Ascona on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland
Ascona on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland
Ascona on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland

Real Estate in Switzerland

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: People living in Switzerland offer advice about real estate. How do you find a home in Switzerland? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in Switzerland?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"It was very difficult with a zero vacancy rate, our decision was dictated by what was available," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Zurich.

"www.immoscout.ch is a good website to find houses/apartments, both for sale and for rent. When you consider to buy a house: - may be a good idea as mortgage interest rates are low - keep in mind that a bank will not give mortgages for more than 80% of the value of the house. You need to finance the rest of the house yourself - check which legal conditions you must oblige when buying property. In particular, try to organise your work/stay permit before you buy, as this will make buying conditions easier and cheaper," explained one person living in Olten, Switzerland.

"We emailed all the relocation agents in the Zug/Zurich area we could find (via Google) and picked the one that seemed best for us - Le Concierge. Really glad we did as they took away masses of stress and could answer questions immediately. We don't have children so are not tied to a school but wanted to have as full-on a Swiss experience as possible. So first we got Peter to drive us all around the canton and give us the low-down on what's hot and what's not for DINK couples like us! He gave us loads of tips and eventually we decided to go to Aegeri if we could find a place there. (think chocolate box, lake, mountains, snow, no fog!)," said another expat in Zug.

"We hooked up with a relocation service (NOT the only given to us by our company but one we found ourselves thankfully) and with them we toured the length and breadth canton Zug and also areas in canton Lucern and Zurich. We picked a place outside of Zug because ther we could get a lovely house witha garden and in Zug the only places in our price range were to small. Peter, from the relocaiton agency, went to a lot of trouble to get us information about the tax implications of living in different places and so we felt happy to live outside Zug," remarked another member in Zug.

"I chose my house-share through advert on a supermarket notice board. After checking out inner city areas for share flats, it was so easy to take this house share because of area (quiet and close to travel to where I was working- Greifensee) and also train travel combined with car was excellent from and to this area to anywhere," explained one expat living in Zurich, Switzerland.

"We used All-in-One Swiss Relocation Services, which did a great job finding the appropriate place for us to live in," said another person in Zurich.

Need a rental in Switzerland? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies.

Search for Rentals

Need a rental in Switzerland? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search for Rentals in Switzerland

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Switzerland?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Living in Switzerland GuideLiving in Switzerland Guide

Expats in Switzerland advise newcomers to join a few expat clubs, learn German (or French / Italian), enjoy the outdoors and travel Europe.

Switzerland Forum Switzerland Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Switzerland.

Cost of Living in SwitzerlandCost of Living in Switzerland

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Switzerland.

Moving to SwitzerlandMoving to Switzerland Guide

Switzerland is a country rich with tradition, natural beauty and one of the most stable economies in the world. It is, however, also extremely expensive and expats often report difficult settling into the culture.

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Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Switzerland.

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Contribute to Switzerland Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Switzerland.

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