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Frequently asked questions
In spite of detailed information on our web site, you may still have some questions. We answer them here.
1. About crowdhouse
Until now, the possession of high-quality Swiss yield property has been a privilege reserved only for institutional and very wealthy investors. Crowdhouse bridges the barriers to entry into this marketplace and opens the door to anyone who wants to become inscribed in the land register as a genuine co-owner of an investment property.
Our property experts continuously place property on our platform that has been selected according to strict criteria and carefully inspected. As a result, everyone has the opportunity to participate in the purchase of these properties up to a sum that they themselves decide, and to acquire them together with other buyers. Not only the income, but above all the risks are thereby borne jointly.
Thanks to our innovative online platform, the acquisition of co-ownership is fast, easy and transparent. All offered properties are audio-visually presented on www.crowdhouse.ch and described in detail. You can independently specify the desired investment volume for each property and request corresponding contract documents conveniently by mouse click. You will thereby receive personal advice from our highly qualified experts, every step of the way.
For detailed information, see here.
No. We are neither an investment consultant nor fund manager, but rather the operator of an online platform. Our role is limited to bringing together supply and demand in the property market, in a timely manner. The acquisition of a co-ownership share of properties shown on www.crowdhouse.ch is not subject to the Federal Act on Collective Investment Schemes (CISA). No investment funds, public investments or other capital will be accepted by crowdhouse.
Property is acquired in co-ownership through crowdhouse in a few simple steps:
- You create a user profile at crowdhouse via the button «Get started» in the upper right corner.
- After you have decided to acquire co-ownership shares of an investment property, select your desired investment amount in the "Calculate your return" field.
- By clicking on the "Request investment documents" field you are expressing a serious interest in purchasing the co-ownership shares in the respective property chosen by you. After successful registration, you will receive all contract papers and documents by post.
- The contracts must be filled in according to the instructions, signed and returned to crowdhouse along with the required supporting documents. By signing, you declare that you agree to the terms and conditions of crowdhouse.
- Subsequently, we check whether the desired co-ownership shares are still available and whether you are entitled to acquire co-ownership shares in accordance with Federal Law (BeWG, SR 211.412.41) and Ordinance (BewV, SR 211.412.411).
- The financing bank for its part checks the origin of your investment capital in accordance with the MLA (Money Laundering Act), independently of crowdhouse. For this you will receive the corresponding documents from the bank at the address you have supplied on crowdhouse.ch. Please hand these in directly to the bank.
- If both our audit and that of the financing bank are positive, you will receive confirmation that you can become a co-owner and are entitled to pay your desired investment sum into the joint property account.
- After securing the equity and mortgage financing needed to purchase the property, each co-owner transfers their own equity capital to the joint property account.
- When signing the purchase contract, all co-owners are represented by a lawyer through power of attorney. You do not have to appear in person. After the transfer of ownership of the property and entry in the land register, the financing bank transfers the total purchase price to the seller of the property.
- Afterwards all co-owners receive a certified abstract of title from the land registry. As a result, you are the legal owner of the property to the extent of your co-ownership quota.
In order to protect the interests and personal data of all parties involved, we have created a three-level information and access scheme:
Without a crowdhouse account:
As a visitor to our website without your own account, you will receive information about return, purchase price, progress of financing and minimum investment of the properties. You will also be able to watch the property videos.
As a registered and logged in user:
If you have registered with crowdhouse.ch and are logged into your account, you also have access to detailed information and documents (land register excerpts, floor plans, GVA, cadastral extracts, tenant levels). You can download these under "Documents" on the overview page of the corresponding property. In addition, you also have access to the detailed information of already financed properties.
As a crowdhouse co-owner:
As a crowdhouse co-owner, we will provide you with the certified sales contract and the new land register extract immediately after successful transfer of ownership. After each quarter you will receive a detailed report on the results of your property. You will also receive e-banking access to the shared property account. There you can track all account movements independently and at any time.
In order to work out contracts, we need your exact personal details. Through personal contact, we can also guarantee a better service and respond specifically to your questions and concerns. Finally, for non-Swiss people we have to check whether they have a duty to obtain a permit in accordance with the Federal Act on the Acquisition of Property by Persons Abroad (BewG (German only) or "Lex-Koller")
For further information, see here.
