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-   -   Buying a Home? (vs UK) (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/3881-buying-home-vs-uk.html)

Alty938 08.02.2007 14:21

Buying a Home? (vs UK)
 
Moving over to Switzerland next month, will initially be renting but having had a look on a few immobilier websites have noticed that I would get proportionally much more for my money in buying a place. Which leads me to two questions:

1) Am I legally entitled to buy any property, or is there some kind of local/open market arrangement?

2) What is Swiss house price inflation like compared with the UK? If for example I sell my place in the UK, buy a place in Switzerland and then go back to the UK in 5 years will my total equity be substantially less than if Iíd just kept the UK property and rented it out? (I understand this isnít a black and white issue but in general have other posters thought similar)

AbFab 08.02.2007 14:42

Re: Buying a Home? (vs UK)
 
You're right, if you have the capital, buying is a better deal - long-term.

1) Probably is the answer. There are restrictions where properties may be used as mainly uninhabited holiday homes.

2) Who knows? Swiss house prices have risen about 10-15% in 10 years. In the UK they've gone up by that amount every year for the last 10 years.

Switzerland did have a price boom in the late 1980s and this resulted in a speculation tax, so there is a tax on the profit on sale of a house (Grundstuckgewinsteuer). This diminishes by the years you stay in a property and does not apply if you reinvest the the sale price of your house in another property in Switzerland.

Thus if you returned to the UK after 5 years and the property went up in price, you would be liable for this tax (somewhere between 10 and 40% of the gain depending on the canton and time).

This assumes that you could find anywhere to buy in the first place. Good, affordable property within commuting distances are near impossible to find - many people build from new and never move.

All that said, should you sell in the UK anyway? We moved here at the top of the UK's last property boom in 1989. But decided to rent out our house. We ended up 5 years later with a dirty house, but at least the mortgage had been paid by the rent received. We also ended up with a house that was valued 40% less than 5 years earlier. Will UK property prices continue to rise for ever? The last 40 years have shown a strong upward trend, but a strong boom and bust pattern too - with the price bubble bursting every so often and the bigger the bubble the bigger the burst. Remember 'negative equity'?

swissmiss163 08.02.2007 14:44

Re: Buying a Home? (vs UK)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alty938
Moving over to Switzerland next month, will initially be renting but having had a look on a few immobilier websites have noticed that I would get proportionally much more for my money in buying a place. Which leads me to two questions:

1) Am I legally entitled to buy any property, or is there some kind of local/open market arrangement?

2) What is Swiss house price inflation like compared with the UK? If for example I sell my place in the UK, buy a place in Switzerland and then go back to the UK in 5 years will my total equity be substantially less than if Iíd just kept the UK property and rented it out? (I understand this isnít a black and white issue but in general have other posters thought similar)

There is a webpage that might answer a few questions you might have:
<http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/pro...uying/faq.html>

1) Depending on the type of permitt you get, you can buy a property.
2) The inflation for the houses here in Switzerland is nothing compared to the UK. When we bought the house from my mum, we went to UBS for a mortgage advice etc and were told that the market in Switzerland is fairly slow on picking up the price changes that exist in UK & USA. According to the UBS mortgage specialist it always takes a few years for the property market to change here in Switzerland.

Also out of experience:
In the UK & USA people are aware (thanks to the many programs about how to "do up" your house) that you sell a house better if you give it a bit of "TLC". When my mum tried to sell her house (built in 1984), the estate agent strongly discouraged her from doing anything to the house (like renovating the kitchen or renovating the bathrooms etc) as the estate agents say that it does not do anything.
Also Swiss people still tend to buy ONE house and stay in that house for the rest of their lives. We only know of 2 couples that have bought more than one house over the years.

Lou 08.02.2007 14:48

Re: Buying a Home? (vs UK)
 
I would also wait and see if you like it in Switzerland before you even contemplate buying. Some houses can take a very long time to sell on and if you want to leave you could be burdened with it for 2 years or more (depending of course on area, price etc).

swissmiss163 08.02.2007 14:52

Re: Buying a Home? (vs UK)
 
Also when we bought the house from my mum (luckily we knew the state of the house, how it looked like when it was bought first in 1984 and what was done to it since then etc) we were surprised to find out that when buying here in Switzerland you do NOT have to get a surveyor to check the house (structure etc) in order for a bank to accept a mortgage.

I do have to say that quite "shocked" both of us, because how do you know that the house is structurally sound? But then again, I don't know whether the building method is a different here to the UK.


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