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Posts posted by Nilreb

  1. Just a suggestion but if you have stuff left over put it in the hall at the entrance to your building so people just pick it up for free, otherwise if you leave stuff in the apartment when it comes to inspection the property manager may make a 'charge' to remove it..and they decide how high the charge should be..that can make a huge dent in your deposit.


    Best John..


  2. You say Kreuzberg or Neukölln like you are going shopping, many property managers and owners will rent low cost apartments on the whole to Germans first who have jobs or the rent comes form the job centre as it's easier if there are any issues, expats on the who have a much tougher task finding an apartment to rent, even if they have a job.


    So be prepared to do some work to get an apt, you could post a wanted on this site poss someone moving looking for a contract take over would work, or post on Craigs List Berlin (English)and also look there, but the 'sub rentals' on there in those two areas average around €10m2 and that's not cheap, you could try a couple of areas around Kreuzberg or Neukölln, Brizt not as trendy as the rest of NK but cheap and more chance of getting your own apt there Treptow is also worth a look, cheaper than Kreuzberg or Neukölln but not as cheap as Britz...


    But be prepared to put the work in, as you will see from the replies lot's and lot's of free advice, but no offers of a cheap apartment from anyone...that's a hint as to how hard finding a cheap apt in Berlin is these days..


    Best of luck..





  3. One of the reasons German banks are not keen to give mortgages to expats on single apartments in Berlin as buy-to-lets or even self occupation compared to say 2008 is the rising rents in Berlin work against single apartments as by-to-lets, the reason being is that rents were lower in many places in berlin in 2008 so it was more possible that banks were taking a lower risk in terms if the tenant became unemployed the rent level could be low enough the job centre would cover it, so banks take this into account as part of the continuing risk analysis which is much tighter than it was back in 2008, it's not something the bank manager will tell you as it's all done at head office level with the risk analysis team working on past stats, but be sure these days all banks take risk much more seriously that they did in 2008,


    The ironic thing is the domestic German mortgage market is/was very secure, but like all banks they got greedy and the profits from the domestic mortgage market were give to the investment brokers of banks who then took huge risks by buying debt in places like the UK and USA in the sub prime market as the returns on paper looked very high, but lending to people with poor credit history or on self certificate incomes proved to be a bet too far.


    It's different with a whole building there is much less risk, and the rising rents work for the loan not against it, in that it gives the bank more mortgage cover as rents increase over time.


    It's quite hard to explain why single apartments are not as good an investment as the are in the UK or other countries like the USA, but it kind of way it comes down to the rent control in Berlin, which in places like New York and London don't have rent control to the degree Berlin does and Berlin also has a very high percentage of apartments that are rented, out of almost 2,000,000 apartments something like 1,750,000 the vast majority of these are owned by owners of whole buildings not owners of single apartments,


    To give you an idea of how hard it is to find a single apartment in Berlin last year (2010) just 16,764 single apartments were sold in Berlin click here to see the dataout of 2,000,000 apartments/properties, that's less than 1% of the if you can get a mortgage and find an apartment you are in a very small minority of people in Berlin...


    John Aitken



  4. Smilerbj, Patrick Ott (Starshollow) is spot on with his advice you will as a rule of thumb need about 2/3rd of the purchase price of an apartment in cash when purchasing, including purchase costs, the interesting thing is if you purchase a whole block in most cases you only need about 1/3rd in cash...


    I would suggest you contact Patrick talk it over with him?? :rolleyes:


    Best John..


  5. The situation you are in is quite normal in terms of the time it takes, I see many people suggest you rent the property you want to by, a sort of try before you buy..and some advice is to get an agreement in place with the vendor re the purchase and of course that would not be possible in any way unless you have the agreement drawn up and signed by you and the vendor in front of a Notary (at some cost 1.5% of the purchase price anyone who knows anything about German property should know that's the number one rule in Germany nothing at all to do with purchasing a property or land etc is binding unless it's done in front of a Notary.. see the English translation of the german code law below.


