Moving to Berlin and my situation or question is unique

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I used to live close to that station, totally recommended. The connections are very good because you have the Ring line from the Sbahn, the Ubahn and the Tram.

 

The area is not ghetto and it is not dangerous, do not trust those comments from people who confuse punks with skinheads.

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Everybody speaks English in Berlin except people that work in supermarket and the little hitlers that check tickets in trains

Trusting is good but controlling is better :P

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schönhauser allee area is of course not ghetto (though there are some punks and homeless people directly at the U-bahn station). it is a young middle class area with a bit in-style around, many medium priced bars and restaurants, a small gay-scene south and east of the station.

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Hi! I'm Pieter, and was wondering at the possibilities for living and working in Berlin for approximately 4 to 6 months, and am a EU citizen with a Dutch passport. Getting a job should not be a problem, but finding one is. I have a high school diploma and over 60 credits at a liberal arts college in the United States...I wouldn't mind taking a certification course, as long as there were opportunities to work for my rent. Reason for the temporary move is my fiancee, who currently studies on exchange there (we miss each other terribly), also I fell in love with the city on a visit there, and I would love to finally make my German fluent. I hope you guys can help. I answered a couple of legitimate openings asking for translation services there. I've noted the minimum expense of 585 euros posted here, too.

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[promoting a friend's work mode on]

 

For anyone coming to Berlin, I'd recommend the book "Berlin for Beginners" by Thomas Knuth. Only available in German at the moment, it's a guidebook for those intending to move to and settle in Berlin. Hence there's little about museums and sightseeing, but plenty about what the various districts are like, the services provided by the Bürgeramt, dealing with the locals, making friends and so on.

 

Thomas is a fellow tourist-guide and a mate of mine, but I still think his book is really helpful. There's even a few pictures of mine in it (which I let him use, and no, I get no royalties from them).

 

http://berlinforbeginners.de/buch

 

[/promoting a friend's work mode off]

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Hi,

 

Sorry to add another post to this long list, but I would really apreciate to have some things cleared up.

 

I am a musician currrently living in Australia and planning on moving to Berlin towards the end of this year.

As my parents were born in the UK, I qualify for a UK passport. As I understand so far, this will enable me to live in Berlin without the worry of visas and the like. Is this correct?

 

I am also under the impression that once arriving in Berlin I need to fill out an application form stating that I intend to live there. Is my UK passport the only thing I will need to present to complete the application? Also is there a place to find this application on the internet or must it be done in person? I read some things about needing to present your rental contracts however, I was unsure if this was to do with Visas or not. Also I intend to purchase an apparment in Berlin, not rent.

 

So far I have been browsing some good websites to look at property for sale. There seem to be a number of English based websites for Berlin real-estate. However what previous experience has anyone here had with this type of set up? Are these reliable companys, how easy are they to deal with? Would you reccomend I take this route or something different (perhaps look for places in person on a short trip)?

 

The next thing is internet. I know this has been mentioned a number of times, but I still have some questions. What can you expect to pay for Broadband internet connections in Berlin? Also is it difficult to deal with the companies in terms of language? (I have very little knowledge of the German language, but I do intend to start learning what I can between now and when I move)

 

Another thing is work. I have enough saved up to support myself for some time in Berlin while I establish contacts in my industry. Also I should have some (but not much) income coming in from my Japanese record label. However I think I read that with your application to live in Berlin you need to present your working situation. Is this true? If so, will it be a problem for me initially not working in Berlin while I get set up?

 

There is still many questions, but I think I will stop this post now!

 

Thanks in advance for any help... I would really appreciate some experienced knowledge from you guys about these things!!!

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If you have a UK passport you can move freely to Berlin in the same way as a German moving to Berlin for the first time.

 

Germans love bureaucracy,you are required to have an invoice-like slip of paper called an ameldung to open a bank a/c,get internet/phone ect.All this says is that you are resident at such an address.For an EU citizen it's a mere formality,you bring your passport to the local town hall(rathaus) and fill out the form and let them process it.You will not be asked questions of your income/why you moved to Germany.I did this last week,if you currently have a British passport it is a breeze.I would reccommend taking a trip to scout around first,you can always sort out the ammeldung in advance.

