The Schäppis, now a family of four, have been planning their dream of owning their own home in Wallisellen for more than two years. They have submitted their planning application and if all goes well, their dream will soon become a reality. We sat down with Reto and his wife Lorena to talk about the ups and downs, the idea of self-determination and the aspects of home ownership that the family is most looking forward to.
They are currently living in a top-floor rental apartment in Wallisellen. Their home, decorated in neutral colours, is calm and welcoming. A few weeks ago, their second child was born – a sister for their two-year-old son. When Lorena and Reto think about their new house, which they soon hope to start building, one thing springs to mind. “We are very much looking forward to living on the ground floor. We can just open the door to the garden and watch the children run out,” explains Reto. For the ZSC Lions player, building a house will be a dream come true.
From buying the land to submitting a planning application
In 2019, the Schäppis seized an opportunity when they bought a plot of land in Wallisellen, where one day their home will stand. A lot has happened since then. It was clear from the outset who they would ask to manage the project, says Reto: “We are lucky enough to be friends with the family who run the Atlantis architecture practice.” Building a house requires a lot of trust. And a lot of patience, as Reto and Lorena Schäppi now appreciate. “Of course, we’d like to live in our house straightaway,” says Lorena, laughing, but fully aware it will be a good while yet.
They have been planning the build for over two years now – and there have been repeated delays. “These ups and downs are just part and parcel of building a house. There are moments when we make a lot of progress and then nothing happens for another two months,” explains Reto, summing up the last two years. Things should really get going soon, however, as they have submitted their planning application. During this phase – undoubtedly one of the most critical in any build – the Schäppis will find out whether they can build their house the way they planned it. Following the planning application process, they can start to actually plan the specifics of the construction itself. At the moment, it is still unclear when the groundbreaking will take place.
An adjoining apartment will help fund the project
A key aspect of any build is of course how to finance the project. Together with their architect, the Schäppis looked at various forms of financing. In the end, the decision was made to build an adjoining apartment. The family can use the rental income from this to fund some of the build.
As owning a family home was a long-cherished dream, the couple saved up for many years for it. They will also take out a mortgage to finance the project when the time comes. However, since this is a new build and it is therefore impossible to calculate the total costs right now, they are yet to do so.
Self-determined – but with compromises as well
When building your own home, you can decide everything yourself in line with your own needs: bathroom, kitchen, room layout and furnishings. This kind of self-determination, which can only be found in a new build, is an important point for the Schäppis. Reto explains: “It’s going to be a mammoth task making all these decisions.” “But also a fun one,” Lorena adds. In addition to the garden, the couple are especially looking forward to the large master bedroom with dressing room – “our kingdom,” as the ZSC player refers to it.
As important as self-determined decisions are, Reto is well aware that building a home also involves making concessions: “We have learnt that you have to be willing to compromise from the outset. In theory, anything is possible, but it always comes at a price.” Reto believes that it is good to know what your needs are right at the start. It has been a smooth process so far, as he and his wife have agreed on almost everything, “but I’m curious to see if it stays that way,” he says with a smile.
He has found that ultimately, it is often just your wallet that decides what is possible and what is not. The family’s budget for interior fittings will depend on how expensive the build turns out to be. Reto is of course giving thought to the rising raw material prices and interest rates. But he remains confident: “Our fate is largely in our own hands.” Ultimately, their joyful anticipation is shining through – for example when Lorena looks at her husband and says, “then it will be ours.”
Aside from his family, ice hockey is his life: since 2010, Reto Schäppi (32) has been a centre for the ZSC Lions. When he recently signed up for his fourteenth season at ZSC, sport.ch referred to him as a bedrock of the team. His wife Lorena (31) is a qualified medical assistant and is currently caring for their two children: a two-and-a-half-year-old boy and a newborn baby girl.
Photos: Philip Brand, text: Gabriella Alvarez-Hummel
Do you dream of owning your own home?
We can help you plan the financing. Arrange a non-binding consultation with a Swiss Life advisor today.