing where to live. Not easy to do given the shortage of accommodation, but keep your eyes open.

There are some basics that one must follow - be respectful of others, consider how your actions might impact others - that are common sense when living in shared accommodation anywhere.

Good luck - hope you find the kind of accomodation you need, with nice neighbors.

Last edited by meloncollie; 15.01.2015 at 15:08.
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Old 15.01.2015, 15:59
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

Hi there Lynds.

I agree with the posters suggesting you live nearby to get your bearings and suss out what Zurich is all about.

I would recommend looking for a flat in the Glattpark region (all new build, nice properties, plenty of amenities and not too far from the town centre, maybe 15-20mins all told on public transport).

I'll be moving over that way in June myself, so welcome to the neighbourhood!
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Old 15.01.2015, 19:31
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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When I start looking at property in Zurich, I feel sick with worry about what you get for your money.
You will get what you pay for, and the numbers are high.

With that out of the way, here is your strategy for finding property:

a) Invest 2 hours of quality time into defining yourself, yours needs, your (secret) wishes

b) Invest 20(!) hours of your own quality time into getting an impression of the tight property market in Switzerland at https://en.comparis.ch/immobilien/default.aspx . Comparis is a meta search engine, combining almost all of the Internet sites with property sites within Switzerland (and your relocation agent will most likely not use anything else)

Comparis allows you to determine the asking price is within current expectations and whether there is a high level of turn-over on that property by looking at "How much does the neighbourhood pay?" (Very nice analytics, unique to Comparis)

You will notice that:
b1) Rents are high
b2) Set of available properties is small

Welcome to Zürich

c) Understand the mechanics of using a car within the Zürich area, and within Switzerland:
c1) Finding parking space *anywhere* is a serious challenge (at home, at work, for shopping, ...). Switzerland, and Zürich in particular, is on a crusade against cars.
c2) Commuting by car in the Zürich area is a challenge. Very, very early in the morning, you are fine (0600-ish?). After that, the motorways around Zürich are one big (non-permanent - hehe) parking space.

So, do make up your mind regarding getting a car at all. (For the record: I do own a car, and I wonder why )

d) Learn to use http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html and http://www.zvv.ch/en/ and investigate 10 hours of quality time to investigate your options for public transport

Preferably, look at the network plan (e.g. http://www.zvv.ch/en/routes-and-zone...work-plan.html) and get a feeling for what is possible.

In Switzerland, public transport provides an excellent means for travelling. Study the network plan. Try routes (and minimize switches).

e) Look at the noise emission maps built for Zürich airport,

httop://www.laerm.zh.ch/flugbereich

which is rather close to your place of work

f) Being sufficiently confused, you are also sufficiently prepared for renting hideously expensive, temporary(!) furnished accomodation (shared flat, service provider, whatever) for about three months near one of the major train stations somewhat close to Zürich City (e.g. Baden, Zürich, Winterthur).

Now get a feel for the area(s).

Eventually, you will have aligned your preferences with market reality - and you will be prepared to find *your* flat.

Many of the recommendations that others have provided are good - Glattpark is nice, as is City of Zürich proper, as are other areas. One of the local banks publishes a rating of the areas of the greater Zürich area at https://www.zkb.ch/de/pr/pk/finanzie...nenrating.html Try to read it (using http://translate.google.com/)

All in all, spend 60-ish hours to get a clue. Then spend a lot of time to find the right place for yourself.
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Old 15.01.2015, 19:51
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

Hi Lynds. Welcome to the forum!

I can relate to your worries about lack of space and privacy. Coming from the US, where I lived in a private home, I also had to sacrifice space and privacy when I moved here. But in time, you do get use to it.

I apologize if anyone else here has already made this suggestion, but if you do live somewhere outside of Oerlikon, you might want to make sure that it's not close to the Zurich airport (particularly if you're not a deep sleeper). I've been told that the airplane noise can be quite loud for those living near it (or in the path of its runways).

Also, there are a lot of areas within easy commutes to/from Oerlikon that have a more spacious and suburban or rural feel. I live in a wonderful village called "Greifensee" which is only a 15-minute train ride from Oerlikon. Greifensee is situated on a beautiful lake of the same name, and there is even a 13th(?) century castle here.

My husband and I didn't have children yet when we moved here, yet we were easily approved for our 3-bedroom apartment (about 100 m2).

As for fears about noise... Once you do find a place, be sure to learn the noise rules in the kanton you're in (which most likely for you will be Zurich kanton) and also the rules for your building, which should be stipulated in your rental contract. One thing the Swiss certainly don't like is the breaking of rules.

And in case no one has mentioned it yet, you can check the SBB website to get an idea of what your commute options would be. Here's a link for the English page:

http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

You just plug in your to/from info. as well as the date or time and will show you the trains/trams/buses that you could take as well as the time each option would require. The public transport here runs like clockwork practically 99% of the time.

