Resurrecting this thread...
Maybe i'm naive as i'll be buying first time our place to live. I made an appointment with a bank and took a day off from work. I went along with my wife (who's a native German speaker). I was given a bunch of documents to fill-up before coming to the appointment. I filled-in all the documents and took them along. The intention was made clear from the beginning that we'd be interested in buying a place which is not yet decided (as we dont know our budget which we can afford) and would like to know how much loan are we eligible for. However, on the day of the appointment, the berater clearly mentioned in the beginning that without an object, they cannot help us out. The berater was along with his boss (Filial leiter) and mostly the boss was doing the talk.
I then said, fine let's take an example and i chose an object which i had in mind so that they could run the numbers and tell me. The berater punched some numbers and said well, we cannot afford to give you that much. I said fine, how much more down payment we'll need to afford it but he still didn't want to give me exact numbers. He's going to give us the numbers (or an intent to buy letter) only if we agree that he'll input our data (salary, address, ausweis, tax declaration etc. ) in his IT system.
To which i said why would he need to do that. They mentioned that if we go to other competitors (like interhyp - which is not a bank) or similar services then they cannot guarantee the interest rate which they are offering. In fact, the berater mentioned that the interest rates which we would be getting via interhyp (if we chose interhyp route and interhyp says that this bank is good), then the interest rates will be higher than what we'll be getting directly with the bank.
The boss and berater both mentioned that even though interhyp and other services mention that they do not charge fees from the client but rather the bank, the client always has to pay the money to interhyp and that interhyp and such other services are always charged a higher interest than directly from the bank.
At this point i was getting uncomfortable and it was already an hour and half into our talk. I finally asked based on our data how much can we afford. The boss looked into our salary slips, asked some basic questions about expenses et. al and even kindergeld. Then said that we can afford something which one of their partners (Planet immo) is currently showing a client at a location which is around 10 kms from the bank and at a price which i felt was above our budget. The berater than immediately called his partner and set-up an viewing on the same day half an hour later. At this point i thought they were giving us the hard ball and i reluctantly agreed to view but later declined. I also took all the forms back and came home thinking that all this should happen only when i know an object. But then isn't his a chicken and egg situation? If i view an object and like it, the potential seller will always ask for a letter "mortgage in principle" or "letter of intent to buy" before a viewing takes place. The bank doesn't want to give us such a statement unless we have a concrete object.
I must mention that the said bank is not our hausbank. Am i being taken for a ride here? I mean there are various online calculators from different sources and all give different numbers based on similar chosen conditions. The bank too has an online calculator for us to play around but i'd like to know some concrete numbers which i wasn't able to get through our first meeting. Are we doing something wrong in our approach? Seems yes or`? How did you go about it? The market in Munich surroundings is hot that the place is gone even before it's adverstised, so I'm wondering how to aproach the situation.