    You can count yourself lucky to get a mortgage at all it's quite hard to do, as for short term rentals there are many people of Craigs List Berlin (English version) you could do a short term rent with, may cost a little more but if you can buy a property and get a mortgage that's a very rare thing, way less than 1% of the apartments in Berlin's some 2m stock of apartments were sold last year, that's probably the lowest in any European Capital I think, so if you can then go for it..


    Good luck, John Aitken




    Section 311b


    Contracts on plots of land, assets and an estate


    (1) A contract by which one party agrees to transfer or acquire ownership of a plot of land must be recorded by a notary. A contract not entered into in this form becomes valid with all its contents if a declaration of conveyance and registration in the Land Register are effected.


    (2) A contract by which one party agrees to transfer his future property or a fraction of his future property or to charge it with a usufruct is void.


    (3) A contract by which one party agrees to transfer his present property or a fraction of his present property or to charge it with a usufruct must be recorded by a notary.


    (4) A contract relating to the estate of a third party who is still living is void. The same applies to a contract relating to a compulsory portion or a legacy from the estate of a third party who is still living.


    (5) Subsection (4) above does not apply to a contract entered into between future heirs on intestacy relating to the hereditary share on intestacy or the compulsory portion of one of them. Such a contract must be recorded by a notary.



  6. I will prob get the stereotypical replies to this post but people do need to look at this from both sides, we have a lot of property in Berlin, mainly the east, 2 things perhaps people who post here don't see is there are still a huge amount of German owners who only rent to German tenants, that is changing but the numbers are still huge, that means expats having to sub rent off others who make a profit of that situation, in the short term a few months that's ok but long term that type of situation has to be wrong, but it's the way it is, I'm sure many of have experienced this, I know I have.


    Gentrification is always driven by the customer, two points here you can market a property at any price but people will only ever pay what they think it's worth so the customer set prices, but also when a tenant passes away or moves out we look at the apt and decide what to do with it, in many cases the apartment where tenants have been there 20 or 30 years are almost 3rd world conditions, it's very sad to see the condition older German tenants have been prepared to live in, and prob even worse when you see those conditions in apartment where the owner has had the chance to bring the living standard up to the minimum you would expect, some apartments have truly been discussing with outside toilets, no kitchen of any note etc, but tenants back then were happy with low rents, and some German owners still rent these out on the property managers advice, and that has to be wrong, but in these buildings owners can do as they wish, so whilst it turns my stomach when we open apt doors to see this, I have to accept owners have the right to let people live like that, and the sad thing is there are enough tenants to fuel the demand for that type of property.


    For us it's been a real shock how little money German owners put into their property inside and outside, but you can't have it both ways, for people who want low rent there are plenty of German building owners offering that, just don't complain about your living conditions.


    I'm not saying we run a perfect ship, but we do have minimum standards and allow any nationality to be a tenant, and more and more German building owners are relaxing and doing the same, but there is still a huge amount of owners living in the 70's it's a shame some of the people who post here have not seen apartments where a old lady has passed away and there has only been a pipe coming from the wall as a shower, or where there has been just one coal heater to heat a whole apartment, I'm not saying we get it right every time, but perhaps before people jump on the bandwagon blindly they should think what they would do with an apartment when it becomes vacant and is in such poor condition, I take it all or most of the posts are from people who have no actual experience of owning a building in Berlin.


  7. Hi we have a apartment search service for people looking to buy an apartment in Berlin, have a look at we do this for many people before the come to Berlin as it's pretty difficult to find an apartment for sale in Berlin, as 88% of people rent in Berlin so that leaves 12% as owner occupied, given the average stay in an apartment in Berlin is 7 years (stats from City of Berlin)that means each year a maximum of about 1.7% of total apartments in Berlin come on the market so it's a pretty tough market.


    msalama is right to some degree about the length of lease, but you can agree a fixed term short let, but even if you agree a normal rental contract you can give the tenant notice but only if you intend to move in yourself as owner occupier..but as long as you do that's fine normally 3 months notice as per the contract is best, but many people by occupied apartments and try to get the tenant out saying they intend to occupy the apartment...


