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Old 20.10.2020, 12:05
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

If it has an elevator, that alone is probably eating up a huge part of the maintenance charges...


I've heard figures of 50k for a full bathroom-renovation. I think an asbestos remedial is going for 5k+.


Should take that into account.


1100 per month is huge, IMO. That's almost like renting.



I once viewed an apartment with similar monthly charges (IIRC, it amounted to 14k per year).

It had a nice, unobstructable view though.
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Old 20.10.2020, 12:42
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

Just as an aside. I live in a flat built in 1978. It's solid, warm and cosy. It's made me very happy for 11 years. Quality tiptop. I've just had a new fridge installed - believe it or not the fridge mechanics assured me that the fridge they removed was the first one installed in 1978!!
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Old 20.10.2020, 13:03
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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The price for this duplex is indeed very attractive, size-wise and location wise. I would say it is 20% lower than the market price.

We will have to do some work like replacing the parquet, refreshing the walls, and putting in some more contemporary looking bathroom cabinets. Potentially getting rid of a false wall installed by the current owner on the mezzanine so as to bring in more air. But there is no problem with the structure. The kitchen is pretty new and ok to me. I think it can look quite nice after some work. The agent gave an estimate of something like CHF 80,000 for a thorough project. Considering the property is undervalued, that might not be a bad investment.

The concern is indeed how healthy the renovation fund is and whether it has enough money to finance any major work planned in the near future.

Like mentioned, at nearly CHF1,100 per month, the charges are quite high. Although I know it is normal for older buildings as they don't have the best energy efficiency compared with today's newer buildings. The PPE surface is 195 sqm though.
We bought a 1974 top terrace apartment with garden nearly 3 years ago. Fortunately at the time, there were 3 broadly identical apartments (ours seems to have a slightly bigger terrace, is the top one so has the best views and is least overlooked, plus has the garden) for sale out of 12 in total at three different price points reflecting the interior standard. Ours was the cheapest by 30% based on asking prices. We paid a further 7% less than asking price. I don’t know who much the most expensive one eventually sold for. However, we spent c. 25% bringing it up to completely modern standards (underfloor heating, additional exterior door, electrics plus smart home, terrace refurb, windows, doors, damp proofing cellar, kitchen, bathrooms, marble and solid wood floors, garden remodelling, plastering, painting etc.). We also proved the flat roof was leaking and had it replaced from the sinking fund.

We pay a similar amount to your 1,100 a month in charges, but nearly half of that is into the sinking fund. Have you checked that payments into the sinking fund are included in that amount, as it would not seem an unreasonable total for 195m2.
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Old 20.10.2020, 13:16
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

I bought something a bit older - 1923...

Renovations are priced a bit high here (30k for a simple bathroom refurb), so ended up doing it myself (about 2k total cost in materials. Tools were bought second hand and then resold after).

Honestly, I prefer older houses - at least you know that something is wrong and are prepared for it. On new builds, something is usually wrong... you just don't know it
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Old 20.10.2020, 13:22
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

I bought something a bit older still - lol - 1587


As for the 70s, I would want to see who built it and check about their reputation- and then want to see how it has been maintained since- what major work has been undertaken or not.
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Old 20.10.2020, 13:37
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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I bought something a bit older still - lol - 1587


As for the 70s, I would want to see who built it and check about their reputation- and then want to see how it has been maintained since- what major work has been undertaken or not.
At least buying from the 16th century you don't risk opening a wall and finding asbestos pipes buried in there
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Old 20.10.2020, 13:39
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

You should be able to contact the Régie and get some accounts and the annual newsletter for tenants and other owners, normally they'll be willing to explain things to you before buying, you can see the split between current charges like heating, cleaning, common area electricity bill etc, and the fund for the building like putting money aside for a new roof, a new lift, new windows etc.
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Old 20.10.2020, 13:54
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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Room size is generally better in 1970's apartment & houses.

I know a 'small' London terraced house that was changed from 3 bedrooms & 1 bathroom, 1 toilet into 5 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms! Redesigning the staircase made space enabled 2 extra bedrooms, 1 on each floor. A toilet, storage under the stairs & hallway got 'lost' Every room was smaller but 'modern'
In London they make new flats so small that there's a business in 2/3 sized furniture to show off the flats...

