A mortgage – the ticket to your own four walls. It can enable you to live in self-determination in your own home. Would you like to take out a mortgage? Swiss Life answers the most important questions on this topic.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan issued by a financial institution, which helps you realise your dream of owning your own home. If you are able to pay only part of the property price with your own funds, the other part can be financed with a mortgage under certain conditions.

I'd like to take out a mortgage. What are the conditions?

In Switzerland, when you buy residential property, you take out a mortgage amounting to a maximum of 80% of the value of the property.

In addition, you need at least 20% equity capital, of which at least 10% must be cash assets (e.g. from the bank, Pillar 3a account, prepayment of inheritance). The remaining percentage may be drawn from the pension fund.

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Equity capital: what is it?

If you want to buy your own home and take out a mortgage, you need sufficient equity capital. That doesn't just mean what you have in your savings account. You also have the following financing options to fulfil your dream of owning your own home:

What is debt capital?

Would you fulfil your dream of buying your own home? If so, you will most likely need debt capital in addition to your equity – in the form of a mortgage.

What does affordability mean?

Affordability determines whether you can meet the financial requirements to cover the total running costs for your home. Your income is a major factor here.

When is affordability achieved?

To calculate affordability, you have to compare the running costs of your property to your gross income. As a general rule, if your total monthly outlay for housing costs does not exceed 33% of your income, you can afford to buy your dream home.
The monthly costs incurred for the purposes of the affordability calculation comprise:

  • the imputed interest rate
  • amortisation costs
  • ancillary costs for your property (insurance premiums, heating and electricity costs)

Which mortgage should I take out?

You have various mortgage models to choose from in Switzerland. A distinction is made between:

  • Variable-rate mortgage
  • SARON/LIBOR mortgage
  • Fixed-rate mortgage

Our experts would be happy to help you find the mortgage that's right for you.

Mortgage in old age: what do I need to consider?

Your financial institution will contact you years before you retire to review the affordability of your mortgage. Since income after retirement is usually significantly lower than when working, affordability is recalculated. You need to start early with organising the financing of your home in old age, so it doesn't become a burden. Contact your lender early, between the ages of 50 and 55 and discuss the situation – for a self-determined life in retirement.

Beautiful senior business couple is drinking tea, eating cookies, using a laptop and smiling while working in kitchen

Five tips for age-appropriate living after retirement

Would you like to enjoy your retirement – preferably in self-determination within your own four walls? Here are the five best tips.

Where can I take out a mortgage?

Many banks, insurance companies and pension funds in Switzerland offer mortgages. Swiss Life provides comprehensive advice on how to access the right financing and accompanies you from the initial planning to your own four walls and beyond.

Consultation free of obligation

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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