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Old 23.05.2006, 10:17
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House buying

Hi there,
Hope you can help me with a few questions.
I'm currently renting a house but am thinking of buying. I'd like a 5 zimmer house but renting one of those in Zurich may be too expensive - so that's why I am thinking of buying - should be cheaper?

But, I'm English and know nothing about buying a house here (and my German is bad). I've heard people talk of estate agents fees of 6% and also of only 0.5% - that can't be right ???

I've searched the threads and couldn't find anything relevant.
Can anyone give me any ball park ideas?
Many thanks in advance

Rob
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Old 23.05.2006, 10:23
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Re: House buying

I bought a new-build last year and paid the estate agent chuff-all.

btw you will find that you NEED German to do a new-build here. My German's improved no-end.....

If you're buying second-hand, I believe you may end up with fees but IIRC these are usually split between the vendor and buyer.

You could talk to a guy called Alex from www.etzel-immo.ch - he speaks good English and might have some decent advice. Pretend to be buying one of their 2nd-hand houses for 10 minutes
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Old 24.05.2006, 15:02
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Re: House buying

Hi,

I just signed the contract for a second hand house today, so I can give you the low down as I see it.

Firstly, I would not expect it to be cheaper than renting - maybe a little. The rentable value of a house is added to your salary as a penalty for owning a house. This can be offset by the interest payments from the mortage. This system is due to be phased out over the next (?? 150 probably) years. Add to this all the maintence issues you usually get with a house......

Secondly, for us it was quite an issue to even find a house (over 1 year). Those that we found on the internet were not available to us, as we are not Swiss - they will preferntially sell to a swiss person than anyone else. So don't expect to get one quick! It's not just about the money here!!!

Thirdly, having said that above, now that we've found one, the whole sale has gone through in a matter of 10 days - quite incredible!

Now to the nitty gritty.

To buy the house, we first had to pay a reservation. This was 30,000 CHF. This alone did not guarentee the house, but legally prevented the owner from showing the house and otherwise promoting its sale to anyone else.

After this, as we have done today, we paid the deposit. At this stage the house is ours, unless some member of the sale process dies. The deposit we paid is 10%, 110,000CHF in this case. From this money, the current owner must pay taxes to the Geimende. In order to get to this stage we had to have a paper signed by a bank that said we had the finance to buy the house, and a guarentee of payment for the deposit.

When we get the key on the 17th July, we must transfer the rest of the funds from the bank. I should say at this point, we have not arranged the mortgage, and we have 2 banks battling each other for our business ;o) .

After the sale, we will then have the fees from the notariat. This is 0.35%, i.e. less than half of one percent, in this case say 4,000CHF. It is usual for the buyer and seller to split this 50/50 and this is what we are doing in this case.

So, the overall cost is the cost of the sale, 1.1Mil + 2,000 notariat fees. The seller has more fees, the aforementioned taxes to gemeinde , but also the commision to the sales agent.

Finally, we also have to have the electricy supply inspected by November (at our expense). This (at least in Embrach) must be done each 5 years, or after a change of ownership (how convienient!)

That's all for now, but I am happy to discuss any other aspects that may be of interest.
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Old 25.05.2006, 13:41
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Re: House buying

We also bought a place here in Fribourg, my wife is Swiss so there was far less hasle.
However, the largest fees to pay on buying a house are the transfer of ownership and land registery (droits de mutation et droits sur les gages)

This is between 3 and 4 % of the purchase price and is payed to the canton (direction des finances)
We got our bill 6 weeks after moving .
Good luck with the move.

Nick.
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Old 25.05.2006, 18:29
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Re: House buying

Help!
This is what is confusing me.
SmBuzby didn't mention these. I have a friend in Zurich who didn't have to pay this either. So is this regional or what?
Any ideas appreciated
Rob
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Old 02.06.2006, 12:40
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Re: House buying

I strongly suggest you buy/borrow the book Living and Working in Switzerland by David Hampshire, and read the section on Buying Property. The book can be found in major book stores like Stauffacher, and perhaps in the library too.

That section is very insightful on buying homes, especially in the initial stage where you are at.
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Old 07.12.2010, 14:31
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Re: House buying

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Buying the house is everyone dreams.

I beg to differ. Buying a house is not a guarentee of investment. It also lends itself to far more upkeep work than an apartment. I have several friends who do not want to own a house. Indeed, one of my friends have sold their after 2 years to go back to an apartment, as it's easier to manage. One might also argue that it "ties you down" somewhat, although I lean less toward this argument.
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Old 07.12.2010, 14:41
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Re: House buying

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I beg to differ. Buying a house is not a guarentee of investment. It also lends itself to far more upkeep work than an apartment. I have several friends who do not want to own a house. Indeed, one of my friends have sold their after 2 years to go back to an apartment, as it's easier to manage. One might also argue that it "ties you down" somewhat, although I lean less toward this argument.
Overall buying is better than renting. There are a couple of key decisions one has to make though before getting into this.
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Old 07.12.2010, 15:28
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Re: House buying

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I beg to differ. Buying a house is not a guarentee of investment. It also lends itself to far more upkeep work than an apartment. I have several friends who do not want to own a house. Indeed, one of my friends have sold their after 2 years to go back to an apartment, as it's easier to manage. One might also argue that it "ties you down" somewhat, although I lean less toward this argument.
This is very true. A while back I read a report about Europe and how high house ownership was parallel to high unemployment. The countries with the most house ownership had the highest unemployment. If you own a house you can't move to where the jobs are.


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Overall buying is better than renting. There are a couple of key decisions one has to make though before getting into this.
This is not true. I think we've seen that recently.
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