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Old 17.05.2011, 11:37
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Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

I'm in Basel this week on an apartment-hunting mission and finally have a few minutes to register on the EF and introduce myself. My name is Dezz. I'm relocating to Basel in June with my partner, Dave, and my big puppy, Winnifred (who is currently almost nine months old). The move was prompted by Dave's new job with one of the local pharmaceutical companies. I have my own marketing and communications consulting firm back in Canada so I can do a lot of what I do from here, but I'm considering looking for work here once we're settled. We're hoping to take advantage of the company-provided housing for one-to-three months but it would be great if we could find a suitable apartment to move into in July, August or September while we're here this week.

I haven't had much time for hobbies over the past couple of years between work and school (I went back to school to do my Masters and finally graduate on May 31st), but I do seem to recall an interest in travel, photography, reading, writing (for pleasure, for a change), food, motorcycles, softball and American football way back when I had a bit of spare time. My recent activities have mostly been very dog-centric (by design, of course). I'm hoping to be able to pursue some of these hobbies and perhaps even pick-up a few more while I'm here in Basel. Language-wise, like most Canadians, I speak a bit of French and absolutely no German! I plan to brush-up my French and learn German while here.

The information on this forum has been absolutely invaluable. Thanks to those who have posted! I look forward to meeting some of you soon.
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Old 17.05.2011, 13:34
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

welcome to the forum, Dezz. Awesome user name, adorable avatar. I hope you manage to squeeze in some fun and sightseeing this week besides apartment-hunting. Basel's a pretty and quirky city!
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Old 17.05.2011, 16:22
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Hi Dezz,

Welcome to the forum, and to Basel (at least temporarily).
If you need some help or suggestions on locations for flat's around Basel, then let me know. Or maybe your getting on fine already : )
Can also possibly give you some idea's of what you should be paying. I'm not a specialist, but I have a fair idea.

I'm a New Zealander (my wife is a french Canadian (with Swiss roots) from Montreal), and have been in Basel for 2.5 years now, and in Switz for 8 in total.


Pat
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Old 17.05.2011, 16:24
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Welcome to CH and the forum.

Also a Canadian here, but living in ZH.

Enjoy!
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Old 17.05.2011, 21:07
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Hi all! Thanks so much for the warm welcome.

Elliot, thanks very much for the offer to help with suggestions and price ranges. It's been a bit of a whirlwind so far and I have five more flat visits tomorrow, so I'm feeling optimistic. We're looking for a two or three bedroom flat and so far we've been focused on Riehen, Gellert (or St. Alban) and the old town but also saw a place in Binningen today (and wasn't too nuts about it). I would prefer a maisonette (duplex) layout but I'm pretty flexible. The only real criteria is that is has to be very dog-friendly (bearing in mind that Winnifred is a large beastie and still a pup), and we're looking for that indefinable charm. If there were to be a little green patch nearby we'd be thrilled and, other than that, I think we have pretty standard preferences (two bathrooms, larger kitchen and m2 in general, lift or lower level, near a tram line, a bit of diversity, local amenities, etc.) Wow...I'm starting to sound a little picky! So far, most of the places we've seen (between this visit and our last one in February) have been about 3000 CHF, give or take, so I've kind of come to expect this (seemingly high) rental rate. Let me know if we're way off base here.

Thanks again for the welcoming comments! Glad to make your acquaintance.
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Old 18.05.2011, 08:28
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Hi Bezz,

Ha, no it's good to know what you want. It's easier that way.

