How to buy an apartment in Berlin?
There are many good reasons why you might choose to buy an apartment in Berlin:
- If you are renting a flat in the city, you might choose to pay low market rate mortgage instead of paying a rent.
- You might be also looking for a holiday apartment in a great international city, a temporary place or a flat for a relative studying in Germany.
- You may simply want to make a profitable investment property with outstanding capital gain tax advantages (i.e for your retirement scheme).
The advantages of buying a property in Berlin
- International and dynamic city ranked 3rd best city to live in the world.
- Great lifestyle neighborhoods like Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte, Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Charlottenburg.
- Attractive housing market prices.
- High potential residential housing market and unique tax advantages for buyers.
- Low interest rates on mortgages in Germany.
- Best city to invest in Europe since years with strong capital gain potential (+12% in 2017).
German market mortgage german rates are at their historical lowest levels so it's definetely a good time to buy a property with a mortgage. If you are renting an apartment in the city, it is a great opportunity buy your own apartment by just substituting the payment of the rent with an equivalent monthly mortgage installment.
For investors, the increase in market prices, the tax advantages on capital gains and on rent income taxes, make the city of Berlin the least expensive and the best destination for investment amongst german and european cities. If you want to invest in the city, please visit our page dedicated to property investment in Berlin. You will find all needed information about the local real estate market, the types of apartments , the rental demand by area, the current housing market prices and rental levels.
Buying an apartment in Berlin in 4 simple steps
If you’re considering to buy a property in Berlin, our real estate agents will provide you with all the necessary information about the city areas, the market prices, the rental levels and the housing market development. We would help you making the right choices about the type of apartment and building, the price range, and the mortgage financing. Once your main criteria are defined, our team will also actively help you on finding the right property thanks to our listings of over 300 apartments for sale and our customized property search service.
If you don't speak german, this should not at all be a hurdle for you to buy your own apartment in Berlin. Our English-speaking real estate agency offers you a full service that allows you to manage with reliance the process of buying your new home in the german capital. With clients from 40 countries, our real estate agency has a strong reputation and a unique experience in making the process easy for international buyers and expatriates.
With First Citiz, your property purchase in Berlin will be as simple as if you would buy an apartment in your hometown!
Choice of your preferred area(s) and building type
The choice of the district and the area is an essential first step for your purchase since the german capital is quite a large city (about 8 times bigger than Paris). Berlin has many facets linked to the history of the Wall and the deep changes since the fall of the Wall, especially in eastern districts like Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Mitte, Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. If you buy an apartment to live in, the area choice is very important as the neighborhoods are very different and has their own contrasted lifestyles and building architechture types (i.e Altbau, sixties buildings, new-build...). This depends deeply on people lifestyle and personal criteria like activities, entertainement opportunities, micro-location, public transportations, parcs, distance from workplace.... Combining this personal side with the financial criteria (budget and apartments'prices in the area), you could then determine your choice of the area(s) and the building type. In order to help you choosing the right place either to live or to invest in the city, our team will provide you with comprehensive information about the city areas, the lifestyle of each neighborhood, as well as the prospects of the housing market for next years.
Apartment search and selection
According to your criteria (neighbourhoods and location, floor, number of bedrooms, bathroom type, budget, vacant flat or rented, new build or period building...), we will select for you the best deals and apartments on the property market and we will organize for you the viewings. We manage large listings of over 300 properties for sale in best locations and central neighborhoods like Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Charlottenburg, Neukölln and Kreuzberg. Our listings include both old period-buildings and new-build apartments with modern high-quality fittings. Our property for sale listings include all type of apartments: studios, 1-bedroom, 2-3 bedrooms to 4-5 rooms family apartments as well as an exclusive selection of high-end luxury properties. If you don't live in the city, it’s possible to arrange for you the viewings within a short period of time. Whether you are looking for a new-build property, a flat to renovate or a turnkey furnished apartment, you have come to the right address!
Property purchase process organisation
After the reservation, we actively support you in the process of preparing the purchase contract and coordinating with the notary office and clearing administrative procedures until the signature of the purchase contract in Germany. If you are interested in financing your apartment acquisition with a german mortgage, it's a good idea giving the low german mortgage market rates. We will provide you with all information you need (interest rates, percent financing of apartment price, processing time...) and we could fully manage for you the mortgage application. We also assist you on the understanding of all the german administrative documentation.
Purchase process completion
Once the contract of purchase of your new apartment signed, we will follow with you throughout the transaction, the execution of obligations of the seller in the contract until the final ownership transfer. If it’s a tenanted property, we will also provide you with assistance on all aspects of rental management for your new property.
What's the process to buy a property in Berlin?
Buying a property in the german capital takes usually two to three months. For tenanted properties, a preemption right is granted to the tenant of up to two months which could result in a longer purchase period. Please, note that in Germany there is no requirement of a pre-sale agreement to acquire a property and that only a single appointment at the notary office is required to sign the purchase and sale agreement. With our real estate agency expertise in managing property acquisitions for international buyers and expatriates, it would be possible for you to finalize a property purchase in the German capital with only one travel to the city.
Property purchase milestones
- Reservation of the property: the reservation of an apartment in Berlin generally implies a security deposit of 1% from the flat price. This downpayment will be later deducted from the brokerage fees or the property price after the signature of the sale contract.
- Purchase and sale agreement order: after the reservation of the apartment, the buyer would order a purchase and sale agreement from a notary office of his choice or from the notary of the project in which the apartment is located. If you don't speak german, you might need an english-speaking notary office which would make the overall process easier.
- Agreement signature at the notary office: once the purchase and sale agreement is ready, the notary office will suggest to the buyer and the seller a suitable date in order to sign the agreement. You could attend the appointement by yourself or mandate a third party with a power of attorney (i.e. a local legal firm).
- Ownership transfer: following the signature of the purchase and sale agreement, the notary office would take care of clearing all the ownership transfer process (i.e land registry, new mortgage entry...) and would finally ask you to pay the apartment sale price to the former owner.
Our international real estate agency will assist you throughout the purchase process and the steps to follow in order to finalize your apartment purchase in the best conditions.
Applicable fees for a property purchase in Berlin
The legal purchase fees for buying a property in Berlin amounts to ca. 7.5% of the property purchase price. It consists of land registry fee, land register entry fees that amounts to ca. 6.5% of the purchase price and the payment of the notary office services (about 1% of the apartment sale price). After clearing all the process, the notary office will notify the buyer to pay the sale price directly to the seller in order to become the new property owner. Depending on the property and the listing, a brokerage commission of 3,57% to 7,14% of the property price may be applicable. If you choose to mandate a german legal firm to represent you during the acquisition process, this would cost ca. 1% of the property price.
In addition to our support during the property purchase process, our real estate agents will be at your disposal for every explanation during all the purchase steps. First Citiz Berlin team will assist you also for the handover of the keys and the inventory of your new flat in Berlin (if the flat is sold furnished or including fittings). For an investment property, we also organize for you the search of the new tenant or the transfer of the existing rent contract (if the property is already rented). For more information about the process and steps related to the purchase of a property in Berlin, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team!