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  #201  
Old 15.05.2009, 16:52
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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You need to be careful when you do this kind of comparison. Sure, with the current interest rates you can get something like +/-1% interest rate (3-month libor + 50-70bp), so it looks cheap. But to be fair, you should rather look at a 10-year rate (comparable risk) and you also have to factor in the monthly running cost (for an apartment 300-800 depending on the size and building) and potential repairs. On top of that, property taxes are substantial - expect another couple of hundreds a month.

The main reason for buying that I can see is simply that you can get much better properties.
Ah that's a good point about running costs. Most prices for rent have that included....Where can I find out more about property taxes?
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  #202  
Old 15.05.2009, 17:10
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

I hope Eigenmietwert will be scrapped:

http://bazonline.ch/schweiz/standard...story/24518180
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  #203  
Old 15.05.2009, 17:10
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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Ah that's a good point about running costs. Most prices for rent have that included....Where can I find out more about property taxes?
search the forum for "Eigenmietwert"
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  #204  
Old 06.06.2009, 22:19
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

This is such a great thread - thanks to all for contributing. I have a couple of slightly different questions if anyone can help. Ive actually found a property and know that from a financial point of view of everything can be in place if required. Having not been in this position before however I'm wondering how to move forward.

The apartment is owned by another individual its not a new build and there is no agency involved.

Do I make an offer to the individual or do I work through the bank?
Who would have set the asking price? Would this have been the current owner or an outside party?
Can / should I have the property independently valued?
Are any structural surveys required (or possible if I wish to have them arranged)?

Thanks !

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  #205  
Old 06.06.2009, 23:06
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

Do I make an offer to the individual or do I work through the bank?
- The bank. Unless you walk around with suitcases full of money.

Who would have set the asking price? Would this have been the current owner or an outside party?
- No idea - but it is a good idea to offer below the asking price. It almost never works in Switzerland, but it gives you peace of mind.

Can / should I have the property independently valued?
- You can and should and must (according to swiss law/swiss banks)

Are any structural surveys required (or possible if I wish to have them arranged)?
- You can involve as many people as you want. The older the building the more experts you should involve. If it is new, then the mandatory evaluation is enough.
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  #206  
Old 06.06.2009, 23:39
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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Do I make an offer to the individual or do I work through the bank?
Who would have set the asking price? Would this have been the current owner or an outside party?
Can / should I have the property independently valued?
Are any structural surveys required (or possible if I wish to have them arranged)?

Thanks !
You make the offer to person able to accept your offer ie to the owner.

To set the asking price, the owner could have had an independent valuation, but at over CHF 1000 a pop, I doubt it. They probably just looked at what other similar properties in the area sold for. Sometimes they use their building costs, plus any renovation costs, plus whatever appreciation over the years.

We had the property we wanted to buy independently valued and used this to negotiate the price. The bank can do a basic valuation based on number of rooms, floor size and location, but without looking at the property.
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  #207  
Old 07.06.2009, 22:21
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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I just thought of another question. When you pledge your pension, does the bank have "access" only to what was there when it was pledged, or can they in one fell swoop swallow say another ten years worth of contributions should you default down the line and they make a claim? If that is the case you should benefit in interest rates by the increased amount of collateral you have backing a decreased amount of unsecured loan as the years pass shouldn't you?

Thanks for your time
As much as I have seen, you did not get answer to your question:
You are right about your worries. The banks always tries to have the maximum....
When you pledge your 2n or 3a pillar, the bank usually always pledge everything.....which means
- the amount which is on the account AND
- ALL the rest of the money which is coming on the account later.

That's why, you have to tell the bank, that you want only to pledge a certain sum (e.g. CHF 50'000). Years later, when the amount is bigger, you can bargain a better interest from the bank by pledgin a higher sum....
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  #208  
Old 08.06.2009, 09:50
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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As much as I have seen, you did not get answer to your question:
You are right about your worries. The banks always tries to have the maximum....
When you pledge your 2n or 3a pillar, the bank usually always pledge everything.....which means
- the amount which is on the account AND
- ALL the rest of the money which is coming on the account later.

That's why, you have to tell the bank, that you want only to pledge a certain sum (e.g. CHF 50'000). Years later, when the amount is bigger, you can bargain a better interest from the bank by pledgin a higher sum....
For the Pillar 3, there's nothing stopping you setting up two accounts - one pledged to the bank at the time to take out the mortgage that pledges all past contributions and then kept for only the required repayments (if doing via Pillar 3) and then another account for any future contributions or extra contributions up to the max allowed.

