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Before you can consider buying a house in Germany, you need to find the right property that matches your ideas and financial possibilities. If you consider buying a house in this city, you have to define a budget, decide which kind of home you want, and set many other parameters. To help you find and purchase your future home, we asked Max Karänke, Founder and Expert, at Max Karänke Immobilien, to write a follow-up guide to help you purchase your first real estate property in Düsseldorf.
You might also enjoy Max’s post on the 7 tips to successfully invest in German real estate.
Here are the 10 steps to buying a house in Germany
Step 1: Read the “Step-by-Step Guide to Finding your first home in Düsseldorf“
Once you’ve found your dream home and buying a house is now on your radar, follow this guide.
Step 2: Make sure you get a loan
Before you can sign a contract at the notary’s office, you have to get several verifications. It’s important that your repayment plan is designed to ensure your loan repayment can be completed before you retire. This most important confirmation you’ll receive from your bank consultant. It certifies your ability to cover all costs related to the purchase of this real estate property.
Depending on what you would like to buy, you have access to funding opportunities. Your bank consultant can help you with this, but just because you’re banking with one particular bank doesn’t mean you’ll get a better rate. It’s important to compare bank loans before selecting the best fit for you.
Here are some more tips for getting home financing (aka. a mortgage) when buying a house in Germany.
Step 3: Analyse the land register and the index of public easements
Before signing the contract when buying a house in Germany, make sure there are no entries registered on the property that may cause problems or further expenses. You can verify that no rights or responsibilities exist, by visiting the local district court (Amtsgericht) of Düsseldorf. It’s located near the “Bürgerpark”, not far from the main station. It manages all land registers in the area of Düsseldorf. Also, you should visit the building authorities (Bauaufsichtsamt) of Düsseldorf (near the “Volksgarten”) to convince yourself that no public easements exist.
Step 4: Agree to a price
If there are impairments in these documents, you should clarify whether they can either be removed or lead to a discount. Then agree to accept the expected price or make a well-founded offer.
Even if you don’t try to lower the price, it is possible, someone else makes a higher offer. The so-called “Immobilienmarkt“ in German cities is in a very stressful market because the demand for buying a house is higher than the supply.
Step 5: Find a notary who is familiar with conveyance of real estate property
Leading up to the arranged appointment with the seller and eventually the estate agent, you will have to provide several documents. Ask your notary what he/she needs, though many documents are provided by the seller (land register excerpts, site plan, blueprints, possibly the declaration of division, list of furnishings, energy pass, etc.).
At the notary’s appointment, the draft of the contract will be read out and explained so you have the possibility to clarify open questions. If both parties agree to the terms, the certification will be carried out by the notary.
Step 6: Wait
Now you have to wait, while the notary does the rest. Usually, it takes a while between signing the purchase contract and the actual transfer of ownership. Since the date of payment has been agreed upon, you only have to submit the request to your bank to transfer it.
Meanwhile, you can concentrate on further steps. Maybe you have to renovate some rooms, so you can select tiles, the wallpaper, and new furniture. If there is no need to change something in your home-to-be, go on with step 7.
Step 7: Resign your rental agreement and prepare the move
To avoid double expenses, duly resign your rental agreement. If you don’t comply with the notice period, your current landlord may request further rental payments even though you no longer use the apartment.
Packing moving boxes are often underestimated. Start soon and plan a time buffer, so you don’t get too stressed.
Step 8: Receive all necessary items from the previous owner
On the day of handing over your new home, make sure to get all the important items from the previous owner. This does not only apply to the keys to the entrance, basement, and mailbox, but also to operating instructions, the house rules or warranty cards.
Don’t forget to record all meter readings (water, electricity, gas).
Step 9: Sign up with all major providers
Go to a civil office and register your residence. On the website of Düsseldorf you will find the forms you need and can see the opening hours and locations of the offices.
Change your address at companies you regularly receive mail from. Because you probably will not immediately think of all, apply for a mailing service at the post office. This will make sure the letters sent to your old address are mailed to your new home.
Step 10: Move-in
In order to avoid causing havoc with your neighbors, you should inform them about your move. So they can prepare themselves that the street might be a bit more turbulent for a little while. You also can invite them to a housewarming party and get to know each other.
Finally, you can settle in and feel at home in your first real estate property in Düsseldorf.
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