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Old 15.06.2009, 09:46
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Living in Wollerau

Hi everyone,

This is my first post. I'm jumping straight in without introducing myself as I'm after some urgent information.

We (Swiss husband, 2 kids 12 and 10) have been living in Uetikon am See on the right-side of the lake for some years. We have been looking to buy a "reasonably" priced house for a long time now. We have seen a very nice house in Wollerau (spurred on by the tax sdavings).

Do any of you live in Wollerau and could spare me a minute to give me some information about living there. I'm particularly interested in the local schools. My husband is Swiss, so our kids go to the local Swiss schools. Our oldest boy will start the Oberstufe (Secondary School) this year and the youngest will begin the 5th class.

Any information at all would be really welcome - we have to make a quick decision on the house and are suffering from a bad case of cold feet!!!

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 15.06.2009, 11:45
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Er, forgive me but it seems a mixed request. If your prime motivation is lower taxes, than Wollerau is ideal.

If you've found a lovely house, then go for it! Wollerau is nice enough, though to my tastes somewhat aloof and narrow. Put enough very wealthy people together in one small gemeinde and interesting Stepford-esque conversations at the school gates ensue. But that's just an opinion. I have friends there with kids at the school and they say all is fine for the lil' ones, it's just a bit closed if you're not in the right social groove.

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Old 15.06.2009, 12:54
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to reply. I see what you mean by a mixed request. Our motivation is actually a nice house in a nice area. We widened our search to the "other" side of the Lake as we simply haven't been able to find anything in our price range. The lower taxation in Wollerau is attractive but not the only motivator.

Your comment about aloofness and stepford wife syndrome is exactly our concern. I can tell from some of my husband's clients who live in the area that we probably wouldn't (and maybe wouldn't want) to fit the Swiss social groove. We are just a normal couple with normal values. However, we were hoping that there might be an English-speaking community there that we could fit into, i.e. people may be successful professionally, but they're still happy to share a glass of plonk and have a friendly chat rather than open a bottle of Chateau Margaux and hide behind their wealth.

Again thanks for your reply and you have made me feel welcome
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Old 15.06.2009, 13:38
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Re: Living in Wollerau

There are quite a few expat people - mainly women, as it usually is - who find themselves there and have nowhere to turn as the 'community' is somewhat er, prestigious. However, you'll find a fair mix of nationalities and I know there are some who crave more than one bottle of plonk and would actively pursue contact with other 'normalos'.

It's a pain getting home from Zurich to Wollerau on public transport late at night. One day you're going to want to come to the Big City...

I'm sure it's a lovely place to live though. They have a Coop, a roundabout, a little discrete fountain, ten thousand Hedge Fund Managers...
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Old 15.06.2009, 14:39
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Re: Living in Wollerau

... am somewhat underwhelmed at the thought of the co-op, although the roundabout sounds exciting and the fountain tasteful ... and shouldn't that be 10,000 anxious and nervous hedge-fund managers ....
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Old 15.06.2009, 14:47
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Re: Living in Wollerau

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... am somewhat underwhelmed at the thought of the co-op, although the roundabout sounds exciting and the fountain tasteful ... and shouldn't that be 10,000 anxious and nervous hedge-fund managers ....
or even 10,000 fund managers hiding in the hedges
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Old 15.06.2009, 15:32
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Re: Living in Wollerau

We have family in Wollerau and one problem with younger children if you both work is that there is no Hort, only an after-school club where the children must be picked up by 5pm.

There is a bakery open on Sundays (near the fountain) which I suppose is a bonus.

We have friends (with children) who lived in Horgen, bought their dream house in Wollerau, hated living in Wollerau so much that they sold it and moved back to to a rented flat in Horgen where they are now happy again.

I wouldn't live there - low taxes means no playgrounds or other amenities for children but I suppose a saving grace is that you're quite near to the hills and a wak up the Etzel makes a nice Sunday afternoon jaunt.
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Old 15.06.2009, 15:41
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Didnt see many posts when I started writing this, though I got side tracked by work midway - here is what I came up with, bit of a stream of consciousness....

There are plenty of expats living in Wollerau and the surrounding areas of Wilen/Freienbach/Richterswil/Bach/Pfaffikon and anywhere else all along the lake in either direction. All in all very pleasant area. Make sure you have a car if you are up that hill in Wollerau.

Proximity to lots of lovely scenery over the back of the Etzel (the local mountain), Einsiedeln, close to mountains, Flumserberg, lots of badis by the lake, all very nice. All in all good if you like hiking, biking etc. Schools, no idea as have no kids, but I think they are all fine as I have met some of the locals who went to them and even some of the teachers. Better get an insight from someone else on the nitty gritty though. At the bottom of the hill in Freienbach you have a great sports area - lots of football pitches, running track, basketball courts. They often have tournaments there. In fact there is one on soon, there are posters up -you should check it out, it will allow you to see a large slice of the population. it's good fun, even the local doctor sends out a team. The pitch is also where the swiss national team often train as well as foreign teams who stay up at the Panorama hotel above. So you might see Liverpool and so on training there. You can also pop over to rapperswil and the motorway up to Zurich is fine, at least till you hit Zurich itself. Wollerau train station is small - you will probably have to take the little train down to Pfaffikon if you want to go anywhere like Zurich. Not everyone is a fund manager, there are normal people plus Hingis, Raikonnen etc tax is obviously a draw, but I personally value what makes life better for you - for me that is proximity to work etc.
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Old 15.06.2009, 17:26
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Re: Living in Wollerau

To Breezy and Tom

Thank you so much for your very full replies and good ideas to check out the sports scene.

