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Old 12.03.2011, 02:06
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New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi everyone,
My name is Brendan from Limerick, Ireland. I am due to start a new job in Basel on 1st of May. I have been to Basel for the interview and enjoyed some of the sights as well as the Man Utd V chelsea game in Mr. Pickwicks where people gave me a warm welcome. That was me.

I am moving myself, wife, daughter (age 9) and 1 due in 11 days (once all is ok) and a cat (I dont like cats but it is part of the family now).

I intentend to go to Basel on the 17-20 of april to sort out an appartment and move in on the 28 april. Am I being naive, is this possible? I want to stay as close to the centre of Basel as possible and my budget is 2300CHF. Ideally, would really like my own washing machine due to new born.

Also, chool for my 9 year old is a worry, it will be public school and currently, none of us havse 2 words of german

I would love to hear from anyone with kids (school going and new born age). I will be hard for us to settle in but I am sure there are many who have done this before so am willing to hear from anyone.

Really looking forward to the move and with everyones help, I am sure it will be positive

Looking forward to hearing from anyone

Best
Slainte
Brendan
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Old 12.03.2011, 04:41
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Welcome to Switzerland and the forum Brendan

Regarding your housing query, I think you need to start looking from now and not leave it until the dates you propose as that's very close to your job start date and from what I've read, heard from others and experienced personally, finding the right place can often take longer than anticipated.

There are quite a number of EFers based in and around the Basel area and who are, as such, better placed to offer advice and pointers with regards to your overall apartment and school requirements.

As a start, however, take a look at the HomeGate website and on the EF "Adverts for property" thread.

I also ran a search "apartment in basel" and which came up with a lot of results. Some of these may be helpful to you as well.

All the best and good luck with everything.
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Old 12.03.2011, 04:55
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

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Hi everyone,
My name is Brendan from Limerick, Ireland. I am due to start a new job in Basel on 1st of May. I have been to Basel for the interview and enjoyed some of the sights as well as the Man Utd V chelsea game in Mr. Pickwicks where people gave me a warm welcome. That was me.

I am moving myself, wife, daughter (age 9) and 1 due in 11 days (once all is ok) and a cat (I dont like cats but it is part of the family now).

I intentend to go to Basel on the 17-20 of april to sort out an appartment and move in on the 28 april. Am I being naive, is this possible? I want to stay as close to the centre of Basel as possible and my budget is 2300CHF. Ideally, would really like my own washing machine due to new born.

Also, chool for my 9 year old is a worry, it will be public school and currently, none of us havse 2 words of german

I would love to hear from anyone with kids (school going and new born age). I will be hard for us to settle in but I am sure there are many who have done this before so am willing to hear from anyone.

Really looking forward to the move and with everyones help, I am sure it will be positive

Looking forward to hearing from anyone

Best
Slainte
Brendan
Hopefully your employer will put you up for the first month in business accommodation ? That will give you a breather and an easy if somewhat expensive option as a contunuation after the first month to find a more suitable place. If not, start looking now, and be prepared to come out and sign up should you find a place you like. Prepare to be flexible, and to move after the first year, but take something that mildly meets your need in the first instance. Be prepared, have all your documents ready, permits , visas , employment contracts , debt free certificate etc. The forum search function is your friend.

As for kids in school, do not worry. Ours have no problem, and the younger they are the better. Kids thrive on challenge and easily pick up new languages.


Your budget for location is fine, but ease up on the own washroom scene, it's just not Swiss. Swiss families wash nappies communally too.

Give yourself a break, all will fit into place one you find it. Worrying won't solve anything and you won't be homeless. Your employer has resources, just be prepared to open up your wallet a bit more than usual, deep breath and off you go into the life that is Swiss. Once settled , and you get the lye of the land, you will be in a better position to look around, and know what is good from bad. Be excited in front of the kids and it will rub off on everyone. You have a great adventure ahead of you, enjoy !!
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Old 12.03.2011, 08:03
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Welcome to Switzerland and on this forum.

No worries to have, the natives are nice and the expatriates too

and Basel's a nice little town (well it was several years ago when I visited it...)
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Old 12.03.2011, 08:52
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hey there!

I would really advice to start looking for a home asap as even if you apply for the house/apartment you will still have to wait and see if you are accepted by the landlords, usually not a problem but... Also if you dont have a washing machine in the home make sure the amount of days you are allocated are reasonable, i have a baby and have only 2 days together every 3 weeks-crazy! Im lucky to be able to use the wash room on other peoples days if it is not in use though.

You should not have any problems with schools either, teachers etc will speak English. Also with a baby there are some great parent and baby groups here in Basel too, Baby Treasures english speaking group for babies under 2 and the bct groups also.

Good luck with the move, and all the best for getting settled in Basel!

Simone
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Old 12.03.2011, 09:41
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi, Welcome in Basel and on the forum,

Don't restrict yourself on the center of town. The town is so small, you can live in the ''suburbs'' Baselland and be at work in 15-20 minutes door to door with the bus or tram.

