What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city?
Accommodations can be hard to find and are expensive compared to other countries in Europe. When searching for a place to live, some important factors to consider are safety, location preference and individual needs. Depending on your preferences, you may want to find a place close to a school, church, transportation, shops, medical facilities, work and, most importantly, an area that is secure and safe. Choosing the right place to live is essential to having a pleasant and safe stay in Basel. We suggest that you contact Crown Basel as soon as possible to avoid a long and exhausting search.
Swiss descriptions of properties do not include the entry, kitchen, bathroom, basement, attic or storage space. So, a three-room property typically describes an apartment with two bedrooms, a living/dining area, kitchen and one bathroom. Half-rooms are also often mentioned; this may be a pantry or walk-in cupboard that is too small to be considered a room. Historically, washing machines and dryers tended to be shared in all but the largest apartments, with no possibility to plumb in your own machines; however, this is changing with more and more washing machines being put into apartments after a renovation.
For houses, you will need to leave Basel and look in the surrounding villages nearby. Luxury houses and apartments, particularly in the center of Basel, very rarely come onto the market.
What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats?
Your family's size and needs will most likely determine where you choose to live. Many couples and single people tend to live in Basel itself, whereas many families tend to live in villages nearby that have good access to town and/or international schools.
For singles, the most sought-after neighborhoods are Paulus and Bachletten. These areas have high-quality apartments that can have up to four bedrooms. There are also townhouses in this area that are very popular. Families also like these neighborhoods because they have good access to public and private schools.
Gundeli and Kannenfeldplatz are quite international and in these urban areas you will find apartments that are renovated or new. Public transport is very good in these areas.
For families, the most sought-after villages are Riehen and Bettingen in the North or Binningen, Allschwil and Muttenz in the South. These neighborhoods have good access to town and/or the international schools and it is possible to find both houses and apartments.
However, there are many more villages nearby Basel and we encourage you to contact Crown Basel for a complete listing and for relocation assistance in your home and school searches.
Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes?
Most Swiss nationals and expats tend to rent rather than buy. On average, only 27% of all Swiss own a principal residence. The remainder of Swiss, almost three-quarters, lives in rental properties, mainly apartments. This is due to the high cost of land and construction.
Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common?
Typically, before moving into your new rental, you will be expected to pay first month's rent and a deposit equivalent to two or three months’ rent, depending on your lease agreement. The deposit is kept in a special bank account, which is blocked for the duration of the contract and when you leave the property, if all is well, it will be returned to you with interest.
Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra?
Utilities are generally extra and not included in the rental price. However, you may have an estimated amount payable with your rent for "nebenkosten” (i.e., heating, hot water and electricity) that is revised at the end of the year. If you have paid too much, you will be reimbursed.
Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood?
Generally, Basel is a safe place to live. However, as with most cities, some areas are more desirable than others. This is usually evident in the cost of the accommodation. It is also prudent to always lock your house and car when you are not there.
I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city?
The electric current for Switzerland is 220 – 240 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 hertz of power.
Type J - Round pins with round grounding pin (offset)
Type C - Round pin attachment plug
The local electrical current is compatible with electrical appliances from the UK. In order to use UK appliances, you must use a Swiss plug adapter. Appliances from the USA (110 volts/60 Hz) will require a step-down transformer.
Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me?
It is recommended that you try and live near a public transportation station. If possible, avoid using a car. The public transport in and around Basel is very dependable.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.