Crowdhouse receives payment for the successful placement and management of the property as follows:
Crowdhouse receives a brokerage fee for every successful brokerage of a property. This fee is basically 3% of the purchase price of the respective property. In addition, one-off incidental purchase costs are incurred for the representation, coordination, construction and renovation support, transaction monitoring and co-ownership supervision. The fee and the purchase costs are added to the purchase price of the property and together make up the total acquisition costs.
After the acquisition of the property by the co-owners, crowdhouse takes over the administration. The fee for the property and co-owner management is purely performance-based and corresponds – depending on the property – to between 5 and 7.5% of the property's success. Our terms of contract state that we will not be entitled to our full fee unless we achieve at least 95% of the projected dividend yield – Our 95% promise. In this case, we settle the difference up to the maximum of the budgeted fee. Through the unusual dependence of our fee on performance, which is otherwise unusual in the sector, we wish to set an example and show you that we are in the same boat with you.
Detailed information about our services and fees can be found on here.
There are many key differences between crowdhouse and a property fund or property company. For a detailed comparison of crowdhouse co-ownership, see here.
We consider the following differences to be particularly noteworthy:
- Through crowdhouse you acquire direct ownership of a specific property in the form of co-ownership shares and are entered in the land register as a co-owner.
- The investment decision is up to you and not a fund manager.
- The important decisions regarding the property are made by the co-owners. Day-to-day operations are handled by the crowdhouse management team.
- The fees at crowdhouse are based on the sole property ownership and are generally lower than is the case for a property fund.
- With crowdhouse you pay no "management fee" and also – unlike a property company – no wages or management costs.
- The co-ownership shares are not traded on the stock exchange and are not directly or indirectly subject to international financial markets.
2. Acquisition in co-ownership
According to Art. 646 of the Swiss Civil Code (ZGB), co-ownership is the type of joint ownership of a property or piece of land in which each entitled person participates in a transparent way according to fractions. The respective co-ownership share of the co-owners is entered in the land register by name.
A characteristic feature is that there need not be any compelling personal connection between the co-owners.
In contrast to condominium ownership, the co-owner is not granted any special right for the exclusive use of a specific part of the building (e.g. an apartment).
We have chosen this legal form because it is transparent and the co-owners have a direct say. The cost structure is adequate and the co-owners receive as security a land register entry certifying the value of their co-ownership share.
Finally, this form best serves our vision of making investment property accessible to everyone in Switzerland.
Yes. It is our vision to make investment properties accessible to everyone in Switzerland. Especially those people who have not dealt with this kind of asset until now and are therefore not familiar with it. We thus strive to provide you with detailed information and documents to provide as accurate a picture as possible of each property. For each property, you will receive a current estimate from a renowned property appraiser. On the basis of these documents you can obtain an initial idea of the property. If you have any questions, our consultants are happy to help. We also advise an additional consultation with a specialist or consultant.
Yes. You can acquire a co-ownership share for each property and thereby become a co-owner of several investment properties throughout Switzerland. As a rule, this is actually the ideal case. As a co-owner of several properties, the risk is spread across multiple regions and the capital is well diversified.
Learn more about the possibility of diversifying the risk with a diversified property portfolio here.
Please contact us so that we can adjust the contracts accordingly and send them to you. You can reach us by e-mail or by calling 044 377 60 60.
Crowdhouse is always at your disposal to answer all your questions. You can always make an appointment with us at Lerchenstrasse 24 in Zurich.
As a rule, the purchase of the property is partly financed by debt in the form of a mortgage. The debt ratio usually ranges between 50% and 60% of the total acquisition costs. The portability of the mortgage is usually calculated based on the property and not on the personal financial circumstances of the co-owners. Accordingly, a property offered on crowdhouse must be self-supporting with all existing costs and revenues.
Due to the decreasing property gains tax liability over the years, an investment horizon of at least five years makes sense. The transaction costs and the long-term performance of real estate must be also taken into account. Investment properties are buy-and-hold investments that pay annual returns. A short-term profit maximisation is not provided for. Investors should be prepared for holding periods of between five and ten years.
