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Old 20.05.2019, 13:16
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moving to Basel

Hello All,

I have done some research, but I am not able to find up to date information or very little. This is why I am posting here and hope to find some guidance and/or additional insights.

I am moving from Dubai to Basel with my wife and son (6 months old) with a new job for a swiss pharmaceutical company. I am French, and my wife is Czech, we both talks French, English and German.

Is living in France and working in Basel a good idea? Especially for a long term? We would like to settle for some years. However, I have seen that buying a house in Basel or around looks difficult. This is expensive and the most important is that they ask for 20% down payment. I am not really against that it is expensive as it will be an investment, but the 20% down payment is making me think of living in France where they barely ask for 5% down payment.

I would like to know what would be your advice? Leaving aside the health insurance, tax, cost of living and so onů Just talking about settling for a long term and buying a home while working in Basel.

Thanks in advance for your reply
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Old 20.05.2019, 15:29
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Re: moving to Basel

Buying a house in the Basel region is super expensive [1 Mio or more]. Purely from own home perspective, French side is better. Ofcourse, you need to weigh against other considerations like tax , commute, child education and so on
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Old 20.05.2019, 15:46
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Re: moving to Basel

It may depend on your permit. If your company is sponsoring you, they may be getting your permit for you and you may only live in the canton from which you received the permit. (based solely on the permit)

If you are French with a french passport then your wife will likely need to get at least a french visa to live in France, but I really only know that our B permit(s) from Basel only allow us to live in Basel-Stadt.

As for living in France and working in Basel- TONS of people do that. Something like 35,000 people cross the border(s) every day to work in Basel. I think you'll find living costs cheaper in France, as well.

My wife and I really like living in Basel, where it's only a 5 minute walk to work and all the shops we need. It's the first time we've lived without a commute and I highly recommend it.
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Old 20.05.2019, 16:23
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Re: moving to Basel

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If you are French with a french passport then your wife will likely need to get at least a french visa to live in France
His wife is Czech, so EU citizen, meaning she is free to live in France.
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Old 20.05.2019, 20:54
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Re: moving to Basel

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Is living in France and working in Basel a good idea?
Just be aware that the villages surrounding Basel are exactly this: villages. There's not much going on apart from people leaving them in the morning and coming back in the evening. Essentially, it's the Swiss version of suburbia. Dead during the day and pretty quiet in the evening. If you want some social life renting in Basel might be a better step before you decide to commit to a purchase. We used to live a few years just across the border and it didn't suit us. Now were in Allschwil and have the best of both worlds. It's still very quiet, picturesque and village-y, yet you're 10 min. with the tram to Marktplatz.
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Old 21.05.2019, 06:18
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Re: moving to Basel

I'd just like to point out that in Switzerland, buying a house isn't usually seen as an investment. The market is very small, and growth in values is by no means guaranteed.

I did buy one, however.
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Old 21.05.2019, 07:27
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Re: moving to Basel

Welcome to the forum.

I wouldn't advise buying a property straight away, rent for a few years first to make sure you know what areas you might want to live in. The housing market here isn't fast moving since most people rent.
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Old 23.05.2019, 09:38
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Re: moving to Basel

Hi

thanks for the help.

Yes that's correct my wide is czech and there is no issue for her to be living and working in EU.

Well I have studied a little bit more the Basel real estate and with your advice, I believe we will of course remain for a short period in a rent. I will first rent in Basel and then maybe rent in Saint Louis.
Then the idea would be to buy a property on the south west of Saint Louis at 15 min drive from Basel.

thanks for everything
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Old 23.05.2019, 19:27
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Re: moving to Basel

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Then the idea would be to buy a property on the south west of Saint Louis at 15 min drive from Basel.
Have you ever been in Saint Louis? It's nothing short of a shithole. If you really want to stay in France, look among the surrounding small villages or if you want a French city, really really consider Colmar.
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Old 23.05.2019, 22:44
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Re: moving to Basel

Almost all of the French at the Basel Pharma companies live in France, work and socialise with other French, and speak only French, to only other real French people who are deemed to come from an acceptable part of France.
Many non-French with children also live in France because you can get a family home at a reasonable price.


If it doesn't bother you to talk to non-French people and you really speak German then Basel might be a bit more interesting but it's hardly centre of the universe.
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Old 25.05.2019, 07:23
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Re: moving to Basel

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Hi

thanks for the help.

Yes that's correct my wide is czech and there is no issue for her to be living and working in EU.

Well I have studied a little bit more the Basel real estate and with your advice, I believe we will of course remain for a short period in a rent. I will first rent in Basel and then maybe rent in Saint Louis.
Then the idea would be to buy a property on the south west of Saint Louis at 15 min drive from Basel.

thanks for everything
You should think whether you want to raise your kids in the French or Swiss system. I don't have any experience with living in France. However, in Basel, there are numerous play groups (spielgruppe) for children 2-4 years old. Then its common that their kindergarten is walking distance from home. In fact, they're even encouraged to walk alone. I hear in France, it is not acceptable to allow children to do this. So whatever the quality in life might be in both countries, there's that much difference in culture for how to raise children. Me and my Italian wife are happy about CH for how we can raise children. This allowed us to make friends and get to know people in the community - not just neighbors.

We never prevent ourselves to go to France to shop for nice fish or cheese, visit the Domains, hike in the Vosges, go to the Colmar xmas market, etc. So we make the best of all the worlds around us....but yes, we pay for it in terms of cost of living...
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