Buying real estate in Verbier
The buying process
- Find a property!
- Make an offer.
- If the seller accepts the offer a notary is appointed who acts for both buyer and seller. He legalizes the sale whilst ensuring the buyer is protected. We will recommend a notary or you can choose your own. The notary must be from the canton of Valais.
- At this stage it is important you are confident you have the finances and that the bank supports you.
- To reserve the property you normally pay a 10% deposit to the notary.
- The notary prepares the «acte de vente» and a convenient time is made for both buyer and seller to sign the contract.
- A date is agreed for the final 90% to be paid to the notary. This usually coincides with the registration of you as the new owner.
- The end
Buying as a foreigner: the rules
- A non-Swiss can only purchase one property per family. “Independent” children over 20 years old are also authorized to buy one property.
- You can only sell your property after owning it for 5 years.
- In theory the owner or a family member must spend a minimum of 3 weeks in your Swiss residency.
- You can buy a maximum of 1000m² of land or a living space of around 200m². If you buy a plot of land you have to build on it within two years of obtaining authorisation.
- There are no taxes on direct inheritance.
Total cost of buying a property in verbier?
- The purchase price of the apartment.
- Notary fees and stamp duty, about 3.2% of the purchase price
- Mortgage costs (in tax and notary costs): 1% of the value of the mortgage
Re-sale: Between CHF 10’000 and 15’000 per square metre although when the apartment is new or of a good quality you can expect to pay anything up to CHF 30’000. The prices are dependant upon parameters such as the quality, location, view, access, parking, the owner and so on.
Financing your home
- Swiss buyers: 20% deposit, 80% mortgage.
- Foreigners: 40% deposit, 60% mortgage.
- The wealth of the buyer can alter these percentages.
When and what to pay
- Re-sale: 10% as a deposit, 90% at the signing.
- New: 10% as a deposit, 30% as the foundations are laid, 30% when the roof has been built, 30% when you receive the keys.
Owning a property
The annual charges – these vary from property to property but are basically the costs regarding the use and maintenance of the property. These include taxes, water, electricity and communal fees for the building’s maintenance, administration, insurance etc. A rough estimation is CHF 75 per square metre.
Generally the rental return will cover all the yearly charges and give you a small return. The level depends on whether you choose to rent weekly, seasonally or yearly. The highest returns are achieved through weekly rentals but this is also the most risky. In Verbier, the profitability stands between 1.5% and 3.5%.
Taxes on real estate gains
You are taxed on the profit (the difference between the buying and selling price). This tax is on a declining scale correlating to the length of time you have been the owner. The maximum you expect to pay is around 25%.