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Checklist for buying a house or an apartment

If you are not sure yet if you want to buy an apartment or a house, the following checklist will help you make a decision.

Rent or buy?

At what price does buying become more reasonable than renting? Use the Homeowners Association (HEV) cost calculator to calculate the maximum purchase price of a home whose monthly costs do not exceed your current rental costs. You can also calculate the income you need to buy that house (website available in German)

What are your requirements for a home?

What are your needs in terms of a house or an apartment? The checklist can help you define your priorities (webpage available in German).

What to consider when buying your own home

  • No one can terminate your lease.
  • You can make whatever changes you like to your house or to your apartment (subject to the building regulations of the commune, canton or the condominium).
  • The savings you invest in a house or an apartment are no longer easily accessible.

Depending on your civil status, you can choose from a number of forms of ownership. More information is available on the webpage below.

Forms of ownership

Buying a house or apartment in Switzerland as a foreign national

Foreign nationals interested in buying real estate (house, apartment, land) in Switzerland will, under certain circumstances, need a permit. More information is available on the webpage below

Tax on homeownership

  • If you are a homeowner in Switzerland, you have to pay income tax on the equivalent rental value of your property. On the other hand, mortgage interest rates are fully deductible and maintenance expenses are partially deductible.
  • Several cantons levy a tax on property (also known as land or real estate tax): 
  • Property transfer tax is normally levied when you buy property
  • If you own an apartment, a house or land, you must declare it in your tax return, and you are liable to pay wealth tax on it
  • If you sell your house or apartment, you must pay property gains tax

More information on paying tax on real estate is available on the webpage below.

Building your own home

If you want to build your own house or do building work on your house or apartment, you need a building permit. More information is available on the webpage below.