Buying Property in Germany

Buying Property in Germany: 6 Simple Steps

Buying Property in Germany: 6 Simple Steps

Mortgage Tips

If you are interested in buying a property in Germany, then I have prepared a perfect article for you here.

Owning your own piece of property in Germany is a goal of many expats. From Berlin to Brandenburg and beyond, Germany is a country filled with great cities where a potential real estate purchase.

If chosen wisely while buying property in Germany, would be a valuable investment that can increase their buyers’ net worth over time.

Many people interested in buying property in Germany have the necessary equity (e.g. for a down payment). But they are worried about the country’s bureaucracy and the legal steps that must take place in order to own real estate in Germany.

However, once you understand the steps in the process, it’s pretty simple. The strict rules are designed to ensure the German real estate market remains reliable and transparent. And these rules for buying property in Germany give you the security that your property is in a protected, regulated market.

These are the most important takeaways for those looking to enter Germany’s robust property market

Before you buy, know what you can afford; this is the first question any potential buyer should ask themselves. Mortgage advisors (Hypothekenmakler) like myself can help with this question.

I can calculate the mortgage amount for you within 24 hours either via my online tool, or personally. This service is free of charge and without obligation.

Once you know the type and size of German property that you want to buy, it’s important to do your research so you know what is currently on the market. It’s usually a good decision to look at acquiring a property whose value will likely appreciate.

After identifying the property you want to buy, it’s time to negotiate a price with the seller.

Financing your German real estate purchase can be done by either directly dealing with a bank, or through engaging the services of a Mortgage Advisor (Hypothekenmakler). He will approach different financial institutions on your behalf to obtain the best offer.

You must then apply for funding for your Mortgage (Hypothek). And then wait for that application to be either approved or denied.

Once Mortgage funding has been approved, it is time to contact a local notary (Notar) to create a draft purchase agreement.

Once the funds for purchase have been deposited, it’s time to conclude your purchase by arranging an appointment with a notary to sign the finalized purchase contract.

Buying Property in Germany

While the process for buying property in Germany may seem complicated at first glance, it’s actually not so overwhelming when you have a little help.

Step 1: Know What You can Afford

Like the old gambling maxim, “Know your limit. Play within it.” The same applies to purchasing property. This is a combination of knowing how strong your financial position actually is. And what kinds of mortgages are available to you.

Step 2: Make Plans with a Mortgage Advisor (Hypothekenmakler)

This is a crucial step. Before buying any German real estate, talking with a Mortgage Advisor allows you to plan for the type of loan you need, as well as the loan’s terms. A large number of documents, most involving your financial history, will need to be brought to this initial meeting.

A good Mortgage Advisor’s job is to help determine the kind of Mortgage that you need. Your discussions should provide clarity on whether you can, and want to, afford property in Germany. Your later discussions, when you have a specific property in mind, should include:

● Terms of the mortgage (Fixed interest rate, re-payment of principle, unscheduled re-payment, etc.)

● Amount of equity capital to be used in the purchase

● Creating and then submitting a financing application

To know what costs you need to plan for when securing a mortgage, speak with your advisor. Particularly important to know are the mortgage’s interest rate, and the amount of the monthly mortgage payments you will be making. 

Step 3: Applying for Funding for Your Mortgage

In Germany this normally happens after you have paid a reservation fee (Reservierungsgebühr) for the property of your choosing. A reservation fee can be anywhere from 0.5 to 1 per cent of the total purchase price. So you only arrive at Step 3 when you are certain that you want to proceed with a purchase.

There are various state subsidies that can make your Mortgage cheaper and are therefore an important step in the process of obtaining a Mortgage.

Once an application has been submitted, it can take a German bank anywhere from 3 to 10 business days to process the application.

Step 4: Have a Purchase Contract Created by a Notary

This will happen, in most cases, after you have reserved the property and signed a mortgage contract. From the day you receive the contract, there is a legally mandatory 14 day waiting period before a final contract can be signed at the notary’s offices. As soon as you have signed your mortgage contract, we advise to make an appointment with the notary to sign the final contract of sale.

