You’re correct regarding some of the tax rules but let’s look at my example with numbers. I currently own an 140m2 Reihenhaus with 4 bedrooms located 10min by bike to Basel center and below are my numbers that make me think that buying was better than renting:
Year of construction: 1927
Purchased in 2018: 730k (market value after renovations ~890k)
Renovation work during two fiscal years: 60k (we did the project management and contracted half renovation in Germany and half in Switzerland). We also did a lot of work ourselfs (panting, garden,etc…). Hiring an architect and contracting only in Switzerland would have doubled the costs.
Total cash invested: 160k (lost of opportunity of investing this cash at 6% is 9600chf/year or 800chf/month)
3 years fix mortgage interest at 0,64%: (4032chf/year or 336chf/month)
Monthly tax benefit estimated: 250chf (interest deduction, renovations, wealth tax,…)
Maintenance work: 100chf/month (I do most of the small maintenance work myself)
Renovation is not a cost as it’s increasing the property value.
Total monthly cost for purchasing: 800+336+100-250= 986chf
Similar houses near our location are up to rent at around ~2600chf/month (excluding nebenkosten)
Yearly savings= 19’368chf (annual return of 12% on the capital invested of 160k; in 7 years my cash available will be similar as if I would have rented)
If you find an old house that is 20% discounted vs market and decide to renovating it doing the project management/work yourself I think that buying would be a better idea than renting a similar place.