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Buying Property in Switzerland

If you are planning on relocating to Switzerland, buying the home of your dreams may be a bit more difficult, but it is not out of your reach. Owning a home in Switzerland is a different experience to other countries. In fact, over 60% of people rent their residences. Rising prices in home ownership and a limited housing market have made it difficult for people to find and afford a suitable home.

Swiss properties are now listed for convenience online, as well as local newspapers and property papers around the country. Gaining valuable local knowledge of the location in which you wish to purchase your home can prove to be valuable in your search. One way to do this is to register with one or more local agents, which can increase your access to local properties before they are officially advertised for sale.

Zoning regulations have tightened since 2013, so it is important to review these in the area you wish to purchase your home before starting the process. Existing properties may be purchased on agricultural land, and you may even purchase a farm house if you are not an agricultural worker. However there may be more limitations on new constructions or repairs.

Be sure to check local markets on the main property portals online including:

  • Homegate
  • Bekeys
  • ImmoScout24
  • ImmoStreet

Additionally, you have many choices in real estate agencies across the country. Do some research ahead of time to see which agency will suit your needs best. The local agencies available in Switzerland include:

  • SVIT Member Directory
  • Swiss Real Estate Association (SVIT)
  • Swiss Union of Real Estate Professions (USPI)

When you’ve found your new home it will be time to make an offer, agree on the sale, find your mortgage and sign your contract. Expect this entire process to take a bit of time. You cannot purchase the home of your dreams overnight. It is common for the process from start to finish to last 3 months or longer. Budgeting ahead of time for at least 5% of the sale price for any additional charges and fees is a good rule of thumb.

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