Real-estate: buying or renting in Germany

Leasing and Apartment in Germany

With the constant growth experienced by Germany, it manages to keep up by providing its new professional residents with online access to rental properties. 

 

Real estate portal sites allow for an easy guide based on individual or family needs in terms of location, size, price, and amenities.  Although there’s usually a fee incurred when using an agent, it proves to be the most helpful and reliable way to secure the perfect home when moving abroad. 

 

It's definitely not easy to find online services in English but below are the most popular addresses for finding apartments and real estate in German.

 

http://www.kalaydo.de/iad/immobilien/

 

http://www.immobilienscout24.de

 

http://www.immowelt.de

 

http://home.meinestadt.de/deutschland/wo...

 

As someone mentioned before, it is usually in the free city papers where you find the most ads and these are usually not published on the web, so as soon as you arrive in the area you want to live in, look for that paper (sometimes called "Anzeiger", Wochenendkurier,) and I'm sure you'll find something.

 

mmobilienscout.de has a section with so-called "short term rentals".

 

These are furnished flats that usually rent out for less than one year. If this is what you want, here is the direct link (only in German).

 

Securing a rental in Germany is slightly different than most countries in that it not only requires first month’s rent, but a deposit upwards of three times that as well!  Furthermore, negotiations and contracts can be tricky to understand in other countries. 

 

Renting an apartment or flat in Germany can be easy, but as with any financial transaction, be sure to go in with your eyes open.    Although illegal in Germany, many landlords combine deposits with their personal funds, leaving an opportunity for renters to lose money when the lease is up.  You should always pay special attention to all leases signed and checks handed over.

 

 

 

 

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Leasing an Apartment in Germany

With the constant growth experienced by Germany, it manages to keep up by providing its new professional residents with online access to rental properties. 

 

Real estate portal sites allow for an easy guide based on individual or family needs in terms of location, size, price, and amenities.  Although there’s usually a fee incurred when using an agent, it proves to be the most helpful and reliable way to secure the perfect home when moving abroad. 

 

It's definitely not easy to find online services in English but below are the most popular addresses for finding apartments and real estate in German.

 

http://www.kalaydo.de/iad/immobilien/

 

http://www.immobilienscout24.de

 

http://www.immowelt.de

 

http://home.meinestadt.de/deutschland/wo...

 

As someone mentioned before, it is usually in the free city papers where you find the most ads and these are usually not published on the web, so as soon as you arrive in the area you want to live in, look for that paper (sometimes called "Anzeiger", Wochenendkurier,) and I'm sure you'll find something.

 

mmobilienscout.de has a section with so-called "short term rentals".

 

These are furnished flats that usually rent out for less than one year. If this is what you want, here is the direct link (only in German).

 

Securing a rental in Germany is slightly different than most countries in that it not only requires first month’s rent, but a deposit upwards of three times that as well!  Furthermore, negotiations and contracts can be tricky to understand in other countries. 

 

Renting an apartment or flat in Germany can be easy, but as with any financial transaction, be sure to go in with your eyes open.    Although illegal in Germany, many landlords combine deposits with their personal funds, leaving an opportunity for renters to lose money when the lease is up.  You should always pay special attention to all leases signed and checks handed over.

 

 

 

 [...]

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Housing In Germany

Housing In Germany

 

Having found a job or been assigned a job in German, you're perhaps overjoyed at the new adventure you'll be taking on. Once the excitement of the realization that you'll be moving to Germany has settled in, there are a number of things you'll have to start looking into. Housing, transportation, furnishing are just a few of the things that will be on your long, long list. Housing in Germany is a bit different than housing in the United States. Of course there's the language, and figuring out who to contact, what and where to research is just the beginning.

 

There are a number of portals online that provide information on real estate in Germany. You'll be able to view what apartments or houses are on the market and get an idea of what the pricing is like. However, when it comes to German real estate and the way rooms are counted, as well as what is included in the two different forms of rent, you'll want to have full understanding so you know exactly what you're dealing with.

 

For starters, what you'll generally see when looking either in the newspaper or on the internet for German apartments is, kaltmiete and warmmiete i.e cold rent and warm rent respectively.

 

What is kaltmiete?

Kaltmiete is the part of the rent that only covers the cost of the apartment. This can be broken down, and you'll be able to calculate what amount you will be spending per square meter. When seeing an attractive figure adjoined to kaltmiete, many get excited as they then believe the apartment they're getting is a steal. However, there is more to come, and in some cases, a lot more.

 

What is warmmiete?

 

Warmmiete includes the kaltmiete and utilities. The utilities covered by warmmiete may include heating, water, trash collection, property tax, lighting for stairwells, maintenance. Electricity is generally not included in your warmmiete and is something that you'll have to look into yourself.

 

The difference that you get between the warmmiete and the kaltmiete is the nebenkosten.

 

Other costs you can expect to pay are security deposit and realtor fee if you have used a real estate agent. These costs are a percentage of your rent and are typically paid at the beginning of your lease.

 

 

What do you need to do before signing a lease agreement?

Before signing the contract be sure to read and comprehend everything that the contract entails. Take pictures of the state of the apartment, ensure that you have got proof of anything that was broken, bent, out of shape, scratched. This will ensure that you won't have to withstand these costs once you're ready to move out.

 

Other things to know:

 

·         Trash is taken out on several days of the week. Be sure to know how to separate your trash and where to dispose of batteries, glass bottles and jars, paper etc.

·         Know where you are allowed to park.

·         Know where to leave bicycles, strollers etc

·         Know the quiet hours.[...]

