Triathlon athlete and Iron Man participant Claudi Swiss tells us in an interview what she really values in an apartment and what quirks she has.
What do you value most about your new home?
Most of all, I appreciate my short commute. I never felt bad about a long commute, but now I realize how much more quality of life one has when there’s just 10 minutes between work and home.
Was that the reason why you were looking for something new?
Not really. The main reason was I wanted to “downsize.” Of course, I also thought about the shorter commute, but that was not the most important thing for me. The other apartment was too big for me alone, I am so often in training that I have no time and desire to clean a lot.
I work 100% plus train for 20 hours a week. It’s nice not to have to spend time commuting. My plan for next summer is to jog or ride a bike to work. So I can combine the training and commute and no longer have need for a car.
Do you forego the car for environmental reasons?
Exactly, for example in a traffic jam I stand there for an hour and pollute the environment for nothing. I think if one can go by bike, which incidentally I also did from Kemptal, my former place of residence, that certainly makes more sense. In addition, it’s not necessary to pay for gasoline – which is a question of money.
Did you have to make compromises in your search for a new apartment?
The old apartment with its own gym and spa offered great luxury. I had my treadmill and stepper there, like a private gym. A sauna and Turkish steam bath were also available. Ultimately, however, I do my training more and more in the apartment and have wondered how often I really used the offer. The only thing I really miss right now is the treadmill. But that’s the only curtailment.
How did you find your current apartment?
Through homegate.ch! Actually, since living in Switzerland, I have found all my apartments via homegate.ch. Previously, I lived in Wallisellen and then Kemptal. Because I found both apartments on homegate.ch and was very satisfied, I searched there again.
I decided to look on the same lake side as my place of work and entered Forch/Küsnacht and “bäm” it was there. The apartment had been advertised for only two hours. I called immediately, we made an appointment and two days later I was able to make a visit. When I saw the apartment, I was immediately in love with it. I was very lucky. The landlords wanted a tenant right away, but I could only get out of the old lease in October. Somehow, they actually kept the flat available three months, for which I’m extremely grateful.
The current apartment is exactly the opposite of what I had before. It is located in a farmhouse and part of a family house. The grandparents and family with children live separately in the two lower floors. Accordingly, it was important for them to have a compatible new tenant of the penthouse. That was just right between us.
The apartment was once advertised with a higher rent. When they lowered the rent a bit, there were many applicants. So, I was really lucky.
Is there something you would recommend to apartment seekers?
Definitely homegate.ch! ;) First of all because it is straightforward. I like things that are uncomplicated. JWhat I really like is that it says who you can contact. You can call directly and if you do not reach anyone, you will be called back. The site contains all data about the apartment. So far, it has always worked well.
What is the relationship with the landlord family?
We see each other and chat sometimes. I was once downstairs for supper and was invited for coffee. Really like a family, to a healthy degree. I do not sit with them every day, but when we do something together, we get along well, which I find very pleasant.
Did you also have a good relationship with your neighbors before?
In the old apartment the neighbors changed constantly. But I am now working with a former good neighbor. The remaining neighbors were peaceful golfers. One may have seen them in fitness from time to time, but otherwise I did not have much contact.
Do you have a favorite place in your apartment?
Yes, already. In the living room I have a wall where all my start numbers hang. Underneath I put Ikea shelves and in front a chair. When I get home, I sit in this chair and enjoy the wall with all the numbers, reflect about the training and look forward to future successes. I’m always thinking about sport, which is so omnipresent. It’s my motivation.
My home. That’s my place. I train a lot at home because I want to feel good. It is unbelievable how much I feel at home there. Small and cozy! Nice and homey.
Do you have a favorite object that is especially important to you?
The wall with the awards. Or my couch, that’s great. My boyfriend built it from pallets for my birthday. I always wanted that. And, it fits perfectly in the apartment! It was also great for moderation. ;) Technically, you have a giant couch at a low price and it’s super practical for cleaning on top of that!
Do you have a typical women’s area?
Before I started the sport, I was the typical chick! Although I still have all the purses and high heels, I really do not use them anymore. Even in the bathroom I am less the typical girl.