I hope you can find much happiness and peace in your new home, wherever it will be!
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Old 15.01.2015, 20:25
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

Don't believe everything you hear. I've never heard of ANYONE having any complaints about flushing the toilet after midnight and I've lived here all my life Generally, you need to take all these urban legends with a grain of salt - people love to complain rather than give praise, so if you read or hear about one bad case, there's at least 500'000 that never had that problem.

Other than that, moving from the countryside to Zurich will be like moving from Connecticut to Manhattan (sort of). You will never find a house with a garden in the city unless you are very very wealthy.

If having a garden or being (even) close(r) to nature is important to you, you should definitely consider pretty much any suburb around Zurich. Remember, the city is small and you don't need a car - public transportation is terrific and it won't take you longer than 30mins or so to commute from pretty much any suburb in and out of Zurich.

Funnily enough, I currently know of several people who chose to leave Zurich and live in the suburbs instead, simply because what they were getting in Zurich was too expensive and they missed having a garden or even so much as a decent-sized balcony.

Given the location of your future workplace, you might want to look into Opfikon, Oberglatt, Niederglatt, Dielsdorf, Regensdorf, Buchs. You can really get pretty awesome apartments for several hundred CHF less than you'd pay for a similar one in Zurich. Be aware it's still not cheap - it's still close to Zurich, i.e. one of the five most expensive cities in the world.

Also note that some of these towns are near the airport and there might be a bit of noise from it sometimes - but no worries, no planes between 11:30pm and 6am - another Swiss thing , possibly a convenient one Not all of the towns are affected equally though and in some you won't hear any noise at all (I've lived in the Regensdorf area for a while and certainly never noticed).

Use www.sbb.ch to get a feel how long it would take you to get from each of these towns to your workplace. The closest train station to your work will be Zurich Oerlikon (i.e. not the main station) or even Opfikon/Glattpark.

Last edited by Samaire13; 15.01.2015 at 21:37. Reason: Incomplete sentence
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Old 15.01.2015, 20:42
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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... mortgages are never paid off in Switzerland due to the fact that the mortgage/interest can be used to reduce your taxes....
Usually they're not paid off. Not "never".
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Old 15.01.2015, 21:13
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

You'll be fine. We owned a house in the US, but have lived in apartments here. Big apartments, with big terraces. You might be able to screen in part of your terrace for your cats. Lots of good views and terraces/balconies.

I think oerlikon is a great suggestion - great access to transportation into zuerich, lots of new builds. New builds often mean you have your own laundry facilities.

Unlike the US, zuerich has a good bit of green space, so it's not quite like living in a concrete jungle.

I've lived here more than 7 years and haven't had any problems with noise or weird people. Good luck!
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Old 15.01.2015, 21:14
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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Ha, have I made myself out to be a serial flusher? I promise I'm not lol. I guess it's just hearing things like that makes you realise the luxuries of a detached home that you take for granted.
I really think this whole "noise problem" is the exception rather than the rule, and of course people (including me) enjoy our bit of fun moaning about this sort of thing.

I have lived in six different flats in Switzerland, and have never yet had the slightest problem related to flushing the loo, having baths, listening to Mahler symphonies very loud at 11 in the evening or doing laundry on Sundays. All of which I do quite regularly :-)
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Old 15.01.2015, 21:43
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

Noise is an old chestnut in my experience. Perhaps more of an issue in old wooden building where noise carries. I'm in a modern block and can hear almost nothing from my neighbours. If they are up all night flushing the loo I would never know.

So, what we did was to rent a serviced apartment for 2 months in Zurich using http://cityappartements.ch/E/index.htm. It was small (couple of rooms) but fine for the short term. We left our furniture in storage in the UK.

During those 2 months we had a good look around and eventually settled on a nice apartment along the lake. We then brought our furniture over. Why not do something similar?

I hadn't lived in an apartment for many years before coming here, and wasn't keen on the idea. But then I discovered that it's what nearly everyone does, Personally, I could do without the gardening in any case -- though we still grow some veg and plenty of flowers on the balcony. That'll do me.

You can probably forget about buying a place to live here unless your job is exceptionally well paid. We have a nice flat but it's not a luxury penthouse. 2 beds, kitchen, lounge. Nice views. To buy, this sort of place would be about 1.5m Swissies.

Ask as many questions as you want about the move, but in general I'd say that there isn't much to worry about.

Good luck.
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Old 15.01.2015, 21:51
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

I think you should avoid having or buying a car in switzerland , espesically in zurich, because the roads are completey full in the rush hour, it is really annoying.
When in lived in zurich (more then 5 1/2 years) , i did not have a car , because it was not nessesary, you can go everywhere by public transport.
I did bought bicycles, for cycling around, but in zurich the fun cycling around became less and less, because there are so many cars and there is so less space.
When you have a car and you use it for communting, you have to pay twice for parking (at home and sometimes at the company), the areas for parking in the street are really limited and you have to fight for your spot.
Renting a flat in zurich was never easy and will be a fight aswell.

