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Old 27.03.2015, 03:28
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Any advice? Looking for an apartment while I am still outside Switzerland.

Hello,

I am trying to find an apartment around Zurich and I look at it on Homegate.ch. But I am still in USA and may not have a chance to see an apartment in person.

I assume that normally people go look at an apartment in person before they submit an application right? How accurate of pictures on the website? I am also afraid of scam.

Any advice on what is the best thing to do in my situation?

Another thing is I was wondering about the apartment located next to the train station or train track. Is that going to be loud?

Thank your very much in advance for any advice.
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Old 27.03.2015, 07:17
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Re: Any advice? Looking for an apartment while I am still outside Switzerland.

I think you can forget trying to arrange a permanent place until after you get here. There are dozens and dozens of people on the spot with permits already in hand vying for rental properties in the city centre so frankly why would a landlord/agency consider your application? Look to go into temporary accommodation for a couple of months (get your husband's HR department to help with that if possible - they may have some places they use regularly for this sort of thing) and then look for a permanent place once you're here and have your permits sorted out.

It's a pain I know, but unfortunately the way it works here in the cities. So many people are after a place to rent that landlords/agencies can take their time and pick from a multitude of possibilities. Remote applications won't even get a look in.
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Old 27.03.2015, 08:53
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Re: Any advice? Looking for an apartment while I am still outside Switzerland.

You need to understand things work differently in Switzerland, think about how things worked in the US 40 years ago should put you in about the right frame of mind. When you rent a place in Switzerland as a tenant you have rights to stay in that apartment, conceivably indefinitely, so you are evaluated as such.

Unlike the US where a place is advertized, if you like it you call the agent, send them money and it is done and the agent/owner does not really care anything about you so long as your references are good and you can pay, in Switzerland it is more like applying for a job.

They will want to see your references from a bank/employer/proof of residence/work permit. They may even want to interview you (and your spouse, kids etc) in person. Then they will compare all the people interested in the apartment and pick the person they like and who will pay the most.

To avoid disappointment and being realistic, expect your offers to rent to be refused for multiple apartments before you finally secure a nice place.

If you are married, have a good job with a good company and have been in that stable situation for many years and all your paperwork is in order then you stand the best chance.

The 2 positives, trains in Switzerland are all electric and quiet so no problem there. There is almost no scamming in the managed rental market, you can assume 99% of the adverts are genuine, however many of the apartments will have a much lower standard of internal equipment and smaller floor areas than in the US due to the huge cost of bathrooms and kitchens here.
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Old 27.03.2015, 20:09
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Re: Any advice? Looking for an apartment while I am still outside Switzerland.

Thank you very much for advice. I understand more how things work there. It seems hard. :-( I have heard about an agent to help me find an apartment. Is that possible? I will also try to look at a short term one now. Any place recommended for short term stay?
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Old 27.03.2015, 20:52
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Re: Any advice? Looking for an apartment while I am still outside Switzerland.

See if your husband's HR deparment will fork out for a relocation agent for you, they can be expensive.

Look on Homegate and other sites for furnished apartments, there should be some short term ones on offer.
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Old 27.03.2015, 20:53
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Re: Any advice? Looking for an apartment while I am still outside Switzerland.

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Any place recommended for short term stay?
Might be worth looking on airbnb.com.
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