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Old 28.10.2015, 06:45
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London to Uster - panic attack. Help

I will start this thread with admitting that I have been rather silly in my view of Ch...till last night at least. So, a month ago, dear hubby came home and inform me and the 2 toddlers that he has a job offer in Zurich starting 1 Dec. I was overjoy! Scenes of snowy mountains, alpine homes, lovely lakes flooded my mind. We lead a pretty quiet life in London but am often in the city for church, food and shopping. We snowboard often in Europe so we thought Zurich will be wonderful for the family.

So we started organising the logistics and reading as much as we could about life in ch. I read up and accepted that life will be quieter, swiss can be more socially reserve, there are MANY rules...ok I get all that. It wasn't until yesterday when we received 3 rental applications acceptance and started looking closely at the streetview of the properties when I hit the panic button. I know Zurich is no London, but streets look so "QUIET" and "rural".

2 of the properties are in Uster (Loren Allee and Seeweg7) and 1 in Glattpark. The one in Seeweg7 really scares me. It was the most fabulous apartment specs wise but the streetview shows haystacks and empty open fields leading down to lovely lake Usters with no shops and much housing in sight. Loren Allee a bit better but still hardly any shops within 500meters and only an Aldi close by. Yes, I am getting a little frighten.

Am I overeacting? 4 weeks and ticking and now I am wondering if I should try to find an apartment perhaps smack right in some town centre to help with this transition. Words of advise or comfort anyone?
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Old 28.10.2015, 07:30
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

To me I read those points as positives not negatives. Wide open spaces and fresh air can only be a good thing, surely! If it appears too rural for your liking, move closer to a town or city. I'm sure that you can find something to suit. You may not be able to replicate London living, but then what would be the point of moving somewhere new if you could!
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Old 28.10.2015, 07:45
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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Zurich is no London
... and Uster is no Zurich.

Look for flats closer to the city centre, but accept that even the city of Zurich is only the size of Leicester. A certain degree of change to your way of life is inevitable, even if you live right in the Niederdorf (Zurich's "tourist quarter").

You might be pleasantly surprised, though. A lot of people prefer Zurich to other cities once they get used to the change of pace. It's not London, but it is very, very Zurich.

Good luck!
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Old 28.10.2015, 07:58
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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Old 28.10.2015, 08:02
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I will start this thread with admitting that I have been rather silly in my view of Ch...till last night at least. So, a month ago, dear hubby came home and inform me and the 2 toddlers that he has a job offer in Zurich starting 1 Dec. I was overjoy! Scenes of snowy mountains, alpine homes, lovely lakes flooded my mind. We lead a pretty quiet life in London but am often in the city for church, food and shopping. We snowboard often in Europe so we thought Zurich will be wonderful for the family.

So we started organising the logistics and reading as much as we could about life in ch. I read up and accepted that life will be quieter, swiss can be more socially reserve, there are MANY rules...ok I get all that. It wasn't until yesterday when we received 3 rental applications acceptance and started looking closely at the streetview of the properties when I hit the panic button. I know Zurich is no London, but streets look so "QUIET" and "rural".

2 of the properties are in Uster (Loren Allee and Seeweg7) and 1 in Glattpark. The one in Seeweg7 really scares me. It was the most fabulous apartment specs wise but the streetview shows haystacks and empty open fields leading down to lovely lake Usters with no shops and much housing in sight. Loren Allee a bit better but still hardly any shops within 500meters and only an Aldi close by. Yes, I am getting a little frighten.

Am I overeacting? 4 weeks and ticking and now I am wondering if I should try to find an apartment perhaps smack right in some town centre to help with this transition. Words of advise or comfort anyone?
I can relate having come from a large Asian metropolis to Luzern (~77,000). Fear not, in my experience you can't look for your old city in your new home, you need to take good whenever you can from Uster/Zurich. Switzerland is a great place to live & always ranks highly in world rankings of best places to live.

There will be some differences that you will struggle with initially but don't even try for a second to change these differences, embrace them as different & learn how to operate here.

Jump in, enjoy & always, always, always remember to buy your bread & milk on a Saturday.

Best of luck - it's gonna be great!

Why Uster & why those 2 apartments you mentioned?
Is the company your hysband works for limiting your choice of location/ budget.

Go here & spend a little time figuring out how to use the search function features - it will give you a feel for what else is out there.
https://en.comparis.ch/immobilien/default.aspx

Another consideration - are the properties you are viewing put forward by an agent or relocation person from your Husbands company? If yes, thewn remember to use their full resources - tell them YOUR requirements & expectations & they can work with that. Don't accept the first few properties tabled as the be all & end all.

This forum is a gold mine of resources & contributors who are generous with their time. One tip though - do use the forum search function first before posting or you may feel the wrath

Last edited by 3Wishes; 29.10.2015 at 00:42. Reason: merging consecutive replies; try the multi-quote button (to the right of Quote). ;)
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Old 28.10.2015, 08:21
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

I would choose Oerlikon over Uster...lots of shops and transport options back to Zurich city centre. The Tram is low so you can get a pram easily on/off.

