Whether you are buying for the first time, downsizing, upsizing or just looking for a change of scenery, buying a property can be a daunting experience even for the most seasoned house buyers. Now throw into the mix a foreign country and it can be enough to put on the brakes – but it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming! If given the right advice, making one’s dream of owning a second home can become reality and even tick all the boxes from an investment perspective. Powder Byrne Properties expert, Freddie Instone shares the answers to some of the questions we receive most often from our clients.
Who can buy a home in Switzerland and what impact will Brexit have?
To put it simply, anyone can buy a property in Switzerland. Whilst not part of the EU, Switzerland is part of the wider economic area, the EAA, which grants the same rights including the free movement of labour and residence, something which will not change with Brexit. It’s worth noting that whilst Americans are allowed to purchase a property, they cannot apply for finance as the government has restricted mortgages for anyone with an American tax return.
What are mortgage options and rates available?
Interest only mortgages in Switzerland are almost unheard of therefore you should always expect to be a capital re-payment option. The rates themselves are very competitive with flexible libor options available from 0.9%. On the other end of the spectrum, you can lock in a ten-year deal for around 2%. Depending on your individual requirement and adversity to risk you can weight the mortgage between flexible and fixed to mitigate the impact of a continually moving market whilst having the security of the fixed aspect.
Are there any pitfalls when buying in Switzerland?
One of the differences that we see between the UK and Switzerland is that there are no industry standard regulations when using Net and Gross Internal Floorspace. Some developers use the net area space as similar to the UK, however, confusion can arise when developers use the gross as they can include half the distance between the walls as well as half the outside terrace or balcony. When you compare the two numbers, one could believe they were buying a certainly sized apartment when in reality the usable space is far smaller! We ensure complete clarity when it comes to the purchase of a Powder Byrne Property so you know exactly what to expect.
Is the buying procedure the same as in the UK?
The actual buying procedure in Switzerland is a simpler procedure to in the UK with one solicitor (notary) overseeing the procedure acting for both sides ensuring that everyone’s best interests are considered. The process can be completed in less than two weeks, although delays can sometimes be caused by slow mortgage valuations.
We have the expertise to seamlessly guide you through the process of buying your dream home in the Swiss Alps from start to finish, be it simply as an investment, to enjoy with your family and friends, or both, as is most often the case!
We have unparalleled knowledge of the Swiss property market and have been advising and assisting clients’ for over a decade. So, whether you are looking to buy a new Powder Byrne Property in our latest development in Arosa, or would like help locating a site to build a chalet from scratch then please feel free to give us a call. You can also benefit from our wealth of contacts and partners who can provide anything from financing options right through to construction quotes, making us a one stop shop!
Click here to discover our developments in Flims which are now being enjoyed by their owners and rented through our Powder Byrne programme.
If you are interested in getting any further advice or information, I would be very happy to assist. Call 020 8246 5306 or find out more about Powder Byrne Properties here.