Here is something you simply must know before you start property search in Switzerland — the costs involved with property buying in Switzerland is higher than anywhere else in Europe. Not just that, general cost of living is also higher in Switzerland than in any other country in Europe. But then I assume you already know that, right? So here goes, some great tips to get that house you so want!
- Laws: Non Swiss citizen have several laws to abide by before a property is bought. You must obtain an authorisation from the Cantonal Authorities and from the Federal Department of Justice and Police, through a notary. This is because there is an annual quota for sale to non-Swiss citizens. Also, it’s worth knowing that if either you or your spouse is an EU citizen, Swiss residency is most likely to give you almost all rights as a Swiss citizen.
- Holiday home or permanent house? It is very imperative that you decide what you are planning on buying. If it’s a holiday home, where you will stay on for a few months in a year, there are rules, and quotas. If it’s a permanent house, you will definitely have to show your stay permit, especially if you do not hold an EU/EFTA passport. However, this may lead you to a wild goose chase. Be warned.
- Price payable: This is usually done in stages, which is specified in the purchase agreement. Do go through it thoroughly.
- Location dependant. Remember the price you will have to pay depends on the location of your house. Of course, this is true in any part of the world.In Switzerland, the property market being small, the location of the property assumes greater importance.
- Loans: Do remember that local banks can loan up to two-thirds of the purchase price.
- Agent: A pice of good advice — identify and pick a good, trustworthy and experienced real estate agent early in this process. It eases out a lot of hassles and quickens the process, too.
- Taxes and rates. It is important to do a thorough research on the property taxes applicable in each town/ canton.. It may serve you well to know that the Canton of Zug, for example, has the lowest tax, and therefore, highest property price in all of Switzerland!
Hope this has helped you in some way. Do drop in a line if you need to know more.. or simply visit our website
Much Love and happy house hunting,
P.S: Follow me to my next post: Property Buying tips in Belgium.