Once you have put pen to paper on a final purchase contract, you then become legally liable for all rights and obligations that are part of owning property. Such as property taxes, maintenance fees, and so forth.

Step 5: The Mortgage Amount is Disbursed

As you progress toward a final purchase for property in Germany, there are different ways in which your loan from a bank can be disbursed. The most common method is for existing property or a completed new building. In this case a bank will provide you with a mortgage for the entire purchase price.

When you receive the purchase contract with the seller’s account details, you then provide a copy of this information to your Bank. The bank then makes a transfer of funds to the seller.

Step 6: Concluding Your Real Estate Purchase

When meeting a notary to sign a final purchase contract for German real estate, the notary is required by German law to read the entire contract out loud. This process will usually take about an hour. After you have signed the contract, the notary then arranges for you to be reserved as the future owner of the property.

A reservation in the Land Register (Grundbuch) is made by the notary after the purchase contract has been signed. This reservation will remain in the Land Registry until you have formally been registered as the property’s new owner.

Following the contract signing there will be Invoices from the German government’s Finance Ministry (Finanzamt), the Land Registry Office, and the notary. If a Real Estate Agent (Immobilienmakler) was involved in the transaction, you will also receive his or her Invoice at this time. These costs that follow a sale’s conclusion can be as much as 15 per cent of the total purchase price.

Over the next two weeks, and sometimes up to one month later, your notary will obtain a priority notice of conveyance from the municipality where the property is located. This is so entries in the land registry for the previous owner are deleted.

When the seller receives the purchase price, they must confirm this. Once the seller has confirmed they have received the funds, you will receive the keys for the property. It normally takes another week for this to occur following the signing of the purchase contract.

A formal transfer of ownership happens about two months after your notary appointment. Before this happens, the German Tax Office must confirm you have paid the land transfer tax in full. When this happens, your name is entered into the Land Registry as the owner. Another Invoice will be sent to you from the Land Registry for performing this service.

As well, during the transfer of ownership for your German property, you must inform the building’s insurance firm about the sale. It often falls to you as the owner to arrange for your own property insurance against different kinds of damage and theft.

Buying property in Germany – Conclusion

Buying property in Germany is a complex topic. However, for interested buyers with enough equity capital, it is certainly possible. I am happy to provide you with support in order to successfully complete a transaction.

Learn how much you can afford here or write me a message here. I will respond within two working days.

While the process for buying property in Germany may seem complicated at first glance, it’s actually not so overwhelming when you have a little help.

 

buy apartment berlin

How To Buy An Apartment In Berlin The Smart Way

How To Buy an Apartment in Berlin the Smart Way

Mortgage Tips

If you would like to buy an apartment in Berlin through making smart decisions, this article will tell you the best way to go about it. 

Berlin is one of the most attractive cities in Europe to own your own small part of. As of today, real estate in Berlin is still fairly priced compared to other European cities. The Arts & Culture scene is energetic and dynamic. And international businesses are present and thriving. So it is always a good idea to invest your money to buy real estate in Berlin.

These are the most important takeaways when you want to buy an apartment in Berlin

Berlin is a city of renters & legal protections for existing tenants are strong.

  • This plus the low rental returns made it historically more convenient for people to prefer to remain a tenant instead of buying an apartment or flat and become landlords.
  • There are many options for financing a real estate purchase.
  • Develop a sense of Berlin’s property market and what is reasonable to expect by visiting property for sale.
  • If you have your eye set on a specific apartment / flat, obtain documentation from the seller you will need to present to the lender (Bank).
  • When you find an apartment for sale in Berlin that you are sure you want, be fast!
buy apartment berlin

Before you buy an apartment in Berlin

Speak with German banks about the different options for obtaining a mortgage when you buy an apartment in Berlin. In some cases, international buyers can finance up to 50 per cent of the entire purchase price through a Mortgage. 

When you find an apartment in Berlin that you like, make sure to obtain such documents as the house’s economic planning (Wirtschaftspläne). These should provide details about the building’s expenses, reserves, and how the financial situation has changed over time. You particularly want to know where the house money (Hausgeld) is being spent, as this will tell you what the building’s monthly expenses are.