A friend works in social housing, they implemented rules that new builds have to have a certain number of affordable housing units in them. Often the main units would not qualify due to small sizes etc. and so the affordable units were often superior in size (but not in finish/amenities).

I remember looking at a new build construction across the road from me in London, I pointed to plans where the affordable housing would be and asked the agent what that was (knowing full well what it was) and he hand waved it away as some future development. Units for sale were outrageously small even by London standards, were shown with 2/3rd sized furniture and on top of that had substantial management fees...
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Old 20.10.2020, 21:14
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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Hello, me again.

Last time, I asked a question related to potentially buying a place under the flight path. I didn't expect the discussion would be so lively, and, extremely useful.

Now we have set our eyes on an apartment built in 70s. It has a vast living area with a nice high ceiling and a sound facing balcony, which made me fall in love. It's a duplex in the attic. 2 bedrooms are on the same level with the salon and kitchen, one more in the mezzanine.

The whole complex was built in the late 70s, and I suppose back then it was considered a "luxury" residence. To be honest, it still looks quite well maintained to me. Freshly painted outside walls, very manicured garden. Located in a quiet but well connected area in Geneva. Low taxes too.

But my husband is very hesitant about this apartment. He thinks that over time these older apartments will lose value and eventually it won't be a sound investment. The charges are also high. Nearly 1100 CHF. But that can be offset by lower taxes.

What would you say? Do you think all these apartments built before 1980 should be a no-go zone? Even in a sough after area?

BTW, I was trying to "thank" authors but never found the button.. Can anyone please help me?

THANK YOU here if I still don't manage that later.
If it is Lignon or Avanchet, run away from it.
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Old 21.10.2020, 00:00
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

I’m pretty sure this apartment also contains asbestos, as do almost all properties built during that time, no matter how “haut standing” it was back at the time.

The kitchen floor features some sort of nice modern looking tiles and one bathroom was totally redone. So there was some partial renovation, which means some asbestos was disturbed for that area that underwent work. I didn’t know even parquet can contain asbestos!! Because the main thing I would do with this place is to rip out the old parquet and put in these wide and huge Nordic style hardwood floor. That saif, I also gave the agent’s estimate a pinch of salt.

Did you pay a fortune to get rid of asbestos from your house during the renovation?


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Because of our price range, we ONLY looked at houses from the ‘70s. Do you have a friend who is in any part of the construction business? Or who redid his/her own house? We have a carpenter friend who, along with another family, spend a long time looking for an old farm to purchase and then redid said farm mostly the two men and their wives. This friend agreed to come along with us to one particular house we were smitten by but that needed a lot of renovations. His help was very precious. Otherwise we would have walked into a renovation nightmare. Instead we found a house still from the ‘70s but better made and better maintained.

You don’t need to check for asbestos. But if there is any tiling from the period then it will have asbestos in it. As long as you don’t drill into it or tear it out you’re fine. It’s only once renovations begin that you need to do full testing for asbestos—and that gets expensive to remove. Any flooring will likely have it as well, even parquet. You can sometimes get around dealing with it by finding the kind of flooring you can lay down over the parquet, or potentially by sanding, staining and refinishing the parquet instead of removing it.

Also, beware agents’ estimations. Not to be too cynical, but with the two houses we were very serious about, the agents gave us completely bogus estimations on the renovation costs. Perhaps not all agents are this way, but they gave us nearly half the estimate of what it likely would be on the house we did purchase. So it is important to have an idea of what you want to do on what time frame and how much it is likely to cost.
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  #31  
Old 21.10.2020, 03:59
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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If it is Lignon or Avanchet, run away from it.
Exactly, Lignon was temporary housing expected to be demolished after 30 years, elevators seem to work OK in the 25 buildings I have been in. They were built earlier between 64-66, housing density rivals Manhattan
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  #32  
Old 23.10.2020, 13:31
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

1100.- of charges!
With 2% inflation, it will be more than 1600.- in 20years
2000.- with 3% inflation.

Who will buy a flat from you with These expenses?

No wonder it is at a 20% discount, it is probably not a discount but the right calculation.
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Old 23.10.2020, 15:09
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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1100.- of charges!
With 2% inflation, it will be more than 1600.- in 20years
2000.- with 3% inflation.

