Buying a house or flat is complex. That's why we have divided the buying process into twelve steps and explain in easy-to-understand terms what you should pay attention to at each step. From the definition of needs to the entry in the land register. In addition, we have developed smart tools for all steps that support and relieve you. This is how Houzy makes home ownership easy.
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in your life with far-reaching consequences, not only financially. That's why you should take your time. First clarify your needs with these eight questions:
The answers will help you decide where to look (location) and what to look for (house or flat). It is best to answer the questions with your partner and children, if they are old enough.
Smart Houzy tools for the definition of needs
Once you know what you are looking for and where, you should consider how much financial leeway you have. For debt financing from a bank, you need to meet two conditions:
Many fail due to affordability, although they could afford the mortgage thanks to the low interest rates. To be on the safe side, however, banks calculate with an imputed mortgage interest rate of 5 percent. With a financing certificate from your house bank or from key4 by UBS, you know your financial leeway and have an ace up your sleeve when negotiating with a broker or seller.
Smart Houzy tools for funding clarification:
Start a property search with the important parameters (step 1) and get an overview of the regional property market and prices. Our innovative property search aggregates all sales listings from the leading online platforms, enriches them with valuable additional information and covers 90 percent of the Swiss market. When you set up a search subscription, we monitor the property market for you. A realtor can tell you about the regional characteristics, and with our mortgage comparison you can find out how high the interest rates are.
Smart Houzy tools for market analysis
Once you have an overview of the regional property market, take a closer look at some flats or houses with our property search. Save your favourites, compare the sales prices with our market value estimate, check the renovation needs, estimate the approximate renovation costs, find out the energy efficiency class and how to improve the energy efficiency or analyse the solar potential, for example, if you are interested in houses. And all this online, without having to visit the house or flat.
Smart Houzy tools for property search
Compare all the houses or flats that have convinced you. Make a list of pros and cons, weight what is important to you (must have) and less important (nice to have), compare the possible renovation and refurbishment costs or calculate how much money should be in the renewal fund if you are interested in flats. This way you can better judge whether a selling price is fair or high and choose your favourites for viewings. The findings also help you to adjust your search and find even better offers.
Smart Houzy tools for object comparison
Arrange initial visit appointments. It is best not to start with your top favourite so that you can learn what to look out for. The first visit is not yet a substance or condition analysis. It is only about questions like "Do you feel comfortable?", "Does the floor plan fit?", "Are the rooms big enough?", "Do you like the finish?" or "Do you want to live here?". If you have answered "yes" to all the important questions with conviction, you should arrange a second viewing.
Only at the second visit it is a question of substance and condition. If you are an inexpert, have an expert accompany you. Check everything: exterior and interior walls, windows, doors, electrical installations, building services, house connections, water and sewage pipes, heating, hot water system, insulation, kitchen, bathroom and guest WC. This is worthwhile, especially if you discover hidden defects. Also ask the seller why he wants to sell, what defects he is aware of, how he has renovated the house or flat and approximately how high the service charges are. The more you know, the more informed your decision will be.
Smart Houzy Tools for Visits
At this point at the latest, you should talk to your bank about financing or arrange financing online. For the mortgage loan application, the bank, investment foundation or pension fund needs a dossier with the complete property documentation and all documents relating to your financial situation:
Based on these documents and their market value assessment, the bank decides on your application. If it is prepared to finance the purchase, it confirms that it can be financed in principle.
Smart Houzy tools for the financing conversation
If the property has convinced you and you have enough financial leeway, you should talk about the price. The basis for price negotiations is a market value estimate, such as our property valuation. Demand is currently higher than supply, so you are in a weaker negotiating position. Nevertheless, there are good reasons for negotiations. For example, if you discovered hidden defects during the inspection, the need for renovation is greater than assumed or the property has been on the market for a long time because demand is low and/or the price is too high.
Smart Houzy tools for price negotiations
Probably others are also applying for the house or flat. With your application dossier, you will score points with the seller and increase your chances. It makes sense to include it in your dossier:
Once you have won the bid, you need to finalise the financing. It makes sense to divide the amount into two or three tranches. This way you optimise the interest burden and spread the interest rate risk better because not all tranches have to be renewed at the same time. The model (fixed-term mortgage with fixed interest rate or flexible SARON mortgage), the term and the outlook on the money market determine the interest rate. Once you have secured the financing and signed the mortgage contract, you and the seller can have the purchase contract drawn up by a notary.
Smart Houzy tools for financing negotiations
If you have won the bid, the deal still has to be closed. Property purchase contracts must be notarised. The notary's office draws up a draft contract or preliminary contract. The seller and buyer usually have two weeks to check this draft. It makes sense to leave this to a lawyer. As soon as the preliminary contract is OK for you and for the seller, arrange a joint appointment at the notary's office for the signing of the contract.
The notary's office prepares the signing of the contract, the execution of the deed of debt and the entry in the land register. Because you do not have to pay the purchase price until after the land register entry, the seller needs security. As proof of your willingness to pay, you can submit an irrevocable bank guarantee that payment will be triggered as soon as the change of ownership is registered. Your bank will transfer the purchase price once the contract has been signed, certified by the notary's office and entered in the land register. With the entry, the purchase is completed and the house or flat is yours.
The new real estate platform key4 by UBS and Houzy are entering into a partnership. Together we are expanding our offering for homeowners.
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