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  #61  
Old 13.10.2009, 13:27
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Re: Just bought a house!

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You don't get it...the HOUSE is now my pension fund, instead of a faceless financial institution who have their own best interest in mind, and will tell me how much I am entitled to in 15 years (assuming they are still solvent). I have just shifted my assets from an anonymous 3rd party who is doing God-knows-what with my money, to a direct investment that I have direct control over, and can enjoy immediatly at the same time. Like having your cake and eating it too. Swiss real-estate has had a rock solid appreciation trend over the long term, small but stable.
Good on you, Karl!

We did the same thing and have saved megabucks over the last 2 years. We're looking at upgrading to a house soon and, on top of the savings, the small but reliable capital appreciation on our little apartment will provide the deposit.

Good luck in your new abode

Puddy
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  #62  
Old 13.10.2009, 14:19
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Re: Just bought a house!

So overall the consensus is to buy if I read this right provided the ducks are lined up ie deposit, long stay planned etc. I have rented for 12 years and it seems stupid to go on when I can buy a house especially with the rates so low even for a longish fix.
Provided you can afford it and cover all the extra costa there is simply no better option.....????
Anyone think of a good reason not to??
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  #63  
Old 13.10.2009, 16:34
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Re: Just bought a house!

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Anyone think of a good reason not to??
As I said before, in case you can invest in a better profit taking investment (say above 4-5% a year), I wouldn't put it in bricks and mortar.
I admit most of people these days can't gain that much in other investments though, so buying would be not a bad choice for them.
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  #64  
Old 13.10.2009, 17:32
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Re: Just bought a house!

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So overall the consensus is to buy if I read this right provided the ducks are lined up ie deposit, long stay planned etc. I have rented for 12 years and it seems stupid to go on when I can buy a house especially with the rates so low even for a longish fix.
Provided you can afford it and cover all the extra costa there is simply no better option.....????
Anyone think of a good reason not to??
My advise is this for buying a house in Switzerland. Only do it if:
- you are 90% sure this is where you will be staying here for the long term (at least 10 years, optimally until retirement)
- the above criteria then infers that you should become fluent in the local language, at least to a high functioning level (high German OK)
- and decided to fully integrate here (to the best that a non-native Swiss can do it)
- start having more Swiss friends than UK/American ones
- don't hang out in foreigner clubs because these are primarily not the type of people who will stick around very long
- send your kids to the normal Swiss schools, fully acknowledge that they will consider themselves Swiss after a number of years here
- after your 12 year waiting period, get Swiss citizenship and vote
- do not buy real estate with the expectation that it is an ATM machine or a lucrative investment
- join a local Swiss Verein (club)...they have all sorts here
- learn to ski and go regularly
- start taking your holidays in Switzerland instead of flying back to the UK, Australia, US etc.
- read the local news, i.e. Tagesanzeiger, 20 Minutes, etc.
- watch local TV stations, particularly news to find out what is really going on here
- become aware of the political issues in the country
- play by the rules here, written and unwritten

It is still OK to hang out on this forum "for old times sake"
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  #65  
Old 07.12.2009, 19:16
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Re: Just bought a house!

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The public notary cost us 1900 CHF (the sellers paid an equal amount). Tax for early withdrawal of pension will set us back 20K (we budgeted for that). Some few hundred francs for inspection and paperwork. 1800 to buy the remaining fuel oil in their tank...moving cost with cleaning 4700 (including moving a grand piano), another couple grand in new Ikea furniture, 1200 for a brand new Weber grill...1300 for an LCD TV...that's about it...will have to pay for new plates on the cars.
First of all, lots congtrats on the new house.
I have a questions re notary, do you find you own notary in the community you are buying or the seller will find one for you,
and is it necessary to hire a lawyer (too translate the legal papers)along the legal process given my limited german language.
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Old 07.12.2009, 20:18
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Re: Just bought a house!

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The public notary cost us 1900 CHF (the sellers paid an equal amount). Tax for early withdrawal of pension will set us back 20K (we budgeted for that). Some few hundred francs for inspection and paperwork. 1800 to buy the remaining fuel oil in their tank...moving cost with cleaning 4700 (including moving a grand piano), another couple grand in new Ikea furniture, 1200 for a brand new Weber grill...1300 for an LCD TV...that's about it...will have to pay for new plates on the cars.
If the house was new, i believe i am right saying there are no taxes, but if you bought it from somebody you usually have taxes to pay to the commune, canton and may even be Federal. In Vaud they are 3.3% of purchase price; the notary collects the fee and pays the taxes on your behalf. You can't escape, the Land register communicates with the tax people.
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  #67  
Old 08.12.2009, 11:22
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Re: Just bought a house!

