Moving to Berlin and my situation or question is unique

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I agree with you there, but I have the feeling that for a 20 year-old anglo-saxon, potential profit is probably pretty high on the priority list. A lot of them haven't yet cottoned on to the fact that the German property market is a bit different. This doesn't mean it's a bad idea to buy your own house, I am as well, for example. Just be sure that you're doing it for appropriate reason's (one good reason being that at present in large areas of North Germany you will, indeed, in many cases, pay less to buy a house than you have to to rent a similar house).

 

 

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.

I was surprised to discover recently that this only applies if you have rented your house out (particularly in the last couple of years before selling it, IIRC). If you've always lived in the house yourself then you can sell it after 2 or 3 years tax free.

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Interesting info about those taxes. Something I'll have to look into more.

 

At the moment I am now considering moving into a rental while I look for somewhere to buy. Perhaps I will decide that it's best to keep on renting. However, without talking too much about my financial situation, at the moment I can afford to buy without too much down-side. So that's what I'm looking at.

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

True, but it also has disadvantages, and people who don't know Germany haven't quite got it that the property market is quite different here. For e.g., disadvantages to buying in Berlin: it isn't as flexible as renting, one is tied down and it ties up capital. And it might not be easy to sell again.

I myself have bought rather than renting, but then I intend to stay in Berlin for many years and don't intend to move out of the flat, I also have a secure job. I know many Germans in a similar situation to me though who wouldn't dream of buying, it's a typical anglo-saxon thing.

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It's also age-related. When it's time to retire, (I'm an Old Fart and it's not so long away), owning a place is quite useful. No rent to pay in old age. Also useful not paying rent while I'm building up a business.

 

I bought outright so no mortgage either. Bliss, I tell you :)

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Koe are you planning to live in this place in Berlin?If it's for an investment only I'd say elsewhere it a better choice,otherwise you're playing roulette with lousy odds in a lousy market.For the same price you could get a couple of nice places to rent out in Poznan/Szeczin(Stettin) in Poland and only an hour to two hours away from Berlin,or better value for money outside Dresden/Leipzig you could let out there and live comfortably in Berlin renting with a steady income.Just an option.

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I was surprised to discover recently that this only applies if you have rented your house out (particularly in the last couple of years before selling it, IIRC). If you've always lived in the house yourself then you can sell it after 2 or 3 years tax free.

Yup. Tax return SO addresses "speculative" profits such as from housing (thus lumped in with diverse stuff like share options) but makes an exception for one's own private lived-in dwelling or (put simply) property used for business. That fact's never been very visible of course as most people don't have a "capital gain" to report. But the "capital gains" thing is an urban myth in respect of privately occuped, owned, homes.

 

Although I see the point about renting being more flexible, home owners are not tied to their owned property of course. I can rent mine out tomorrow and move elsewhere. No sweat. This is quite normal in Germany. As to "owning in old age", has advantages but means dying with our life's capital tied up in property, when we could have spent it. No use to us six foot under.

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As to "owning in old age", has advantages but means dying with our life's capital tied up in property, when we could have spent it. No use to us six foot under.

Unless you have children who can inherit, of course!

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Am I mad?

 

At the end of April/beginning of May, I'm booking a flight to Berlin with about £4-5k in my pocket (well, in the bank) and i'm going to start from scratch... Get a place, get a job and take it from there.

 

I've looked at advice on here and I'm planning it out now, but when I head over I won't have a job. I'm 22years old, very active and very very friendly (people always get on well with me) so I'm hoping this will work in my favour. My previous job was a football cameraman, working for UEFA/FIFA and the SPL. At the moment though, after being made redundant, I'm working nightshift in a supermarket which is soul-destroying.

 

I'm not looking for an amazing job, just bar work to start with probably.

 

Jesus... Typing this, I myself think I'm mad but I do really love Berlin (million times better than my hometown, Aberdeen) and there's too much happening there compared to the place i'm in now for me to miss the boat on this one.

 

So... Um... I'm not sure what I'm typing this here for, or what I expect to hear back apart from probably that I'm stupid/crazy but... Yeh.

 

Hope it works out for me! Maybe if any of you have any good advice on learning the language, starting out etc... That would be cool - although I'm sure a cheeky search would reveal the answers too.

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As to "owning in old age", has advantages but means dying with our life's capital tied up in property, when we could have spent it. No use to us six foot under.

The secret is owning your own place, AND having enough cash to have fun as well. B)

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@simmie

Just do it!