I put more emphasis on my training area. Depending on how you define how girl area. I have a dressing room, even if there are more sports bras there.
How would you describe your interior design style?
Dental practice. Except for the sofa, I have everything black, white and practical. I really like colorful clothes, but at home I’m not at all creative. A candle on the table is decoration for me.
The landlords have built in many small skylights, which flood the apartment with light. There is also a large glass door leading to the balcony. It’s a nice, bright apartment. The only thing that’s dark is the bedroom, which does not bother me at all.
Three keywords that describe you at home?
Sweatpants, cell phone, contact lenses out and glasses.
I’m rather neat. At home I do practically nothing except exercise – I do not like cooking that much.
Your living credo? What must a home have for you in any case?
Open. I do not like closed doors.
An open area is very important to me. Actually, I just do not like doors. Kitchen, living room and dining area must be nice and big. That was also the case in my last 5 apartments.
Cooking and eating are absolutely essential to my workout, even though I hate cooking. If the room were closed, there would be no chance that I would stand at the kitchen stove.
How about pets? Would you adopt a cat or a dog?
I would love to have a dog, but the way I live now it would not be fair to the dog. I work every day and then my training – it would not coincide with my conscience.
How do you prepare for competitions? Do you have customs that you perform at home?
It always depends on the size of the competition. Usually, I stuff myself with carbohydrates. The main preparation is really the diet. In my head, I prepare mentally, set my personal goals, and remember I’m doing it all for myself.
Why «Claudi Swiss»?
I was against all the social media at first. After emigration, it was practical for staying in touch with friends. Instagram was recommended by a colleague. I flew to Switzerland with Swiss Air and then I thought “Claudi Swiss” is fitting. To me, it is fundamentally important to separate work and private life.
Where would you like to grow old?
In any case in Switzerland – that’s for sure. And as long as possible in this apartment. A good health system is very important to me. When emigrating, I was choosing between New Zealand and Switzerland, but New Zealand might be too extreme. Maybe I will want to emigrate again at age 50, but who knows what the future will bring.
Do you sometimes still browse on homegate.ch out of curiosity?
Actually, I personally am not the” shopping queen “or the one who’s looking for new apartments out of boredom. When I was looking for an apartment, of course, I also told my two best colleagues. They have subscribed to countless apartment newsletters and always forwarded them to me. Sometimes in the evening on the couch they still look for apartments and houses, just for fun. They infected me! Out of curiosity and boredom, I always like to look at apartments. But I’m convinced I have found the best one.
What would you need anyway to enter into a new contract?
Nothing, my current apartment is really perfect.
My previous apartment was huge and up to date. But I’m more of the functional “dental practice type.” I wanted something special. It was important to me that it would not be a «cookie-cutter» apartment. My current attic apartment has special charm with beautiful wooden beams. I was able to put in all my typical, white Ikea furniture, and it still looks snug.
Do you want to keep this apartment forever?The only reason I would want to move out of this apartment would be when I eventually decide to move in with my boyfriend. But that’s certainly not the plan for the next five years. He lives in Basel and I live in Zurich and when it was clear I would move out, of course we asked ourselves if we would move in together and look for a common solution inbetween. But we are both very happy with our jobs and in the end it would be a lot of driving. Inasmuch as my boyfriend also trains triathlon, we do not have much of each other during the week anyway.
Maybe that will change in five years and I suddenly have the incredible urge to bring children into the world and start a family. By then we would need something bigger. As it is now, I am very satisfied!
What would your dream home look like?
Certainly with a pool. At best a 50 meter pool, so that I no longer have to go to the public pool for training. In terms of home decor, I like it practical and uncluttered. In any case, I would never be able to move into a 150 m2 apartment. I prefer to invest my time in training than in cleaning. If I could build my dream house, I would certainly have a lot of imagination, but I would only do that if there was a cleaning lady for free.
What do you like most about our website?
It’s straightforward and well laid out.
My old apartment was also advertised on it, I think the price-performance there is good.
Of course it would be better free, but the costs are understandable. I think the price is really OK.
So you would recommend homegate.ch? ;)
Yes, in any case. And the next apartment in 5 years depending on the baby bump or who knows, I definitely will look for you again.