Here are our tips for first time home buyers:
Determine the price you realistically can afford - There is nothing more disappointing than realising that the property you have fallen in love with will get you in over your head and you simply cannot afford it. Additionally, you will be wasting your time and you will be hurting yourself dreaming about it. Shop for the best mortgage plan, which budget you can live with and calculate how much deposit you can put down. Housing costs should not be more than one third of your gross income and in Switzerland your deposit must be at least 20% of the purchase price. Make sure you contact your financial advisor prior to starting your search to find out your options and decide for the best financial solution. Include in your budget closing costs and consider home improvement costs in case of buying an older property.
Determine your search criteria – Discuss all details with your family about the kind of home you are searching for. Find common grounds and find out what you really need and what you can live without. The chances of finding a property that ticks in “all” the boxes are slim to zero so be ready to compromise knowing exactly what is of utmost importance for you and your family. Make a priority list!
Start your search early – Property in Switzerland is few and far between. Once you have determined your budget and search criteria, choose to work with a real estate agent early in the process. You receive professional advice and you are informed when new properties hit the market and match your requirements, meet him in person and ensure he or she knows your requirements in detail. Additionally, you may register your search criteria online.
Take a quick decision – If you find a property that “ticks in” most boxes, take a careful decision but do not take too long to decide. There is nothing more disappointing that realizing that someone beat you to the purchase and you have to start over again.
The key to becoming a happy homeowner is ultimately making a decision which is both good for your finances and your emotions.