How long will you be in Zurich, and what is your budget, and where will your husband's office be?

A friend of mine let her husband choose a house down the lake...and hated it as it had zero public transport links...another let her husband chose a swwet apartment she loved...until she found out the train into zurich from there has no flat access and she was stuck lifting a pram up and down several big steps on/off.

Schooling will be significant as well...will you get a car, that you will be able to use every day, or do you want to use public transport...

Once here, the cost of moving is significant..so if you can make a really good choice first time...do

Use google maps to physically measure the distance to public transport links...we live exactly 500m from a train station and the shopping centre is between us and the station...we live without a car...it works...even with three kids!
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Old 28.10.2015, 08:22
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

Uster is very tiny but it is really close to much bigger cities so probably not a problem. Is it possible to take a few days and come for a visit do that you can see for yourself? I can't imagine moving to a new place without having a feel for it first. It's just a short plane ride!

Having said that, my husband's company uses a Reloc place in Uster and I'd say about half the people who used it loved Uster and the other half hated it! It's easy to get to other places by train but with two toddlers a bit more challenging. Then again, with two toddlers, quiet rural area sounds perfect.

Good luck!
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Old 28.10.2015, 08:30
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

Ease your mind and come and take a look at the possible locations. The move and change of lifestyle can be a major upheaval in anyone's life, it takes time to adapt to a new country and to feel settled. It can make your relationship stronger.

Not lived in Uster, but know it well. Third largest town in the Canton of Zürich, great rail and road connections and the one big plus is that it's next to the Greifensee, a fairly large lake (17kms around the lake) which is extremely pretty and accessible for walking, running, roller-blading or cycling all year.
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Old 28.10.2015, 08:46
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

Loren-Allee: Part of an expansion of Uster to the west. The KMU-Boxes 100m away are packed full of small companies that will provide you with a feeling of community. IIRC there is a coffee place, a restaurant, yoga studio, kindergarten, hairdresser etc etc. It is also <15min walk to the station, or 5 mins bus.

From there you have easy access to the protected nature zone between Zuricherstrasse and Rietweg.

Seeweg Down by the lake this is a great location if you are into running or cycling but in summer it will be busy with passing traffic - and people will often lake side party along the uferweg. It is noticeably further to walk to the station but in doing so you pass through the main shopping area (Between Zurichstrasse and Bankstrasse). There is a Volg <10mins walk.

Uster
Uster is just another small Swiss town - it has a bunch of nice small shops, a dated city centre shopping precinct and enough restaruants etc. It has 2 main selling points - fast trains to Zurich and the Greifensee. As a first "port-of-call" in Switzerland it could work well with a young family as you will be slightly more immersed in the local culture then Oerlikon - but not quite as "thrown in the deep end" as you would be further out eg Monchaltorf.

IMHO if you like in Uster you will need a car - you'll be able to explore the area more easily and get out to the better local shops and the big commercial area of Dietlikon

I am that side of Zurich and have really found a "home" over there - close enough to Zurich to never feel entirely "out of it" but rural enough to walk out the front door into countryside.

Finally, a word on snowboarding, "that side" of Zurich isn't ideally situated due to motorway access. The Aa valley is slow going as you pass through Aathal and then Wetzikon before connecting to the motorway again at Hinwil. The final part of the greater Zurich "ring" has been finally approved (IIRC) but won't be built for a number of years. The alternative route is up to Egg and then along. All that means is that even a trip to a close resort (Elm) will take an hour.
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Old 28.10.2015, 08:47
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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I know Zurich is no London, but streets look so "QUIET" and "rural".
My closest neighbours at the moment are cows in a field opposite my garden. Now THAT is rural. But cows are not as quiet as one may think

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Am I overeacting? 4 weeks and ticking and now I am wondering if I should try to find an apartment perhaps smack right in some town centre to help with this transition. Words of advise or comfort anyone?
As you have toddlers I would be very careful selecting an apartment. You want to be absolutely certain it is really a child friendly environment. The last thing you want are complaints about noise.

I have never had a family with children as clients who opted for city living and an apartment. Your children will not stay toddlers forever and if you plan to stay here long term you might want to take this into consideration.
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Old 28.10.2015, 15:14
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

Thanks all for sharing your thoughts. It doesn't sound as scary now after reading some of the comments above. Good thing is I lived in a smaller 'city' (not quite London) when I was younger so hopefully the adjustment will be less terrifying. And no, I am not looking for London or another city IN Zurich. I just want to be prepared for what is ahead and make the transition as easy as possible in the hope that I will come to love Switzerland as my home.