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Buying a house or apartment in Germany

Buying a house or apartment in Germany

 

Why would you buy a house or apartment in Germany?

Having been in Germany for quite some time and fallen in love with this beautiful country so much that you never want to leave, you may seriously consider buying a house. After all, if you are planning on spending the rest of your life or at least a large number of years in Germany, then buying a house may be the smart thing to do. Another reason one may purchase a home in Germany is as an investment. The real estate in Germany is booming. Especially in metropolitan areas you will notice quite the increase in housing prices over the past few years. So if you are looking to make an investment in German real estate, this is a great time to jump into the market.

 

Are real estate prices in Germany higher than in United States?

The real estate prices in Germany are certainly higher than in the United States. If you have previously rented an apartment in Germany you will realize that your rent is significantly higher than what you would have payed for somewhere of an equivalent size in the United States. The reason for this is that although Germany is a relatively large country, the living space is small especially in comparison to the United States and thus the competition is high as is the demand for housing. Prices, however, do differ depending on what state you are looking at purchasing real estate in and how close to the city center you would like your new purchase to be.

 

How long does buying a house or apartment take?

 

Buying a house or apartment in Germany is a process, a long and sometimes daunting one. One can expect to spend numerous months before their purchase is settled. First of all there is looking for the property. You won't want to just buy the first thing you see. You'll want to get an idea of what is on the market. You will want to consult your real estate agent to see what prices are good for what area, what is too high etc. Provided you have finally found the one that you want and there's nothing to hold you back from purchasing, you'll have to figure out things like a mortgage, getting the legal aspect of things taken care of and of course signing your contract.

 

Where to look:

There are many places where one can start to look for houses or apartments to purchase in Germany. Initially you may want to check out a couple of websites to get an idea of the prices and what is on the market. Then you'll want to contact a real estate agent and decide if he or she is a right fit for you. Having a real estate agents help in the initial stages will allow things to go a lot smoother.

 

Here are some real estate websites that you may find useful:

·         immobilienscout24

·         immowelt.de

·         http://www.nestoria.de/

·         http://www.meinestadt.de/

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Rental Mistakes to Avoid

Moving to another country is tricky enough, let alone the aggravation of finding an apartment at a fair price.  Rather than allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, remember a few key mistakes, and know how to avoid them:

 

     Before signing a contract—Know the specifics from when rent is due to what your rental should look like when you vacate.  Remember it’s a contract, which should be taken very seriously.

     Inspect your new flat—Making note of every scratch, dent, and tear is important for your records and your landlord’s.  You both need to be aware of even minor things so you can avoid being responsible for them.

     Lessee Responsibilities—This can include garbage removal, lawn maintenance, utilities, and even maintenance of certain common areas.

     Expenses for vacating—What will you be required to pay for?  Often times it’s carpet cleaning, painting, and new small fixtures.  Make sure you’re aware of what is required of you.

     Keep a copy of the contract—In your native language.  Even get help from someone who speaks your new country’s native language to be sure that you know exactly what you’re signing.

     Renting fully furnished apartments—Not only is it difficult to come by, it’s far more expensive than an empty flat.    Short- and long-term furniture and appliance rental is an option to consider, and often makes the most sense in the long run.

 

Do you have other tips for your fellow expats?  Join the conversation!

 

 

 

 

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Finding an apartment in Frankfurt

Finding an apartment in Frankfurt

 

Frankfurt is an exciting city with a vibrant culture and a lifestyle that just about anyone can slip into and get used to. However, the beginning parts of moving are difficult. Regardless of where you're moving, cross state, cross country or to some place tucked away in the corner of the world, there are some challenging aspects of it all. Finding an apartment is one of those things that is easier said than done. Is it right for you? Is it too expensive? Is it too far from work? These are only a few of the questions you will have to ask yourself. Searching for an apartment is a couple notches harder when you're doing it in Germany, or any country where your the language spoken isn't your mother tongue, provided you haven't yet mastered the foreign language.

 

 

Price. How much do things really cost? This all depends on where you want to live, how close to the city center, how big your space needs to be, etc. Frankfurt is by no means a cheap city and so it is encouraged that you shop around a bit before you settle on an apartment. Don't go for the first thing you find, unless of course it is absolutely perfect and you have to be dragged out because you could just sleep there as is. Another aspect of pricing involved kaltmiete and warmmeite. The difference between these two is the inclusion versus exclusion of utility costs. Where as you may see an apartment which boasts a neat cost that you find very affordable but couldn't stand to pay a cent more, be sure that this is the warmiete, as the kaltmiete will add another couple hundred to that cost. 

 

Furnished Apartments

If you're hoping to find a furnished apartment you may want to cross your fingers and wish on a couple stars. This isn't to say that it is impossible to find a furnished apartment in Frankfurt, but the truth is, it really is hard. Furnished apartments aren't extremely popular and so if this is a must for you, consider doing your research way ahead of time before you get to Germany.

 

Real estate agents and their fees. Sure, getting a real estate agent will allow the house hunting process to go faster and have you settled into a new home sooner. The problem here is the expense. Real estate agents in Germany charge quite the hefty fee and if you're on a tight budget and still need to think about things like furnishing then you may want to skip using an agent. However, if you can afford to spend the money, more likely than not, you'll find Real Estate Agents rather helpful.

 

Contract

Read, read, read. German contracts are tiring to read, not just because they're in German but because there are so many rules, so many regulations that make you just want to sign and turn it in. But don't. Be sure to know what you are signing before you sign it.[...]

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