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Old 27.06.2018, 16:53
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Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Hello!


It's officially official. My family of four will be moving to Zurich in early September.



Can anyone recommend a consultant who can arrange apartment viewings while we are visiting Zurich in August?



So far, our German is poor, and I fear that the language barrier could be a disadvantage to us when attempting to find an apartment.



In the US, you find a realtor first, and they set up apartment viewings. Does it work this way in Switzerland also? Is it just a matter of finding an English speaking real estate agent? Or would it be better to find a consultant to contact the listing agents?



Thanks for any advice!


Emmy
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Old 27.06.2018, 21:16
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Of course, the language is a disadvantage. And the fact that you can't visit.

An no agent will help with that (IMO).

Realistically, a lot of times the only option is to rent one of those places that has been on the market for some time because it's too expensive.

Where do you work, where do you want to live?
How much do you feel comfortable spending?


Also, because you're visiting in August, it doesn't make much sense to arrange viewings now (unless it's one of those above mentioned low-sellers).

I recently went to a viewing where a family was looking for a next tenant because they were moving out early on a very short notice. The apartment was a dream, the rent was cheap.
The ad had no phone number, just the contact form and they had assigned ten viewing slots. Ten parties showed up, filled out the application-forms, they got sent to the landlord and within a week or two it was probably all fixed (didn't get the apartment, of course).
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Old 27.06.2018, 21:44
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

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Hello!


It's officially official. My family of four will be moving to Zurich in early September.



Can anyone recommend a consultant who can arrange apartment viewings while we are visiting Zurich in August?



So far, our German is poor, and I fear that the language barrier could be a disadvantage to us when attempting to find an apartment.



In the US, you find a realtor first, and they set up apartment viewings. Does it work this way in Switzerland also? Is it just a matter of finding an English speaking real estate agent? Or would it be better to find a consultant to contact the listing agents?



Thanks for any advice!


Emmy
For example
https://www.homegate.ch/rent/apartme...hoCjU8QAvD_BwE
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Old 27.06.2018, 21:56
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Can anyone in your company's HR department help out with this? When my husband moved over they arranged his temp accommodation in a couple of apartments and also helped with finding more permanent places for him to view. Or would the company pay for a relocation agent to help with this?
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Old 27.06.2018, 22:01
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

I think the Swiss company Packimpex might offer this kind of service.

There was a review just recently from someone who had their help with a flat. Not the searching bit, but the getting rented and dealing with German bit.

Review here: https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-...es-review.html

Packimpex website here: https://www.packimpex.ch/

Maybe contact them and see if they can help, and how much they'd charge?
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Old 27.06.2018, 22:27
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?


4 persons >> 2.5 rooms.
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Old 28.06.2018, 03:41
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Emily, will your employer provide temporary housing and/or a relocation agent? We have lived in 5 different countries: England, The Netherlands, Sydney Australia, Singapore and now Zurich.

I typically opted out of using a relocation agent because, in my experience, I was shown leftovers in terms of housing and I thought I could canvass better on my own (which worked out very well for us as most of the time, we were shown leftovers/unsavory rental properties).

When we were offered a relocation agent for our move to Zurich, I declined thinking the same would apply. In retrospect, relocation agents do much more here than in other countries (help with insurance, bank accounts and housing); I would have saved myself a lot of aggravation and should have opted for the relo agent. Hindsight is 20/20 though

That said, there is a lot one can do to canvass the real estate market: homegate.ch, comparis.ch, immoscout.ch - all are invaluable in terms of rental research.

Best of luck to you! We ended up doing very well and found a great rental in Zurich - but I left no stone/rental uncovered...lol! A lot of time spent but well worth it in the end!
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Old 28.06.2018, 09:13
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Most people - those renting out themselves or agencies - will speak enough English to at least show you around, even if they might not know each and every exact description for everything.

Theoretically you don't need an agent. You see an ad somewhere, you either arrange an individual viewing or show up if they have pre-set viewing dates, if you like it you apply and hope you get it, that's it. Given you're not here yet, this may be a bit more tricky of course, as most viewings take place within 1-3 weeks. There's no point trying to arrange viewings weeks or months in advance, there won't be much.

Some of the larger relo companies probably offer these kind of services, Crown for instance, often combined with other services, as outlined by terrifisch. Might be worth the cost.

Also ask the company if they work with someone - that's likely the best option. Granted, if they do work with someone, it's probably a large relocation company that only has the typical corporate apartments in their portfolio which tend to be overpriced (as they are everywhere).

I would generally suggest to get one of those corporate or serviced apartments for the first three months and then look for your own place once you're here.
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Old 28.06.2018, 09:47
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Hi-

so I just completed my move to Zurich from Boston.

1. Realise you first must find temporary apartment. Most people don't move here directly into their permanent place. They have to get a furnished/serviced/AirBnB while they look for a place. Depending on your budget, it can take some time. I rented a serviced apartment through Reloc. The apartment was fine, not amazing, great, etc.. it was fine. Did the job while I looked for a place. I was there about a month.

