How to buy an apartment in Berlin?
There are many reasons why you might choose to buy an apartment in Berlin. You might be looking for a second house, a temporary place, a flat for a relative studying in Germany or you may simply want to add a profitable property with tax advantages to your investment portfolio.
The advantages of buying an property in Berlin
- International and dynamic city ranked 3rd best city to live in the world.
- Great lifestyle neighborhoods like Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte, Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg.
- Attractive housing and property prices (average of 3706 euros per square meter) which makes it 4 to 5 times less expensive than London.
- 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 (+ 22 percent over last 2 years).
Despite the construction of new houses and buildings, the housing shortage in the city is aggravating last years especially for small flats (studio and 1 bedroom flats) which causes a sharp increase in rents and prices.
For people who are renting, and thanks to historically low interest rates, it is a great opportunity and a good time to buy a flat in Berlin by just substituting the payment of the rent for a monthly installment of a low-interest mortgage.
For investors, the increase in 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 buy a flat in Berlin as an investment 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 and rentals, the level of demand and current rent occupancy rate, and also the type of apartments and buildings to target for your search.
How to buy an apartment in Berlin in 4 steps?
If you’re considering buying a property in Berlin, we can offer you full-support to help you making the right decision about the type of apartment and building, the budget, the area and the house mortgage financing.
With average price of 3706 euros per square meter, real estate prices in Berlin city are the lowest amonst large cities in Germany and in Europe (prices are 2 times lower than in Munich, 3 times lower than in Paris and 4-5 times lower than in London). Also the housing market in the German capital is booming with double-digit percentage yearly growth in property prices supported by a strong and long-term high rental demand.
Our English-speaking real estate agency offers you a full service that allows you to manage with reliance the process of buying your home in the German capital.
Depending on whether the property is vacant or rented, the process of buying a flat in Germany takes typically from 1 to 3 months during which we will provide full-support for all aspects related to the transaction. The German language should not be a hurdle to buy your house in the city of Berlin, as we have the experience to serve buyers from over 20 countries.
For people looking for self-use apartments with good prices, our agents will help you choosing the right flat and guide you throughout the german property buying process.
For property investors, whether you’re an experienced or aspiring landlord, our team will help you selecting amongst our 300 apartments and offer you a comprehensive advisory on prices, rental levels, housing market and offer you the support you need to make a good value for money investment!
Choice of your preferred areas in Berlin
The choice of the district and the area to live or invest, is an essential step since the german capital is a quite 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 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, flat sale prices, building types... This depends deeply on people lifestyle and personal criteria like activities, entertainement opportunities, micro-location, transportations, distance to workplace.... Adding this to financial criteria, people could determine their choice between areas, building options and apartments. In order to help you choosing your future place or investment in the city, we 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. Once you have chosen your neighborhood, we offer you our assistance during all the stages of the search and process of buying your apartment in Berlin.
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 old period building...) we will select for you the best deals and apartments on the property market and we will organize for you visits. 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 high-quality fittings. Our property for sale listings include all type of flats: studios, 1-bedroom, 2-3 bedrooms to 4-5 rooms family apartments as well as an exclusive selection of luxury properties with large terraces and living room space. If If you are not based in Berlin, it’s possible to group the visits of the properties within 2-3 days. Whether you are looking for a new-build property for sale, a flat to renovate or a fully renovated apartment ready to move in, you have come to the right address!
Organization of the purchase of your apartment in Berlin
Once your property in Berlin is reserved, we actively support you in the process of signing with the notary office. We take care of preparing the purchase contract and coordinating with the notary and clearing administrative procedures until the signature of the purchase contract in Germany. If you are interested in financing your apartment with a german mortgage, it's a good idea and time giving the low german 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 administrative documentation and with our experience in supporting international buyers, we'll make it as easy for you to buy a flat in Berlin as it was just in your home country!
Finalization of your buying process in Berlin
Once the contract of purchase of your new apartment signed, we will follow with you throughout the transaction including the payment of land register fees and taxes (about 7.5% of the purchase price), the execution of obligations of the seller in the contract and the final ownership transfer. If it’s a tenanted property, we will provide you with assistance on all aspects of rental management for your Berlin property.
The legal process of buying an apartment in Berlin
The legal process to buy an apartment in Germany usually takes from 1 to 3 months.
For tenanted properties in Berlin, a legal option of purchase at same price 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 necessity of pre-sale purchase contract and that only a single appointment at the notary office is required.
Also, it is possible to conclude the purchase of a property in the German capital with only one travel to the city.
The milestones for buying a property in Berlin
- Reservation of the property: the reservation of a property in Berlin generally implies a security deposit of 1% from the flat prices. This downpayment will then be deducted from the brokerage fees after the signature of the sale contract.
- Contract order from a notary office: after the reservation, the buyer orders a purchase contract from a notary office of his choice or from the notary of the project in which your property is located. Our estate agents would refer English-speaking notary offices which would facilitate the communication for the property buyer.
- Sale contract signature at the notary office: following the sale contract order, our estate agents will coordinate the transfer of administrative and legal documentation of the flat to the notary office as well as the purchase modalities chosen by the buyer (with a sworn translator, with a translated contract, with a power of attorney or with a legal firm representative - according to the preferences of the buyer).
- Finalization of the sale: following the signature of the sale contract, the notary takes care of the entry of the name of the new owner in the land registry, the deletion of any mortgage or pledge realted to the seller, the final transfer of ownership and the supervision of sale price payment for which a German account is not mandatory.
During this process, our real estate agency in Berlin will assist you throughout the purchase management process on understanding the administrative documentation and the steps to follow to finalize your property purchase in Berlin under the best conditions.
The legal fees for an apartment purchase in Berlin
For the buyers, the purchase legal costs amount to approximately 7.5% of the property purchase price. It consists of land registry fee, land register entry fees (6% plus 0.5% of the purchase price of the apartment) and the payment of notary service (about 1% of the apartment sale price). Please, note that the buyer pay these costs are spread over several instalmentsr. Once everything is checked-out, the notary office will notify the buyer to pay the sale price to the seller in order to become the new owner of the flat.
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 process. First Citiz Berlin will assist you until the handover of the keys and the fittings' inventory of your new flat in Berlin!
For an investment property, we also organize for you the new rental contract and the transfer to the new property manager (in case the property is already rented).