Apartment building

Nowadays, there are various opportunities to achieve your living space dreams. While one person moves into a single-family home, another chooses life in an apartment building. In addition to this, you can also choose between row houses, duplexs and semi-detached homes. These homes have one similarity: within the house are various apartments arranged on several floors, sharing a stairwell and an entrance. Although many Swiss have realized the dream of owning their own home in recent years, the proportion of apartment buildings in the building market remains stable. In 2016, according to the Federal Statistical Office 26.4% of buildings were classified as apartment buildings . This figure has only increased by 0.8% since 1990. In contrast to this, the proportion of single-family homes recorded 3.4% growth to to reach 57.2%.

Which house is right for me?

Whether your dream apartment is in an apartment building with six or eight apartments, or in a smaller property such as a duplex, depends on your personal needs. Proximity to the workplace and connections to public transport can have a big influence on the search radius. A not-to-be-underestimated factor, moreover, is your financial situation. For a rental property, in Zurich, for example, in a suburb with identical features, the position and location of the apartment can represent several hundred francs difference in monthly rent. A general rule of thumb is that no more than around a third of your income should be spent on rent.

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Life in a semi-detached home

Living in a apartment building is by far the most common form of living in Switzerland. Life for families in a apartment building brings diverse advantages: In city areas they enable more efficient use of limited space for house building. Proximity to other family members and relatives also opens up opportunities for joint activities. There are house rules in each dwelling for interaction with the other occupants. This normally settles all issues on the subject of noise, cleanliness, laundry, but also includes information on safety etc. Of course, despite all considerations, conflicts can arise between neighbors. In this case, it is important to first seek direct discussion.

Additional costs in an apartment building​​​​​​​

Any additional costs in an apartment building are either deducted per person in the apartment or with an allocation formula. Neutral and consumption-dependent costs are differentiated. Neutral costs, such as janitor’s wages, that are independent of apartment size, are distributed evenly according to the number of apartments. In order to guarantee the fair distribution of consumption-dependent costs, division according to the square meters or cubic meters of the individual apartments is most suitable.

The additional costs payable in Switzerland include:

  • Heating
  • Hot and cold water
  • Janitor
  • Stairwell cleaning
  • Gardening and maintenance of the surrounding area
  • Snow clearance
  • Wastewater fees and garbage removal

However, if the landlord would like to carry out repairs or make investments, the tenant does not need to pay for these.

An apartment building as real estate property?​​​​​​​

This question is not to be given a sweeping answer. It is a fact however, that building land in Switzerland is ever more scarce and prices are rising. This, in turn, is leading to more dense construction, which, in the form of an apartment, can more efficiently make use of existing land. The prices, and therefore also the returns, are, however, highly dependent on the position, development standard of the building and many other factors. Hence, the purchase of an apartment building as real estate has become significantly more attractive in recent years. 

In comparison to a single-family home, it is more profitable financially to buy a apartment building. An important reason for this is the reduced risk of rent losses, as the rental income is distributed between several apartments. You are consequently better safeguarded than if you rent one house, which in the worst case scenario may stand empty for a few months. This in turn makes the apartment building the favored real estate for retirement provision. However, there are disadvantages to buying an apartment, as the initial investment is high and rental income can be irregular, which can cause problems in the repayment of credit.

Building an apartment building

Nowadays, alongside the path of an architecture firm, there is also the possibility of building an apartment building as a pre-fab. For the financing of such a project to be possible, at least 20% of the purchase price must be put forward from your own funds. Frequently a mix of liquid funds, securities or also money from bonded private provision is used for this. The remaining 80% is normally covered by a mortgage from the bank of your choice. Calculate expected monthly costs with our mortgage calculatorinstantaneously and without complication.

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