The mortgage is calculated on the basis of the portability of the property itself and the valuation by the bank. The property offered through crowdhouse is never financed by the maximum possible mortgage/debt burden. As a rule, the share of the mortgage is around 50-60% of the total acquisition costs.
No, and this form is unique in Switzerland. We have persuaded the mortgage banks to accept that the co-owners are not jointly liable as usual, but only to the extent of their co-ownership quota. This is explicitly stated in the loan agreements.
How did crowdhouse manage to exclude joint and several liability towards the bank?
The whole co-ownership concept of crowdhouse is based on the precautionary principle. The properties selected by us are basically self-supporting. In concrete terms, this means that rental income exceeds mortgage interest and other expenses many times over. Moreover, the highest possible mortgage is not adopted. Only 50-60% of the property is externally financed. Finally, crowdhouse has contractually agreed that the mortgages will be amortised annually and 5% of the rental income will be allocated to the security fund. Due to all these forms of collateral, banks rate the risk of default in crowdhouse real estate as extremely low and waive joint and several liability. This fact speaks in favour of the security of crowdhouse co-ownership.
All fees incurred in connection with the acquisition of the property are shown in the purchase costs and are added to the purchase price of the property. The ancillary purchase costs may comprise notary and land registration fees, construction work, lawyer’s fees, handover costs and other items necessary for the provision of the property. These costs together with the crowdhouse fee constitute the total acquisition costs of the property. They will not be charged separately to you as a co-owner.
With crowdhouse, you will not be charged any additional costs above the self-selected investment amount when purchasing a co-ownership share.
However, as a co-owner, you will be responsible for all your own expenses associated with acquiring or holding your co-ownership share in the property. These are in particular fees for your own consultants, fees for the certification of powers of attorney and bank charges incurred.
As a co-owner, you will come up against the usual costs of holding a property (e.g. insurance, repairs, administrative costs, etc.).
All these costs are in principle paid by the current rental income, which means that no additional payment is required from the co-owners.
For unexpected costs or renewals, an additional 5% of rental income will be allocated to a separate security fund.
To avoid conflicts of interest, crowdhouse never acquires co-ownership of the properties offered. As proof that we believe in the properties we have selected, an initial deposit is always made using Crowdhouse AG equity in order to secure the property in question. After completion of the financing, we will receive this deposit back. If it is not possible for us to complete financing through various co-owners, the deposit paid for this property is forfeited by Crowdhouse AG.
As a co-owner, you are registered in the land register and – in proportion to your co-ownership quota – you are the legal owner of the property. After the acquisition of the property by the co-owners, crowdhouse only takes over the management of the property and the co-owner community. In the event that crowdhouse no longer existed, the co-owners would merely have to choose new property management. This has no influence does not affect the co-ownership shares. The co-owners are thus not necessarily dependent on crowdhouse.
With crowdhouse you can acquire co-ownership shares starting from CHF 100,000.–.
We consider a certain minimum amount to be reasonable in order to keep the number of co-owners per property within a manageable framework.
All existing co-owners will be informed and existing contracts will have no legal effect. Any already paid-in capital will be refunded free of charge and in full.
The duration of the entire process can vary. Accordingly, the entire process can take a few weeks or up to three months. The decisive factor here is how quickly the required equity capital can be collected and the financing for the property can be completed. The availability of schedules by the financing bank, the notary and the property vendor can also play a role.
For further information about our processes and property co-ownership in general, see here.
After registering with crowdhouse you can already view and download most of the documents in the detailed overview of the respective properties.
If you have a concrete interest in a property, you can request the effective contract documents quickly and simply, by mouse-click.
This is best done at the corresponding co-owner meetings. Due to privacy concerns, it is not possible to disclose the names of other potential co-owners prior to the transfer of ownership. After the transfer of ownership, all co-owners are visible in the land register extract.
As a co-owner you will receive a copy of the land register by e-mail after the transfer of ownership, issued by the respective land registry office. The official land register excerpt confirms that you are the legal owner of the property in proportion to your co-ownership quota. For a fee and on request you can order an original land register excerpt from the land registry.
