Easier with professional help
Your many questions about the legal, financial and tax issues affecting buying a house in Switzerland can be answered by the professional advisors at Grether MacGeorge GmbH. You will find their long experience in dealing with the process and problems involved over many years give you an advantage when dealing with Swiss vendors, agents, architects and lenders, not all of whom have your interests at heart.
Buying a house in Switzerland can be cheaper than renting, but because of the small numbers of people who wish to buy here most houses are a once in a lifetime purchase, with no housing ladder. Land is very expensive as it’s in limited supply, and the materials and construction methods are of the highest quality so as to be earthquake proof and to meet the very strict Swiss house building regulations. All these factors make houses expensive in Switzerland.
You are unlikely to find a mortgage for more than 80% of the purchase price of the property, although there are schemes for special cases such as Dentists and Doctors or other professions with a kind of ‘protected employment’ status. House prices are very stable if not in decline in NW Switzerland, and so you should view house purchase as a lifestyle choice rather than as an investment decision.
Interest bearing debt can be set against your income in Switzerland, so this can give a reasonable level of tax efficiency. Owning a property outside of Switzerland can affect the level of tax relief you are eligible for in Switzerland, so it is always best to ask your professional advisor at Grether MacGeorge GmbH to check both the tax and legal situation at the same time.