Ok, so it's seem like you are looking for some nice green area's for your doggie, so I think the places you have chosen are pretty good. Riehen is a bit more out of the way, but maybe you like that. Just keep in mind if you are keen to travel around Switzerland then it can take you approx 30 mins to get to the SBB, which is most likely your starting point of the journey. St Alban, is better connected (to the SBB (train station), closer to town and still quite green. Binningen I don't really know so much, but I hear that it's nice.
It's hard to know exactly what to pay, as every single place is different and it depends a lot on whether the place is privately owned (a family) or a company. The companies generally try and squeeze more money out of you, while the family ones (not all mind you) tend to be more reasonable.
The best thing is to have time to look to find a good deal, but it's seems this is not your case and so you may end up paying a little more than you expected / wanted. OK, some real data, I can only give you our case….
We were looking for a 4 room apartment (2 bedroom) in Gross Basel. We looked at one owned by a family on hebelstrasse and they wanted 1800 (it was approx 90m2). That was a reasonable price, but you can also find cheaper. Where we are now (also own by a family), on Palmenstrasse we also have a 2 bedroom apartment (+ a mansade (storage / craft / junk room in the attic)) that is 92m2 (not incl the mansade) and we are paying 1750. We "missed out" on the one on heleblstrasse and ended up in an even better apartment I reckon. Both of these places only had one bathroom, no lift, and were / are well connected with tram and bus lines. In this quarter there are many little general stores (I think St. Alban is very much like this as well), but it's more city living and maybe not idea for a large dog. But I'm not a dog owner so I don't know what you need. I would say for 3000 you should be able to get something VERY nice. And if it's not everything you wanted, then it could be too much. I could imagine that an extra bedroom and bathroom + a nice kitchen + lift could add an extra 500 per month to the price, so a good price could be around 2300? I think your wish of a maisonette may cause you to miss out on another nice flat. I assume that the place is insulated, as most are in Switzerland, but living under the roof will also add a little extra to your heating bills.

Hope this has helped a little, it's hard to cover everything, so if you have and more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

We were a more aware when we looked for a flat in Basel, we were living in Zuerich before that and realised after a discussion with the neighbour, who was living in an identical flat, that we were paying VERY different prices. Essentially we were paying an extra 250 / month. It's hard to get it right first time, but try and be as patient and level headed as you can.
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Old 18.05.2011, 08:42
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Also check out
www.comparis.ch

a great way to compare prices of rentals, houses, insurance etc. It's an essential tool to living in switzerland, even for the swiss. It's also available in English.

St. Albans Post code is 4052
Riehens Post code is 4125

you can check out others on the online white pages:

http://tel.local.ch/en
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Old 18.05.2011, 18:40
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

I wish I could officially thank you for your post but I think I'm still too much of a newbie!
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Old 19.05.2011, 15:54
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

I'm happy to report that we got the flat in Gellert for July 1st and we love it! This will mean just under a month in the company-provided housing, which is probably a good thing (since we can't choose the accommodations and we have no idea how dog-friendly it will be). Thanks for the warm welcome and advice. Hope to meet some of you in June or July!
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Old 19.05.2011, 16:34
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Quote:
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I'm happy to report that we got the flat in Gellert for July 1st and we love it! This will mean just under a month in the company-provided housing, which is probably a good thing (since we can't choose the accommodations and we have no idea how dog-friendly it will be). Thanks for the warm welcome and advice. Hope to meet some of you in June or July!
Wow, congrats!
Gellert seems a nice area which is not far away from our future permanent appartment! Our's is also available on Jul.1st.
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Old 03.06.2011, 00:17
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

I'm just sitting amongst many boxes getting ready to take the big trip over. The packers came today (and finish tomorrow), then the stuff will go on Saturday, June 4th. Winnifred and I are booked for a flight arriving on the 8th so it seems that we will only be in temporary housing for about 20 days...now we'll beat all our stuff over there, so it will kind of be like camping, I guess. Looking forward to meeting some of you soon!
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Old 07.06.2011, 13:57
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Re: Torontonian is Basel-bound in June

Welcome!

If you're ever in Geneva feel free to shout. My Swiss partner and I would be glad to help you brush up on your French!

Safe travels. Say Hi to the CN Tower for me on your way out. I miss the Granite Brewery...
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