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Tips for better house-hunting

Apr 29, 2020.

Mortgage rates are lower than ever before in Switzerland. Many people, therefore, feel the desire to buy their own apartment or house: a survey suggests that in the next ten years every third person in Switzerland will want to acquire their own property – and half of them will be under the age of 30.

House-hunting can be an exciting but stressful process: just how do you find the time to view all those properties? What do you need to know before checking out your potential new home? And what can you find out before you sign on the dotted line? We'll tell you everything you need to know when house-hunting.

 

Figure out what you really want

Maybe you can't live without a garden in a detached family house in the countryside, or you can't forgo that extra bedroom in a city apartment. But whatever your personal preferences, make sure you (and your co-buyer, if you have one) are clear about any deal-breakers. This will narrow down your search and help maximise your time so you can find the right property for you.

 

 

Make a checklist or comparison chart

Once you've established your list of "must-haves", write them down on a piece of paper or make a spreadsheet you can access easily on your phone. That way, you can see whether a property (literally!) ticks all your boxes. It helps to create a comparison chart, putting all the properties side-by-side and seeing which homes make the cut—or come up short. Together with Beobachter, we have developed a checklist that assists you in finding a property that matches your needs.

 

Download the checklist here

 

 

Search or let someone do it for you

Decide if you want to take the time to search for your house or apartment yourself. Numerous real estate portals such as Comparis, Homegate or Immoscout24 can be of great help. If you search through ads yourself or place a search ad, you save yourself a broker's commission.

 

Alternatively, you can hire a broker to help you find your future property. Brokers usually have a good overview of the market and save you a lot of work. Furthermore, they bring specialist expertise when it comes to various issues involved in acquiring real estate.

 

 

Take photos

Pictures provided by estate agents can often be misleading or focus on areas that aren't important to you. It'll be hard to recall what a property looks like later on—especially if you have viewed lots of properties—but photos will help you remember what's what.

 

 

Be quick

If you take too much time over house viewing, properties you viewed early on might get snapped up. So block out some days for visits and try to see as many as you can. But don't arrange more than six per day or you might get overwhelmed.

 

 

Make sure it fits your needs

Pay attention to any strange smells, damp patches or wobbly walls that might indicate subsidence. Check your phone to see if you can get good reception. Go back in the evening to check if noisy neighbours act up or if there's too much noise in the local area. Depending on your needs, also make sure that there is good enough access to the public transport system.

 

If you plan to move to your new property with your (upcoming) family, check if there are kindergartens, day-care centres or schools nearby. Another factor for the perfect future home is access to nearby shops and supermarkets. All these things will tell you whether a home is as good as it seems.