We are in Binningen (where you have more chance to be in a building with your own washing machine / tumbler since they have so many new constructions around) and we save a lot of money on taxes and insurances every month.

To give you an exemple, we used to live in an appartment in BaselStadt where we had to share the laundry room and we could hear all the noise from other tennants. We were at 15 minutes by tram to the SBB train station.

We moved to Binningen, in a new building with our own washing machine/ tumbler and we hear almost nothing from the other tennants. We are still at 15 minutes by tram from the SBB.

Both of those appartments were the exact same price. 2200 plus utilities = 2500 chf/ month.

But because we are in Baselland, we save in taxes and insurances up to 500 chf / month. So it comes much cheaper for us to be in Baselland and having a much better appartment and environment.

Just be careful if you deal with a relocation agency that is ''suppose'' to help you with finding an appartment. Back then, our agent was just crap and she wasn't giving us the real and proper information. She was just looking to put us in the first appartment we liked instead to explain to us the difference between the cities, insurances, taxes, etc.

This forum will help you more than any agents out there (sadly, we were not the only one with the bad luck on the agent's help).

Best of luck,

Nil
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Old 12.03.2011, 10:08
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan,

Do not worry too much as it does not help but do get in action-mode
You can start by looking at homegate.ch (as someone has mentioned) and make the appointments to see the apartments. I do not know the company you work for BUT they usually offer lodging for the first 3 months, 2300 CHF is doable not too close to the center and if you want only a 3 room apartment (meaning 2 bedrooms) otherwise think more like 3000, although you could find something like I said a bit further from the center but nothing tragic...good luck!
For the baby I recommend Frauenspital that is very central and they are wonderful!
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Old 12.03.2011, 10:23
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan,

Firstly welcome to the EF, I'm in a similar situation in that I am moving my family from Sligo to Basel. Based on the great advice from people here on the EF I have made the decision to extent the transition...just to make sure that I have everything in place before I move my family. I read a quote that a relocation is not complete until the kids (if there are any) are settled in school.

It'll be June before I move but if I hear anything useful I'll let you know

Good luck
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Old 12.03.2011, 14:15
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Use this as an apt search:
http://www.alle-immobilien.ch/

It covers all the other sites. Use BS for BaselStadt, and BL for Baselland.
You can also find the postcodes on the interweb if you look hard enough and if you really want to be specific.
You price should be ok.
On most adverts should be a floor plan which will help you. If you really do need to bring the cat, unless it is house bound, you are limiting yourself a tad as you can not let it out of a 3rd floor window, nor out the front door onto a busy road.
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Old 12.03.2011, 14:53
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan,
My family moved to Basel on Jan 2nd from Cork. We have a 3 year old and and 1 1/2 year old. I totally understand how you are feeling- its a big thing to move to another country but good news- we are loving it so far.
Can your employer support you in any way? We have an excellent relocation agent helping us move to our permanent apartment, which will be ready mid April.
We used comparis and homegate to search for apartments. We spent one evening looking at apartments and viola- job done. If you look at apartments that are available immediately maybe you'll have enough time.
Don't worry everything will work out fine, best of luck with the new baby,
Moonshine
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Old 13.03.2011, 10:13
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan, I moved here from Limerick many moons ago and now hang out in Baselland. This forum is a great source of information and support. Ideal for getting a feel for what life is like here before you arrive. Best of luck with the move and allow yourself plenty of time to settle in.
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Old 13.03.2011, 10:20
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

My oft told success story. When we moved to Basel, my son was 10 years old. None of us spoke German. He's now finished Gymnasium, and will be studying Physics at Basel University.

My German is still dreadful.
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Old 13.03.2011, 11:30
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Washing machine (or at least a reasonable schedule) and soundproof walls are a must with a newborn. I have a friend washing her sons' clothes in the tub because of an impossible schedule, and with two active boys it is a major quality of life issue :-) IMO you'll be much better off in a newer building outside of the city center.
May is an odd time to move with a 9 year old. She'll have to start close to the end of the school year, which is always harder than starting in August. Or would you wait, keep her at home and just start in August anyway? Schools in and around Basel vary widely. You have some elementary schools with very large foreign populations, for example. On one hand, it may be easier to make friends there at the beginning, but on the other hand, harder to get special attention and tailored services for her German.
Start looking on homegate now. Going to a temporary apartment sounds great until you consider that it also means a "temporary" school and "temporary" friends for the 9 year old, and twice the adjustment process.
If you are here for a while (>2-3 years), then the school for your daughter is really important because of how much middle school placement here determines the child's future options. Being 9, she has plenty of time to learn the language, but you or your wife will have to make a major effort to learn enough German to support her.
Looking back at our 19 months here, our then 9 year old has had an easy transition. At the time, however, there was plenty of drama and tears. It took about 4 months to learn enough German to feel comfortable. By the way, we ran through Rosetta Stone level 1 in the month before the move, so he knew lots of basic words before his first day in school, and it helped a lot.
So don't worry, but stay organized and do as much as you can before you actually move.
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Old 13.03.2011, 13:09
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Thanks to all for your comments. I am pretty sure all will work out

I will move over first at the end of April. The other will follow in June so I should be kind of settled by then.

