Posts Tagged ‘Search property’

Tips to buy property in Switzerland

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!

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Price payable: This is usually done in stages, which is specified in the purchase agreement. Do go through it thoroughly.
  4. 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.
  5. Loans: Do remember that local banks can loan up to two-thirds of the purchase price.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

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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.

How Do Dumb People Survive?

Tips to buy property in Sweden

Here are some good news if you’re planning to buy property in Sweden:

  • There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Sweden.
  • House prices have fallen considerably in 2011.
  • The real estate transfer process is easy, swift and quick.

So, looks like it’s the right thing to  buy property in the biggest Scandinavian Nation. However, you could visit there on a holiday and check out… After all it has been reported as the 7th best country to live in!

Here goes my tips for you…

  1. Agent. Most house hunting, negotiations and preparing relevant papers are managed by real estate agents. It’s best you appoint one for your self.
  2. Deposit. In Sweden, there is a norm that the buyer places 20% of the property price as deposit, as soon as the buying price is agreed upon.
  3. Conduct a survey. It’s a common practise in Sweden. A friend who had recently moved to Sweden recommends that it’s best to hire the services of an independent surveyor, who will do a profession job of it.
  4. Hire a solicitor. Though it;s is not a must, it’s definitely advisable to hire a legal person to carry out all your legal work. It eases your work and helps a great deal to have a professional work at legal issues.
  5. Deeds of Title. You have to apply for this within three months of the sale transfer. the deeds of Title will need to be submitted for registration.
  6. Charges and fee: Stamp duty is charged on the registration of Deeds of Title at about 1% of the purchase price. Agent fees are approx. 3.5 % and are usually payable by the seller. You also have to pay the property tax, wealth tax and so on. Do find out and be prepared.
  7. All the best

Hey, by the way, I assume you will follow my standard instructions diligently — RESEARCH. It’s a must.

Much Love and happy house hunting,


P.S: Follow me to my next post: Property Buying tips in Switzerland

Hot tips to buy property in Germany

I have decided not to give you ‘top ten tips’ to buy property. Simply because, in some countries the process is rather simple and there may be less than ten important tips to give you. While in some countries, there are so many things one has to keep in mind, that my top ten may well spread across to top twenty!

Let’s see what Germany has to offer…

  1. Research. This is not a new tip, by any means. But, I will keep reiterating the same thing. Reasearch, reasearch and more research. First of the location — find out as much as you can about your neighbourhood, how far it is from your basic requirements. for e.g., houses in Berlin offer great value for money. Homes in Munich are most expensive, while Frankfurt, being a financial center, offers a large choice. Next – a value estimate. Research on the price of the property for. It would be best to have it verified through a surveyor or an estimator. Decide between urban and rural property.
  2. Inspect the property. This is a must. Get it inspected thoroughly. This can be done by the real estate agent or broker you wish to appoint. Any renovations, damages, etc., need to be looked for. Check the heating systems, and make sure they adhere to the standards set out by the government.
  3. Annual Meeting Minutes. Get hold of some of the minutes of annual meetings between owners/ members in an apartment. Study them. It may sound a bit odd, but this gives a peek into the real situation at the apartment. You’d probably get to know some details that you might otherwise not know. All problems related to the apartment or the house itself will definitely be reflected in these reports and you will be aware of any future expenses, repairs or other work that need to be done.
  4. Employ a solicitor.  You will need one for several processes through the buying stages.  First, a contract will have to be drawn up, once a price has been agreed upon, by the solicitor. You can request that the contract be translated, in case you are not 100%  fluent in German. Furthermore, remember that all terms in the contract are variable, so you need your independent solicitior to negotiate well. Once the initial contract has been drawn up, there is no cooling off period, like in many countries.
  5. Multiple Agents. It’s definitely better not to sign an exclusivity contract with any one real estate agent. (This is an important advice, as read on another website). Also, a friend recently shifted to Germany and said that she found more options for apartments to choose from when she engaged different agents. Not only that, she strongly recommended that it’s bets to figure out the commission to be paid — how much and who pays! Of course, this also means you have to be alert as to pay only that agent that got you the house first!
  6. Costs. Remember that apart from the price for the property, you will have to pay the Notary fee, registration fee, taxes as applicable, and the administrative fees, etc. So be prepared.
  7. Down payments and loans. Some websites advice that you keep 20 per cent of the total costs aside as down payment. Do check with you banks regarding finances, interest rates and repayment terms.
  8. My best wishes to you.