    Send me a PM with what area you are interested in, what your budget is and what you expect for the money i.e. 2 bed 65m2 etc and I will come back to you and let you know if that's possible..if 100% cash buyer the auction is always a good bet but I suggest taking someone who is able to per view with you, understands the rental contract and has experience of buying property in Berlin, if you need a mortgage to purchase then auction is not an option for you.


    best John.


  8. There are people who run ads on German web sites who come pick up your rubbish for you and take it away, you can use skips but that's not very cost effective, but at least in Berlin people kind of respect the fact it's your skip so we have never found our skips suddenly full of old tv's and sofas come the morning.


    Just out of interest where is the bar, what's the them and what will it be called?


    Good luck John



  9. the law in Germany id if you have a car in Germany from outside germany for more than 1 year (left or right hand drive..) then it needs to be on German plates and have a tuv after one year.. unless the owner is a uk limited company.. main downside is cost then of German car insurance, is so much higher than in uk, but then along with it goes all the paperwork etc, may be worth taking carb back to uk, ldh cars sell for uite a premium in the ik for some reason, poss as buyer can take it to any country in europe.


    Wish i purchased a uk ldh car, got a new german one the insurance is 5 times what I pay in uk,is c€1,000 pa and I only do 2 - 3 km per year.. is a 1.4 sooo much better value..




  10. Hi do you need the people to be seated? if you do that's going to be your main cost, but I know many places that if you don't need seating will help you, on the basis your guests buy drinks whilst they are there, or if you buy the dirnks (wine and soft drinks0 they will serve them.


    What time of day are you thinking about?




  11. A tip, best way to work out what you will pay is to see of there is a central heating boiler in the apartment (in most cases in the kitchen or bathroom) in most cases that will mean you have a gas meter, so you will be paying for your own heating, work on around 1 euro a meter to be on the safe side, and that's spread out over the year so it may cost you 1 euro per meter of the apartment per month, ok some apartments will be more energey efficent so will boilers so if it's a new instalation then the cost may be lower if it looks like something left over the cold war may cost you a lot more.


    a tip there is before you signe the rental contract have the agent agree to have the boiler serviced, means it will run better and poss cheaper and come Febuary when the plumbers have a week waiting list to repair broken boilers you should not be on his list, ie easy in July and August not to think about how cold it will be in 6 months time..


    More advice on


  12. Lever, take care buying a singe apartment in Berlin, they may appear cheap but when you come to try to sell your bargain, it may not be such a bargain.


    Berlin property in the East is about 95%+ rented so the whole market is rental driven not capital driven like in the uk, so take great care find out how much any apartment you set your heart on would rent for, we deal in whole buildings and every one we purchase you could not buy the land and replace the building for double what we pay for it as the value tends to be the years rent times a factor say x12 in a poor area, say x18 in better areas like PLB or Mitte (not Wedding)


    I would suggest you think long and hard about buying, it's critical to purchase in an up and coming area or you will just be throwing money away, my top tip is anywhere near Reuter Platz in Neukolln or the 5 or 6 Streets around there.


    There are 7 pages of posts here so some well intentioned advice I'm sure but most of it will be form people who still rent, some good avice on purchasing like form the last post, but think about why there are no posts form people who purchased and sold at a profit...the German fees for everything are very high, look at about 12 - 13% on top of the price, agent fees are 6% + vat so 7.14% but you can get them down, but pre agree a fee in advance if you use an agent.


    A good option is to use the auctions, it's a much cheaper way to buy an aprtment, but have an experienced person with you and try to not to buy an apartment with a tenant in it.


    If you want a German RICS surveyor in Berlin then send me an email I will send you the details of some of the German RICS members we use, not many of them about yet as you can see form other posts, will also email you details of a couple of our handymen if you want..have a good Notary we use as well, when buying you get to select the Notary..oh yeh and pay their fees as well...


    Just saying do your homework,and the more the better, you can get some real bargains if you know what you are looking at, and always project purchase to the point where you want to exit the property and sell yourself, could you do that without making a loss, look around and see what other properties say on immoscout are selling for and so on...


    best of luck you can PM me or send me a message form the contact section on our web site


    Best of luck with it.. John