Alexander Studhalter explains why owning a property in Switzerland is challenging. Understand the significance of complying with all the laws and regulations.
Switzerland, the birthplace of Alexander Studhalter, is best known for its magnificent mountains, breathtaking landscapes, and beautiful lakes.
Many individuals, whether young entrepreneurs or even retirees, aspire to own a home in the beautiful places of this nation. “However, Switzerland is a strict country with many legal restrictions, which makes owning properties very difficult”, declares Studhalter.
Therefore, Switzerland has a solid reputation for having a complex and highly regulated market for real estate properties.
Following all procedures and due processes can remarkably help you buy or rent a property in Switzerland. It is also essential to know contractual processes to minimize cases of disputes that may arise after an agreement. With thirty years of experience in real estate investments and private equity, Alexander Studhalter knows a thing or two about properties.
Alexander Studhalter points out what it entails to own a real estate property in Switzerland
The government of Switzerland provides strict authority measures to ensure its territories do not fall into foreign hands . Generally, nonresidents, either from European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states, have the same respective rights to purchase real estate property without a permit.
Also, foreigners need the authorization to acquire either a second home, holiday home, or residential unit. Buying of a property process in Swiss involves two phases that are notarization and signatures.
Notarization consists of a contract certified by a notary, while the signature process must encompass three parties: the seller, the buyer, and the notary.
Homeownership in Switzerland
Based on given statistics, homeownership in Switzerland is among the lowest globally , measuring around 37.4% of the total population. The rate of homeownership varies significantly in most parts of the country, with Basel city at 16% and Geneva at 18.3%.
Moreover, concerning these cities, homeownership in Valais is at 57.2%, Zurich at 28.5%, Bern at 39.9%, Vaud at 31.4%, and Luzern at 34.8%.
Age and ownership of a home have since had much correlation. Sixty-five years and above own 47.5%, while those aging between 25-and 65 own 26.1% of the homes.
The majority of those who own homes live in rural areas, unlike in the cities where there is a straining constraint on the prices of houses. Bureaucracy is another factor that delays and undermines the process of purchasing a property in Switzerland.
Alexander Studhalter answers if foreigners can buy property in Switzerland
The authority of Switzerland allows Foreigners to buy property in their nation. However, legal restrictions are imposed at the national, local, and regional levels on foreigners who want to purchase real estate property.
The critical requirement for owning a property in Switzerland is to have a residence permit. Without a license, you are only free to purchase a property in tourist areas like in Cantons of Bern, Vaud, Uri, Valais, and Graubünden.
The tourist areas are regulated by Koller Law, which determines the location and type of property owned by foreigners. Additionally, you cannot purchase a property in Switzerland using a company name since it is highly restricted.
What is the Lex Koller law, and why is it more relevant today than ever?
Lex Koller Law is the authority set of rules that dictate what permits non-Swiss residents to purchase and own in different country areas. This law restricts foreigners from purchasing residential and commercial properties in Switzerland.
For a long time, Lex Koller Law has influenced the real estate sector of the Swiss because liberalization is seen in various aspects. This was to strengthen the bilateral relationship and welcome investors from foreign nations.
Lex Koller is applicable both in share deals and asset deals. This means it aids in structured independent transactions o instances where authorization has been given. Lex Koller opens up the mutual agreement in fulfilling the contractual process. The rules of the law apply when the acquirer of the object qualifies to use the property and holds the rights of the transactions.
Obligations of foreign buyers: taxes and additional expenses
As a financier and entrepreneur, Studhalter knows that a foreigner is responsible for making some commitments during and after buying a property in Switzerland. Typically, a foreign buyer shares the cost of the notary and land registry fee with the seller of the property in the country.
In addition to notary fees, the buyer must pay property transfer tax that is imposed at the canton level. The transfer tax amounts to 1-3% of the property purchased. It is important to note that some cantons have abolished property transfer tax.
A buyer and seller can agree on how they will share the cost of property gains tax. Usually, the seller is supposed to pay the gain tax on the property. Lastly, the buyer is obligated to meet the capital, average income, and property object tax.
Becoming a cross-border worker in Switzerland
A cross-border worker is an individual who works in one of the European member states and lives in another. If you want to become a cross-border worker in Switzerland, ensure you know many options and regulations for the employment situation.
Firstly, you must seek a G- permit from cantonal authorities at your workplace. Usually, the permit is valid for one year, and they are restricted to the border zone for the cantonal administration.
Secondly, seek information about the taxes you will have to commit to working as a cross-border to avoid unnecessary inconveniences. Gather all information about driving and insurance requirements to get worth smoothly with the authorities in place.
Lastly, it is good to know additional financial considerations for commuters at cross-border points.
Seeking vital information is key in buying real estate in any country according to Alexander Studhalter. It will enable you to make exceptional decisions in finance, mortgages, insurance, and even the provided laws & regulations. Therefore, following procedures keenly and acquiring property in Switzerland is essential in harmonizing legal restrictions.