To buy property in Switzerland is not easy and not cheap at all, however considering the economic, natural and cultural peculiarities of this country the number of people willing to buy property in this Garden of Eden located in the centre of Europe is constantly increasing.
At the present day according to political and economic factors Switzerland is one of the most stable countries in the world. Investments in property in Switzerland are as reliable as a deposit in any ofthe famous Swiss banks. The standard of living in the country is high and public health care in Switzerland is considered one of the best systems in the world. Businessmen are attracted by the favorable system of taxation for the companies.
According to the Swiss law, foreign nationals have the right to buy property only in particular regions, more often in resort regions, where there are certain quotas for buying property by foreign nationals. For example, Bernecanton, which has all the necessary conditions for holidaying all year round –Alpine skiing, walking and riding to see waterfalls and gorges, and also holidaying on the beautiful lakes Thun and Brienz.
Property prices depend on the region. In Lake of Geneva region a square meter of property may cost from three thousand to ten thousand euros for a square meter. But there are some cantons in the center of Switzerland which are not so well known and thus the prices for property are significantly lower. As Switzerland is not a big country there is no sense in over paying for a house located in prestigious regions, as the distance from the center to any of the cantons can be covered in no more than a couple of hours.
As it was said before, it is possible to buy residential real estate only in those cantons that have quotas-permissions. There are about one and a half thousand such quotas given every year. There are no limitations for commercial property and store houses, shops and offices can be purchased in any canton.
Many Russians are concerned about the relation of buying property in Switzerland and getting a residence permit. Indeed, buying property gives a foreign national the right to get a multi-visa only, which means that you have the right to stay in the country for 6 months a year. As Switzerland is not a part of the European Union, to enter the country a visa issued by the Swiss Embassy is required. However if you have a residence permitin one of the countries of the European Union, visa-free entry is possible.
As for the residence permit, in order to get one you need a lot of time. Besides, residence permit is more related to contributing into the Swiss economy rather than buying property. By registering your firm, getting a position, paying taxes on a regular basis, and living in the country not less than six month a year, it is possible to start changing the temporary status to permanent which will cost about six thousand dollars. In two or more years it will be possible to present a petition for citizenship.
There are some peculiarities about buying property in Switzerland related to the fact that although there is a law prohibiting foreigners without a residence permit to buy property, however some cantons for certain categories of property can authorize and issue such a permission. In general,the buying is done by a legal entity. The registration of a company will cost fifteen thousand dollars, and authorized capital of the company should be a minimum of thirty five thousand dollars. The same amount should also be approved by a bank guarantee and only Swiss banks can conduct financial operations. Registration in Land Registry and compulsory state duty will cost about 20% of the property price.
Apart from the funds for buying property (minimum two hundred thousand dollars), it is necessary to foresee financial possibilities of its maintenance. The maintenance of the minimum cost property will require approximately twenty five thousand including salaries of directors (there should be two of them, and both of them should be Swiss), an accountant,a duty for yearly extending the legal address and the office rent. Taxes and duties obligatory when buying property depend on what canton the property in question is located.
The size of the property to be bought in Switzerland should not exceed three thousand square metres even for a foreign national who has a residency permit.
Russian nationals have the right to mortgage in one ofthe Swiss banks. Interest on credit depends on whether you buy residential or commercial property and makes up from three and a half to four and a half percent, and the credit is given for a period of two to ten years. The size of credit is considered by a bank separately for every single case and may comprise up to 60% of the property price.