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  #21  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:13
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

FWIW, again, I say the total stuff you would have to pay extra would be less than 5% of the cost of the house. This will vary with canton and the specifics of how you buy.

If, you calculate that after your down payment, you don't have 5% left to deal with the "hidden costs", it's probably not a good idea to buy a house. Buying is one thing. Owner is a whole other issue that may or may not be worth it!

Also, if you think it might be tight, you do have the possibility to do your down payment partially with your pention, to leave more savings for breathing room.
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  #22  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:19
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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I'm comming from the uk system,
Me too ;-) I bought a place here without a lawyer, the bank really does everything. For me they did all the checks on the place I was buying and give you all the advice you need.

I've bought in the UK, New York and here and here was by far the most straightforward, but I'm sure people will say the other way round.

Go to the bank and ask for the info.
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  #23  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:29
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

...and this Info about buying (unfortunately only in German) will give you something to look at until you get there.

The banks may do everything and they may do it perfectly (sometimes), but if it were my money, I'd like to know what they are talking about.

After all, they are first and foremost looking after their own interests - yours come second.
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  #24  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:42
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

Just think twice before buying. We have got a house on our hands that we can not sell unless we take a loss. It is the only financial thing that I regret- biggest mistake. I suppose it makes sense of you are in CH for good, but look at the price of selling before buying. What about renting a house?
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Old 14.08.2009, 15:43
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

True, but then isn't everyone!!
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  #26  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:47
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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Just think twice before buying. We have got a house on our hands that we can not sell unless we take a loss. It is the only financial thing that I regret- biggest mistake. I suppose it makes sense of you are in CH for good, but look at the price of selling before buying. What about renting a house?
We rent at the moment, mortgage would be less then our rent by quite a big margin, no plans on going back to the uk.
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  #27  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:51
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

This question might sound stupid...but how come it is difficult to sell property in Switzerland? In my country, property is the best investment one could make. Does the selling price go up very slowly here?
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  #28  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:53
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

My calculations were that it cost 20% of the value of the house to sell it. So then I tried REMAX, they would not give me a quote until I gave them the gurndsbuchamt registrastion. I would have loved to have sold, for the same price we bought 3 years earlier.
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  #29  
Old 14.08.2009, 15:54
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

Yes, very slowly indeed.
Besides, how many 'for sale' signs have you seen recently?
not many i guess. a very slow moving market.
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Old 14.08.2009, 16:06
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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Yes, very slowly indeed.
Besides, how many 'for sale' signs have you seen recently?
not many i guess. a very slow moving market.

the last house we rented here was sold, took over a year, but even the estate agent said it was 200k over priced, and needed a hell of a lot of work doing to it even before the drains collapsed.

plenty of houses for sale on homegate
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  #31  
Old 14.08.2009, 16:19
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

yeah, you're right. plenty of houses for sale on homegate and remax. would be interesting to know how long they've been try to sell them.

what i meant was, you dont see rows and rows of for sale signs in peoples front gardens like you would in the UK.
Buying a house here usually means you are in for the long term. Certainly not to buy and then shortly afterwards sell to make a quick return.

And remember, your house here that you buy will never actually be yours. (you're just paying off the interest on it)
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  #32  
Old 14.08.2009, 16:27
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

My family have purchased 3 apartments over the last 15 yrs in Vaud and the TOTAL amount invoiced by the Notaire was a little less than 5% of the amount paid by us to the seller. The Notaire's account included fees for handling the mortgage provided by the Bank. The bank charged no fees direct to us.
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  #33  
Old 14.08.2009, 18:04
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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This question might sound stupid...but how come it is difficult to sell property in Switzerland? In my country, property is the best investment one could make. Does the selling price go up very slowly here?
It isn't.

But like everywhere on the planet if you paid too much in the first place, didn't notice the runway at the bottom of the garden, bought at the top of the market etc etc - then you are going to have trouble.

I sold our house in March 2008 within 3 days with one ad in homegate that cost CHF135.

The price of the house went up 25% in 10 years.

If you are thinking of buying property in Switzerland, your should search for Grunstückgewinnsteuer - capital gains on property sales...

Last edited by Scott; 14.08.2009 at 19:36. Reason: Typo corrected
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  #34  
Old 14.08.2009, 18:23
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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yeah, you're right. plenty of houses for sale on homegate and remax. would be interesting to know how long they've been try to sell them.
Our experience has been that houses that are priced sensibly sell fairly quickly. There is a lot of junk on the market that is overpriced with owners that think they are trying to sell the Taj Mahal....
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  #35  
Old 14.08.2009, 18:46
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

OK, as a buyer, it's quite cheap but watch out for the following:
  • notary fees - I believe split 50/50 between seller and buyer - 2-3000 francs (SZ)
  • buyer beware -> if the seller does not pay the gains tax on the property then you're equally liable - get this into the Notary process and ensure it's paid
There are some other fees as suggested - but the % of the price is the biggest one and usual split.