Who will buy a flat from you with These expenses?

No wonder it is at a 20% discount, it is probably not a discount but the right calculation.



While inflation does play a role (building-management, gardeners, utilities), it's more a question on what kind of renovations will come up.


Roof, central heating, cladding/insulation, windows and elevator replacement are all huge expenses that usually lead to an increase in charges.


The government-mandated CO2-strategy implies that CO2 emissions from heating also be drastically reduced (it's not just about BEVs...) and this can only be achieved by better insulating houses. There's currently a huge backlog of renovations that a lot of owners are pushing out because fuel prices are very low and it's more attractive to sell new properties anyway.
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Old 23.10.2020, 17:33
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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If it is Lignon or Avanchet, run away from it.
I would never live in Lignon but it is my understanding that the apartments are fairly good quality, excellent views, access to the swimming pool, good public transport connections, bordering the Rhône and the countryside... it doesn't appear so bad
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  #35  
Old 23.10.2020, 17:45
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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I would never live in Lignon but it is my understanding that the apartments are fairly good quality, excellent views, access to the swimming pool, good public transport connections, bordering the Rhône and the countryside... it doesn't appear so bad
I have filmed in approximately 30 Apartments, the 2 separate blocks on their own are better & were always for wealthier people.

When the elevator is not working 18-20 floors can be a pain, however you can come up through the building on either side & can cross over on some floors. The views are magnificent, very little airport noise, we were filming with since sound for 35 days & never had to stop because of noise, unlike other parts of Vernier. On site Migros & possibility to take a shopping trolly anywhere on the development, it's got an amazing community, people are very friendly.
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Old 24.10.2020, 09:08
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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1100.- of charges!
With 2% inflation, it will be more than 1600.- in 20years
2000.- with 3% inflation.

Who will buy a flat from you with These expenses?

No wonder it is at a 20% discount, it is probably not a discount but the right calculation.
Sorry I need to push back here, just focusing on a number is a typical uninformed expat response on a forum! This is the problem today for many of us with businesses that provide good value and services, people buy a price not a product or service naively assuming that they are saving money but that's another thread.

If you were to use any of the mortgage calculators for Swiss banks you would see they calculate maintenance and utility costs at 1% of purchase price as a reference rate. Given we don't know the purchase price 1100 could be a bargain or expensive hence the futility of talking about a number without reference to the price.
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  #37  
Old 24.10.2020, 10:32
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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Sorry I need to push back here, just focusing on a number is a typical uninformed expat response on a forum! This is the problem today for many of us with businesses that provide good value and services, people buy a price not a product or service naively assuming that they are saving money but that's another thread.

If you were to use any of the mortgage calculators for Swiss banks you would see they calculate maintenance and utility costs at 1% of purchase price as a reference rate. Given we don't know the purchase price 1100 could be a bargain or expensive hence the futility of talking about a number without reference to the price.
We don't even know what that includes - if it's everything (heating, maintenance fund, shared costs) then it may indeed not be unreasonable.

Also - 2% inflation?? You could equally argue that with 0.5% deflation it will be cheaper over time, but both points are largely irrelevant since inflation affects everything including the value of the property and hopefully income.
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Old 24.10.2020, 12:30
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

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Sorry I need to push back here, just focusing on a number is a typical uninformed expat response on a forum! This is the problem today for many of us with businesses that provide good value and services, people buy a price not a product or service naively assuming that they are saving money but that's another thread.

If you were to use any of the mortgage calculators for Swiss banks you would see they calculate maintenance and utility costs at 1% of purchase price as a reference rate. Given we don't know the purchase price 1100 could be a bargain or expensive hence the futility of talking about a number without reference to the price.
Thats 1% on average, could well be 2-3% when money had not been spent for some time
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  #39  
Old 24.10.2020, 13:11
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

I would buy an apartment from 70s. In Switzerland only, I think. But I'd still get rid off the formica and tiles.

Last edited by MusicChick; 24.10.2020 at 13:37.
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  #40  
Old 24.10.2020, 13:23
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Re: Would you buy an apartment built in 70s?

Friends of mine bought one of the apartments from new and happily lived there for about 10 years - then built a big châlet near Verbier once they had had enough, lol.
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