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Getting a survey done when buying a house

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I'm moving to Cologne in October and am thinking of buying a house.

 

Anyone know the best way to go about getting a survey done and how much it'll cost?

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Cologne is great. As to buying somewhere to live there is a snag. Unless you are really here for a long time you might end up losing money. Prices aren't rising as fast as elsewhere in Europe and when you're buying you have to factor in charges of 6-8% commission, 3.5% property transfer tax, 1% notary fee. Check this as this is old info and the taxes may have gone up. You'd have to do your sums. It might in any case be a good idea to rent for 6 months to get to know the city and decide better where you want to live. As for areas depends what you like: Nippes, Ehrenfeld and the centre are lively, the North of Koeln like Worringen/Roggendorf/Weiler are quiet and peaceful. In the South the areas of Rodenkirchen, Bayenthal, Marienburg are all good. I'd avoid Chorweiler and anywhere on the right side of the Rhine but this may be out-of-date...

 

Here's the actual taxes etc

 

What are the costs accompanying buying property in Germany?

 

In Germany, the buyer has to carry the following costs and fees:

1. Purchase Tax („Grunderwerbsteuer“): 3.5% of the buying price. Due about four weeks after the notary deed has been signed by buyer and seller.

2. Notary fees. These are about 1.2 – 1.5% of the buying price, plus any fees for a needed translation of the deed. As they can vary strongly we recommend to check especially the translation fees in advance. We have seen differences from 300 EUR to 3000 EUR for the same type of work.

3. Agent fee. The buying fee for agents in Germany varies from Federal country to Federal country slightly. In most federal countries it is 5% plus the VAT.

4. Registration fees, these add up to about 0.8-1.2%.

5. If financing is needed, there might also be fees from the bank side for the mortgage, plus any additional notary and registration fees for that mortgage. Any mortgage needs to be secured in the land registry (Grundbuch) and that can only be done by a notary public.

 

So the total fees on top of the purchase price are about 10-12%.

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thx Louise -- I visited for the first time on Saturday and liked the city (and the Eifel region) a lot.

 

Those fees seem high to Brits, but compared to Belgium (20%) they're actually quite low. Provided the survey is OK, I'll be renovating a fixer-upper over five years (the length of my contract) and so hope to restrict outlay on stamp duty/fees and to enjoy the challenge.

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one thing maybe to bear in mind, there is no Property Ladder as we know

it in the uk, infact the property market is very static, (if you look in the regional newspapers on Saturday you find only a few collums for your area) most people buy or have house built and then live in them 'til they get carried out in a box

...and avoid any property with sitting tennents as it can take years to get them out

...as a mate of mine found out to his cost !

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My mortgage was arranged through the bank wihich. The money was actualy borrowd from 3 different sources and the interest rate was fixed for 10 years. One thing that caught me by surprise was that my payments went up by 1% after one year and amounted to an extra €250 quarterly.

 

The explanation given was that for the first year just the interest was being paid and now I am actually paying money of the loan.

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Provided the survey is OK, I'll be renovating a fixer-upper over five years

I initially decided not to post a reply on the basis that this might be OK. However, having thought about it a bit more I'm not so sure it's a good idea. The German property market is pretty well moribund, even cheap old houses "renoviert" are not so easy to sell, if they aren't really beautiful old "Fachwerkhäuser" and there the "Renovierungskosten" can very easily become uncontrollable - I speak, unfortunately, from experience! Given the current population trends in Germany, I would not want to speculate on future profits on such an undertaking in 5 years.

 

Apart from anything else, partly as a result of the same population/accommodation pressures, rents are at an all time low - tendency even lower - the difference in costs, despite low interest rates, is no longer acceptable. I have an acquaintance, who rents her (new) house - 140 qm - for 1200€/m. That represents at current interest rates ca. 170000€ - I can't see you buying much in the area around Köln for that price, regardless of condition, (admittedly, the rents will be a bit higher there, but you can always rent a flat, or a smaller house, more cheaply).

 

I would suggest looking at the whole proposition very carefully, before deciding to buy!!!

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It seems there's a chorus suggesting prudence on this, but looking at the dearth of affordable character property for rent around Cologne I'm still tempted. The 1400-1600 warmmiete per month I'm looking at seems like five years of throwing my money away, and from what I've heard the outskirts of Cologne are not soaring but are at least expected to creep to the upside.

 

RMA - a Fachwerkhäus on the edge of a nature reserve is exactly what I'm looking at (not a listed one, though)... what were your experiences with yours?

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In our case it was a 200 m2 house built in about 1730 and not touched since before the war - I think Edison might have been impressed by the wiring, but certainly nobody after him!

