Friday, September 04, 2015

Static Homes and Static Caravans

Marcus and Agata are certainly looking at cost saving alternatives that might enable us to stay in Switzerland, which is in general terms beautiful yet preposterously expensive!

Two enormous and prohibitive costs are

a) Apartment Service Charge

b) Property Tax

The Apartment service charge varies depending on the services provided but for us is several thousand Francs per year. It's not 10K CHF  (6600 GBP) but it is heading in that direction!

The Property tax is much worse.  The value of your property is taken and they ask, how much would it be to rent that property.  And we'll assume this is your earnings, even if you live in it.   Just so you understand the ramifications.  A property you own might cost say 3000CHF per month to rent.  So the government says aha, we'll assume you have an earnings of 12 x 3000 = 36000 CHF And at say a tax of 30%, then please send us 10800 CHF per year thanks!

Oh yes, there is a wealth tax also.  Every year all your assets are taxed, again and again.  Yes, I am not kidding, but the percentage is pretty low.

Downsizing Plan

We plan to be more mobile in the future

So we'd be at our home by exception or certainly rarely

So we could afford something really small, how about a Mobile Home  (Static Caravan)?

Since these have a tiny capital value the corresponding taxes would also be low.

Some Great Pictures

Basically we were astonished at the [great] features and facilities of these homes.  They would provide an excellent level of comfort we are sure.  And at a fraction of the cost of a mountain chalet.

Plus by definition, chalets are normally in rather unacessible areas, not the best for motorhome access.

Home 2 ...

Home 3

Some Problems

Issues seem to be:

- Swiss Canton will generally not allow a mobile home as a primary and only residence

- They might allow it on a yearly basis, but could one year just say no!
- Your mobile home does need gas and electric and sewerage, you can't just place it on some land you might have bought
- Placed on a campsite and paying a yearly fee might seem like an option (assuming allowed) but many Swiss campsites close down in the winter.  Our local one is shut November to April!!
- Basically you are downgrading to 'trailer park' living and this has low social status and the quality of your 'neighbours' might be a little suspect!

So it's a work in progress.   I must just say though that the units we looked at are modest but quite sufficient for our needs.  I wonder what the rules are in France?