With interest rates historically low, home ownership has become a much more attractive option for those who intend to settle down in Switzerland. Why would you put 2-3k CHF into your landlord's pocket every month if you could pay half as much to your bank? And that already includes the so-called amortisation that helps you build equity and wealth over time. Yes, we also thought it was stupid.
«ut if you ever tried to do your own research on mortgages, you know how difficult it is. Especially if you are an expat. Different system, different language, different rules: these factors quickly deter expats from pursuing home ownership in a foreign country.
Most mortgage calculators offered by today's banks are virtually useless. They do not answer most of the questions that arise apart from the price tag you can afford. "Would you like to learn more? Please get in touch with our advisors". Additionally, websites and brochures offered by financial institutions are packed full of complex words you have never heard of. And why would you? How often do you buy flats and houses that you happen to know all the terminology? As our research has shown, many people never go beyond checking a simple mortgage calculator and there are 3 main reasons for that.
They realise that they cannot afford what they want.
They are simply too early in the process and would like to do more research.
They believe that the process is too complex and abandon the idea of becoming a home owner for an indefinite period of time.
Sprinkle in a dose of legalese and the cost of having everything translated – with no guarantee that the end product will be any clearer – and the task seems virtually impossible. It comes as little wonder, then, that rental contracts continue to reign among expats, despite many wanting to plant lasting roots and gain a foothold on the Swiss property ladder.
This is a missed opportunity, we thought. So we have committed to change it.