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Old 28.10.2017, 18:15
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Another house buying thread

We've visited a few houses in the last few weeks and settled on something we like. We've offered 6% below asking and were upfront that it's the only offer we'll make.

We've been offered good financing rates by the banks and thought we were good to go. We're not.

The owner has existing financing on less interesting terms and has asked us to take this over. I'm unfamiliar with this practice and although they offer to discount the purchase price, I don't know if this is in our interest.

The owner has also now decided to replace the heating and hot water system in November because they feel it needs doing now (15 years old) and they might be there over the winter. They have asked usto increase the offer by CHF 10k to cover their investment.

If the heating system needs changing, I get it that the house has improved and I benefit. That said, the seller won't share the details of the work they will have done or commit in writing to the changes.

I don't know enough about how it works here yet.

Any thoughts?
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Old 28.10.2017, 18:21
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Re: Another house buying thread

If someone will not share details and pricing of the work then this to me means they have something to hide, otherwise why wouldn't you just be open and transparent?

How much do you love and want this house? Is the work they are doing something you would have to do anyway? Get your own quotes for heating system changes of comparably sized houses and then see if the 10k looks right or not.
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Old 28.10.2017, 18:22
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Re: Another house buying thread

Walk away.

If the heating and hot water system needs replacing the owner should be offering you a reduced price to compensate, not asking you to chip in for his upgrade project.

You will have to live with the new system - so do it yourself, don't take his 'seconds'. You want to pick out your own new system, hire the company you, not the current owner, chooses. IMO and IME it's better to buy 'as is' and do the work yourself, to your specifications and satisfaction.

I would never take on another seller's financing, as I likely can do better on my own. A seller who wants the buyer to take over existing financing is asking for that in order to escape a penalty. Anyone taking over his financing is doing him a large favor and should be compensated.

That the owner is being cagey about what work is being done is a big, big red flag. Things will only get worse from there.

Walk away.
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Old 28.10.2017, 19:33
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Re: Another house buying thread

Sounds like you found a nice house, but a terrible dodgy vendor.

Turn heel and run..
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Old 28.10.2017, 19:59
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Re: Another house buying thread

Make a counter-proposal that sees them out of the house in the near term.

10k for a heating system upgrade sounds like a suspiciously round number. When we replaced our electric with geo-thermal it was (after subsidy) 6 or 7 times that.

You’d probably he happier doing your own upgrade.
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Old 28.10.2017, 20:31
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Re: Another house buying thread

As for the heating/piping I would demand a saying in what would be installed or pay nothing extra. Best is to just let it be and do it yourself, eventho it might be more expensive you'll get what you want and perhaps can combine it with some other things.

The mortgage, it is normal practice in this country to take over a mortgage that the seller has on the house. You should calculate how beneficial (if even) his proposal is to you and base your offered price on that.

If he is not willing to let you in on the heating, and holds up to a for you non beneficial handover of his mortgage the best you can do is to just walk away.
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Old 28.10.2017, 20:59
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Re: Another house buying thread

Taking over a mortgage is common here. The house owner is locked in a 5 year or more agreement and the only way to avoid a high penalty for ending the contract is to pass the loan on.

All well and good when interest rates are rising. But useless in the OP’s case.

As to the heating caper - best advice from Meloncollie: walk away.

Bear in mind that the Swiss have a strange attitude to property. This “seller” is a prime example...
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Old 28.10.2017, 21:02
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Re: Another house buying thread

I spent more than 10k on a new heating system for my house in Berlin, so 10k in Switzerland will not be a new and state of the art system.

Why does the seller think it needs replacement? Heating systems often last longer than 15 years
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Old 28.10.2017, 21:22
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Re: Another house buying thread

Agreed. Our new one cost 25,000 and replaced a boiler from back in the 70s or even from when the house was built in 1950, not sure of its age. Mind you the new boiler is only guaranteed for a year.
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Old 28.10.2017, 21:32
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Re: Another house buying thread

my wife and i bought a house, just to let you know i have been scouting for a replacement hot water system,new gas boiler ,new chimney, new thermostats, removal of all old pipework to the ufh manifolds, replacing and relocating all pipework in the cellar to the other side of the house,10 k seems ridiculously cheap, i got half a dozen contract quotes,all listing step by step list of works right down to individual holes being drilled(not uncommon over here to list EVERY single item of work included in contract,offerte) so if extra work is incurred it is accountable as not part of original price,dearest was 37k, (no chance), the cheapest, from a large company was 16k,which i always calculate to double and add a bit what you might pay in uk, the only benefit being that you can be sure of a 100 % top job,in a pausible defence of the vendors, they could be getting their wires crossed , the swiss vendors(i work in renovations, no not fishing for work)are very clueless about these things,and when you buy a house it is not unusual to get a folder of all repairs, and monies spent,as it is tax deductable on a yearly basis,all in all, if you are planning on staying a while if you have the deposit, buying is way better, our mortgage is about one quarter of what we would pay in rent, and we get to useour own washing machine
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Old 28.10.2017, 21:43
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Re: Another house buying thread

10K might be cheap.