 

The big problem with these houses is that particularly in the floors you can't really check what the condition is without opening the floor up, which is 1) expensive and 2) the seller probably won't agree to let you do it anyway. The result is that you need put in a fairly large reserve for contingecies. In our case, we budgeted 30 kDM, ~15 k€, but in the end we needed over 50 kDM (that cost me my last motorbike!). Amongst other things, the last two beams of the attic floor were completely rotted away for about the last 1m to an outside wall. The only thing preventing the whole lot from coming down was a small internal dividing wall which we were planning to take out. I'm glad we decided to open up the floor and have a look first!

 

Whatever you do, don't touch anything listed - it's even worse than in the UK! Don't forget that individual parts can still be listed, even if the building as a whole isn't (although this may vary from state to state - I'm not sure).

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Hi talking from experience I have just recently purchased a house in a small village and the mortgage is less than what i was paying for rent. It also is a zwei familien house and we very good tenants who are very helpful. One thing that did catch us out although we thought we were very well versed on the taxes etc was the land surveyors in our contract we agreed to have the land measured which apparently is capped here in Germany and it has cost 1500 euros which we had not budgetted for! The beauracy is unbelieveable but once you are through with all that its worth we do not regret buying and intend on being here for sometime mainly for my son really! Good luck in your decision!. Sharon

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House Survey, Can I get one and how much will it cost?

 

Just thinking that I should get a survey done on the house that I am buying

 

Thanks in advance

 

Topics merged by admin

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Yes you can. The prices depends on the size of the house and some other things.

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Look in the property section of the newspaper and you will probably find a number of Gutachter offering their services. The price also depends on how much detail you want, photographs included etc.

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Or look for Bausachverständige, Baugutachter in the Yellow Pages.

 

There are some listed on Immobilienscout.

 

Costs also depend on whether you want the Sachverständiger do a walkthrough only or give a written assessment.

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My husband and I have found a house we want to buy - we had been planning to build but have gotten fed up waiting for the land. We found a house by total surprise yesterday (meaning, we happened to catch the listing just after it went up, and got an appointment to see it an hour later, and we were shocked by the location and price etc.).

 

Anyway, it is quite an old house (1969) and does need quite a bit of work (nothing structural, mainly just decor although we would need to put new radiators in quite soon, etc).

 

Neither of us knows a thing about things like plumbing/pipes and electrics. We need someone to come and have a look at it for us who can tell us what problems there are, what we might need to expect in terms of costs, should anything need to be replaced and so on. I've tried googling for a "Bauinspektor" but it just does not seem to be what I am looking for.

 

Does anyone know what professional it is I am looking for here?

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

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German people seem to be much more relaxed about this that in the UK. Remember that any non-visible faults that the seller knows about have to be explained to you, otherwise the seller is liable. Still ...

 

The heating thing definitely needs investigation by a professional. Lots of houses have old, non-compliant heating systems. Disposal of old oil tanks and plumbing can cost thousands, making the house almost unsaleable. Be extremely cautious, because sellers and estate agents like to fob off these unviable houses on foreigners who don't know about the regulations.

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Thank you Boots. I've tried to make sense of the Engergieausweiß but even in translation, I'm reading things that I know nothing about. One thing I am wondering though, when the Energieausweiß says that the Empfehlungen is Modernisierung, is that recommendation a "suggestion from us on how to reduce your energy consumption/waste" or is it "this property MUST be renovated." All things we will talk about with the surveyor on Wednesday when he views the property but the endless hours (and wine) consumed by my husband and I while we are waiting to see if this will go through is crazy.

 

We also know the bottom-line price the seller will sell for (his outstanding mortgage amount) and if there is 10-20,000 worth of major work needed (aside from the cosmetic stuff) the seller will not reduce his price, nor will he pay to have it done before selling it. Which sucks for us. I am sure there are some people out there who will pay the asking price with that kind of work to be done, but not us. We'd have to wait it out and see if in 3-4 months of no one buying, he changed his mind. So really, we are hoping that it all clears and that the place is sound.

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Just my 2 cents:

The house is now almost 50 years old.

You should consider checking the electrical wiring and replace/modify it.(10k€). The water tubing will be corroded or plugged with lime (10k€). It's only a matter of time until you will have a problem. 50 year old bathroom? Definitely need renovation (20k€+). If you don't do it before you move into the house, you will never do it. The roof ist still ok?

There is an insulation between the cellar und the ground floor? If bot, insulate. Insulation between last floor and attic? If not insulate.

Put 80k€ aside and you should be fine.

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