Currently it is a good time to purchase a house or apartment in Germany:
- Low Euro exchange rate
- Very low mortgage rates
- Stable economy
- Stable political situation
And when considering that the UK is working on the BREXIT and when looking at the first actions of the current US-president, Germany offers better and much more secure real estate investment opportunities. There might be moderate increases, but the present tendency of low rates is expected to endure. The prices of apartments and houses already increased a bit, especially in cities like Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.
Germans tend to buy houses for life. This reduces real-estate market price fluctuations. We recommend investing in prime properties in the “better” areas of town, which have a good infrastructure. The price will be higher, but the investment will be worth more in the long run.
There are no legal restrictions on non-Germans or non-EU nationals owning property in Germany. Through our partners, non-EU nationals can get property purchase funding up to 70% of property value (credit duration of 10 years).
Please note that typical German homes tend to be smaller than homes in the USA or the GCC countries. Air conditions are rarely found in German homes. High priority for German property owners are the heating system and the energy certification of the house. Houses in Germany are mostly very well built, using quality materials and adhering to strict building codes. Most German houses are built with masonry as the primary material inside and outside.
Prices of German houses depend strongly on the location. Usually properties in countrysides have much lower prices when comparing to property with same size in the city. For example a house in Germany with 140-180 square meters living space, garage and garden can cost 194.000 EUR (federal state Meckelnburg-Vorpommern) or can cost 333.000 EUR (Bavaria). The same house could cost 900.000 EUR (Munich / Bavaria) and 450.000 EUR in small villages in the countryside of the tourism region of Murnau (Bavaria). Comparing the regional prices and checking the location and its infrastructure is very important.
Buying and selling property in Germany is usually done by a real estate agent. There is no law regulating commissions but every real estate agent will clearly inform you about his rate. In most cases it is between 3 and 7 percent of the purchase price + VAT. In most cases the buyer pays the commission in full.
The additional costs for a house / apartment in Germany are around 10% of the purchase price. In addition to the agent’s commission already mentioned, there will be a property transfer tax and a notary fee. Additionally some translation costs are necessary for non-German buyers. The property transfer tax can range from 3,5 – 6 percent (depending on the location) of the purchase price and is paid by the buyer. The notary fee, of about 1,5 to 2 percent, covers preparation of the contract, negotiations, the signing ceremony and entry in the land register. The notary is legally bound to act as an impartial middleman between buyer and seller. The notary will check the land register to see whether the property can be sold at all; and if it can be, whether there are any restrictions on its use. The contract spells out the obligations of each party and the measures to be taken in the event of default. Once it is signed, the notary registers the change of ownership with the municipal government and enters the property in the land register.
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