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Old 12.08.2019, 23:48
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Living in upper Schwyz

Lovely forum, has been very useful for us newcomers into Switzerland to figure out things! Just arrived about two weeks ago and finding it quite hard trying to find the right accomodation. The whole tax situation doesn't help either, it is crazy how big the difference can be between villages/towns, and cantons.

My work is near Zurich Enge so have been looking on the silver coast. Some nice properties (CHF 2500-3000/m) and the lower taxes made us look further down in Schwyz even though the commute is longer.

Found apartments in Freienbach, Pfaffikon and Wollerau and am trying to decide if it would work for us. Quite a few threads here are negative about Schwyz, and Pfaffikon in general which makes me doubt if we are making a right choice or just crazily looking at financial savings only and will hate it. I opened this thread to ask for some advice from people who live here as most existing threads are ~10 years old.

We are a family of three with a baby (1y), wife not working and we do not speak German. Wife does not work. We do not miss the big city, but there have to be things accessible for my wife to do during the day with the child.
Would you recommend these communities?

PS. Quite a few people like Lachen, but it really is too far away to commute for me sadly.
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Old 13.08.2019, 10:30
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Re: Living in upper Schwyz

Welcome to Switzerland and the forum. Never having lived in "ausser" Schwyz, I can't help you with your question but the use of "upper" made me think about the best way of describing the area.

"Outer" Schwyz sounds odd in English although it would be the direct translation of "ausser" Schwyz. "Upper" wouldn't be correct as we don't say "Oberschwyz".

Good luck and may the force be with you.
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Old 13.08.2019, 10:55
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Re: Living in upper Schwyz

You might not realise it, but these days the towns you mention are pretty much Zürich suburbs.

If your wife feels isolated or lonely she only has to jump in the car or on a train - she can be in the city in 45 minutes, in Rapperswil or other lake front destinations in less time.

Although she likely won't feel isolated or lonely - Wollerau and Pfäffikon are choc-a-bloc with foreigners, language should not be a barrier to finding pleasant acquaintances.

Officialdom is largely German-only, your wife might need some help getting set up. But in those towns that help can be purchased... find a good relo agent.

Once she speaks a bit of German if your wife is the outgoing type she will find plenty to do.

I saw the lack of English (my village was at the time not as cosmopolitan as the towns you mention) as a plus in that I would be forced to improve my German. Your wife will benefit from living (some of) her life 'auf Deutsch', something one might lose motivation to do across the lake. And given that she will need German for permit renewals in the coming years, why not get a head start?

The whole Zürichsee area is accessible from Ausserschwyz. Don't think only in terms of what is available in a particular village but rather what is available within reasonable travel distance. Lots on offer scattered around the lake.


---

After 15 years I have mixed feelings about the area. I moved here because I wanted to live in a farming community. All these years on, the village is no longer farm oriented, it has morphed into Zürich dormitory suburb - as have most villages commutable to the Big Smoke. My once-sleepy little village is a tad too crowded for my taste these days. Sic transit gloria, and all that.

But the most important thing I need to live as I wish is right to hand here in the village, so as long as we are in Switzerland I will stay put.

---

As with everything in Switzerland, YMMV. Perhaps if you could tell us a little bit more about what your wife is looking for in a community we could offer more concrete advice.

All the best...
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Old 13.08.2019, 13:58
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Re: Living in upper Schwyz

Come on in, the water is pleasant!
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Old 13.08.2019, 16:38
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Re: Living in upper Schwyz

Have you considered Zug by any chance? Even lower taxes and excellent commuting routes to Enge from both Zug and Baar main stations. The city of Zug is lively during the day and English is spoken everywhere.
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Old 14.08.2019, 13:02
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Re: Living in upper Schwyz

Thanks for the reply guys.

I’m not looking for anything so unusual. Places to go with a baby, chat with adults, so I’m not stuck in doors all day. Hopefully most reachable on foot so not reliant on public transport all the time. Happy to learn German as well if that helps talking to people.

I haven't looked at Zug in detail yet but will do, thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 14.08.2019, 18:12
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Re: Living in upper Schwyz

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"Outer" Schwyz sounds odd in English although it would be the direct translation of "ausser" Schwyz. "Upper" wouldn't be correct as we don't say "Oberschwyz".
Meanwhile, here in Ticino, "Svizzera interna" literally translates as "Innerschweiz", but nominally means ALL of the German speaking bits, and practically also ALL of the French speaking bits! (basically, anything beyond the Ticinese passes).

Tom
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