General

Salary and housing costs – how much should rent be in relation to salary?

Finally, your own apartment! A dream come true, but is your apartment more expensive than you originally thought?
Before looking for your own place to live, it is important to take a close look at certain costs. Insurance, housing costs and taxes often account for the highest proportion of expenditure. What percentage of your income should the rent take up, so that at the end of the month it’s not spaghetti for dinner again?

What is a Minergie apartment?

Minergie is a Swiss quality label for low-energy buildings. This standard is a guarantee of quality and, above all, low energy consumption, presented in a format that the public can understand. Anyone who wants to buy or rent a Minergie apartment should consider the following. The chemical formula CO2 feels like an abstract notion. However, …

Affordability: what can I afford?

There are many aspects to consider when financing your own four walls: your savings and income, your household and lifestyle, and your longer-term financial planning. Both the bank and the customer want the financing to be supported by solid foundations. When you start dreaming of your own home, you start picking up some technical terms, …

Beware: fake ad fraud

Attempted fraud on property portals has been on the rise recently. Scammers try to trap trusting house-hunters with appealing ads for dream homes. These tips will help stop criminals in their tracks. Jürg Zulliger   Sounds like a dream home, doesn’t it? A tranquil location in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town. Close to the …

Heating your home properly: what temperature should each room be?

Heating accounts for around 70% of energy consumption in the home. But how should we go about heating our homes properly? What tips and tricks are there for reducing heating costs? What temperature does it need to be outside before we turn the heating on? As outside temperatures get chillier, we start needing to warm …

Living in the french-speaking part of Switzerland

Vaud and Geneva offer an outstanding quality of life that draws many Swiss people and expats to both cantons. Although the two major cities and cantonal capitals, Lausanne and Geneva, are remarkably lively and dynamic, other municipalities are just as appealing and offer stunning locations close to Lake Geneva. Here are a few with a …

Painting walls in a rented property: is it allowed?

White walls? Boring! Every home magazine claims that any self-respecting person should bring a bit of colour into their home. But before you pick up the paint brush, it’s worth clarifying a few things. Whether you are hiring a painter or doing it yourself, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. …

Locking horns: what to do when neighbours are causing trouble

Tired of barking dogs, screaming children or loud parties going on until 4 am the next morning? When people in your building are really getting under your skin, it can be hard to know how to resolve the situation. We’re here to explain the legal situation and what works in practice. ‘Even the most pious …

Apartment rental: can I sublet via Airbnb?

There are certainly obvious reasons why you might want to sublet individual rooms or even an entire apartment. This practice of ‘subletting’ is generally permitted. The boundary separating subletting from unauthorised commercial use of the rented home, however, has not been clearly defined. From a legal perspective, the matter remains controversial – as a recent …

Lighting concepts for your home

One light on the ceiling simply isn’t enough anymore. Nowadays, if you want to create a flattering aesthetic for your home that’s easy on the eyes, you need a lighting concept. Here are all the dos and don’ts of lighting. It wasn’t so long ago that lighting didn’t involve any big decisions. A few candles, …

Community spirit: in Switzerland, community aid is booming

A few ‘soft’ factors have a huge impact on people’s living situations and quality of life, such as do the neighbours know each other? This year, the importance of community aid and voluntary work has drastically increased. When the coronavirus crisis erupted in March, thousands of people suddenly realised how much they value their neighbours. …