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Everything posted by wien4ever

  1. Hiring a surveyor when purchasing a property

    Here is one place where it is mentioned:   "The deadline for fulfilling the obligation is two years from the first transfer of ownership after February 1, 2002."   I did my new roof+insulation with a KfW loan of only 0.75% interest for 10 years. These days KfW loans are >2.0%    here is an update on the KfW situation:   Make sure you get a company or energy consultant who takes your hand through the KfW process, because it can be tricky sometimes with the deadlines and constantly changing conditions. I lost a consultant fee subsidy because the KfW suddenly decided to close that offering (without any notice on their webpage!) in the middle of my renovation. At least it was just a few hundred. Make sure to get someone that is on top of these things!
  2. Hiring a surveyor when purchasing a property

      I would agree most roofs in Germany are pretty good even if old. Be aware though that there is the energy regulation that roof insulation of the latest spec should be installed within two years after purchasing the house. I decided to go ahead and renew my 60+ year old roof (I noticed some cracked tiles I could see in some places, but otherwise seemed to be working fine - no water damage) with new insulation (over the rafters) and new tiles since KfW funding (20%) would cover both. You could do like my neighbor and insulate from the inside between the rafters - that is much cheaper but somewhat less effective for energy savings (more thermal bridges), but fine for passing inspection.  
  3. Hiring a surveyor when purchasing a property

    "There is a slight slope when moving from one or the rooms to another."   Just curious - do you mean the floor is not perfectly level? Like if you place a metal ball it will roll without a push?    
  4. Thanks to everyone for the info. I just checked the example calculations for Baden Württemberg and the BorisBW site and my property tax will be doubled from 100euros/year to 200 euros/year.  Not terrible, since it was pretty low to begin with, but still it's a doubling (!).   I wonder if after 2025 they will keep raising it.
  5.   Ha , eastern europeans have been doing this since forever - bring pot of kasha stew to a boil, cover it in a duvet, and leave it for a couple of hours. On the flip side, leave your food out on the balcony in the winter - free refridgeration!
  6. One thing I might consider doing if the greenies get crazy is getting a mini/multi split system like this guy:      If I were to install it, I'd do it at the same time while installing external wall insulation, then you could tuck in the tubes/wiring in between the insulation before putting the facade on.   The costs of these systems look much cheaper than a heat pump with radiators or floor heating.   An article on the same guy:
  7. The problem is with the dust from wood burning, which the greenies claim is worse than car fumes.
  8. Purchasing house

    toBnruG has very good points about rent vs buy. It really only makes sense if you are in it for the long haul.   You can use the NY times rent vs buy calculator (if you get a paywall, trying using a private window to hide your cookies):   nerdwallet has a simpler one:
  9.     You can use this renovations calculator to get an idea of what changes will benefit you: The numbers match pretty much the values that a certificate would have. You can then compare the before and after renovation numbers. The estimated costs are way off, even it is just estimated from bare materials.   Although, I'm a little suspicious of the roof option - it doesn't seem to be registering my changes to it. 
  10.   I would avoid wood/pellet ovens, unless its just for supplementary heating.  The greenies are actually against wood ovens now that they make more pollution than expected (more harmful than car exhaust they say now!). It won't be long until they also re-think pellets!
  11. Purchasing house

      Did I understand correctly, this part of the mortgage it is only for 15 years, then afterwards you have to get another mortgage until the end of 35 years? They can't offer you a longer fixed interest rate? I would be worried about the hike in interest in the future.   I bought a terraced house for ~290k and told my (Haus)bank that I wanted to pay it off relatively quickly (18 years). After covering nebenkosten, the full starting amount of the loan was 260k. They got me two mortgages, 9 years each. The first one was at 1.6% effektiv with max 5% sondertilgung, then the second one at a higher 2.0% effectiv, which I can pay it completely off at any time (no restrictions). So for example, if I wanted to, I could pay it all off at year 10 and save myself about 22k in interest or stick to the schedule and pay the full 44k in interest.   Karl's calculator is really useful for comparing scenarios:
  12. Garages are expensive - typically cost 15k-25k extra. Nuts. Good idea to keep the old one - you can always repaint it.
  13. Purchasing house

