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Old 13.05.2015, 16:04
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Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

I begin a new position with Philip Morris in Neuchatel as of the 1st of July. Very excited, and have to say that before making the decision to leave the USA, I spent much time lurking here and sponging up the knowledge from many generous posters to this forum.

My wife and I have raised our children (and they will remain in the US) so our needs are relatively modest. We do have a dog, though, so we were thinking a house would be preferable to an apartment (though this is not an absolute necessity so long as there are places to walk our dog nearby). We do not plan on owning a car.

My wife will not be working, so we are looking for an area with good access to public transportation to PMI, and more particular to the R&D Cube in NE (which seems somewhat remote from the center of town). A biking or even walking commute would be ideal, but there are probably tradeoffs on being so far from the center of town. So long as I could walk to the train or bus, I could accept up to an hour commute.

I have resigned myself to the fact that taxes are very high in NE but, until i give up my US citizenship (I recently acquired dual italian citizenship based on my ancestry).

Our budget could go all the way to 4000 CHF a month but I would greatly prefer something much less than that! 5.5 pcs and 150 sq m seems about right to me based on the fact that our kids and others will come to visit for weeks or more at a time.

Does anyone have recommendations?
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Old 13.05.2015, 16:09
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

"I have resigned myself to the fact that taxes are very high in NE but, until i give up my US citizenship (I recently acquired dual italian citizenship based on my ancestry)."

Sorry that was an incomplete thought. I meant to conclude by saying that so long as i am subject to US taxation, paying extra to CH where I actually live is preferable to seeking a lower tax area and having Uncle Sam be the one to gain the tax savings.
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Old 14.05.2015, 11:37
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

There's a tram that goes from the centre of town (Place Pury) to PMI NE (Serrieres Ruau stop), it takes around 10 minutes. PMI is also located right by Serrieres (the area further from the lake) and Peseux (further west). Then there's also Colombier, Auvernier, and other little communes to the West of Neuchatel.

If you want to walk, I'd suggest Serrieres or Peseux. You can easily cycle from Colombier, Auverenier, town centre. Public transport is very good so no worries...

You will find a great place here for 4k per month, I'd expect you can find a few houses and large apartments in your budget.
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Old 14.05.2015, 17:32
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

Be sure to check to see if there is anything available in Grandson. It is an absolutely charming village on the lake, on the train line, about 10 minutes away from Neuchatel centre. 4,000 USD per month is a good budget and you will be able to find something really nice with lovely views.
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Old 14.05.2015, 18:11
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

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Be sure to check to see if there is anything available in Grandson. It is an absolutely charming village on the lake, on the train line, about 10 minutes away from Neuchatel centre. 4,000 USD per month is a good budget and you will be able to find something really nice with lovely views.
There only seem to be three trains a day from Grandson to Neuchâtel/Yverdon... is that some kind of record for the Swiss station with the fewest trains?

But I agree with Enohzee, 4,000 CHF is an absolutely massive housing budget by Neuchâtel standards. You should be able to get a nice 5.5 room apartment of the size you mention for around about 2,500 - maybe a bit more in the town centre and the posher lakeside villages like Auvernier, less if you go up towards the Val de Travers or La Chaux-de-Fonds (still very quick access by train to NE).

Your main problem will be that there are relatively few big places available, compared to the number of two or three-bedroom apartments, so you may be limited by what is on offer rather than by budget.
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Old 14.05.2015, 21:02
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

I can recommend Auvernier but maybe also take a look at Boudry. As mentioned in one post there is a tram which will take you to PMI and town in 10 minutes or so. There is also a lovely path from Auvernier to PMI for cycling or walking. You will also always find people walking their dogs along these paths.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 14.05.2015, 21:23
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

Um, did you actually look at the SBB site? There are plenty of trains from Grandson to Neuchatel via Yverdon - one every hour in fact. The problem is they take around an hour to make the journey. There are 4 trains direct from Grandson to Neuchatel Serrières - 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening - which take only 33 minutes and miss out Yverdon entirely.

Use these websites to see what might be available:

www.immoscout24.ch
www.immostreet.ch
www.homegate.ch
www.home.ch

briandin, note that although you can move to a commune within Neuchatel canton which may have lower taxes, you won't be able to move outside the canton without getting permission to do so iirc. Non-EU nationals are supposed to live in the same canton as their workplace.
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Old 14.05.2015, 21:25
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

If you're looking for houses to rent your best bet would be to look down towards Boudry, Colombier, Auvernier, Cortaillod, Areuse all of which are on the tram line which stops outside PMI. It's probably not even 10 minutes by tram from place Pury so PMI is actually pretty close to the centre of town.
If you want a flat cycle rude you could also look at the areas to the east such as Monruz, Hauterive, St Blaise, Marin etc which also have houses to rent and have good transport links into town.
There are also very nice large apartments available.

4000chf is a very good budget for Neuchatel and you should easily find something within that price range. Do you have a relocation agent helping you? PMI usually organises one for new employees.

PM me if I can help in any way. I know lots of people working in 'the cube'.
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Old 14.05.2015, 23:01
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

Hi,
Send me a PM if you're interested but my wife and I will be moving out of our place just above Serrieres train station at the end of June. Three bedrooms and study within your budget. The only thing is that I don't know whether the landlord will allow a dog. We have an amazing view with a small garden. You're welcome to have a look.
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Old 14.05.2015, 23:51
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

Thank you so much everyone for the many helpful suggestions - my wife and I will be investigating these areas so we are prepared on our arrival next month (we have arrangements for 1 month+ of temporary furnished housing until we make our choice). There seem like an overwhelming number of choices, though when I have done the Immoscout24 and homegate searching I have found the "pet friendly" characteristic narrows the choices considerably.
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Old 19.05.2015, 11:30
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

Hi,
One more suggestion maybe to use a relocation agency. We were looking at exactly what you want when we first arrived in Neuchatel including a labrador (who we sadly lost a few years back). We used http://www.getset.ch/ who were great. You give them a list of what you are looking for and they will take you around a number of choices. I know PMI have used them in the past.
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Old 19.05.2015, 17:36
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

I used getset when I moved here with PMI last March... they were very good, I viewed 12 places in one day!

It'll probably be included and organised within your relocation budget...but doing some research yourself won't hurt
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Old 19.05.2015, 21:51
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

I had my first conversation with a getset consultant this morning and she was very helpful on a lot of topics. She told me that the market is "tight" in the NE area and that it would be best to wait out the six weeks I have before I actually arrive before getting serious about specific flats and/or houses.

So, in the meantime, I may go back to lurking status here to soak up more helpful information. Thank you again everybody for the helpful posts and pms.
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Old 19.05.2015, 22:00
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

We didn't actually find them to be that useful in our house hunting. They seemed to interpret our search criteria very loosely and showed us several places which were totally unsuitable and not at all what we had asked for seemingly to 'make up the numbers'.( at least that was our opinion) The lady showing us around was incredibly nice and friendly though.
We actually found the house we ended up renting ourselves on immo scout and the get set people had not even seen it advertised.

They were however very helpful in setting up the utilities and were present at the handover of the keys and for the 'etat de lieu' walk through with the landlord when we moved in.
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Old 26.06.2015, 10:44
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Re: Housing within a reasonable commute to PMI in Neuchatel

I recommend getting a car and living just past the tram line, bevaix or st aubin, you get a lot more value for your money there if what you want is tranquility, space, and a yard for the pup. We thought we didn't need a car when we first moved to boudry because the tram line comes here and trains once an hour, but getting a car has made my life 100 times easier/better just for doing groceries alone. Plus going into Neuchatel takes 10 minutes not 45.
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