Your Dream Home in Berlin

When considering apartments for sale in Berlin, the first thought that probably comes to mind is: location, location, location. While that is certainly a very important consideration, it shouldn’t be your only one.

How much space the apartment has, the neighbourhood the building is located in and how much the house’s monthly expenses are. Another important point is: Also any planned renovations to the building should all factor into your decision. 

Cast a wide net by visiting apartments that wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice – whether because of neighbourhood or aesthetics to develop a sense of Berlin’s property market and what is reasonable to expect.

Buy An Apartment Or Rent It Out

One relatively new development in Berlin’s real estate market is the passage of the “Mietendeckel” by Berlin’s city government in January 2020. This legislation limits the amount of rent that can be legally charged. For new rental contracts, landlords can only charge the maximum listed in the rent cap table – anywhere from 3.92 EUR per square meter to 9.80 EUR per square meter.

For those looking into Berlin real estate, the Mietendeckel is important because Berlin is historically a city of renters. The legal protections for existing tenants are strong, and rental returns average anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 %. 

For you as a potential buyer, this means deciding early in your search if you want the apartment to live in yourself, or if you are looking to obtain rental income from an apartment with existing tenants. If you buy a tenanted apartment, it could be as long as 10 years before you are able to move into it yourself, depending on several factors.

Get Your Mortgage At Best Rates

If you are like the majority of potential buyers, you will need a Mortgage from a bank to finance your purchase of a Berlin apartment. There are many different banks in Germany, such as the internationally known “Deutsche Bank”, to the lesser known “Berliner Sparkasse” – each with their own mortgage solution for you. 

Make sure to do your research – depending on the financial institution, you may be able to finance up to 50 per cent of the flat’s total purchase price through a Mortgage. A mortgage broker can help you navigate the market. 

GET YOUR BEST MORTGAGE RATES FROM OVER 400 BANKS HERE!

 

Check The Total Cost of The

Property

Once you have found an apartment for sale in Berlin that you are seriously interested in buying, make sure to obtain information about the building’s finances and annual expenses. These documents can either be obtained with the help of the Real Estate Agent (Immobilienmakler) or the Property Manager (Hausverwaltung).

Again, of particular importance is the house’s economic planning (Wirtschaftspläne), which provides details about the building’s expenses, such as heating, repairs, and seasonal costs.

In Berlin, a portion of every apartment’s monthly rent is allocated as House Money (Hausgeld) that is used to pay for the building’s common expenses. Through reviewing the building’s economic planning, you can see where this money is being spent and whether there are reserves for future maintenance.

 

Buying Real Estate in Berlin 

Is A Matter of Time

And a final thought – when you have decided on an apartment that you truly want, move quickly. Do your due diligence on the building’s expenses, current condition, and be sure to obtain the best possible mortgage. But be quick about deciding whether to pay a reservation fee, which reserves your right to purchase the apartment.

After all, Berlin’s popularity also means increased competition for buying property. Of course that doesn’t go for choosing your mortgage with me, we will take a detailed look at all the options to figure out which option suits you best.

 

By an apartment in Berlin – Conclusion

Buying an apartment in Berlin can be a complex affair. Having a professional mortgage broker by your side can make the process much easier for you. A mortgage broker’s job is to guide you as the potential buyer through every step in the buying process, and communicate with all involved parties.

Interested in owning your own apartment in Berlin? Learn how much you can afford here, or contact me directly by clicking here.

Happy hunting!

KfW 124

Learn How to Buy a Home with a Large Discount (What is KfW 124?)

What is KfW 124 — (Home Ownership Program)?

Mortgage Tips

KFW 124 is a government subsidy with the purpose of helping people become home-owners. It is also called the “Home Ownership Program” and is administered by the “Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau” (“KfW”).

With the Home Ownership Program, KfW supports the purchase or construction of owner-occupied real estate by granting loans at very favorable interest rates.

Up to 50,000 euros can be financed with KfW 124. This means that KfW is used as a a financing component in a professional financing concept.