Thing is OP does not know what he will get for that, if it's a complete run over in a way that pleases OP it's a bargain. But not knowing what will be installed and how it will be installed for 10K is to me just plain stupid and I would never agree on that.
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Old 28.10.2017, 22:16
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Re: Another house buying thread

Taking over a mortgage is limiting losses.
Let's say someone has 5 year contract left at 2%, and a current rate is 1%, then the effective penalty (i.e. discount given to the buyer for taking over the mortgage contract) would be 1% instead of 2%.
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Old 29.10.2017, 01:11
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Re: Another house buying thread

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We've visited a few houses in the last few weeks and settled on something we like. We've offered 6% below asking and were upfront that it's the only offer we'll make.

We've been offered good financing rates by the banks and thought we were good to go. We're not.

The owner has existing financing on less interesting terms and has asked us to take this over. I'm unfamiliar with this practice and although they offer to discount the purchase price, I don't know if this is in our interest.

The owner has also now decided to replace the heating and hot water system in November because they feel it needs doing now (15 years old) and they might be there over the winter. They have asked usto increase the offer by CHF 10k to cover their investment.

If the heating system needs changing, I get it that the house has improved and I benefit. That said, the seller won't share the details of the work they will have done or commit in writing to the changes.

I don't know enough about how it works here yet.

Any thoughts?
The current owner can deduct these costs from their taxes.

I would not buy from someone who was not willing to be open and honest about these matters.
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Old 29.10.2017, 04:15
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Re: Another house buying thread

Would you even consider buying any other product or service costing 10k, without seeing an itemised quote, in advance?
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Old 29.10.2017, 08:28
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Re: Another house buying thread

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I don't know enough about how it works here yet. Any thoughts?
Many people who have lived here longer only figured out how things work through experience, both good and bad.

Unfortunately this is not a place where a buyer has a real estate agent in their corner. The agent represents the seller. Plus many people sell privately. The best advice I can give you is get as much information as you can about any property you are considering particularly if it is old.

Personally I would not buy an old house again. You need nerves of steel to renovate and a healthy budget.
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Old 29.10.2017, 10:37
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Re: Another house buying thread

absolutely, i have renovated many older properties here, and to use the word monepit would be an understatement,especially the properties that are pre concrete era, ie wooden joists, and old cast plumbing, the various companies will discuss to an end degree the rights and wrongs of th way to do something, all trying to shirk responsibility of a possible miscalculation, i have been on a renovation where 6 people stood in a 4 meter square bathroom for two houre discussing where to put the new bath and radiators, two architects, the sanitare, the construction polier, the cold water plumber, and the rep from the radiator company, say goodbye to 2k for that decision, and the new stuff went back in the same place as the old stuff,i could go on, but i wont bore you, suffice to say , i wouldnt touch anything older than 1975 ish,look on the immobilier portals, anything old stays for sale for ever,
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Old 29.10.2017, 11:23
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Re: Another house buying thread

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Unfortunately this is not a place where a buyer has a real estate agent in their corner.
Or as a nice gentleman from the Bauamt said to me last week as I was trying to do some due diligence:

'The selling agent has no duty to tell the truth. Verify everything independently - or selber schuld.'

And in this case, pretty much everything the agent said turned out to be porkies.

---

The Swiss real estate market is not for the faint of heart.
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Old 29.10.2017, 13:25
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Re: Another house buying thread

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Old 29.10.2017, 13:46
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Re: Another house buying thread

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absolutely, i have renovated many older properties here, and to use the word monepit would be an understatement,especially the properties that are pre concrete era, ie wooden joists, and old cast plumbing, the various companies will discuss to an end degree the rights and wrongs of th way to do something, all trying to shirk responsibility of a possible miscalculation, i have been on a renovation where 6 people stood in a 4 meter square bathroom for two houre discussing where to put the new bath and radiators, two architects, the sanitare, the construction polier, the cold water plumber, and the rep from the radiator company, say goodbye to 2k for that decision, and the new stuff went back in the same place as the old stuff,i could go on, but i wont bore you, suffice to say , i wouldnt touch anything older than 1975 ish,look on the immobilier portals, anything old stays for sale for ever,
No, it basically just sells for the price of the land and then it gets demolished and a new, square, ugly concrete box is erected in-place.

But usually, these places actually have sizable plots of land. So, somebody with enough money can actually make something out of it.

I always ask me if the new build in place of the one from 1950-ish will actually last 60 years and what people in 60 years might think of the concrete&glass, floor-to-ceiling panorama windows million-CHF-bunkers of today...
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Old 29.10.2017, 14:01
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Re: Another house buying thread

Some fair points made.

I wasn't clear about a couple of things. Indeed, the heating system change is a boiler replacement, which somehow results in other modifications such as removal of hot water tank. I've asked for and been refused written details.

We like the house, we have no emotional connection to it. It's one of 5 houses for sale in the entire commune, 2 are in budget. It's been on sale for 18 months. We know there are other communes where prices are lower.

We've lived here 6 years and staying in the same area is important to my family. I understand how they feel and there's no urgency to buy.

This is the second house we've been interested by, thats going a little wrong before getting past offer stage.

The first was where the seller neglected to mention the house had been constructed in a zone, since designated as agricultural, meaning reconstruction under any circumstances is prohibited. As a result, the banks valued it at 55% of the asking price and the owner was unwilling to discuss price.

I'm thinking to take a break from actively looking for 6 months.
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