Many people dream of a self-determined life in their own home. To make this dream a reality, you should definitely look at the different financing options and their viability. Don't forget the recurring ancillary costs for your own home. What do they consist of? Swiss Life on electricity, insurance and more.

Have you been thinking about home ownership for a long time and now feel ready to move into your own four walls? If so, you share these feelings with many Swiss. Having found your dream home, the question is: "Can I afford it?"

The answer to that question lies not only in financing the purchase but also in the long-term viability of owning the property. Post purchase, there are recurring ancillary costs that you should not overlook.

What does viability mean?

Viability is the ratio of a property's maintenance costs to your income. To put it simply: viability determines whether you can also afford your property over the long term.

What are ancillary costs for a homeowner in Switzerland?

Ancillary costs are recurring expenses you have to cover as a home owner. These include:

  • water, waste water, waste and green waste disposal charges
  • Electricity, gas or oil
  • Rubbish
  • Heating
  • Insurance, e.g. household contents, buildings insurance, building liability
  • Building maintenance

Maintenance costs for your own home

Then there are also maintenance costs, which you should bear in mind. They cover the maintenance of your home, for example:

  • renovations, e.g. painting walls, laying new floors
  • refurbishments, e.g. new kitchen, new bathroom, façade renovation
  • garden work
As a general rule, people interested in home ownership should expect to budget 1% of the purchase price for ancillary costs and maintenance. However, this percentage cannot be generalised. It depends on the property, its condition and, above all, how cautious the customer is. For example, a new-build apartment will need less work than a house that is already older. As a rule of thumb, it's better to put aside a little bit extra instead of not enough to guarantee liquidity at all times.

Tip: deduct maintenance costs from tax

Good news: you can deduct all the expenses incurred in the upkeep of your home from tax. You can choose to deduct the flat-rate of 10 to 20% of the imputed rental value (depending on canton and age of property) or the actual costs. Please note: only maintenance costs for your property are tax deductible – value-adding costs are not included. Our experts will be happy to advise you.

Image source: iStock, visualspace

Non-binding consultation

Our experts at Swiss Life and Swiss Life Select would be happy to advise you on financing your own home – at a location of your choice or online by video.


Let us help you buy your own home. Let's go.

Do you dream of a self-determined life in your own home? To make this dream come true, there are some things you need to know first. Find out more now about saving, financing, affordability and mortgages.

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