It is a supplement to your main loan, which you take out with another bank or lender, and it effectively reduces the cost of the real estate loan. As a broker, I always explore the possibility of state subsidies for you, thus  reducing the total cost. 

By the way, there are several such subsidies with different eligibility criteria, also for renovations and refurbishing, so there is considerable potential for savings. I am happy to explain in detail which options would work best for you. Contact me here!
 

KfW 124

 

Eligibility for KFW 124 

In principle, the KFW124 can be used for any purchase financing if the property is to be used by the owners. The purpose of this program is toto support people to become homeowners.

The following cases are thus not eligible:

  • ● Construction / purchase of holiday homes
  • ● Purchase of commercial premises
  • ● Refinancing of existing loans

If it sounds like you are not elligble, fear not. There are other subsidy programs that might apply to your case. 

Types of loans under the Home Ownership Program 

Under KfW 124 there are two different types of mortgage to choose from:

an annuity loan and a bullet loan.

With the annuity loan, the loan is paid in equal monthly installments over a previously selected period. The annuity loan is more popular because it is constant so there are no fluctuations on your payments.

In the case of the bullet loan, you only pay the interest; the outstanding debt is paid in full at the end. This variant tends to be more expensive than the annuity loan, but might make better sense in some cases: it increases cash flow during the contract period, which might be an important advantage to some.

Which type is suitable for you depends on your individual financing conditions and personal preference. Feel free to contact me to discuss the right option for you. 

This type of decision assistance is part of my comprehensive financing brokerage services.

Are you ready to know more? Read about the 6 simple steps to get a property owner in this article. 

What’s so special about KFW 124 as an annuity loan? 

With this loan, you start with a grace period of one to three years. That means you dont need to pay back the loan right from the start.

During this time, your monthly installment is lower because you only pay the interest back without pay off the debt. As we said before, the German state
s intention is to relieve people financially after taking out a loan. After the initial grace years, the monthly installment increases by the repayment portion, and it is paid off by the end of the contract period. 

Still unsure which one would be right for you? I will gladly help you make that decision and recommend the best option for you.

Answer the following questions and Ill create an individual financing concept. 

Combining KfW with oder subsidy programs 

The loan from the KfW 124 programme usually serves as a supplement for your main financing. You can also obtain several KfW subsidy grants with your main loans. In this way, a larger part of the total mortgage amount can be covered by the low-interest subsidized loans.

 

Of course, not all programs can be freely combined with each other. The good news is that the Home Ownership Programme plays well with several other subsidies: 

KfW 153: Energy Efficient building (in combination with 124 for a new building)

KfW 151: Energy Efficient refurbishment (in combination with 124 for the purchase of existing property)

KfW 159: Age-Appropriate modernization (in combination with 124 for purchase of a existing property)

KfW 167: Energy Efficient renovation – supplementary credit (in combination with 124 for the purchase of existing property)
 

At first sight, if you compare the amount you can subsidize to the total loan amount you might be overwhelmed. However, the savings do add up and it pays to look at the options in detail.

When finding a financing solution for you, I will proactively consider all funding possibilities to fully exploit the potential of subsidies. All KfW loans are automatically part of my financing concept, if they meet the relevant requirements.

Dont be tempted to overlook the advantages of these programs in fear of it adding to the complexity! I can take care of everything and reduce the complexity for you.

I will dig up  the best conditions for your main loan from a selection from more than 400 banking partners. At the same time, I also know which of these lenders place nice with the KfW programs and know all favorable combinations. With me, you get the maximum support in your purchasing process, and can feel safe and satisfied with your purchasing decision knowing you have expert advice on your side.  

Quick FAQ on KfW loans

What is this grace period” you speak of?

During the first one to three years, your monthly installment will be lower, because you only pay the interest, and not any of the outstanding debt. Why?

KfWs intent is to provide financial relief in the initial period. The lower monthly rate can be very helpful in the beginning. Nevertheless, real estate buyers should not lose sight of the fact that the installment then suddenly increases after one to three years, by the amount of the repayment portion.

