A house in the hills, or a cottage in the countryside?

  1. Knowledge and Inspiration
  2. Publications and Blogs
  3. Overig
  4. Blog Een huisje in de bergen of toch op het platteland
02 February 2022

A house in the hills, or a cottage in the countryside?

Now that quarantine measures in Europe are more and more eased, many of us are cautiously looking forward to the coming spring holidays. The Dutch have been massively purchasing a fancy new ski outfit online, and will be heading for the Alps at the end of February. It promises to be traffic jams again at the charging stations along the German and French motorways!

As a child, I was a not very talented but passionate skier. Nowadays even my fanaticism has mostly gone. But although the après-ski is winning over skiing more and more often, the beauty of the mountains continues to have a kind of primitive attraction to me. In that respect, I felt like a child in a Toblerone shop during my years in Switzerland. Therefore the suitcases are (almost) packed.

Many Swiss themselves have a chalet in the mountains. As soon as the fog casts a grey veil over the cities from November onwards, they head for the mountains in large numbers at the weekend to exchange their life in the grey valleys for the sun and snow from above the clouds. A weekend in the mountains belongs to Swiss culture like cheese fondue and Chuchichäschtli.

Also many of our clients have a house in the mountains, or might consider buying one. Unfortunately, the latter is often easier said than done in Switzerland. Sale of real estate to non-residents is strictly regulated (so-called Lex Koller) and the number of newly built (holiday) homes has been severely restricted since 2016 in order to reduce the number of "cold beds".

Once you have found a home, financing the purchase is often also quite a challenge. Van Lanschot does not finance real estate in Switzerland itself, but a Lombard loan in CHF can sometimes be a solution. Also we do have the network to connect our clients with the right people at a local Kantonalbank. In the maze of Swiss regulations, this can be a great help in arranging a suitable mortgage loan. For clients who already own a house in the Swiss mountains, Van Lanschot will organize its yearly après-ski drinks in Villars and Lenzerheide in February and March.

Although the grass at the neighbours is usually greener, the snow (if any) is whiter, and the sea is warmer, also The Netherlands is a popular location for a pied-a-terre nowadays. A banker from London, an entrepreneur in Cape Town or a homesick expat: the lure of a canal-side house or a monumental cottage in the countryside is sometimes irresistible. In those cases too, Van Lanschot could play a role in financing. For clients who do not live in The Netherlands, we can, under certain conditions, still provide a mortgage on the property in The Netherlands. If you would like to know more about the financing possibilities, please feel free to get in touch.

For now, two years after the start of the Corona pandemic, I hope we all will be able to enjoy the beauty of the mountains (or the countryside) without worries again.

Schöni Ferie und uf wiederluege!