Switzerland is an expensive place. Like many other countries, Switzerland experiences a shortage of housing in most larger cities. Moderately-priced living quarters are usually difficult to find. Rents are higher than in most U.S. cities and vary according to location, neighborhood and type of building. Both houses and apartments are usually smaller than their U.S. counterparts and contain smaller rooms.
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A furnished house is rare and very expensive: furnished apartments are seldom available. On the whole, it is easier to find an apartment in a suburb than in the downtown area of a city. Purchase of a house or apartment by foreigners is restrictively regulated in Switzerland.
Draperies, furniture and closets are an added expense, since these items are not included in Swiss apartments and houses when rented. Newer apartments may have a small deep freeze and dishwasher. Stoves are almost always furnished. Almost all also have washing machines, rarely dryers, and these must often be shared with other tenants. Hot water is not always unlimited, so check on your hot water supply.
Apartments and houses can be found either through advertisements in newspapers or through rental agencies. The following agencies can assist you in choosing the proper newspaper to advertise for vacant apartments throughout Switzerland.