Buying an appartment

Updated 2011-08-11 09:52

Buying a house or a flat is relatively unusual in Switzerland. Most people (including the Swiss themselves) rent their place.

Buying a place to live can be attractive though, as rents are relatively high, and mortgage interest rates are low compared to surrounding countries. There are, however, some important things to notice before you buy:

  • Banks will not finance more than 80% of the value of the house or flat, and mortgage conditions get worse if you want to finance 65% or more through a bank. You have to bring in the remaining 20% and any additional costs for buying the house (taxes etc.)
  • You must be able to show your permit to stay when you sign the contract for buying the house. Usually, at least a B-permit will be required. An L-permit will not do.
  • As many people choose to rent instead of buy, the market for houses and flats is limited. It may take some time before you find anything that meets your requirements - it may also take quite a while to sell your place if you need or want to. The last thing is worthwile to notice when buying a place. Take care that you buy something that is not only attractive for yourself, but would be attractive to other buyers as well. This will ease things whenever you might need or want to sell the house.
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