Other thoughts welcome so feel free to write as i leech on all the wise words from this forum.
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Old 29.10.2015, 00:32
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

I lived in New York City now I'm back in Uster. Yes Uster is not a bi City but has a lot to offer...there even are some new quite cool places starting up (Cafe Hut and the Aussie Restaurant Red Orchre will turn into an irish Pub next year)
What is very nice is you have two lakes, woods all around and mainly you're in the centre of Zürich in just 12 minutes by train.

I would prefer Loren allee as the train station is reacable by foot easily.

If you like you can contact us when you settled...we have small kids as well and live in the very centre of Uster
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Old 29.10.2015, 00:41
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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The one in Seeweg7 really scares me. It was the most fabulous apartment specs wise but the streetview shows haystacks and empty open fields leading down to lovely lake Usters with no shops and much housing in sight.
And the problem is???? Sounds lovely!!
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:53
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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Finally, a word on snowboarding, "that side" of Zurich isn't ideally situated due to motorway access. The Aa valley is slow going as you pass through Aathal and then Wetzikon before connecting to the motorway again at Hinwil. The final part of the greater Zurich "ring" has been finally approved (IIRC) but won't be built for a number of years. The alternative route is up to Egg and then along. All that means is that even a trip to a close resort (Elm) will take an hour.
Actually from Seeweg, Uster I would recommend going via Mönchaltdorf and picking up the Forch "Autobahn". This avoids the Aathal, Wetzikon and Hinwil completely...
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:01
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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Am I overeacting?
Yes. But it's perfectly normal, and once you get here, you'll realise that the things you were worrying about were really nothing to worry about.

OK, there will be a whole host of new things to worry about, but few of them will be fatal.
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:31
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

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The one in Seeweg7 really scares me. It was the most fabulous apartment specs wise but the streetview shows haystacks and empty open fields leading down to lovely lake Usters with no shops and much housing in sight. Loren Allee a bit better but still hardly any shops within 500meters and only an Aldi close by. Yes, I am getting a little frighten.
Swiss infrastructure is typically better than you would expect for a rural area vs the UK - the roads are better and generally quieter, buses run regularly, cycling or walking reasonable distances is normal.

So somewhere that would be "the sticks" in the UK could be pretty well connected here. Also the developments tend to be smaller and not so continuous, while still quite dense, so you get fields with cows or a small woods surrounded by houses and flats, which is actually very cool

Look for the nearest play park, that will be a frequent port of call for you with kids; there's a good pool in Zollikon/Forch, the badi at Uster is great in summer, and the mountains are stunning - particularly with little kids when the lifts take you up without having to drag/carry them! For boarding, I'd go to Flumserberg - the kids can also learn to ski from about age 4, and they have a creche.
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Old 29.10.2015, 13:50
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

Hi.
We moved from London in the summer, I like you tried to do lots of research before we arrived on Google maps and street view. I have to say the impression that I built in my head was completely different from the reality which I saw when we finally arrived. It's so much nicer in in real life!
Sounds like you would be better suited to Zurich city than Uster (although Uster is great too for reasons people have already mentioned). We in the end opted for an area on the edge of the city but right on the forest too (best of both worlds).
Good luck, but I am sure you will love it when you get here.
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Old 29.10.2015, 15:38
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

Uster is the 3rd biggest place in Zürich!
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Old 29.10.2015, 23:29
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

I definitely agree with all those people who say come over and take a look before hand....very important...this really helped me and although exhausting seeing so many appartments in a short space of time it really helped me decide where I wanted to live, get an idea of all the different areas and more importantly decide where I didn't want to live!

Winterthur is a wonderful city, smaller than Zurich but with the best of both worlds (lots going on, but also close to nature)
Good luck!
Karen
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Old 30.10.2015, 11:41
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Re: London to Uster - panic attack. Help

my 2 cents:
I have been living in this area with family and trust me you will like the place. As many have mentioned Uster is a small town (3rd in size in Zurich Canton, after Zurich and Winterthur) You possibly will find everything you need (shopping, recreation, sports) within Uster or near by.

Loren-Allee: New apartments comming up. Very connection to the motorway. Drive to zurich City within 25 minutes. Train station 10 minutes and another 15 minutes to Zurich. So almost same time.

Seeweg: Very close to the Uster Lake (GriefenSee or Uster See), actually in front of it, walking distance. In summer these street are busy for more than 15 hours. There is a bus running back and forth from Uster station I guess every 15 minutes during busy hours. Bus ride to Uster station 10-12 minutes. YOu could also reach zurcih by car in 30-35 minutes.

Both places are equally good and have their benefits. Depends what is more important to you - new construction (if your is a new one), proximity to motor way for traveling by car, of closer to lake.

One more thing: There is small english community in Uster. There is a private schools /playgroups etc. for english speaking kids and families.
This is very close from Loren-Allee (walking distance). http://www.wac.ch/


Last edited by proksy; 30.10.2015 at 11:45. Reason: added more info
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