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About burningkrome

Profile Information

  • Location Germany
  • Nationality usa
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1968
  • Interests Biotechnology/Bioengineering
  1. How long to wait after making an offer on a house?

    I single family house in Rhineland-Palatinate. If they were trying to create a bidding war, would they not contact us quickly with a counter offer, or at least with a "do better?" Or would they hold their tongue until they got a bunch of other offers? 
  2. My wife and I are new to buying a home in Germany, but are familiar with the process in the U.S. We have made an offer on a home, but have not yet heard a response. In the U.S. I would expect to hear an acceptance, refusal, or (at least) a counter offer within the first week. I do know things here in Germany don't move quite as fast as the U.S.    How long is a reasonable time to hear back on an offer in Germany, and how should we interpret delays in hearing back?  
  3. Thanks for the reply. I agree fully with doing my own homework. I've gotten an idea of the price-per-meter-sq for the living space from https://www.homeday.de/de/preisatlas. I've also looked up the land value per sq meter from Jan 2020 (latest I could find.)    What other options are there for getting an idea of the house/land value. Can you recommend sites or things to google for?
  4. Thanks for the response.    Out of curiosity, if the seller did not inform us of a problem - what can we do about it?    I have specifically asked about much of this, and gotten positive answers. But if we buy the house, and find problems that remained undisclosed (but legally should have been disclosed) what recourse does this leave us? Do we have to sue them for the cost of fixing the issue? Is the house sale void? What is realistically possible?
  5. We are looking at a specific house available for sale. If the seller or seller's agent has a Verkehrswert, are the obligated to give us a copy upon our request? if not, what are the odds of them giving us a copy?
  6. Thanks for that advice. Maybe oyu can answer another question. I've noticed many tile roofs in Germany don't have "felt" (a waterproof base layer put down under the tiles.) I know this is common, because putting felt in is a newer approach.    Are there any issues with a roof not having felt? Does this mean the roof needs to be redone?
  7. As many at Toytown now know, my wife and I are looking at houses. I'm familiar with house construction in the U.S. (although I am NOT a construction worker of civil engineer) however, an "ancient" house in the U.S. is anything built before 1950  We are looking at a beautiful house, which was "fully refurbished" in 2011  - however, was originally built in 1759! We've toured the house and - at least what can be seen - looks to be in great shape.    In 2011 "all water, sewage, heating and Power lines as well as the windows were renewed" according to the expose. The roof is a Gable roof, redone "in the 1990s", using ceramic tiles (as is common here in Germany.) The house itself is a truss design (Bauart Fachwerk) with brick and wood beams.     We will, of course, be getting an inspection done, but I'm curious about a few things... 1. What should I be sure the inspector looks at, regarding a house this age? 2. If the roof was "re-done" in the 1990s (30 years ago now) how soon will it need to be "redone again?" (I.e. what is the lifespan of a roof of this type?) 3. Are there any issues with the wooden beam construction I should be wary of? 4. What are the "gotchyas" when buying a house this old? I.e. unexpected surprises/expenses? 
  8. Making a bid on a house contingent on an inspection?

    Thanks for the feedback. Ya. A buyer's Makler seems to be a useless concept here. It seems hard to avoid the sellers Makler though. An acceptable evil I suppose   We do have a local bank (we've actually been here 10 years) but our local bank guy is not real active in sending us listings. We usually check the bank site (which brings up another question actually.) All the houses at our bank are listed as "auctions" (Versteigerung.) We're not sure what this means. Does this mean the listing price is actually just a starting bid price?   Anyway, I think we figured out how to handle the contingencies. From what we've read - making even a "binding offer" is not really binding. We can cancel it at anytime. And if the seller requires a deposit to hold the house, this deposit can not (almost never) be kept by the sellers if we change our mind anyway.    So, it seems the best course of action is to simply make an offer based on the assumption the house if structurally sound, and then get an inspection set up. If the inspection shows significant structural repairs needed (or if the seller refuses to allow the inspection, which they apparently can) then we just pull the offer and make a new, reduced offer (or drop the house altogether, especially if the inspection is refused.)   Does this jive with your experiences so far?
  9. Making a bid on a house contingent on an inspection?

      I wholly agree. And, you are completely right. I'm very familiar with buying a house in the U.S. and not at all in Germany.   But I am, in fact, I'm doing all those suggestions as well  I'm studying as much information as I can from sites like Dr. Klein and any books I can get my hands on. We are talking to our friends who have bought here, and we have also already been viewing houses to get a feel for the market.    I'm hoping asking questions on this site would fall under the category of "talking to friends" ... in that I'm hoping for people to share their experiences here (expat or otherwise.)   The only thing we're hesitant to do, is involve a buyer's makler, since - as I understand it - to involve one in any way means they will want a 2-3% commission which is €10,000. So, unless their guidance on bidding gets us the house we want at €10K less - it doesn't seem worth it (please, seriously, correct me if I'm wrong here )   As far as finding a house, it doesn't seem like a Makler can offer us much value since, between our bank and the different immobilien sites, we're not having much problem finding houses to look at. I don't think a Makler has access to any more listings than we do (please correct me if I'm wrong there as well!)   It may be worth pointing out that we are not investors. We're looking for a home to live in. So, I'm just trying to understand the process, and gather as much information as I can, so we can (not just) get the best deal - but not lose out since this is an insane buyer's market.    
  10. Making a bid on a house contingent on an inspection?

    We haven't. Their fee is around 10K. It seemed a bit steep just to handle this aspect of it.  
  11. My wife and I are looking for a house to buy. It is a strong seller's market - meaning houses are sometimes going from first listing to sold within 2 weeks.   We can't decide on an appropriate bid price for a house until the house has had an inspection. However, getting an appointment takes around 2 weeks, after we find the house. In this time, the house can be gone.    My thought is that we offer a bid amount - based on the assumption the house has no major structural problems - but make the bid contingent on the inspection. If, after the inspection, the house DOES have major problems, then we would cancel the original bid, and make an altered bid. I.e. If the house comes back with only minor issues (say a maximum of €5000 structural repair needed) then the bid stands. But if it comes back with anything more, we would alter the bid to reflect this new information. We would want to do this completely up-front; discussing in advance with the selling agent that our bid is contingent on the inspection.     So my question are:  - Is there any existing legal basis for this (or legal basis that this cannot be done?) I.e. what are the legal obligations of "making an offer on a house?"   - Is this contrary to the traditions of German real estate? Is there perhaps already a protocol for doing something like this?
  12. How much flexibility in price when buying a home?

    That would be fine. I wasn't sure if these topics were close enough to be one post, or if Toytown prefers them separately Either way is fine with me :D
  13. How to value a house for purchase?

    For reference, I'm looking in the Southern Germany area around Karlsruhe
  14. How to value a house for purchase?

    Sound advice. In the U.S. I would have used public records to find out how much houses in the area were actually selling for. But this does not seem to be possible in Germany.    Is there a database of actual house sales somewhere, or do you mean just compare the listed asking price of similar houses in the area? 
  15. How much flexibility in price when buying a home?

    Yikes  Where and when was this?