We spent many months researching the area we planned to live in Switzerland. The town was chosen because it is a main town close to our family and friends here and in a fantastic position for travelling, situated 45mins (by train) east of Zurich. Austria, Germany, and Lichtenstein are all a short drive from here, and Italy and France are a few hours away.
School was our main concern when we were looking for apartments. School districts are broken up into very specific areas and children must go to the closest local school. We wanted Claudia to go to a local school for a more authentic experience and not to mention the cost of international schools is between $20 000 and $30 000 per year! That is a lot of travel money. We found her school by contacting the local Gemeinde (council) who informed us of the integration class. So once we knew which school she would be going to we had a much smaller area to search for an apartment.
The other big factors for us were parking and a laundry. Parking is paid separately to the rent and some apartments do not have any so you rent a parking space in a local spot (which may be out in the open or some distance from where you live – not so great on snowy days). Many apartments have shared laundries and you are allocated a day (or worse half a day) to do your washing. That was not going to work for me. Apart from the inconvenience, we don’t have enough winter clothes to wash only once a week and I had read many a horror story about shared laundries.
So while the romantic vision was to live in the old town in a medieval house conversion, we opted for a very modern apartment a kilometre out of town with underground parking and its own laundry. The rent was more reasonable, it has many eco friendly features that keep the cost of heating down, and is really really nice to live in. Our laundry has a dehumidifier which dries your clothes easily overnight.
This is the playground close to our apartment that we pass on the walk into town. Just behind it is a small farm (in a very odd spot amid all the apartments around here) and we call the man who works there “The Chicken Man”. I am hoping he sells fresh eggs….
Despite having a large number of apartments around, it is very quiet and we are very happy with our choice. We have a small store at the end of the path seen in the first picture (it is a walkway only, no cars), and also a restaurant/Motel. It is an easy walk into town or there is a bus close by that passes half hourly.