In the area , where you will be working , there are a lot of building construction works (a big hotel and a lot of new flats), it will be a kind of new part of zurich
(between Glattparkstrasse and Rietwiesenstrasse), you should be able the rent a flat in oerlikon , dübendorf, kloten, opfikon or Wallisellen.
So you will not need a car and save a lot of money.
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Old 15.01.2015, 21:53
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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If it was me I'd take a flat in or around Oerlikon for a year so you don't have to commute too much then spend weekends traveling around to find the area, and type of accommodation that suits you.
I would suggest you do not commute too much in your first year, give you the time to learn the language, so in a city there will be more study places with perhaps better times to suit you. Also if you are central you have better train/bus connections to get out and about in your free time. Also from Zurich you are close to airport for flights home, perhaps on a weekend.

From what I have observed in Switzerland the working day seems to start earlier in Switzerland. I have seen children in our area in the gym at 7.30am.

I do suggest you get a place with at least one balcony, then you will not feel so enclosed.

Re laundry sharing, that does vary. Some places have set times, so then you would need to ensure those times suit you. Where we are no set times and we share with 2 other flats, so not a problem. If sometime someone else is using the machines, we leave our washing outside the room, then they ring our bell when finished and we do likewise.

No problem with flushing toilet as all bathrooms alined. Just our kitchen is above someone's bedroom, so then we don't make noise, like washing up late at night. There is the odd time we need to use the kitchen late, hungry or the like, but do so with minimal noise. One gets used to it and we like the peace and quiet also.

Check where the church bells resound from wherever you are going to live.
Very few people like to live close to a church, where the bells ring.
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Old 16.01.2015, 07:44
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

This has been a very interesting thread for me, and has prompted me to come out of the shadows and comment for the first time. I totally get where you are coming from Lynds, and have wondered many of the same things myself.

We (husband and I) are moving to Geneva at the end of February and are very daunted by the idea of finding somewhere to live in a market that sounds pretty difficult.

I wish you luck, and look forward to reading more about how you are getting on over the next few months. Certainly, finding this forum has been the most helpful thing I have done to date!!
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Old 16.01.2015, 09:22
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

I notice that where I live many first floor appartment owners have a cat-ladder going down to the garden / grounds. Then their pets can wander out when they want.

We also have a shared laundry facility with nine co-users. Sound horrendous but it works and you adjust! Sundays are a free-for-all as a number of our single residents don't use their allocated day until they get home in the evening if at all. It encourages you to say hello to the neighbours and enquire if you can use their time when they are not in.

We gave up the car recently and the money saved means we can afford even a Swiss taxi on occassion! Check out the Mobility scheme too for when you really need a car.
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Old 16.01.2015, 10:34
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

Hi Lynds, I am also a fellow scottish girl and moved out here by myself nearly 9 years ago. All I had was a suitcase and my scottish charm.

My first apartment was in Seebach (which is 5mins from Oerlikon and about 5min from the Glattpark). From all these areas, you can easily reach the airport (20min) and Zurich city. A lot of money has been spent in this area and it is looking amazing.
I found my apartment on Homegate, but I lived in a hotel for 2 months before I moved. There are a lot of people wanting to live here, hence why it took a while.
Big differences in comparison to UK: the flat was bare, not even lights. I had to start from scratch to get everything. Cookers are electric and there was a communal washing machine, so that meant a laundry schedule. But you really do adjust. It is a shock to the system when no shops are open on a Sunday, but I feel better for going out on my bike than going to Zara.

Just remember we have all been in your position at some point and got through it ¨

Wishing you all the best.
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Old 16.01.2015, 11:03
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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All I had was a suitcase and my scottish charm.

Talk about travelling light, this gives a new definition to the term !!
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Old 16.01.2015, 11:29
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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Talk about travelling light, this gives a new definition to the term !!
Bit harsh, you don't know how charming she is
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Old 16.01.2015, 12:01
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Re: Finding a nice home in Zurich. I'm genuinely worried

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You can probably forget about buying a place to live here unless your job is exceptionally well paid. We have a nice flat but it's not a luxury penthouse. 2 beds, kitchen, lounge. Nice views. To buy, this sort of place would be about 1.5m Swissies.

Ask as many questions as you want about the move, but in general I'd say that there isn't much to worry about.

Good luck.
Well, like everything else it depends on where you live and what you're prepared to live with. We bought our 4 bed detached (just) house for only 320,000. It's a 1950s property and could do with having a new kitchen/bathroom, but the current facilities work so that's something we may look at doing later. So there are bargains out there, you just need to decide what you could do with them if you find one and whether it's worth it for you.
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