Can I ask one more stupid question that I cannot get my head around? I got a simulated payslip from my employer and it had taxes taken out of it but the canton tax, is this different (I know it varies from canton to canton)? Is it included in the payslip and also, if not, is there a ball park figure

Thanking you all and looking forward to meeting all/some of ye in Basel

Brendan
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Old 13.03.2011, 13:17
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Sunday lunch-time isn't maybe the best time to get replies to this question . It really belongs in another section anyway. I haven't a clue if the cantonal tax is included or not, but there is quite a bit of info about taxation in the relevant sub-forum and general information in one of the Threads in the Sticky at the top of that area. Hope you can find what you want.
Otherwise, maybe read in there and then come back and add another post (saying where you have already searched) to this thread tomorrrow (that will 'wake it up' and make it more noticeable again).
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Old 13.03.2011, 19:06
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan,
i moved from Dublin in December with my kids, one of whom is 9. just to put your mind at rest on one specific concern you may have, the maths level for this age group seems to be on a par with or even a little easier than the 3 rd class level in Ireland so maths is one subject your daughter should be able to handle easy enough, even given the German language issue. also neatness in work is impoortant and the level of overall classroom behaviour seems a bit lower ( Imo) so if your daughter is a typical irish school girl the teachers will probably love her for being so good and polite! I have found there is a lot more homework given though ( 60 to 90 mins most days) and they need a lot of help to actually focus on it for so long. it's not easy for them but on the other hand the outdoor scene is great, mine are out all day on the weekends and days off .
best of luck with your move
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Old 16.03.2011, 09:19
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan, sorry for my complete lack of response to ur last PM! After writing a long reply my Internet connection disappeared an I lost the whole thing; at which point I had a complete sense of humour bypass!

So my employer uses simulated payslips too; basically it's their way of getting round the legalities of a monthly payroll so I'm told. Essentially yes they "keep back" a %age of ur pay for tax purposes; my place hold back 25%; and then at the end of the month ur last pay slip sorts out the total tax for the month. So u might get paid a bit less if they have underestimated ur tax for the month, or a bit more if they've overestimated. I haven't been here for a month end yet so don't know how mine will work out! But my HR have said if I want to increase the amount they hold back, then that's fine just let them know.

For a tax estimate go to www.comparis.ch - this can also give you a healy insurance estimate and a household and personal liability estimate. U have to have these in Basel, but they also depend on where you live. Maybe you could assess these by post code that might help u decide on areas to live?

As others have said look in BL as well as BS; public transport here is fab so places u think might be too farnout of town may actually be very do-able! Ask on here for advice! Also with the cat, landlords don't seem to see them as pets and are very accepting in my experience, only consideration is the cats need for outdoor access; and this is difficult to assess without seeing a place.

But don't worry all will be fine! As someone said to me, things just work here- and they so, everyone is friendly and will help you sort it all out. So deep breath and don't panic!
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Old 16.03.2011, 10:26
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

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Can I ask one more stupid question that I cannot get my head around? I got a simulated payslip from my employer and it had taxes taken out of it but the canton tax, is this different (I know it varies from canton to canton)? Is it included in the payslip and also, if not, is there a ball park figure
Hi Brendan. Welcome to EF and welcome to Basel.

You will most likely be being taxed at source for the first few years or so.

This should be on your pay slip as "Quellensteuer" and will include both cantonal and federal taxes.

This PDF has a table of the tax percentages that you should have deducted (from page 32 for married person with wife not working).

So for example;

new-basel-out-my-mind-worry-tax.jpg

If you earn 8,001 CHF (gross) in a month and have one child, you will pay 8.63% quellensteuer for that month.
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Old 16.03.2011, 11:38
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

on search sites there are a few aggregators;

www.comparis.ch

has a few good filter features (like balcony, washing machine etc)

immo.search.ch

which shows the rentals on an interactive map

Generally if you want your own washing machine you need to go for larger apartments which will be more expensive in the city, however bear in mind that the smaller old town blocks sometimes only have a few tenants, and are built very solidly so you dont get much noise.

Probably the best thing to do is to come over for a weekend before you get here to have a look around, maybe with a friendly forumite to see what different areas are like.
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Old 16.03.2011, 12:37
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Re: New to Basel, out of my mind with worry

Hi Brendan,
I can understand your worries, we moved to Basel with a 3 month old and little time to find an apartment. The way we did it was to schedule viewings for about 10 apartments in one day and then chose from them. The only way we could do this was to engage a relocation agent to do the research and the viewings, she then sorted all of the arrangements with the estate agents, was present for the check-in visit and also took us to register at the local gemeinde (council) offices and a bunch of other stuff too. We didn't need school info but she could also help with that too. It took a lot of the worry and hassle out of things for a fairly reasonable price. Also don't forget that you can't do the viewings at weekends.

We live in a really nice apartment which is in a child friendly development and best of all we have our own wash room with washing machine and tumble drier, along with cellar storage space and a bike/buggy storage room too. I will pm you a link to some apartments that are available if you're interested?
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