3. Property & management
All properties published on crowdhouse go through a strict selection process. Each building is inspected in three independent steps. The first check is made by 100-point check by crowdhouse property experts. In a second step, the experts from Wüest Partner conduct a detailed and independent market assessment on site. Finally, the property is valued by the mortgage bank. Over 90% of the inspected property does not make it onto the crowdhouse platform, because it does not meet our criteria.
For further information about our selection process, see here.
The property must be existing investment property in Switzerland. It must be fully let at the time of purchase or have a corresponding rental guarantee. As a rule, the purchase price volume per property ranges between CHF two million and CHF 20 million. The return and the purchase price are based on estimates, current market conditions and rentability. We are basically looking for property that can be easily rented out, due to low or average rent levels. Our focus is above all on very good B locations that in our estimation still have potential. Finally, we make sure that the properties selected by us do not have an acute, major need for refurbishment over the next five to ten years.
Concrete information about our selection process can be found here.
The crowdhouse real estate team specialises in property investment searches and has a broad and professional network in the property sector. We also receive various property offers daily from owners, developers and general contractors.
In the past, we organised viewing appointments for interested investors for each property. Since the offer was hardly ever taken up, we have discontinued the organisation of such property viewing events. There are a virtual tour, videos and numerous photos as well as the detailed evaluation by Wüest & Partner for each property. Should you nevertheless be interested in personally visiting a property offered by us, you can contact us at any time. You can reach us on 044 377 60 60 or e-mail.
We basically offer existing, fully let investment properties. So far, we have placed various residential properties in different locations in Switzerland. New locations and cantons are added regularly.
Basically, we make sure that we do not offer properties that have acute or urgent renovation needs in the next five to ten years.
Normally, the ongoing maintenance of the property is financed by the current rental income. If this is insufficient or an unforeseen event occurs, the security fund may be used.
After the acquisition, the crowdhouse management team is responsible for managing the property and co-ownership. As a co-owner, you receive a written report every quarter and have access to all transactions and documents at all times. You will also receive e-banking read-only access to the shared property account. This allows you to track all movements transparently. At least once a calendar year, a co-owners’ meeting takes place.
In order to ensure a reliable and smooth administration of the property, crowdhouse will be used as an administrator through a management agreement by the co-owners. Due to minority protection, however, in the case of dissatisfaction the management of the property can be freely determined at any time by means of an 80% majority decision of the co-owners.
The property is valued before the acquisition and about every two-and-a-half years by an independent and professional property appraiser (e.g. Wüest Partner). As a co-owner, we will send you these valuations. Thus you are proactively informed by crowdhouse about the performance of your property.
As a legitimate owner of the property in co-ownership, in principle you have access to your own property at all times. As the administrator, we will gladly organise visits and accompany you when visiting your property. If you are interested, you can contact crowdhouse beforehand.
In the canton in which you have property, you establish a tax liability to the amount of your co-ownership share and the income deriving from it. You will be exempted to the same amount in your own tax canton, to avoid double taxation.
For further information, please contact your tax consultant.
4. Return on investment & finances
The dividend yield is distributed to the co-owners on a quarterly basis, for the first time six months after the purchase of the property. Depending on the current liquidity situation, this is effected as a payment on account or to the sum of the entire dividend yield. The definitive dividend yield is then determined by the co-owners at the annual co-owner meeting and any differences additionally distributed. Payment is made from the property account to the personal bank account of the respective co-owner.
The dividend yield is composed of the net rental income less all costs, interest and expenses incurred. In addition, a security fund is opened and the mortgage debt must in any case be amortised.
As a co-owner and the owner of the property, you directly participate in the performance of your property.
The entire transaction is entirely transparent. You have online access to the entire data of your co-ownership at any time. In addition, you as a co-owner receive the contract documents for your files. E-banking access to the property account gives you the option of monitoring all deposits and withdrawals at any time. The administration of crowdhouse is also happy to provide you with information at any time concerning the current state of revenue and expenditure, electronically and by telephone. Finally, every quarter we send you a written report with all the important details concerning the property.