I considered doing this, but CS said that it would be possible to get access to any Pillar 3 contributions that were above the repayment amount and put these into another account when I wanted to. This would mean that not all my Pillar 3 contributions would be pledged and I would at least get a small pension from my own Pillar 3 account. What I don't want is for the bank to decide what to do with my Pillar 3 - like pay off my mortgage. Upon retirement, CS said that it was possible to trade them cash for the pledged Pillar 3 account.
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  #209  
Old 09.06.2009, 23:46
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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For the Pillar 3, there's nothing stopping you setting up two accounts - one pledged to the bank at the time to take out the mortgage that pledges all past contributions and then kept for only the required repayments (if doing via Pillar 3) and then another account for any future contributions or extra contributions up to the max allowed.

I considered doing this, but CS said that it would be possible to get access to any Pillar 3 contributions that were above the repayment amount and put these into another account when I wanted to. This would mean that not all my Pillar 3 contributions would be pledged and I would at least get a small pension from my own Pillar 3 account. What I don't want is for the bank to decide what to do with my Pillar 3 - like pay off my mortgage. Upon retirement, CS said that it was possible to trade them cash for the pledged Pillar 3 account.
You are right. If you open a second account, then the futur contribution on the second account are not pledged. In that case, it might be the best to open the second pillar 3a account by another bank....

I would anyway just pledge the amount I have at the moment on my pillar 3a account....and not more. The prestamped formular from the bank for a pledgment do often not give this possibility.....The reason why is clear.

PS: A pillar 3a account through a bank usually do not pay a pension later....but you just get the capital at retirement.....If you would like to have a pension (e.g. every three month, then you have to look for a life insurance 3a....by an insurance...)
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  #210  
Old 10.06.2009, 00:10
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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Apparently Kanton Fribourg has the highest taxes of any Kanton in CH - at least it did last year when we were interested in buying an apartment there.
What kind of taxes? Income, asset, notary fees, notional rent?

I believe for income you may find BE, JU and BS higher. When resident in Ostermundigen/BE my income tax was 1.5 times what is was in Wallisellen/ZH, all I did was move. My vehicle tax was also 50% higher for my car and motorbike, all I needed was new plates.....
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  #211  
Old 10.06.2009, 00:15
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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Those without a C-Permit that are non-EU need permission.
Not if it's to be their primary residence and they have a B and the property is located in the Canton of their residence/employment.

Last edited by magyir; 10.06.2009 at 00:26.
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  #212  
Old 10.06.2009, 00:24
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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.....

PS: A pillar 3a account through a bank usually do not pay a pension later....but you just get the capital at retirement.....If you would like to have a pension (e.g. every three month, then you have to look for a life insurance 3a....by an insurance...)
You can put the 3a into an annuity on retirement and take a cash lump sum out too if you want.

You can buy an investment 3a from a bank too. The reason cash 3a accounts are popular is you can get rates of approx 3% whereas an investment related product over the short term is more risky right now.

You can also buy a 3b life insurance product from a bank too.

Finally a big difference between the bank "cash-like" product is there's no commitment (outside a pledge) year on year, whereas the insurance vehicle usually commits you.

You can see the rates for yourself on comparis.ch

Incidentially personally I have a 3a with my mortgage bank for 6k a year as the indirect amortisation of my mortgage. The residual I have with another bank separately as i can get a higher rate. And this is even though I work for an insurance company as I'm waiting for short term returns to improve before committing for the long term. I can always consolidate and change from cash to another investment type later.
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  #213  
Old 15.06.2009, 17:50
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

My offer on an apartment has been accepted. How much should I expect to pay a lawyer to assist in completing the documents (so far only the notary document) and in assisting with any further paperwork?

Can someone please give a breakdown of the total costs and procedures from the point of agreement of a sale to actual handover?
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  #214  
Old 15.06.2009, 18:29
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

Have sent you a PM.

Good Luck with your purchase. Hope all goes smoothly.
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  #215  
Old 07.01.2010, 21:54
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

I just had the strangest email exchange with an estate agent. I hope it is not a sign of what is happening in the Swiss property market, otherwise we are doomed to rent forever.

In September we looked at a lovely house on the outskirts of Lausanne. It needed a bit of work, and was a tad over our budget, but it had a lot of potential. I called up the agent to arrange a second viewing but in the 24 hours since we had been there someone had agreed to buy the house. We were dissappointed but carried on the search.