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First of all, lots congtrats on the new house.
I have a questions re notary, do you find you own notary in the community you are buying or the seller will find one for you,
and is it necessary to hire a lawyer (too translate the legal papers)along the legal process given my limited german language.
Things are well organized here. The sellers actually sold the house via the Aargau "Hauseigenturmerverband" (home owners association) who have all the knowledge and connections, act as intermediary, and help out both buyer and sellers (former being potential future customers for them). A Notary was appointed, we agreed (very reasonable), we had a 3 hour meeting with him and the sellers and a rep. from the home owners association (we didn't appoint a lawyer for ourselves, we did all the investigations on possible pitfalls ourselves), and everything went hunky-dory. At the "Schlüsselübergabe" (handing over of the keys), it was just me and my wife and the sellers, a very nice Swiss couple with 2 kids who really took care of and renovated the house during the 19 years they lived there (she was very emotional about leaving). The only thing that didn't go as planned was that the tumbler was broken, she had mentioned it was on its last legs earlier, as they left everything else in such immaculate condition, we didn't make a fuss and just bought a new one. Everything else went perfectly! We are really enjoying the house now.

One caveat: we could not have done the above successfully without speaking and understanding German to a good level. English would have been a show stopper with all parties involved, and we would have had to involve an (expensive) bi-lingual lawyer as intermediary, not to mention I don't think the sellers would have chosen us to begin with if we couldn't speak to them in German.
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  #68  
Old 08.12.2009, 13:47
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Re: Just bought a house!

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That's a useful post Karl, but where did you find a house for 685K? Is it a standalone house?

Everything I looked at recently is at least 1 million and I can only find apartments for this price.

Congratulations on your house!
I second that! Everything we have looked at is nothing under a million, and if it is, then its 50 years old, with 50year old heating, windows, roofing, ect. Or you have to move to Fischental, or some other remote dorf.
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  #69  
Old 08.12.2009, 13:55
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Re: Just bought a house!

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Of course it is... I can't decide if you are proud and want to share or showing off your wealth...
Is it? 325k over 23 years is around 14k a year or 1,178CHF per month saved.

That assumes no tax break for putting amount into pension and earning no interest on amounts put into pension.

The amount is probably equivalent to investing around 500CHF a month over 23 years - I think do-able for most people.
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  #70  
Old 09.12.2009, 17:04
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Re: Just bought a house!

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I second that! Everything we have looked at is nothing under a million, and if it is, then its 50 years old, with 50year old heating, windows, roofing, ect. Or you have to move to Fischental, or some other remote dorf.
Look here. 20 minute direct train ride to Zurich main station.

http://www.homegate.ch/homegate/de/i...em=ctn-ag&ep=2
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  #71  
Old 09.12.2009, 17:38
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Re: Just bought a house!

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Is it? 325k over 23 years is around 14k a year or 1,178CHF per month saved.

That assumes no tax break for putting amount into pension and earning no interest on amounts put into pension.

The amount is probably equivalent to investing around 500CHF a month over 23 years - I think do-able for most people.
speaking of investing...where would it be smart to start talking about the various investment options avaliable? the pillars etc confuse me a bit and i also want to put some money into a mildly aggressive investments...any recommendations?
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  #72  
Old 09.12.2009, 18:09
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Re: Just bought a house!

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We plan to live in this house until the end, at least 20-30 years, we never need to move again. We all got Swiss citizenship this year, and the house is perfect in all respects: our next move will be to a 6 foot hole in the ground. Concerning investment value, I believe you, I am only counting on this house holding its value. We have the other half of our assets invested in stock funds, 3rd pillar accounts, and my wifes pension.
I'm happy for you Karl that you have found a house you like very much, and i am happy for Switzerland that you are staying here forever. Wish you all the best.
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Old 09.12.2009, 18:20
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Re: Just bought a house!

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It always pays to shop around but you don't always get the best deal at the bank you work for. A couple of friends that work in banks were offered better deals elsewhere. One works for CS and went with Raiffeisen and another worked for UBS and went with CS. Plus, getting an employee discounted rate is just another job tie-in for your employer.

I pay < 1% on a 1 month rolling Libor. I see nothing wrong with pledging your entire pension fund when you are young. When we got our house here we were 28 & 30 and retirement seemed so long away. We withdrew a small part of the pension fund and raised the rest of the deposit through savings and investing those savings over the years.

Why doesn't everyone do it? Unfortunately, many people see saving CHF 100k plus as too difficult. Many people see money still in their account at the end of the month and blow it on on things they don't really need. Going out for lunch at work we were looking for places with EC because one colleague had no money left in her account. When salary was delayed by one day, one guy said he couldn't afford to come into work. The same guy who said he regularly spends CHF 600 on a night out. A 26 year old colleague managed to save CHF 30k in a year. I tried to convince him to save up more and get his own place, but he wanted the rewards now and went and got a car. As a clue to general spending patterns amongst the young - you should have seen Mobile Zone in Zug on Thursday evening. The queue was out the door!

