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Switzerland is home to one of the world's most thriving economies and also one of thehappiest populations on the globe. So what's the Swiss secret sauce? The tiny, landlocked central European country is known for investing in its people. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum's 2013 Human Capital Report, Switzerland invests more in the health, education and talent of its people than any other country in the world. Because Switzerland is a small country, its attractions are near each other and can be reached quite easily. Mountain resorts, lakes, forests, castles, museums, and ancient and modern architecture make this federal republic an excellent tourist destination.

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The wettest conditions persist in the high Alps and in the Ticino canton which has much sun yet heavy bursts of rain from time to time. Precipitation tends to be spread moderately throughout the year with a peak in summer. Autumn is the driest season, winter receives less precipitation than summer, yet the weather patterns in Switzerland are not in a stable climate system and can be variable from year to year with no strict and predictable periods.

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it is possible for a non-resident person to purchase a property in Switzerland. When considering purchase of Swiss property it is good to keep in mind certain regulations and restrictions. Foreigners who actively seek to buy a Swiss property should understand that they can as a non-Swiss family only buy one property. The size of the property can be of up to 200 square metres in living area. For chalets the plot area is limited to 1000 sqm. When the child of the non-Swiss family reaches the age of 20, he/she can purchase one property in their own name, having proved their financial independence. Certain Cantons restrict the time within which the property can be resold. The limits vary from Canton to Canton - for example it is not unusual for a buyer to have a restriction of resale within the first five years of ownership. After the time has elapsed it is possible to resell the property, either to a foreign or a Swiss buyer. The rules may have exceptions that after certain criteria are met, the resale would be possible at an earlier stage. An owner can occupy their property for up to six months per year, with three months maximum per stay. A property can be rented out for a maximum of 11 months and one week per year. An EU citizen with a Swiss residency permit type B, and anyone with residence permit type C, will have virtually no limitations for buying a property in Switzerland. We suggest you talk to your local notary who will help you to apply for permits.

A local Swiss Public Notary will act for both the purchaser and vendor to complete the transaction. He is there to protect the interests of both parties and he will draw up the deeds and documents required for legal ownership. All contracts are carried out in Swiss Francs. Once the purchaser has choses an apartment, chalet or land the purchasing procedure through the Notary is straightforward. • Complete personal details forms and Power of Attorney documentation. • Payment of the agreed deposit to the Notary account. • Signing of the deed of sale. If the property is being bought by a non-Swiss resident then the Notary will apply on their behalf to the Cantonal authorities for an authorisation permit. The time taken to receive authorisation varies from village to village and depends on the current status of permit allowances and allocations in each particular area. Once the authorisation has been received and the property completed, the notary will record the deed of sale with the Land Register.

Notary fees, land registry fees and Government purchase taxes vary from Canton to Canton, in Valais for example, you will need to budget for 2.6% of the total property purchase price in fees, whereas in Vaud that figure is 5% and Bern 3%. The fees are payable by the purchaser, not the vendor.

The average cost of renting a home in Switzerland is CHF 1,284 per month (around EUR 1000). The average home size is 99sqm and the average living area per person is 44sqm. However, these figures can be deceptive as most expats will find themselves in the larger cities or the more popular areas of the country where rents may be double or triple the national average for a desirable property. A detached house in a similar area will be more expensive than an apartment, but as Switzerland tends to have multifamily housing in towns and even village centres, houses are often a similar price per square metre – you will pay with a longer commute instead. When first moving in, you can also expect to pay a deposit. This should not be more than three months of rent and should be lodged in a special bank account in the tenant's name. There will often be other fees charged by the agent and the landlord as they attempt to recuperate the costs of finding a tenant. These go by various names but are typically: • Agent search fees; • Application processing fees' • Administration fees. These vary widely and may be as much as a month's rent. Typically, a property rented directly from the landlord will have fewer or lower fees than one found through an agency. In addition to the rent, which typically includes water rates, the tenant will have to pay utility bills and often a service fee for the care and maintenance of communal areas. This may or may not be included in the rent, and may or may not be paid directly through the landlord, so it's important to double check when you view the property and ensure that the tenancy agreement is clear. Landlords should not charge for this service, and must provide a detailed invoice at least once per year.

Agent search fees Application processing fees Administration fees