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Germany – Buying Property

Ownership and Sale of Property by Foreign Nationals in Germany

Foreign nationals are legally allowed to own and purchase property in Germany without any specific legal restrictions. However, it is advisable to hire a local lawyer to assist with the process of buying property in Germany.

Average Property Prices

The average property prices in Germany vary depending on the location and condition of the property. Prices in major cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich tend to be higher than in smaller towns and rural areas. Prices can range from as low as $50,000 for a small apartment in a rural area to over $1,000,000 for a luxury apartment in Berlin or Munich.

Popular Locations

The most popular locations to buy property in Germany include the capital city, Berlin, which offers a mix of modern amenities and historical sites. Other popular cities include Hamburg, Munich, and Frankfurt. The coastal towns of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea are also popular choices among foreign buyers, as they offer beautiful beaches and a relaxed lifestyle. The province of Bavaria is also a popular option among foreign buyers, with its charming historical architecture and friendly local communities.

Upcoming Areas

In recent years, the cities of Leipzig, Dresden, and Heidelberg have become increasingly popular among foreign buyers, thanks to their growing expat communities and proximity to major airports. The city of Essen is also an upcoming option, with a beautiful old town and a growing tourism industry.

Property Market Trends

The property market in Germany has seen steady growth in recent years, with an increasing number of foreign buyers looking to purchase property in the country. Many of these buyers are attracted by the high standard of living, friendly local communities, and the potential for rental income.

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Buying property in Germany can be a good investment, particularly in areas that are experiencing strong growth in tourism. However, it is important to do your research and to work with a local lawyer or real estate agent to ensure that you are making a sound investment.

Common Property Types

The most common property types in Germany include apartments, townhouses, detached houses, and villas. There are also a large number of plots of land available for purchase, particularly in rural areas

Typical House Buying Procedure in Germany

  1. Surveys and Inspections: Before making an offer on a property, it is important to have the property inspected by a surveyor or architect. This will ensure that there are no major structural issues or defects with the property.

  2. Making an Offer: Once you have found a property you are interested in, you will need to make an offer to the seller. It is common to make an initial offer that is lower than the asking price, with the expectation that the seller will counter-offer.

  3. Notary: The services of a notary are required in Germany for the buying and selling of real estate. The notary will ensure that all legal requirements are met and will assist with the drafting of the purchase contract.

  4. Exchange of Contracts: Once the purchase contract has been signed and the notary has completed their checks, the contracts will be exchanged. This is the point at which the sale becomes legally binding.

  5. Completion: The final step in the process is the completion of the sale, at which point the buyer will pay the remaining balance and take possession of the property.

Find a Reputable Lawyer

  1. Legal representation is required when buying a property in Germany, it is important to find a reputable lawyer who has experience in real estate transactions.

  2. There are many professional organizations in Germany that represent lawyers, such as the German Federal Bar Association (Deutscher Anwaltverein) and the German Lawyers’ Association (Deutsche Anwaltsvereinigung).

  3. Lawyers typically charge an hourly rate, which can vary depending on their level of experience and location. It is important to get a clear quote from a lawyer before engaging their services.

Pitfalls and Problems

  1. Language barriers: Some expats may experience difficulty in understanding the legal jargon and processes involved in buying a property in Germany, as the language used in legal documents is often complex and technical.

  2. Cultural differences: The way in which property transactions are conducted in Germany may be different to what expats are used to in their home country, which can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

  3. Tax implications: Expats should be aware of the tax implications of buying property in Germany, as there are different tax rules for residents and non-residents.

Purchasing Property Through a Companyin Germany

  1. It is possible to purchase property in Germany through a company. This is often done for tax and liability reasons.

  2. For example, a company can be used to purchase commercial property, such as a business or an investment property.

  3. However, it is important to consult with a lawyer and tax advisor before making such a purchase, as there may be additional legal and tax requirements that need to be met.

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