Make sure that you plan for this in advance so the sudden increase does not come as a surprise. The monthly installment after the increase always remains at the same level until the end of your term. 

What is the difference between fixed interest rates and terms in the special case of KfW 124?

You can apply for the KfW 124 and get 2 different fixed interest rates.

At the beginning of the contract, you decide whether you want to have a five or ten-year fixed interest rate. This is the term.

During this entire period, you have a guaranteed constant interest rate, no changes. Five-year fixed rates are generally lower than ten-year fixed interest rates, however, it may well be that interest rates are raised after the five years according to changes in the market.
 

Example: Image you opt for a fixed interest rate of five years and for a term of ten years. After five years the interest rate is open to change, but the contract with the lender (KfW) continues for another five years. The KfW now informs you on which interest rates you can expect the next five years.

This new interest rate is based on the market situation at the time: If interest rates have risen by then, the new interest rate will be higher than the old one. As a consequence, the monthly installment increases. You would be contractually bound to continue the loan with this new interest rate. The only way out would be through an early repayment in full, where you would incur an early repayment penalty. 

Contact me if you have any questions. I can advise which option applies best in your individual situation. For example, if flexibility is a priority for you, you could set the same term and the fixed interest period, which would let you pay the outstanding amount to KfW in full when the fixed interest period expires — either out of pocket or through refinancing with another lender—, and avoid any penalty fees.

What are the types of loans under KfW124?

KFW as an Annuity Mortgage Loan

An annuity loan is characterized by monthly installments that are always the same and do not change during the entire period of fixed interest rates. You determine this fixed interest rate yourself when you select your financing: with KfW 124 you can choose between 5 or 10 years of fixed rates. During this period, you have guaranteed a debit interest rate that is always the same.

With KfW, you will get a grace period of one to three years, where you dont repay. In the beginning, you will define the fixed interest rate and the term (length) of the loan agreement.

KfW 124 as a bullet loan

If you choose a bullet loan from KfW 124, you will repay, throughout the total duration of the loan, only a monthly instalment covert the interest.

The repayment occurs at the end of the term, where you pay off the entire debt in one go. This is only interesting for those who are looking to increase their cash flow to invest financially elsewhere while the loan is still active. In most cases, paying off the entire sum at the end of the contract would not be a better choice than the annuity mortgage option.

 

You have no idea what type of mortgage you should choose? How much money you will save by using KfW? No worries, it is my job to explain this to you. Most of my clients know exactly what they want after they have understood the differences. Its almost always an easy choice.

Also I will tell you how much you can save to the last penny by using KfW. 

Get in touch here!

mortgage deutsch

What does Mortgage in “Deutsch” mean?

What does Mortgage in „Deutsch“ mean?

Mortgage Tips

Let me do some denglish for you. Why? Because it brings fun to all those facts and figures on this website.

Mortgage in „Deutsch“ goes by many names

Immobiliendarlehen, Hypothek, Immobilienkredit are the most common. The word “Hypothek” is commonly understood in daily life but technically not the right translation for Mortgage in Deutsch. So try the first one: Immobiliendarlehen. Tough cookie isn’t it?

By the way, if you liked the translation of mortgage to German try “Mortgagebroker”.

This means in German: Immobiliendarlehensvermittler.

Quite a mouthful! Don’t stress though, you don’t have to be able to pronounce it in order to get a loan. But knowing these terms might be useful.

If you google terms like Immobilienkredit or Immobiliendarlehen you should find in the end what you were looking for and make yourself familiar with the jargon.

Dolce Vita = Deutsche Mortgage?

It sounds like a crazy comparison, but give me a second.

The Italian Dolce Vita means a unique feeling of people in Italy who love good food, enjoy life, nature, and of course a nice glass of wine.

Hence, Deutsche Mortgage is also something special and unique in Europe. But Unlike Italy, in Germany it has something to do with rules and law.

The Mortgage landscape in Deutschland is pretty unique compared to the rest of Europe, because, surprise, there are pretty strict regulations around it.

This is to avoid the risk of financial crisis in the entire banking sector when it comes to investing, taking out credit, or managing funds.