Then this morning I got an email from the agent to say the property was back on the market and would we be interested in looking at it again. Sure. I wrote back and suggested a few appointment times. Something must have gone wrong with the sale, I thought. I made a mental note to get to the bottom of what happened. Was it a problem with the buyer or the property itself?

This afternoon the agent wrote back about the appointment time and mentioned he had attached a brochure for the house. When I opened the brochure I almost fell off my chair. The sale price had gone up by over 400k!

The pictures in the brochure are the same ones that we saw first time around. Therefore, nothing has been done to the house except to re-list it at the significantly higher price.

I didn't think this sort of thing went on in Switzerland.

Totally gobsmacked.
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  #216  
Old 07.01.2010, 21:57
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

My first question would be : is what the agent doing here legal? Ask another agent for their views.
Second question : is there a governing body which quasi oversees estate agents and their ethics? Presumably you can "put in an offer" for the previous asking price.
Sounds very fishy.
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  #217  
Old 07.01.2010, 22:04
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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I just had the strangest email exchange with an estate agent. I hope it is not a sign of what is happening in the Swiss property market, otherwise we are doomed to rent forever.

In September we looked at a lovely house on the outskirts of Lausanne. It needed a bit of work, and was a tad over our budget, but it had a lot of potential. I called up the agent to arrange a second viewing but in the 24 hours since we had been there someone had agreed to buy the house. We were dissappointed but carried on the search.

Then this morning I got an email from the agent to say the property was back on the market and would we be interested in looking at it again. Sure. I wrote back and suggested a few appointment times. Something must have gone wrong with the sale, I thought. I made a mental note to get to the bottom of what happened. Was it a problem with the buyer or the property itself?

This afternoon the agent wrote back about the appointment time and mentioned he had attached a brochure for the house. When I opened the brochure I almost fell off my chair. The sale price had gone up by over 400k!

The pictures in the brochure are the same ones that we saw first time around. Therefore, nothing has been done to the house except to re-list it at the significantly higher price.

I didn't think this sort of thing went on in Switzerland.

Totally gobsmacked.
After the second viewing, eh? Very suspicious.

Have you spoken to the agent again? What was his answer?

If you don't get a satisfactory answer from him then go above him
(if that's possible).
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  #218  
Old 07.01.2010, 22:09
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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My first question would be : is what the agent doing here legal? Ask another agent for their views.
Second question : is there a governing body which quasi oversees estate agents and their ethics? Presumably you can "put in an offer" for the previous asking price.
Sounds very fishy.
I too thought there was a lot of disincentives in place to deter this kind of property speculation. If that's what this is.

The agency in question is large and respected. We have viewed a number of properties with different agents working for them.

I have already fired off an email cancelling the appointment saying we were not interested at the price on the attached brochure.

You would think he would know better than to go back to people who know the property's previous list price. Strange indeed.

I will call my mortgage guy tomorrow and get his take on it as well as another agent I know.
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  #219  
Old 07.01.2010, 22:12
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

why don't you make an offer, for the same price you previously wanted to buy at?
It's back on the market, so is there another buyer out there at the higher price? Where? I don't see them...
If you think there is something suspicious going on, try to contact the owner directly and discuss with them. Maybe the agent didn't tell them about your previous interest.
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  #220  
Old 07.01.2010, 22:18
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Re: [Ins and Outs] Buying Property in Switzerland

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why don't you make an offer, for the same price you previously wanted to buy at?
It's back on the market, so is there another buyer out there at the higher price? Where? I don't see them...
If you think there is something suspicious going on, try to contact the owner directly and discuss with them. Maybe the agent didn't tell them about your previous interest.
I am thinking the property DID actually sell back in September. As I said, it was a nice place and had a lot of interest. Some people were leaving just as we were arriving. I got the feeling from the agent the seller was pretty motivated too.

Just over Christmas, I saw the house featured in one of those free property magazines you see around the place with a big "VENDU" stamped across it. I am going to run out and get another copy as it was in the current edition, with the previous price.

I will see what the agent says to my email about the price and look at making an offer after that. If my suspicions are correct it would definitely not be accepted.

I think these new owners are now trying to sell at a higher price and I suppose the only way to actually make money doing something like that in Switzerland (with all the costs of buying and tax issues) is to whack a whopping great huge mark-up on it.

That's all I can think this is.

Last edited by Mel07; 07.01.2010 at 22:20. Reason: added info
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