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Old 02.05.2017, 16:20
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Re: House purchase without immediate possession?

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I have difficulty in understanding the fact that you are buying a property and Switzerland, but are only "preparing" to move here.

Normally you would rent for a couple of years to get a grasp of what is a very odd market and then only buy if you intend staying for at least 10 years. Are you aware of the tax implications? Presumably you are cash buyers without mortgage.

I would never part with any money without the guarantee of vacant possession. My brother-in-law bought a large old house divided into 3 flats in the 1990s in Zurich. It took 2 years and much agro and money to extract a sitting tennant...
Yes and no, don't forget his wife is a Swiss national
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Old 02.05.2017, 16:31
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Re: House purchase without immediate possession?

We looked at a property where the circumstances were also a bit strange. The seller, the sole owner and occupant of the house, purchased a new apartment where the possession date was a bit vague. Builder said it would be ready in October but perhaps latest December.

The seller wanted to sell her house and let the buyers move into it the summer before she moved out. She was quite happy to stay on in the self contained apartment which was on the top floor of the house until her new apartment was ready.

We thought it was an odd request, but it seems she had nowhere else to stay for the few months. She was happy to write up a tenancy agreement with a fixed term stay. She needed to sell the house before her final payment on her apartment was due.

We ran the idea by the lawyer who said it could work, but whether we wanted such an arrangement was really up to us. The apartment did not have its own entrance.

So while we could have had immediate possession and move in, we would have to have the seller as a tenant. I was sad to learn that she was desperate as none of her family or friends could help her out. So desperate that she did not mind sharing her former house with all our pets.

Perhaps the seller here is also without other options. If I understand correctly here, the issue here is not possession but rather occupancy.

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Old 02.05.2017, 17:53
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Re: House purchase without immediate possession?

There is the legal side- and there is your instincts.

When we sold our first UK house as we were moving location, very pregnant with second child- our house purchase at next location fell through at the last minute (long story) - we went to the Estate Agents in the new town and explained we had to move FAST- as OH was living in digs, I was alone in the old house with a toddler- and a couple of months from giving birth... we visited about 10 houses and all were so disappointing. Late afternoon we returned to one Agent who seemed better than the rest- and he said 'hang on a mo, I have a house that would be perfect for you, but it it just a bit further than your request'. Off we went- all the neighbours were great- next door invited us for tea and cake, and made fish fingers and chips for our 2 year old- and phoned the owners of the house to see if we could pop in on our return to Staffs- as they had bought a farm about half way to our return. We sat around the table- told them we couldn't afford the price - cut it half ways- and they gave us the keys - no contract, no deposit- nothing.

A friend who was a solicitor got it all sorted in a couple of weeks- and we moved in- paying the deposit on the day of the move- with number 2 arriving 6 weeks later. Neighbour had cleaned all the house and cupboards- it had been empty 8 months...and she looked after number 1 child as I went into hospital to have her littel sister- and took us under her/their wing, for the next 8 years, when we moved again up the road. Again- a long story based on trust that worked to everyone's advantage.

And our buyers agreed to delay their move to give us time to move in. They could have thrown us out, had they wanted to.

Sometimes, you can trust people- and it all works out for the best. Sometimes you can't- a bit of a gamble. We had made the huge mistake to trust the guy who was selling us the first house we'd bought in new location, and trusted his excuses- and that was a big mistake.
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