As we spend these days at home, working, eating, sharing time with the family, you may be also dreaming about buying your dream home here in Switzerland. If you are considering buying your own home, don’t wait until you come across the apartment or house of your dreams to start your project. Faced with a large demand, it is important to be reactive!
That’s why taking charge of your situation upstream and being clear about what you can afford to buy (or what you still must save) will save you time. A good preparation will prevent you from missing an opportunity to buy.
I have set about a checklist of things that you need to consider before even starting to look for it.
Identify Your Needs in Detail
Buying a house means investing a lot of money and often for a long period of time. The search for the ideal land or the desired property therefore requires a certain amount of effort. It has been proven that a good needs analysis of the property and its surroundings helps to plan efficiently the search for the perfect home and makes it possible to go from dream to reality at the signing of the contract.
That is why I advise you to analyse your needs and wishes from the very beginning of your search and not to rush into advertisements. Because, as obvious as it may seem, only those who know what they are looking for will find it.
It is therefore very important to identify your needs regarding the property and its location as soon as you consider buying a property. This includes carefully considering the following four elements: the site, the neighbourhood and surroundings, the land and, of course, the building itself. Once you have accurately assessed your needs, you can think about the maximum amount you can invest and discuss financing with your advisor. Then the way is clear for a successful search.
Questions to ask yourself.
- Would you like to live in the country, in the city or in the countryside?
- Would you like to get to work by public transport, bicycle, on foot or by car?
- How much time are you willing to put in to get to work?
- Is the tax base of the municipality decisive for you?
- What infrastructure should the location offer (kindergarten, schools, bakery, shopping centre, bank, post office, medical care, restaurants, culture, sports, clubs, public transport, nearby motorway access)?
- How many outbuildings would you like (garden, playground, forecourt, etc.)?
- Do you like gardening or do you prefer a garden that is easy to maintain and does not require a lot of work?
- What other qualities do you want the nearby surroundings to have?
- How important is the neighbourhood to you? (Same age group as you, children of the same age, etc.)
- What are your safety requirements in and around your home? What are your safety requirements in and around your home and at night?
- How important is it to you that there is sunshine in the morning or evening and that there is brightness and a view from your home?
- What noise and odour nuisances are you able to withstand over time?
- What type of house or apartment (detached house, semi-detached house, semi-detached house, multi-storey property, etc.) are you looking for?
- What architectural style or type of object do you prefer (antique, classic, urban, modern, ecological)?
- Old or new: Would you be willing to make an extra effort in terms of financing and time to renovate if you bought an old building?
- Is the presence of a balcony and/or terrace, or even a winter garden, important to you?
- Would you like a lift (in the case of a multi-storey property)?
- Do you need a garage or a double garage?
- Do you have any special requirements regarding the cellar (keywords: a cellar or basement for leisure activities, a wine cellar, plenty of space for sports equipment, garden furniture, etc.)?
- What should be the main characteristics of the object (rooms as large as possible, possibility of further development, all rooms on the same level, etc.)?
- Do you have specific wishes regarding the interior design (materials, style, aesthetics, practicality, durability, etc.)?
- Would you be prepared to carry out alterations if the distribution of the rooms does not correspond to your wishes and needs?
- Will this object still suit you when you are older? (Living on one floor, no-step access, elevator, etc.)
- How many people will live in the new house or property per floor?
- How many people will live in the object in five or ten years (children’s project, older children who will soon be moving out, parents who would like to be taken care of)?
- Are you working from home or is someone else living with you? Do you need a separate office in this case?
- Do you have a hobby that requires a lot of space or occupies a separate room (workshop, music room, fitness room, etc.)?
- Does the partner have children who do not live with him/her, but who come every two weeks, for example, and therefore need a room or several rooms?
- Do you often have guests who sleep over at night, so you need a spare room or second bathroom?
- Do you have pets that need extra space?
- Do you have any places or facilities for isolation? Do you care about everyone having their own room?
- How many bathrooms or powder rooms do you need? Would you prefer a shower or bathtub? Do you want separate toilets?
- Do you have any special requirements for the kitchen?
- Where do you eat? Do you prefer a large kitchen or a spacious living-dining area?
- For your future plans, how many rooms and how much space would be suitable?
So get dreaming, we have time on our hands, but make sure you have the clear answers to these questions…and do ask around, ther is so much help out there today!
My next article will be about how to fund and how a mortgage works here in Switzerland. Remember, to know if you can buy a property, two points are essential:
- Equity, own funds