May 26, 2008
Zürich Housing: Well Provided For
we are thankful to be waiting to sign a rental contract for a spacious home between Zürich and Zug, in the canton of Zürich. The kids fell in love with it right away and never really considered anywhere else, possibly because it would be a great place for hide and seek.
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Details for the curious:
On our househunting trip for our move from France to England two years ago, we saw 11 houses for rent in one day, and determined our top 3 to revisit (still on the same day), chose one, made an offer at about 5pm, and found it had already been taken. But if you recall, a few days later, before we had signed a contract on our second choice, our first choice became available again and we got it. That was an amazing experience. I am sitting in that very house right now. But only for another month!
This time around, househunting has been very different. We went to Zürich, Switzerland, for four days and there were only four viewable properties that were even remotely in our desired area, size, and price range, even when both renting and buying were considered! Crazy! There's just nothing! Almost. Our relocation agent told us that only 90% of the time her company can get clients into one of their top three choices of home...because there is so much competition, and the landlords/sellers can pick and choose amongst the potential tenants/buyers. They peruse applications and decide whom they like best. One of her clients had to apply for 13 different properties before he was accepted for one (and not because he was undesirable, just "unlucky" she said). The market is that tight. It's unusual, she said, for people to find a home on a trip of a few days.
So, of the four places we saw:
- Two of the places were too small. The relocation agent was apologetic for showing both of these to us since they didn't fit our profile, but she took us because there was nothing more applicable to see!
- One place required a minimum AND maximum two-year rental, as they were waiting to knock it down as soon as they could get the permit (and thus were not making any repairs or renovations) and it wasn't in a good location for us - although it was exactly the right size and configuration for what we needed and had a nice kitchen and lake and mountain views. Not too comforting to move into a place the owners are just waiting to kick us out of as soon as they legally can move ahead with their plans.
- Ah, but now we come to the fourth place (which we actually saw first, on our own, as a result of a posting on an ex-pats-in-Zürich yahoo group). The place God seems to be providing for us (though the contract is not signed yet). Distinct benefits: Irish/English landlord couple, so we can communicate easily with them in our mother tongue rather than Swiss-German (and they are responsive to email), who seemed to like us and accepted our offer straight away, not leaving us wondering whether we'd be chosen or not. Very kind and forthright and flexible with us. Plenty of room in the house, pretty flowering plants in the garden, and some renovations/repairs being done before we move in. Less expensive than some smaller places - but because it is not on the lake and doesn't have mountain views and is a bit farther from the main commercial centres of Zürich and Zug. It's right between the two cities, so David will head one direction for work (Zürich), and the kids the opposite direction for school (Zug).
- On the last day, we were going to see another place, but that morning the showing was cancelled because they had already let it! This confirmed to us the blessing of a spacious place waiting for us to claim it.
So it is really quite remarkable how God provided for us, in that even the relocation agent did not know about this property yet (since it had not been put up yet on the main advertising website for the area), and we were accepted right off, before we had to leave to go back to England. The school commute will be the issue that we will have to sort out, with comparisons of car vs. school bus vs. public transportation by bus and/or train, for the two kids at two different schools, respectively 20 and 30 minutes from our new home. David's office will be about 15-30 minutes the other direction, depending how he gets there (car or bus/train).
May 26, 2008 | Permalink
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Yay!!! All things considered, it sounds like a relatively unstressful Switzerland housing trip. I'm so very pleased for you. It looks like a lovely location. Can't wait to see more pics. AND this whole move takes away the school dilemma, doesn't it? God is good....
Posted by: Susan | May 27, 2008 3:32:07 AM
Yahooo!! I'm so happy for you. PTL!
Posted by: Helen | May 27, 2008 3:56:25 AM
Wow! What an amazing life you lead. I love seeing how clearly God continues to lead and provide for your family. Our God is so good!
I'm praying about schooling for Ethan next year. I'd love to see God's hand so clearly lay it out before me. Please pray that my eyes would be open to seeing all God is showing me. :) Thank you!
Posted by: Cindy Garcia | May 27, 2008 6:10:20 AM