That does it. Important tips in seven points! Do remember that these are just my tips. You have to however, follow the systems in place in the country you wish to buy property in!

Love Always


P.S: My Next Post: Property Buying tips in Sweden

Top Ten Countries to Live In

I scanned through several studies to bring to you, the ten best countried to live in. In what way are they the best? They are the ones that provide the healthiest work-life balance.

The OECD — the International Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, drew up a cmprehensive list of countries that offer the healthy and safe work and life balance.

Here are the top ten from there….

Number 10: France

  • Only 9 per cent of working people work very long hours, i.e., more than 50 hours a week.
  • Employement rate of women between the ages 25 to 54 years is well above the OECD average.
  • The study shows that there is enough quality time spent devoted to leisure, family and personal care.

Number 9: Portugal

  • Only 6 per cent of working people work very long hours, i.e., more than 50 hours a week.
  • High women employment rate.
  • There was much time spent on leisure and personal care.
  • Most families in Portugal were one child families

Number 8: Germany

  • Gender pay gaps were well above the OECD prescribed average.
  • Just 5 per cent of working people work very long hours, i.e., more than 50 hours a week.
  • Again, time spent on leisure and personal care was well above the prescribed norm.

Number 7: Sweden

  • People in Sweden spend 65 per cent of the day, i.e., about 15.5 hours in a day, on personal care (eating, sleeping, etc.) and leisure (socialising, entertaining, pursuing hobbies, etc.)
  • Only one per cent of working people work very long hours, i.e., more than 50 hours a week.
  • Women employement is high.

Number 6: Switzerland

* People in Switzerland work 1640 hours a year, lower than the OECD average of 1739 hours.

  • Only 6 per cent of working people work very long hours, i.e., more than 50 hours a week.
  • High rate of women employment.

Number 5: Belgium

  • People in Belgium work 1550 hours a year, one of the lowest rates.
  • Almost 16 hours a day are devoted to personal care and leisure.
  • only 4 per cent of the working people work long hours.

Number 4: Finland

  • As the report says, The Finnish model of work and family reconciliation stands out in international comparison because of the manner in which it provides choice to parents with young children. Finnish policy reduces barriers to employment by ensuring all families with young children have access to a subsidised childcare place.
  • Approximately, 15 + hours a day are spent on leisure and personal care.
  • High women employment rate.

Number 3: Netherlands

  • One of the lowest rates in OECD, people in Netherlands work for about 1378 hours a year.
  • In the past two decades, the rise in female employment in the Netherlands has been rapid.
  • Only one per cent of the working population work long hours.

Number 2: Norway

  • Only 3 per cent of the working people work longs hours.
  • Again, people in Norway work about 1407 hours a year — much much lower than the OECD’s prescribed norms.
  • The employment rate of women with children: 79 %

Number 1: Denmark

  • As per the OECD report, “Denmark ranks first in participation in childcare services and also boasts the lowest child-poverty rates.”
  • Only two percent of the working people work long hours.
  • The employment rate of women with children: 78%

A word about the OECD. It’s an International organisation with 34 member countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific, Northa nd South America.

So, the above study pertains only to those member countries. Nevertheless, it’s a good guide to decipher where we might want to live.

There we are! So, which country would you want to live in?

Watch this space. We will bring you tips on how to buy property in each of these countries — the dos and the don’ts.

Enjoy browsing for homes across the world,



P.S: Coming up Next: Tips on and Process of buying property in France.