Are you planning a new life in Switzerland? Nestled in the pristine Alps, right in the heart of Europe, the country is one of the most picturesque in the world. But what can you do to make your move easier? This guide will lay out some of the most important points as you prepare.

The process of buying property in Switzerland can be a bit tricky to navigate. There are a variety of rules in place restricting ownership in different cantons, and prices can vary greatly from area to area, as well as the cost of taxes. Your RE/MAX agent can make clear all the steps required to get your dream home in the perfect location. Although buying a property anywhere can be daunting, with Switzerland's high standard of living, top healthcare and world-class education, the outcome is bound to be worth it!


There are many different property types in Switzerland, from chalets in ski resorts to beautifully renovated city-central apartments. Perhaps you want to find a renovated period property in a lush green valley, or a modern apartment in Zurich overlooking the lake. Each area offers something different for every expat –  the bustling international hubs of the major cities and the many languages spoken mean it is an exceptionally diverse country. Choosing the location that’s right for you might be one of the most important parts of your search. Each canton of Switzerland has different regulations, so the whole process may be different depending on where you choose to live.


While the process may not be the same everywhere, we’ve collected some of the most important points to get you started. Firstly, at the time of writing, home ownership levels in Switzerland are at the lowest in the world. However, while many people in Switzerland choose to rent, there are actually plenty of reasons why buying might be the right decision for you. You'll have the freedom to change the house however you want, whether that's knocking through a wall or just giving it a fresh lick of paint. But more importantly, your home will provide security for the future, so you don't have to be reliant on a landlord. The majority of homeowners live in rural areas, meaning you may not find as many properties in urban areas as you might be used to, but with the right agent you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

Since each canton has different rules, it's important to have a local expert help you find your way through the regional specifics. Only certain properties are eligible for foreign buyers to purchase, so make sure you don't land on your dream property then realize it's out of your grasp! While buying costs can be high, the transaction costs at the time of writing are relatively low and salaries generally high, so even though the country is known for being expensive, not every associated cost will break the bank.



Before you make an offer, you'll want to apply for a mortgage. Research different kinds of mortgages so you know what's available to you. If you make a bid that's accepted, it will be at this point that you pay a deposit, which at minimum is usually 20% of the price of the property. Then, as a foreigner it's likely you'll have to apply for a purchasing permit. But once the home is entered into the land register, it’s officially yours. So at this point, it's time to transport your belongings and start your new life!


The most important thing to remember is that your agent is always there to help. Your RE/MAX agent will speak your language, work by your side and for your interests and they’ll provide all the information you need to make your buying process a breeze. Whether you want to be surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, glistening blue lakes or an international community that makes you feel at home, an agent's local knowledge will be a huge advantage – they can make sure you're looking in the right places and suggest properties that suit you best.


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Please Note: While RE/MAX Europe has compiled the information on this page diligently and to the best of its knowledge, RE/MAX Europe does not assume any liability for the accuracy of the information or for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

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