It does depend from Kanton to Kanton.

If there are any "estate agent" fees, ensure that the seller is paying those 100%; that will be 2-3% of the sale price + VAT.

Talk to the client advisor handling your mortgage. If you cannot communicate effectively, get another one. Local language or English, it does not matter - many of these people have mortgages as their day-to-day business.
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  #36  
Old 17.08.2009, 16:24
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

We have been looking to buy in Vaud between Gva and Morge, or in Zug.

In Vaud, the properties sell very fast - under 1.2 million. The agents do not list all of the properties, and only the junk is on homegain they can not sell fast (several agents told me this)

In Zug, I can not find any house in the million range.


I never have seen for sale signs in Vaud or in Zug on houses.

I talked with my banker, before looking to buy. He went through all of the information, and what I can afford. They even offered good rate but now the problem is finding a house.

He did say that Vaud rates are rising, and that properties do not go up much in Zug but that they even held their value when there was last economic downturn in Switzerland.

He said fees should be 1-2 % and I should include that in negotiation with seller.
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Old 17.08.2009, 20:08
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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In Zug, I can not find any house in the million range.


I never have seen for sale signs in Vaud or in Zug on houses.

I talked with my banker, before looking to buy. He went through all of the information, and what I can afford. They even offered good rate but now the problem is finding a house.
Not many houses come onto the market in Zug for < 2mil. We looked for 2 years and unless people are downsizing, divorcing or in financial difficultly, they like to keep their houses.

You can find something for around 1mil in Zug, but you'd need to sacrifice on location and possibly need to do major renovations. Friend's that have bought houses recently have found them in Baar or Kanton Luzern where you get a lot more for your money.
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  #38  
Old 17.08.2009, 22:02
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

Ain't that the truth. There're tons of houses for sale around Thun area that's been online since last year and it's still not gone anywhere. One look at them and you'll know why.

The people selling never seem to think, just because they loved their house, it doesn't mean it's worth the amount they want for it. The more "uniquely" renovated the house, the more they price it up as if its Buckingham palace.

Others that are well priced go within a couple of weeks.

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Our experience has been that houses that are priced sensibly sell fairly quickly. There is a lot of junk on the market that is overpriced with owners that think they are trying to sell the Taj Mahal....
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  #39  
Old 17.08.2009, 22:11
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

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...You need about 20% down, unless you are Swiss. As far as I know it helps to have a C permit.
No and no. 10% cash. The other 10% can come from pension. ( either by taking it out early or putting it as security ).

[quote=MarieZug;520294]We bought a house with < 20% down.

Paid 1% transaction costs split between buyer and seller in Zug. This can be different for other Kantons with our friends in Freibourg paying around 30k transaction costs for a CHF 500k apartment.

Paid a couple of hundred francs to register the debt (Schuldbrief). Sounds about right. The actualities vary from canton to canton. If either we or the vendors move within 5 years of the purchase date, we've got to pay 2,5% of the purchase price as "stamp duty". The notar fee varies from canton to canton also. In some it is fixed, in others it is a %age of the price.


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Things are also VERY expensive to replace. Eg. Miele Dishwasher CHF 2,600, V-Zug cooker top CHF 2,300.. (still broken).

Gardening - a total pain with tree and hedge height and neighbour's boundry issues

Increased tax burden - the deemeed rental value is calculated (in Zug based on purchase price) and this is added to your income. That amount is a similar figure to my part-time salary in Zug.
Why not replace with a different cheaper model. Or import from Germany.
Gardening - the main difficulty is finding a gardener! Most seem uninterested as they've big contracts with all these apartment blocks.

You have an additional tax charge for notional rent (i.e, the rent you save by not owning), and an asset tax. But this is offset by mortgage payments lower than rent, mortgage interest tax deductable, house maintenance tax deductable AND it's your house - you have much more control over what you can do!
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  #40  
Old 18.08.2009, 08:31
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Re: Buying a house in swizerland

Notary fees a fixed according to cantons, and as all good Swiss, Notaries are in an association which anywhere else would be called a cartel. In Canton of Vaud, you need to allow 5% for a normal transaction, the actual cost is between 4-5%. 3.3% of this is tax for the commune and the canton, there is a small amount for inscription in the registre foncier (cantonal log book of who officialy owns what) the balance 1.0 - 1.7% is for the notary's professional fee.

In canton of Vaud, you need to pay the notary before siging the act, this is a cantonnal law to avoid people not paying the tax and then the authorities having to try and recover it. The notary then transfers to the tax authorities after signature of the act. The tax has to be paid before inscription to the cantonal "log book"

Please note, this is very much cantonal, so much so, it is like having 26 different rule books. For a quick check and guide on the various fees, either phone a notary in your canton or alterntively go and visit your commune who will be more than equipped to answer any questions properly.

Last edited by Charlie R. Soles; 18.08.2009 at 08:33. Reason: clarity in first line
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