How to Successfully Buy a House in Germany

How to buy a house in Germany

The good thing about buying a home in Germany is that anyone else can gain access to it. There are very minor restrictions on the housing market and the process is pretty straightforward. Even though many people prefer to rent instead of own, that should not stop you from getting a home. Here is how you go about buying a home in Germany.

Budget

Before you get started on the buying process, it is vital that you consider what your budget is. The amount of money you have will determine where you can buy the home and how big it will be. You need to have a good credit score as well if you plan to buy a home in Germany.  Knowing what you have will guide you in every choice you make.

Search for a home

There are various credible websites where you can search for your dream home.  Over 90% of homes in Germany have been listed on the web. When carrying out your search, decide if you want a new home or an old house. They all price differently and have different amenities based on when they were constructed.

If you do not want to do online searches, then you can choose to go with a realtor. They are slightly costly, but they will help you get the home you want in the shortest time possible. 

When you get the house you want, check out the documents and ensure you have everything with you. Some of the documents you need are the minutes of previous home owner association meetings, the land register, and the economic plan.

Here are a couple of things you need to look at when searching for a home:

  • Your neighbors
  • Location
  • Infrastructure
  • Any shortcomings

Finalize with the realtor

Once you settle on a home, ensure you finish up with the realtor.   This involves a lot of back and forth on negotiating the price and other points. Ensure that you keep in mind any renovations that you might need to take care of once you move in, as this can also reduce your price.  You might come up with a pre-agreement but this is not considered formal. The only agreements considered formal are the notarized ones.

Finalize payment

Now that you have a home and an agreement with your realtor, all that is left for you to make the purchase is your payment.  If you need a loan, then approach two or three banks and get to hear what their offers are.  To get a good deal, always have all the required documents ready with you. Here are some of the documents you will need to produce for a loan:

  • ID
  • At least three months’ pay slip
  • Tax declaration
  • Land register
  • Land map
  • Proof of own capital
  • Layout and general overview of the property.

Notary

As you wait for your bank to send you an offer, choose a notary and have them draft a contract and liaise with the seller to have it signed.  Since you are the buyer, you get to choose the notary and will pay them as well. In case there are any amendments, ensure you do those before the final signing off by both parties.  At the meeting with the notary, you will read through the contract so all parties have knowledge of what was written. Once the notary signs, you need to pay off the purchase price.

Payment

When the authorities approve of the sale, the notary will notify you and you can go ahead and pay the seller.  The time between the first visit and the final handover of the home can take anywhere between four weeks to a couple of months. The entire process depends on how fast the buyer and seller come to an agreement. 

Buying a house in Germany is easy for both expats and locals. The one thing you need to remember as a foreigner is that buying a house in Germany does not grant you permanent residence in the country; you will need to work that out on your own.

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