Florian and I are homeowners! As in, we own our very own home!!!! Ahh!! I could say it a million times in a million different ways and I wouldn’t be any less excited. Ok, well, technically we own a piece of paper that says a house will be built and finished by approximately February 2014 but you get the idea. Saying we own a piece of paper is far less exciting than OWNING OUR OWN HOME!!! Here is the town right next to us that has our community center and here are the early renderings with our property circled:
My Plea For Help:
Do you love the idea of designing a house and picking out things like floors and kitchen cabinets and tile for the bathroom? Then, pretty please, help me!!! I’m out of my element here! Follow me on Pinterest and then send over ideas or I can add you as a pinner to my board For My New Home! Or follow me on Houzz, which is possibly even more amazing than Pinterest for home design.
Background for people not familiar with the Swiss housing market:
This is more exciting than you think. I know to my Americans this sounds like, Oh, who cares, everyone buys a house or condo. But no, in Switzerland, almost nobody buys a house at this age. Most people buy a house when they’re like, 40, and then live in that one house for the rest of their lives. There is no “starter home” concept here. And I hate talking money but honestly it’s f*!”@ing expensive to buy here and critical to understand about why nobody owns. I’m talking CHF600,000 ($600,000) for a small one bedroom outside of Zurich. And they don’t do the American “here, take out three mortgages for 110% of the cost of the home.” HECK no, the Swiss are far too cautious. You have to have 20% cash ready and available. That means if you’re buying a home over CHF1,000,000 (which, realistically, you are if you want anything nice or convenient or more than one bedroom), you have to have CHF200,000 just laying around in your savings. Because, you know, we all have that just laying around, right???? Sidenote: And if you’re now mad, thinking you’ve been missing out on receiving awesome presents from your über-rich friends Lisa and Florian, joke’s on you. We’re not loaded, we got some help affording it. C’mon, you thought we have hundreds of thousands laying around?
We searched and searched…
My local Swiss gals have heard me complain over the months about how I didn’t want to buy, I didn’t know where I wanted to live, I didn’t want to commit yet, it was too expensive, etc. Florian always had his eyes and ears open, just in case
. We probably visited a dozen homes but something was always wrong. Too close to a church (those bells ring EVERY hour, sometimes for like 15 minutes straight!!), too much traffic, no convenient public transportation, house layout wasn’t nice. But this house is the first time we both agreed that we love everything about it! Weird to say, there was nothing we had to “settle” on with this baby 🙂 I mean, look at the views!
We were lucky – Flo is friendly with our banker and the banker told us about this place that hadn’t even finished its paperwork and wasn’t yet even available to the public for sale. We were excited and the next day went to go look at the land and we loved the location! We saw a guy there playing with his two little kids and had like a 10 minute convo with him about the place (cultural note: Swiss people don’t normally “chat” or have “small talk” with strangers, so this was a good sign from the start!). Turns out, many of the neighbors are foreign and speak English and they’re a really friendly and open community (again, sorta shocking for Switz!!). The schools are small but good, the neighborhood is really open farmland with a beautiful view of the mountains closeby and lots of trails for walking/biking.We have a bus stop right outside of our house so we can also still get to Zurich easily and we are 10 minutes from another city in Switzerland called Zug. But get this – we are under 5 minutes from Florian’s parents!! Sidenote: Yes, this is a good thing, we love his parents. They’re not crazy in-laws at all, they’re wonderful! They’re so adorable, how could anyone not love them??