This is why the Deutsche mortgage process is much more detailed than in other countries. Banks controlled by the national authority BAFIN must make sure that the lender really can afford to take out a loan or credit on a piece of property.

Whereas in other countries Real Estate can sometimes be bought with just the hypothek on the house, that doesn’t go well in Germany.

If there was a financial crisis where people lose jobs and cant afford to pay their rates, while also the real estate market crashes. Nobody could pay back their loans, banks would crash and real estate prices would go 3 meters underground. And even if you managed to pay your mortgage, your property would be worth a lot less than what you paid for. This, we do not want.

This is why I Love Deutsche Mortgage. The whole market is highly regulated and pretty safe. If you apply for a Deutsche mortgage and get granted, you can be sure that you are safe to take it. Because Germans don’t make exceptions from their rules.

Even in Europe we are one of the countries with the strictest policies for investment. You could argue it is very conservative and it blocks economic growth and cashflow in certain corners of the market, but the positive aspect is that everything grows in a stable fashion.

Deutsche Mortgage Provider

Typical Providers of Mortgage in Deutschland are of course banks like Deutsche Bank, Berliner Sparkasse, Volksbank, Commerzbank and many more.

If you are looking for a mortgage you are always free to go those banks and ask for a loan.

Problem is: you will need to go to every bank to know which gives you the the best rates for your Deutsche Mortgage.

This is where Immobiliendarlehensvermittler come into play. Immo-what? Right, a Mortgage Broker, like me.

I can compare the rates of more than 400 Banks for deutsche Mortgage and offer you the perfect match for your individual needs and select the best rate for you.

I can offer the best rate because I am just by myself without the fancy glass building, and work with a strong partner in the background, who is the market leader for offering loans. The tool I use for comparing has been two decades in the business and is reponsible each year for loans for real estate worth 10 billions in total. So there is enough experience and having a great network with the banks, while staying independent from them.

In fact, most banks have special teams only to work with my tooling partner –making the whole process a lot faster. Because of this market power is why I can offer extremely fast and yet great Deutsche Mortgage at the same time.

EU blue card in Germany

Is it possible to get a mortgage with an EU Blue Card?

Is it possible to get a mortgage with an EU Blue Card?

Mortgage Tips

A lot of non-German residents come to the country with an EU blue card, but it is sometimes unclear whether you can get a mortgage with one. Read below to find out what you should know about getting a mortgage in Germany with a blue card.

What is an EU Blue Card?

First, it’s important to know exactly what the Blue Card is. The Blue Card is an approved EU-wide work permit allowing high-skilled non-EU citizens to work and live in any country within the European Union. In order to qualify for one of them you will need to have a degree, a employment contract with a German company and a minimum salary of €50,800 a year. However for those with skills in fields with labor shortages the minimum salary is €39,624 a year.

Once you are approved for a Blue Card, it will be valid for up to four years. It will depend on the length of your work contract, so for those contracts that are shorter than four years it will be valid for less. 

After three years, those with blue cards are able to apply for an unlimited residence permit, which is called an Aufenthaltstitel. For those who have at least a B1 in German you are able to apply for an unlimited residence permit after just two years.

How to get a mortgage with the EU blue card in Germany

There is a lot of confusion as to whether those with an EU Blue Card can get a mortgage in Germany, but the simple answer is, yes they can. There are a few banks that will allow Blue Card holders to get a mortgage, however they do have certain requirements to qualify for a mortgage.

In order to qualify Blue Card holders will need:
1. Some proof of permanent income

  • 2. Enough money for closing costs and for a down payment.
  • 3. A maximum on borrowing: the highest amount that you can borrow is 100 times your monthly net income. If you receive income in currencies other than Euro it does not enter into the calculation.

If all of the above requirements are met then it will be easy to get a mortgage with an EU Blue Card. You will even find that you will be able to get great mortgage rates, as good as those who are German residents or nationals.

 To find out exactly what you can afford to buy in Germany, use this mortgage calculator. 

 If you would like to ask any questions about the process, please do email me at hello@-mortgage.de or by get in touch by phone +49176 222 34 333.