We shall take it all on board and consider the matter seriously.

Thanks again everyone for your time and trouble.
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Old 15.06.2009, 17:37
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Your moving away from the village with the best English brewery in Switzerland to live in the Canton Congo?

I wish you the very best of luck.
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Old 15.06.2009, 17:46
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Re: Living in Wollerau

You'll have the opportunity to meet Roger Federer and Mirka at the Coop.

( I did, twice already )
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Old 15.06.2009, 19:05
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Re: Living in Wollerau

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You'll have the opportunity to meet Roger Federer
That'll serve you right
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Old 15.06.2009, 20:25
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Am ashamed to say that I had no idea there was an English brewery in our village ... and I wouldn't know Roger Federer or Mika if they bit me on the leg!

We will look once again at the house we have in mind tomorrow and weigh it up against another in Stäfa - unless anyone knows any reason why Stäfa shouldn't be considered!

It's really great to know that there is someone out there and with a bit of humour too! You've given me plenty of food for thought.

Thanks again.
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Old 15.06.2009, 21:11
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Re: Living in Wollerau

I would personally look at the areas I liked and then look at houses in those areas. Buying a place is a huge committment, especially here where they don't sell too quickly.

I have always bought close to where I was living where I knew the area, the good roads and the traffic/noise levels. Most importantly, I knew the prices in the area for a while beforehand. Our current place is 300 meters from our rented flat. I wouldn't swap the location for the world, but I would love the hill I need to walk up from town to be a little flatter
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Old 15.06.2009, 21:11
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Re: Living in Wollerau

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Am ashamed to say that I had no idea there was an English brewery in our village ...
Well, you've no excuse now... (just behind that posh restaurant in Kleindorf, owned by our very own Swissbob)

Staefa's pretty cool, too, and only two stops away from the brewery...
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Old 15.06.2009, 22:16
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Re: Living in Wollerau

[quote=Dougal's Breakfast;475803]Well, you've no excuse now... (just behind that posh restaurant in Kleindorf, owned by our very own Swissbob)

You've just given my husband a new lease of life ... although he's Swiss he's very partial to an English bitter. Just goes to show what you can miss out on if you don't look carefully. Have to stop concentrating on schools so much and start thinking about the really important things in life!!
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Old 15.06.2009, 23:08
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Woah, Stäfa or Wollerau? Is there a night bus to Wollerau?????? Can you walk across the road to a Badi in Wollerau????? Would you still be living on the Gold Coast in Wollerau?????? Would you ever use a bicycle living in Wollerau???? The Brewery!!! Think, woman, think!
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Old 16.06.2009, 06:44
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Re: Living in Wollerau

Have thought, man, have thought. Although my husband is keen on saving a bit of money, the thought of all that undiscovered, untried beer is tipping the balance. Not to mention ability to get home after a heavy night on the town ... still hankering after that fountain and roundabout in Wollerau ... but final decision will be made tonight after seeing both properties again today. Will let you know our decision here.
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Old 16.06.2009, 09:09
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Re: Living in Wollerau

FYI There is a very good brewery in Wädenswil - a hop away (bad pun intended). You can even brew your own beer there if I remember correctly (it was a long night). There is nothing wrong with Stafa of course. I have a friend who has just bought a house there. Bottom line - it's all good anywhere round the lake. But the money in your pocket will be greater in Wollerau. And I imagine if you have the flexibility to live in either places, that could be important. When I think of it, Wollerau also has a decent tennis club (I think Hingis often plays there) and plenty of stables. Being slightly higher up the hill (than Stafa), there will be more snow in winter and probably trickier to get around. With all these places, it will take time to meet like minded people. It's all about joining gyms and taking part in events plus time etc. But everyone faces that - I expect having children helps in this regard. You'll be fine in either place I dare say. Nevertheless, good luck with it!
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Old 16.06.2009, 09:39
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Re: Living in Wollerau

The roundabout (island) contruction was hilarious. Took over a year - the hole (wtf!) they dug was about 5 meters deep
When it was finished the bus could not get around it ho ho ho!
No bloody idea these Swiss have at building/designing traffic islands.
Think I might become an island consultant




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... am somewhat underwhelmed at the thought of the co-op, although the roundabout sounds exciting and the fountain tasteful ... and shouldn't that be 10,000 anxious and nervous hedge-fund managers ....
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