If it doesn't work out, wtf you're young, you have years ahead to find another path if it doesn't work out. Just don't ever have a cause to regret you didn't try when you had the chance. If only I'd had the thought to move out here when I was in my twenties (ah but the Wall was still up back then. On the other hand, I'd have missed out on the wretched Thatcher years).

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. On the other hand, I'd have missed out on the wretched Thatcher years).

Ah, yes. The Thatcher years.

 

"If the answer is Margaret Thatcher, it must be a f**ing stupid question."

 

"What's the difference between Margaret Thatcher and a toilet?" "A toilet is not ALWAYS full of sh**t".

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@simmie

Just do it!

If it doesn't work out, wtf you're young, you have years ahead to find another path if it doesn't work out. Just don't ever have a cause to regret you didn't try when you had the chance. If only I'd had the thought to move out here when I was in my twenties (ah but the Wall was still up back then. On the other hand, I'd have missed out on the wretched Thatcher years).

Cheers. Just hopefully will be able to find a job and stuff when I'm out there!

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@simmie

well that's up to you. But you'll find a lot of helpful advice on the TT forum, and at the end of the day, if you don't like it then just move back. It's not like Germany is Mars or somewhere. But my advice is don't buy a villa in Wannsee if you are not 100% committed and don't have a job lined up.

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Yeh, i'll just be getting a flat share. Something nice and cheap.

 

I'm really looking forward to it, actually! Cheers for the support guys!

 

I'll need to learn the language when out there, Goethe Institute is so damn expensive though!! Anyone know any good language schools? I'm scared of picking a bad one.

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Things must have changed dramatically if perpetually struggling Berlin is suddenly more attractive than oil-capital Aberdeen.

 

If that is the case, then I can only wish good luck.

 

On the other hand, I can well imagine that living costs could be cheaper in Berlin, so that the savings could at least last longer!

 

As far as learning the language is concerned look at the local "Volkshochschule" (VHS) offerings first. They move slower but are substantially cheaper, for a beginner not necessarilly the worst choice.

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@rma

Update: The Granite City was an oil-capital only back in the eighties. Not so much now I'm afraid. Whilst Aberdeen has its cultural and social attractions, and I have been there and I do like it, Berlin I would suggest has many more.

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Simmie, if you're mad, I'm madder - as I'm doing the same as you without the security blanket of European Union citizenship. (I'm Canadian so am coming on a working holiday visa). I, too, am looking for a change (finishing uni in a couple weeks and can't wait to get out of this small city) and am coming to find a cheap flatshare and a job that won't mind if I have intermediate German when I start. There are some good language school threads that I suggest you check out under the "Life in Berlin" subject heading. I'm looking at Die Neue Schule at the moment (though there are LOTS) and many of them seem to offer a good balance between the extremes of Goethe, where you pay more than I pay for a semester of university classes for an 8-week intense course, and the Volkshochschule, which in some cases only offers classes a couple times a week. So, never fear, there are others in your boat, and I agree with Serenissima, being young is the perfect time to do something like this! good luck!

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@rma

Update: The Granite City was an oil-capital only back in the eighties. Not so much now I'm afraid. Whilst Aberdeen has its cultural and social attractions, and I have been there and I do like it, Berlin I would suggest has many more.

Fair enough, I haven't lived in Scotland since the 70s and have been permanently resident in Germany since 1987, so I agree I may be a bit out of touch!

 

Edit: PS I agree with keine katze's encouraging sentiments.

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Simmie, if you're mad, I'm madder - as I'm doing the same as you without the security blanket of European Union citizenship. (I'm Canadian so am coming on a working holiday visa). I, too, am looking for a change (finishing uni in a couple weeks and can't wait to get out of this small city) and am coming to find a cheap flatshare and a job that won't mind if I have intermediate German when I start. There are some good language school threads that I suggest you check out under the "Life in Berlin" subject heading. I'm looking at Die Neue Schule at the moment (though there are LOTS) and many of them seem to offer a good balance between the extremes of Goethe, where you pay more than I pay for a semester of university classes for an 8-week intense course, and the Volkshochschule, which in some cases only offers classes a couple times a week. So, never fear, there are others in your boat, and I agree with Serenissima, being young is the perfect time to do something like this! good luck!

Thanks for the post keine katze.

 

I had a look at Die Neue Schule and it looks fantastic, but I'm not entirely sure which course to go for.

 

It ranges from 2 weeks right up to 50 weeks. How would I know which one would suit me?

 

Do you know which is a good one to go for?

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