Additional expenses and insurance

Another important topic includes additional expenses and insurance. In this regard, Thomas Graf of the SVIT Swiss Real Estate Association comments, «The expenses for building insurance, taxes, service subscriptions and even a partially filled oil tank are calculated.»

Proportional cost calculations

According to Graf, the seller should prepare a proportional calculation for all such costs. In other words, the seller must pay a corresponding portion of costs for the part of the year during which he was the owner. If the handover of the property takes place at the end of the year, then the previous owner naturally must make a larger advance payment than if the handover had taken place at the start of the year.

Purchase price: consider proportional costs

Whether this should be calculated exactly to the very last rappen or cent is a matter of discretion. In practice, it's naturally simpler to consider these proportional costs in the purchase price. Just as with rental apartments, you should notify the electricity company and have the electric meter read. It's a matter for the seller to give notice on service contracts for equipment or the heating system.

Beware - avoid budget shortfalls!

One matter which is frequently forgotten is updating insurances. Says Graf, «Building insurance is mandatory in almost every canton and is carried over.» All other coverages such as liability, water damage, etc., however, expire when the property changes hands.

Therefore the buyer should get in touch with his insurance agent and arrange for the necessary coverages. A very important aspect here is not to forget anything important, as Graf explains: «The new owner must arrange for insurances at an early stage so that no gaps in coverage arise.»