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Frequently asked questions about mortgages
Banks and insurers generally offer three types of mortgage.
The fixed-rate mortgage
You finance your property for an agreed period, generally between 2 and 20 years. The most common option is 10 years. The interest rate is fixed at the outset and does not change. This allows you to budget the costs, which provides a degree of planning security.
The money-market mortgage (or Libor mortgage)
The mortgage interest rate is based on the daily Libor rate plus a fixed, agreed margin (profit margin). That means it changes all the time. This mortgage is attractive if you expect interest rates to fall and would like to profit from that.
The variable-rate mortgage
With no fixed period defined, this is particularly suitable for covering short-term bridging needs or for smaller amounts for which you would not get other types of mortgage. The interest rate is considerably higher, however. It is based on the general interest-rate level, and can be changed by the lending institution at any time.
In addition to the mortgage and your own funds, there are ancillary purchase costs, in the form of taxes and fees, attached to every property purchase. Depending on the canton, they range from 1 % to 5 % of the purchase price. Our calculator assumes an average rate of 2,5 % for ancillary purchase costs.
Possible ancillary costs
– Property transfer tax
– Notarial fees
– Land registry fees
– Promissory note fees
Our tip: Get the respective information from the canton concerned and avoid unpleasant surprises.
In Switzerland, you can not purchase property without sufficient funds of your own. So make sure you have a savings plan in place early on, calculate your savings potential and set yourself a savings target.
Our tip: Pillar 3a assets and life insurances are counted as own funds. Furthermore, up to 50 % of the required personal equity amount can be made up of pension benefits.
If your desired properties are still beyond your financial means you can expand your search radius. Property can be significantly more affordable just outside major population centres and, if transport connections to the city centre are good, this alternative option can be worth exploring.
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