      Some renovations are less disruptive than others after moving in. I got a new front door with KfW support within the first 8 months of moving in, and the installer handled everything for me (20% funding and energy expert fee 50% off). It was a really clean swap and they did not damage the renovated and repainted walls of my entrance hall. Then I renovated the roof of the house with new roof tiles and new insulation two years later after moving in. It was hardly disruptive at all - they were finished in 4 days. I also got the painters to come and paint the exterior after the roofers left the scaffolding up for me for another week. When I bought the house the bank tried to offer me a bigger mortgage amount in order to cover planned renovations (at 1.6% interest), but I applied and got a separate KfW loan instead for the roof (at only 0.57% interest). KfW are tricky to deal with - I was fortunate to get the 20% in funding from them for the roof, along with the loan, but I lost the 50% funding for the energy expert because KfW closed the application process right before I could apply for it! No warning on their website! Not even my energy expert knew about it (in retrospect, he kind of sucked because he didn't explain to me the order in which things should happen - and I was confused/afraid to apply too early and get penalized for starting earlier without waiting for official KfW approval - they were behind by about 2 months, and I don't know why the roofers didn't handle it for me like the door contractor - but they did an excellent job otherwise). It was not too much money lost so I count my blessings on other things (like the 6000 euros saved on the roof). I also got the KfW Baukindergeld (24000 euros over 10 years) which basically covers the cost of my new roof (30k-6k=24k) - that was the easiest out of the three actually.   So it is possible to do some KfW stuff after moving in. I would say everything on the outside is no problem (roof, exterior walls, front doors, windows). Anything with pipes and electric better to get done before you move in.    Unfortunately I still have to renovate the bathroom (it is fugly 1960s style) and the plumbing going to it, but luckily it will be going through rooms and walls that I have not already repainted/renovated. I kind of regret now that I didn't do it before moving in, but I wanted to keep some cash in the bank in case of hard times. I try to keep 1.5 years of funds liquid to cover living costs in case of the unexpected...   I wasn't willing to drain my bank account so quickly and decided to do things piece wise. It gave me more time to research and think about things too. But then it takes longer to finally get the house 'finished' and you have to be willing to tolerate imperfections longer. Not everyone can delay gratification that long.    
  14. Bitcoin - a decentralised digital currency

        None of those mainstream companies are *accepting* bitcoin. Bitrefill simply converts the BTC to Euros/Dollars , which is what they really accept.
  15. Bitcoin - a decentralised digital currency

      People are catching on and making more fun of it.. great video.   I'd say big chance 2022 is the year for a crypto crash.
  16. I just use TurboTax (it can import my Robinhood forms) and then I use for my germany taxes (in english). Steur2go is another competitor that offers English (I don't like the interface as much as but it has Unterhalt section for claiming deductions for support of family overseas unlike In the USA, I have a Vanguard Roth IRA on autopilot. So not much else to take care of.   I also file my FBARs directly via the government's BSA E-filing system. I don't have to file FACTA yet (not that rich, at least by its requirements since real estate is not counted)   Unless your tax situation is extremely complicated, I think those tax experts are really too expensive and don't really save you time (you must look up all the documents and bring them in yourself!).
  17. taxation of own-generated solar electricity

    Would it be possible to get more panels , eg. 1200W and restrict the inverter to supplying max 600w in the summer? that way you don't break any rules? I'm just thinking about maximizing electricity generation during the winter months.
  18. Just before I finished my move out of my last apartment, my wife broke the last rolladen piece on the roll. I think it was getting old and just bit the dust right then and there. My landlord said to try the Haftpflicht insurance, and I did and they accepted my claim (it was 120 euros to repair). I was skeptical but it worked out in the end.   I did however fix a few things  on my own dime while living there, e.g. the inner mechanism for the geberit toilet flush was broken from wear and tear, so I replaced it for 25 euros, and then a regulator on a radiator was broken (before I moved in) and I replaced it for 15 euros.    The oven was not clean enough for his tastes, so I chipped in a 100 euros from my deposit to get it professionally cleaned. Admittedly I probably got carried away with the BBQ ribs I made many times.
  19. Developed feelings for a friend, should I tell her?

    You are not the first young man to be in such a situation, so be easy on yourself. I would be surprised if she hasn't had previous admirers also ask her the question. So none of this is new to the human experience. Quite common actually. So don't rack up your nerves about it.   It sounds like you are a nice person and focused on the friendship rather than just simply looking to get laid. Your heart is in the right place. I also fretted about a very similar situation as a young man - I got rejected btw. I think it happened twice with two different women. With the first one we continued being friends (25 years!) and with the second one she was like "eewww, I'm not talking to you anymore". Which was weird, because she was the one usually striking up the chat with me many times out of no where over a years time. So you never know how one will react.     I wouldn't worry about getting rejected because years from now you will regret much more that you did not ask! Trust me! You will regret those missed chances. Rejection is hard , I know. But it will pass and you will heal and there will be someone else in your future. The next (right) one will come along. I think part of the hurt not only comes from the rejection, but comes from the feeling that some women give men, of being thought of as a lecher. Who likes making women feel unsafe or creeped out? I don't!   Try to go in with low expectations and it may hurt less. Maybe phrase the question a little more gently. "Hey I was wondering, I am figuring out my future, like finding a job and where I will want to live, where I am going in life, and I was wondering what you think - if you think our friendship has the potential to be more or do you want to be just remain friends? I will respect your decision either way." And if she rejects you, just thank her for being honest and tell her it's OK, it hurts a little , but you respect her wishes and you will keep her as just a friend.