How to buy an apartment in Berlin?
Why to buy a property in Berlin?
Buying an apartment in Berlin is definitely a good value for money.
The real estate market in Berlin is very dynamic and promising so whatever you plan to buy an apartment for your self-use or as an investment property, you would benefit from significant advantages:
- 3rd best city worldwide in terms of quality of living
- Top 3 best cities for property investment in Europe
- Low real estate prices in Berlin central areas
- Low mortgage interest rates in Germany
- Great lifestyle neighbourhoods like Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Schöneberg, Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg
- Attractive property tax advantages in Germany
If you are renting an apartment in the city, it is a great opportunity buy your own apartment and save money by just substituting the payment of the rent with an equivalent monthly mortgage installment. Indeed, mortgage rates in Germany are at their historical lowest levels so if you get qualified for a mortgage loan, it’s definitely a good idea to take profit from this situation and to buy your own place in Berlin!
If you are an investor, the attractive property prices, the attractiveness of the city, the safety of property investment in Berlin, and the tax advantages in Germany, make the city of Berlin the best destination for investment among all German and European cities.
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Buy your apartment in Berlin in 3 steps
If you consider buying an apartment in Berlin, our real estate agency will assist you from A to Z. We will advise about city neighborhoods, property building types and apartment prices for every area as well as rental levels for investment properties. Our team will also actively help you on finding the right property with our listing selection of over 300 apartments for sale and our Berlin property finder service.
If you are not fluent in German, this should not be a hurdle for you to buy your own apartment in Berlin. We are an international English-speaking agency and advised so far expatriates and international customers from over 50 countries. In this view, we were granted the “Best International Real Estate Agency in Berlin Award” in 2019.
For buying your apartment in Berlin, you can rely on our team commitment, quality of service and property market knowledge.
With First Citiz Berlin assistance, buying your dream apartment in Berlin would be a straightforward process.
For buying a flat in Berlin, our team will guide throughout the key steps of the purchase process:
- Choice your preferred area(s)
- Property selection and viewings
- Property purchase organisation
1. Choice your preferred city area(s)
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). If you intend to buy an apartment in a central district of Berlin, you have the choice between eastern “cool” areas like Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Mitte and Friedrichshain, southern alternative areas like Neukölln, Kreuzberg and western posh areas like Charlottenburg, Schöneberg and Wilmersdorf. Northern Berlin areas like Moabit, Tiergarten and Wedding might be more affordable. If you buy a flat for self-use, the area choice is quite important as the neighborhoods are particularly different and has their own contrasted lifestyles. Other personal preferences like public transportation, distance from your workplace, green area vicinity, entertainment opportunities will also drive your final choice. Then comes the main purchase criteria: budget, floor, living size, number of bedrooms, balcony and building type.
2. Property selection and viewings
For an effective property selection, it’s important to set the search criteria from the very beginning: vacant or rented out flat, budget,, neighborhood(s), bedrooms, living room size, number of bathrooms, floor, balcony or terrace, new build construction project or period building…
Our advice: for self-use apartments, try to enlarge your search scope, as less than 2% of flats in Berlin are vacant ones!
With your search criteria, our team will select the most suitable offers and organize for you the viewings. All our viewings are individual and for every flat, you’ll benefit from a customized advisory, document explanation and follow-up. We offer 300 properties for sale in Berlin central neighborhoods like Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Charlottenburg, Neukölln and Kreuzberg. Our property listings include all type of apartments from one bedroom to 4-5 rooms family apartments. We have also an exclusive selection of high-end penthouses and finest Berlin luxury real estate in the city’s most sought-after areas . If you are not living in Germany, it’s possible to arrange the viewings within a short period of stay. Whether you are looking for a new-build property, a flat to renovate with own taste, or a turnkey furnished apartment, you have come to the right address!
3. Property purchase organisation
Our team will actively assist you throughout the purchase process in Germany and will coordinate the paperwork with the notary office including the clearance of the administrative steps until the ownership transfer and the key handover. If you are interested in financing your apartment with a mortgage in Germany, this would be definitely a good idea giving the current low German mortgage market rates. We will provide you with all information you need (interest rates, percent of property price, mortgage processing time…) and we assist you with the mortgage application in Germany from A to Z. If you acquire a buy to let property, we will also provide you with assistance on all aspects of rental management for your new property in Germany.
The process fo buying a property in Germany
Buying an apartment in Germany usually takes three months, from the day you decide to buy the flat until you can move in or rent it out. In order to buy a flat in Berlin, one should consider going through the following steps:
- Reservation of the property: the reservation of an apartment in Berlin generally implies a security deposit of around 1% from the flat price. Upon the acquisition of the property, this down-payment will be reimbursed or simply deducted from brokerage fee or property price.
- Purchase process organization: After the property reservation, some administrative and legal steps need to be cleared to prepare for the notary appointment in a couple of weeks. If you need a mortgage for buying your apartment, this period would be around one month.
- Notary appointment: once your mortgage is confirmed and the notary appointment prepared, you are finally ready to sign your purchase and sale agreement at the notary office! The notary appointment take generally 2 hours and is attended by the notary, the agent, the seller, the buyer or their representative(s).
- The Big Day: 4 to 8 weeks following the notary appointment, you will receive the payment order for the apartment price. Once the order processed, you become the new owner of the apartment on the next day!
You don’t speak German? this should not represent a barrier for buying your own apartment in Berlin! Our English-speaking team offer a 360° service package and will guide you throughout the purchase process from A to Z!
What costs to consider when buying an apartment in Berlin?
When you buy an apartment, you should always consider the so-called side costs, or closing costs, related to purchase taxes and associated services.
Buying a property in Berlin implies tax registration and notary office service fees for ca. 7.5% of the apartment purchase price. This consists of land and property registry fees in addition to the payment of the notary office services.
Depending on the listing, a brokerage fee of generally 4% to 6% plus VAT would be applicable. You can hire a legal adviser for assistance during the purchase process which costs 1% to 1,5% of the apartment price.
However, if you buy with our English-speaking real estate agent in Berlin, this extra expense won’t be necessary.
This makes the average sides costs for buying a flat in Berlin at around 14% of the apartment purchase price.
If you do not have enough own cash funds for side costs, this should not be hurdle from buying your own place in Berlin.
In fact, some banks offer side cost financing or mortgages that could go up to 110% of the apartment sale price.
Ask your First Citiz Berlin real estate advisor for more details!
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