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A Little Luck Helped in the House-Buying Process

Sometimes, you find your dream house by chance. That was the case for Melanie and Marc Kaufmann. The couple dreamed of having their own detached house and found their new home close to where they were currently living.

Like many young couples, Melanie and Marc Kaufmann dreamed of owning a detached house in the country. At the start of their life together, the Kaufmanns lived in a modern rented apartment in Lüterkofen. Six months after getting married in September 2016, they moved into a rented detached house in Günsberg, in the southern foothills of the picturesque Jura mountains. "It felt like home, pure and simple" for the 38-year-old garage service manager, who comes from the region. The rural atmosphere also appealed to his wife Melanie. The 31-year-old administrator originally comes from Aargau.

However, the couple found it hard to accept the compromises that come with a rented property. Having their own home was an essential part of family life for them both, even if they didn't yet have children. Add to this the fact that in the current climate of low interest rates, the bank interest for the Kaufmanns was lower than the rent.

In a detached house, there is enough space for yourself and a bit of distance from the neighbors.

Melanie Kaufmann, homeowner

Finding the Dream House – Love at First Sight

Shortly before summer vacation time in June, quite by chance they discovered a detached house with a net living area of around 100 square meters that was advertised for sale – just a three-minute walk from where they were already living. "We weren't expecting much before the viewing," says Melanie Kaufmann today, "but when we entered the house for the first time, it was love at first sight."

Shortly after, the couple went away on summer vacation. "We were really anxious, as we couldn't do anything while we were away and we knew that you had to move quickly in this area if you want to buy property," Melanie recalls. A detached house like this is not often advertised at a good price; many are snapped up on the quiet. The fact that the couple knew of other interested parties who were already further along in the process did not make the situation any easier.

The Detached House Met All the Requirements

After the second viewing, it was still "all systems go" for the Kaufmanns. The house had everything that was important to them in a property: a level forecourt, two garages, at least five rooms. And much more besides: a pavilion in the garden, a fireplace, enough distance from neighboring buildings, and above all, a wonderful view. In good weather, you can see the whole of the Alps mountain range from the house.

To have the best possible chance of getting their dream house, they quickly wrote a personal letter after their vacation. In addition to their application, they had to submit confirmation of financing from a bank, so Marc and Melanie Kaufmann turned to their house bank, Credit Suisse. It soon became apparent that although it was not a new house, the purchase price of the house was reasonable and affordable.

Preparation Is Everything

Fabian Gerber is a mortgage expert at Credit Suisse in Solothurn. He was the advisor who looked after Melanie and Marc Kaufmann during the purchase of their property: "The Kaufmanns clarified their financial situation with us at an early stage. That was crucial to the offer being accepted, as many vendors require confirmation of financing from the bank that proves that the buyer can pay the purchase price. It takes time to process this, so the earlier we can prepare for the purchase, the better."

Preparation Is Everything

The Right Financing Solution for the House Purchase

On July 7, 2017 the couple's offer was accepted. They both remember the day as if it were yesterday. "We only got the house because we are from the area," the Kaufmanns are convinced. However, it was not just their link to the area that was crucial to the success of the house purchase. The support of Credit Suisse mortgage expert Fabian Gerber also played a vital role, they said. "His expert advice was crucial, as it was all completely new to us," explained Marc Kaufmann. They said that Gerber looked after them as equals, explaining things clearly and simply.

The Kaufmanns proved their solvency to the vendor with documents from the bank. Once their offer was accepted, they consulted one of Gerber's colleagues to calculate how big the deposit would have to be, how big the mortgage would be, and how much they would need on top of that for investments. They did not want to use their pension funds, and this was not necessary in the end. The Kaufmanns chose a fixed-rate mortgage to finance their property. In their case, the interest rate was fixed for ten years. As things tend to need replacing more with older properties, a longer-term variant that is easier to plan for made sense.

Renovating before Moving In

They set aside some of the mortgage straight away for renovations. As the house was built in 1964, there was a fair amount of work to do: The carpets were removed, the walls plastered and then repainted, and vinyl was laid on the floors to replace the carpets. The electric storage was also replaced with a heat pump.

The building work was completed at the end of November 2017. As the old rental agreement was due to run until January, the Kaufmanns stayed in their old house until then and have only recently moved in. Their new home with 566 square meters to play with is the epitome of freedom for this couple. Melanie Kaufmann: "In a detached house, there is enough space for yourself and a bit of distance from the neighbors." Neither of them could imagine living in the city anymore.

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