My husband and I are considering purchasing a condo in Zurich. We want to buy a condo somewhere close to a lot of other European cities (we would like easy travel to places like Paris, Lake Como, Munich...), but that also has its own cultural draws (like museums, festivals, markets, opera...). Is Zurich as good a candidate as we think (we have never been to Switzerland)? We are not concerned about cold weather as we have traveled to Europe in winter a couple times (places like Bavaria and Paris) and we are also from Alaska.
We are American and do not know how much we should expect to pay for a condo (prob. 2 or 3 bed, 2 bath in a decent area of town close to 'tourist' attractions so that friends and family can easily stay with us or go alone and not have to travel far to the sites). Are there any restrictions on foreigners (Americans in particular) purchasing property in Switzerland?
Also, I have read that the Swiss start learning English in 2nd grade. Do many continue with their studies and therefore know English fairly well? My husband and I can both get by with French pretty well but we don't know German (I speak English, French, Spanish, Russian (although I have forgotten a lot of it), some Brasilian Portuguese, I can understand a lot of Catalan, and I can sort of understand Italian but cannot speak it; and my husband speaks English, French, Spanish, and very little Brasilian Portuguese). I suppose my question is which language would it be most beneficial to know in Zurich? Would it be German or some dialect of German?