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...and definitely DON'T buy property just be looking at it online. You MUST visit properties before committing such large amounts of money to one. Some areas have a bad name but have delightful oases contained within which can be a 'bargain' and some 'nice' areas have rough spots you might not like. You basically must spend some time in Berlin before you commit to something. You will be paying a commision of app. 7% inc. tax to an agent remember so if you can find one "von privat" or "kein provision" or "provisionsfrei" in the ad it means there's no estate agent involved and consequently no poxy fee. It might be difficult to deal with the seller directly if you have no german but if the seller is ok with it you'll be fine as there are lawyers who will translate every document for you (though naturally the german version is authoritative).

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Thanks murphaph.

 

Yes ofcourse it would be crazy to buy without even looking at the place in person. I was more trying to ask if these companies are a good way to search for property. You make a good point about being able to check out various aspects of the differnent areas in person.

 

Also, I just assumed it would be very difficult to find a seller who would be willing to deal in english. Hence the use of an agent. But do you think that some people would be able to deal in english directly?

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some will but to be honest, once you agree a purchase price, the lawyers take over anyway. Unlike in Common Law jurisdictions, German property transactions are handled by one lawyer (Notar), not one for each party. You as the buyer get to nominate the Notar but he must act impartially for both sides by law. My Notar was great and always contacted me in perfect english, translating all the contracts. Having said that, the Notar is obliged to ensure you fully understand what you are signing so he can translate or get someone else to translate but you must understand what you're siigning or he has failed. Property transactions can take months to complete though, it's quite a slow process here for some reason.

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Hi murphaph,

 

Thanks again for this really great info.

 

Who pays for the Notar? If it's the buyer then what are the fees usually like? I know of some other realty trasactions where lawer fees are often just as expensive as paying commision to a real estate agent.

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The Notar charges a %age just like the Estate Agent (Makler). I can't remember the exact fee my Notar charged me but between Makler (app. 7%inc VAT)/Stamp Duty (4.5% in Berlin, 3.5% elsewhere in Germany)/Notar and the few small registration fees it will be between 11% and 13% on top of the advertised sale price to get the property into your name. Work of 12% and you won't be far off the total transaction costs. You could and should at least attempt to get a percent off the Makler and Notar. All they can say is "no". Property sales are down worldwide-they will be silly not to contemplate a deal IMO. If you want the name of my Makler/Notar PM me. Others here also bought in Berlin and can recommend theirs I'm sure.

 

The seller pays for nothing in Germany. That's why they usually use the Makler who then 'extorts' money from the buyer. It's a crazy system paying people for very little really.

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If I can find a property listed von privat/kein provision/provisionsfrei then that means there is no Makler fee right? So around 5% (total 12 minus makler's 7)

 

I'll PM you about that other info thanks!

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So far I have been browsing some good websites to look at property for sale.

Why do you want to buy property? Are you looking for accommodation? The mindset towards buying and renting is very different here in Germany to the English-speaking world. People who own their own flats/houses tend to be the exception, rather than the rule, there is lots of rental accommodation available at a reasonable price. I were you, I'd only buy an apartment or whatever if you intend to live in Berlin for a long time, it really isn't necessary otherwise.

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Why do you want to buy property? Are you looking for accommodation? The mindset towards buying and renting is very different here in Germany to the English-speaking world. People who own their own flats/houses tend to be the exception, rather than the rule, there is lots of rental accommodation available at a reasonable price. I were you, I'd only buy an apartment or whatever if you intend to live in Berlin for a long time, it really isn't necessary otherwise.

Owning your flat/house has many advantages. Not everything is money.

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True, but he does say he thinks it would be a good investment. Perhaps in Munich or Stuttgart, but in Berlin? I very much doubt it.

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He *feels* it *might* be a good investment, like you and I, he can't predict the future.

 

Anyway, if you shop carefully and not in a rush you can end up with a pretty good scenario, even in a shitty market like Berlin. We are paying for our mortgage less than we would pay to rent our house and in some years it will be 100% ours. I do not see the problem with that.

 

PS. Remember as well that if you do any profit from reselling your property and you owned for less than 10 years, you will have to pay a big chunk of taxes.

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