Rental rates will be adjusted according to applicable law. When reviewing the property prior to the purchase, we value the current state of the national index and the reference interest rates. We will disclose these in the rental tables. Thus, as a co-owner you can get an idea of the starting position and possible risks or opportunities with regard to rent adjustments.
The security fund is needed for major repairs, renovations and maintenance as well as for the value retention of the property over several years. It can also be used for the settlement of mortgage interest and amortisation. Thus it serves as additional security, so that the co-owners never have to inject new capital into the property.
Normally, the mortgage is financed by the ongoing rental income. If this is insufficient or an unforeseen event occurs, the security fund may be used.
Each property is always held in principle as an investment property. As an administration, crowdhouse is always willing to listen to convincing suggestions made by the co-owners. If you have any suggestions, they will be added to the agenda for the next co-owner meeting. According to the majority decision, these are subsequently implemented, or not as the case may be.
If you, as a co-owner, fulfil the rental conditions as a third party (in particular with regard to solvency, rent, ancillary costs, security deposit, etc.), you have the preferential right over third parties to a desired rental property. If several co-owners are interested in the same rental apartment, the co-owners’ meeting will decide to whom it is awarded. Any use beyond this purpose is excluded.
No. The respective dividend yield shown on the website is purely indicative. The return results from rental income less all costs, interest and expenses incurred. In addition, it is imperative that a security fund be added and that the mortgage debt in any case be amortised. The remaining portion corresponds to the yield. As the occupancy rate, rents, costs, other expenses and interest rates may vary, we cannot guarantee the yield rate. We create a detailed success plan calculation for each property. This serves you as a co-owner to help you to determine the yield in the ideal case (full letting, no unscheduled operating and maintenance costs, fixed mortgage interest). The planned profit statement is an indicator, but not a guarantee or warrantee of future growth. As an interested party, you should form your own opinion based on the existing documents and, if necessary, with the help of an expert.
5. Sale of co-ownership
The liquidity of your co-ownership shares is a central concern for us. This is why we have launched our secondary market, which is a complete innovation in the Swiss property market. There, you can see if your there is already existing interest in buying co-ownership shares in your property, and you have the opportunity to swiftly sell your co-ownership shares through this trading platform.
If you wish to sell your share portion, get in touch with us directly. We would be happy to assist you handle your sale quickly and efficiently.
In the event of a premature withdrawal, your share of the security fund will be transferred to the new co-owner. The value of your share of the security fund may in principle be added to the sale price of your co-ownership share.
In the event of the sale of the entire property, the capital in the security fund is distributed pro rata to the respective co-owners.
You participate directly in the performance of the property according to your co-ownership share. Any existing balance in the security fund will be distributed to the co-owners in accordance with the co-ownership share.
You can subsequently decide whether you wish to be disbursed in cash, or if you wish to acquire co-ownership of a new property. Depending on the circumstances, it is also conceivable that you will continue to co-own the property – for example with a new co-owner group that takes over the property during the sale.
The property is valued before sale by an independent and professional property appraiser (such as Wüest Partner). The property will subsequently be offered for sale by crowdhouse at the best possible price. The minimum sale price should in principal not be lower than the original purchase price or the estimated value of the property.
There are three ways to terminate co-ownership:
- The property is sold after the end of the agreed investment horizon.
- As a co-owner, you can sell your shares ahead of schedule via crowdhouse.ch.
- A two-thirds majority of the co-owners may decide to sell the property before the end of the agreed investment horizon.
There is no fixed period of time for this. Supply and demand play a crucial role in this regard. It also depends on the sale price and the purchase negotiation with the new owner. Our secondary market offers you optimal conditions to handle the sale of your shares quickly and efficiently.
With the consent of a two-thirds majority of co-owners, the property can be sold at any time. However, due to the acquisition cost and the return, it is recommended that the investment horizon should be at least five years.
As a co-owner, you are responsible for your own taxes. Accordingly, the sale also means that any potential property gains tax is owed pro rata by the seller. The other co-owners will not be charged. In addition, any notary and bank fees must be paid by the seller.