Costs of buying a house

Let's face it, how much does a house cost? Admittedly, it is not inexpensive. And in addition to the purchase price of the property, there are various other expenses. That's why we'll now take a look at the one-time and recurring costs.


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One-time costs

Transfer taxes

When the owner of a property changes, this tax is levied in some cantons and depending on the amount of the purchase price. Check with a notary in your future canton of residence to find out whether this is applicable and if so, how much.

Notary and land registry fees

In order to make your purchase contract legally valid, you need the confirmation of a notary (public notarization), who will register you as the new owner in the land register. Depending on the canton, the official recorder's office takes over the tasks for the land register entry.
If you wish to take out a mortgage for your property, the mortgage lender will require a borrower's note at least in the amount of the desired mortgage. The execution of the borrower's note is also carried out by the notary and entered in the land register.

Notary and land registry fees can vary depending on the canton, the amount of the purchase price and the total amount of the borrower's notes required.

Capital payment tax

If you make an advance withdrawal from your pension fund or Pillar 3a for the purchase of real estate, taxes will be levied on this. We will be happy to calculate the likely taxes for you. In addition, your pension fund may charge a processing fee for capital withdrawals.

Broker's commission

If your desired property is sold through a broker, the broker will receive a commission if the sale is successful. It is best to ask him directly whether you as the buyer should expect any costs.

Real estate gains tax

The real estate gains tax varies from municipality to municipality and depends, on the one hand, on how long a property was owned by the owner and, on the other hand, on the amount of the profit made. The tax must be paid by the person who sells the property - thus the seller. However, you as the buyer cannot completely ignore this tax: If the seller does not pay this tax, you as the new owner will be asked to pay. Therefore, you should expressly stipulate in the purchase contract that the real estate gains tax is to be secured.

Recurring costs

Mortgage interest

Interest accrues annually on your mortgage. How high these are depends on the conditions under which you took out your mortgage. We recommend that you factor in an increase in mortgage interest for long-term budget planning, even in the current low interest rate environment.


As a rule, a mortgage must be amortized to a maximum of 2/3 of the property value within 15 years or by the time you reach normal retirement age (whichever comes first). Your pension and mortgage advisor will be happy to advise you on your optimal solution.

Imputed rental value

A Swiss idiosyncrasy that has been up for discussion for many years: If you live in your own home, you have to pay tax as income on the hypothetical income you would receive if you rented out your property. This value is determined by the cantonal tax authorities. On the other hand, you can deduct the maintenance costs of your property and the mortgage interest from your taxable income.


In order to protect your home against possible damage, you should take out appropriate insurance policies (building insurance, household insurance, etc.). It is best to discuss the best way to insure your home and the resulting costs with your advisor at an early stage.

Maintenance and additional costs

If your home needs new heating or a new roof, you need to be able to cover the costs of this. Ongoing additional costs such as water, electricity, heating, etc. also need to be paid. Allow about one percent of the purchase price each year for maintenance and additional costs. In condominium properties, there is usually a renewal fund to which all owners of the community contribute. This fund is used for future renovations, maintenance or repairs. You will receive details about the amount of the contribution due for you from the seller.
As you can see: There is a lot to think about when owning a home. But with thorough planning, you can get a lot closer to your dream - and we can help you.

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