2. You don't need an agent to help you find a place. Most don't really know anything special, they just look at the same listings you do. It can be daunting, and intimidating if you don't know the language. Just call them up/email and try your best to schedule a viewing

3. I wasn't important enough in my company for a full managed move. I was given 1 day of relocation support through Packimpex, I recently wrote a short review. They were great for reviewing the lease and helping in the handover process.

good luck on the move!
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Old 28.06.2018, 18:08
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

This website specialises in ads for temporary accommodation, usually, but not always, sub-lets of other people's furnished homes.
https://www.ums.ch/welcome/

In all your online searches, you can enter the word "befristet" which means "of limited duration". Those are often either furnished sub-lets, as above, or are buildings of unfurnished apartments due to be renovated in 3 or 6 or 12 months' time, at which point (at the latests) all the tenants will be required to move out.

Such a rental contract will give you a roof over your head while you look for the home you'd really want.

Whenever you do look at an ad, and then go to the viewing, remember that you do not have a few nights to sleep on it: applications are typically sent in (with all the supporting documentation) on the same day as the viewing, and the agent sorts through them and issued the contract within a few days, max.


The pressure is much less in the top range rentals.
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Old 28.06.2018, 18:14
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

The ones sitting on the market for months you can probably rent right away, if you're solvent.


They are anything from 20% to 50% overpriced and or on a bad location.
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Old 29.06.2018, 20:37
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

I would suggest doing as much research yourself before moving via Homegate to determine the areas which are feasible based on your budget.
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Old 03.07.2018, 04:13
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

Hello.


I've been on Homegate and Comparis daily.



I have locations narrowed down to Mannedorf, Meilen, Ruschlikon, Bonstetten, Stafa, Uetikon, and a few others.


Thanks for your reply.
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Old 03.07.2018, 04:15
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

I have friends who live in Meilen and Steffa and both are lovely towns. Best of luck to you!
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Old 03.07.2018, 15:14
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

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Emily, will your employer provide temporary housing and/or a relocation agent? We have lived in 5 different countries: England, The Netherlands, Sydney Australia, Singapore and now Zurich.

I typically opted out of using a relocation agent because, in my experience, I was shown leftovers in terms of housing and I thought I could canvass better on my own (which worked out very well for us as most of the time, we were shown leftovers/unsavory rental properties).

When we were offered a relocation agent for our move to Zurich, I declined thinking the same would apply. In retrospect, relocation agents do much more here than in other countries (help with insurance, bank accounts and housing); I would have saved myself a lot of aggravation and should have opted for the relo agent. Hindsight is 20/20 though

That said, there is a lot one can do to canvass the real estate market: homegate.ch, comparis.ch, immoscout.ch - all are invaluable in terms of rental research.

Best of luck to you! We ended up doing very well and found a great rental in Zurich - but I left no stone/rental uncovered...lol! A lot of time spent but well worth it in the end!
Hello.

My husband's new company is offering a flat fee, 5k, for relocating. This will probably just about cover our plane fare, so we are on our own.

The Zurich branch of the company is small-it's an American based company. My husband's new boss seems like a terrific guy and has given us lots of tips, though.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Very appreciated.
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Old 03.07.2018, 15:42
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

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Hello.

My husband's new company is offering a flat fee, 5k, for relocating. This will probably just about cover our plane fare, so we are on our own.
I'm not sure what you are thinking about for your personal belongings. With that said, I recently moved from Boston and used Allied International for my moving.

I had a great experience, but it really all depends on the local agents at each end. I moved a 20FT container, with about 3500lbs. They packed everything, loaded, shipped, and I opted for the "gold" insurance package. It was about $9K total (insurance was $1,200 of the 9K)

This was a 900 sqft. apartment with nice solid wood furniture (=heavy).

On international moves the do by weight...

Hope that helps in guessing shipping costs
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Old 03.07.2018, 20:26
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

A Relocation Agent will set up your home tours and take you around. He/she can give you invaluable guidance that will save you from making bad decisions and also may save you much time and money.
They can also show you the schools, guide you through all of the bureaucratic and practical details of moving to Switzerland.
If you can fit it into the relocation budget I would really recommend it. I can recommend a really good agent, if you would like to PM me.
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Old 04.07.2018, 07:28
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Re: Moving to Zurich- Apartment Guru?

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I'm not sure what you are thinking about for your personal belongings. With that said, I recently moved from Boston and used Allied International for my moving.

I had a great experience, but it really all depends on the local agents at each end. I moved a 20FT container, with about 3500lbs. They packed everything, loaded, shipped, and I opted for the "gold" insurance package. It was about $9K total (insurance was $1,200 of the 9K)

This was a 900 sqft. apartment with nice solid wood furniture (=heavy).

On international moves the do by weight...

Hope that helps in guessing shipping costs

This is incredibly helpful info. Thank you so much!
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