I wish I had someone holding my hand some months ago when we started the process of buying our first home in Switzerland. That's the reason why I decided to write this sort of "guide" to explain you through which steps I went, from research to finally getting the keys!
I'll base this guide on our own experience - which wasn't the most straightforward neither representative of all situations - that hopefully will help you to cross the gap!
The 11 steps guide to homeownership in Switzerland
1/ Your mortgage capacity
One thing I learnt during our recent purchase is that if you can avoid some disappointment, then you better do it early as you'll get some anyway.
This starts by computing how much money you have in order to define your mortgage capacity.
This way you will know what max amount of money you can borrow. And most importantly it will prevent you to dream too long, or too big.
Just to be clear, here we define the max value of your mortgage, not your target value! Please don't make your bank decide what you have to buy.
2/ Define the "What"
Before diving into any search, you need to know and define what you're looking for.
Vicinity to train station, city or country, how many rooms, etc.
Ah, and price as well by the way! Now that you know your top limit.
Take your criteria list and prepare yourself for tradeoffs!
Spoiler: you'll most likely navigate between steps 1 and 3 during some months, if not years.
Visit the house(s)/apartment(s), ask good questions, cheat on your interest about the property when it makes sense. Visit again, and again to compare and re-compare.
5/ Visit your money men, again
Now that you've a real usecase, your money men will be way more listening to you as they know there is potential to make money...
That sounds like a cliche, but it's really the reality.
Entering this step means you are close to a purchase.
Know in which negotiation phase you are before entering the game, have real mortgage proposals at hand and make your final price proposal.
7/ Contracts finalization
You eventually found your new home. Price is ok for you and the seller. It's time for you to finalize your mortgage contract and potential pilar (2 and or 3) withdrawals, and maybe define the new third pilar(s) needed to satisfy your money man.
8/ Signature & Champagne
Gosh you made it until here! Now is time to show off your damn money!!!
9/ Workshops phase, fun or nightmare?
In our case, we could choose the interior design details (such as floor tile and co) which was already great - but so much more work than we would have thought! Be ready to use your brain - or not...
10/ The move
Book a truck, call friends and do it the frugal minimalist way.
Once you reached this point, take some time.
Relax. And enjoy what you've been waiting for so many years!
Here we are with these 11 steps towards home ownership that I will describe in details in this blogposts serie.
In case you were or are already in a home buying phase yourself, please notice me via the comments section of any missing step - that I would add to this serie.
See you very soon for the first part of this interesting home quest.