I wonder how many people on this forum drive an expensive new car and wouldn't dare be seen in Denner, but say that they can't afford their own place here. It is all about priorities.
Didnt see a THANKS button.

What a sensible post.
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  #74  
Old 09.12.2009, 18:37
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Re: Just bought a house!

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So we just moved into the house that we bought. It's got everything we wanted, nice private garden, quiet sunny location close to schools, train, motorway, shops, 20 minutes from Zurich, bedrooms for all, built out attic, large cellar, even has the bomb shelter (aka wine cellar). The surrounding countryside is beautiful, surrounded by woods, farms and castles within biking distance.

Details:
Price: 685K
Down payment: 325K (used my entire pensionfund)
House: 19 years old, solid, in immaculate condition, fully renovated.
Interest rate on the loan: 2.35% for 5 years, resulting in 675 CHF / month...we have been paying 2600 CHF in rent for an apartment for the past 14 years!

With pensions getting only 2% interest, and their viability in question, I just think this is the better way to go. My pension was racking up only 541 CHF per month in interest...by rolling over into the house we save 2000 in rent. OK, some tax penalty for the Eigenmietwert, but we still come out ahead. What's the catch here? Why doesn't everyone do this?
have you consider that the future might hold much higher interest rates?
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Old 09.12.2009, 18:42
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Re: Just bought a house!

Congrats, and welcome to the joys (and then some...) of home ownership!
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  #76  
Old 09.12.2009, 19:01
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Re: Just bought a house!

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have you consider that the future might hold much higher interest rates?
Yes, that is why we are putting away the money we save each month from what we used to pay in rent, which turns out will be exactly enough to pay off the mortgage in 15 years...precisely when I reach retirement age. We can of course partially pay it down earlier.

All this is possible by buying a house we could afford, and not the most expensive one we could buy with only 20 percent down (also known as "buying more house than you need, with money you don't have, to impress people you don't like).
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  #77  
Old 09.12.2009, 19:07
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Re: Just bought a house!

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speaking of investing...where would it be smart to start talking about the various investment options avaliable? the pillars etc confuse me a bit and i also want to put some money into a mildly aggressive investments...any recommendations?
Best bet is to always put away the max. each year in 3. Saule account. CS (and probably other banks) has an option that invests it partially in the markets, and your contribution is tax deductable. Of all the investments we have made in the last 10 years (the house not included), that one has produced the best results.
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Old 09.12.2009, 19:15
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Re: Just bought a house!

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So we just moved into the house that we bought. It's got everything we wanted, nice private garden, quiet sunny location close to schools, train, motorway, shops, 20 minutes from Zurich, bedrooms for all, built out attic, large cellar, even has the bomb shelter (aka wine cellar). The surrounding countryside is beautiful, surrounded by woods, farms and castles within biking distance.

Details:
Price: 685K
Down payment: 325K (used my entire pensionfund)
House: 19 years old, solid, in immaculate condition, fully renovated.
Interest rate on the loan: 2.35% for 5 years, resulting in 675 CHF / month...we have been paying 2600 CHF in rent for an apartment for the past 14 years!

With pensions getting only 2% interest, and their viability in question, I just think this is the better way to go. My pension was racking up only 541 CHF per month in interest...by rolling over into the house we save 2000 in rent. OK, some tax penalty for the Eigenmietwert, but we still come out ahead. What's the catch here? Why doesn't everyone do this?
The catch is if you want to sell it- if you lose your job or find something better elsewhere- otherwise it's all good. The best thing is being able to do more of what you want to do, without having to answer to a the owner.
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  #79  
Old 09.12.2009, 19:25
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Re: Just bought a house!

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The catch is if you want to sell it- if you lose your job or find something better elsewhere- otherwise it's all good. The best thing is being able to do more of what you want to do, without having to answer to a the owner.
Answer to your first point: both I and my wife work (100% and 50%). We purposefully qualifed for the loan based soley on my wife's income so that in the case I lose my job, even long-term, her (50%) income can pay the mortgage. She works in the health-care sector, with very little danger of losing her job.

The point about finding something "better", sorry, what we found here is more than adequate to last us until the end. No need to move "up" to a bigger house with swimming pool, etc., we are not trying to impress anyone, and are more than happy with what we have.
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  #80  
Old 09.12.2009, 19:47
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Re: Just bought a house!

What are the potential effects of the abolition of Eigenmietwert on house prices? And whats the chance of this happening in the next few years?
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