English speaking tradesmen in Berlin?

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Hi

I’m a UK citizen currently resident in Cyprus who’s thinking about investing in property in Berlin with a budget of up to €80k. My plan is to try and find an apartment with vacant possession, call in local tradesmen to paint and decorate the place to bring it up to an acceptable standard, and then let it out for a 10 year period.

My motivation for doing so is that most long-term forecasts for the city’s property prices continue to be overwhelmingly positive, what with the forecast population growth, seemingly good prospects for the region’s economy, and the (long overdue) completion of the Schoenefeld airport. At worst (the property being destroyed apart), I do not think that - in terms of capital gain/loss at least  I stand to lose a great deal financially.

2 questions:

  1. How easy is it to find local English-speaking tradesmen? Are there any websites or any other sources I could utilise to find them?

  2. Bearing in mind I’m resident outside of Germany and don’t speak the language, how realistic is my plan?

I’ve done a fair bit of research on the practicalities of buying and letting out a property in Germany, and consequently am aware of many of the potential pitfalls (not least due to the issues in 2 above). Despite this, I’d like to think that the long-term prospects for capital gain are worth all of the likely aggravation and inconvenience.

On the other hand, I wonder if I am deluding myself as to whether the upside is really so much greater than the downside. Is there much more scope for capital appreciation in the kind of property I’m looking to buy? Alternatively – would I just be better off scrapping the plan and invest instead in property in the UK (my options there would be far more restricted owing to the fact that UK property is generally more expensive), or indeed invest my money in conventional vehicles such as stocks and funds?

Any info/advice/thoughts would be welcome. Please feel free to be as frank and brutal as you wish.

Many thanks in anticipation.

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Why is it unrealistic? There are still plenty of cheap appartments in Berlin. With 50k you can get a studio apartment easily. Of course it won't be in Hipsterland, but still in pretty OK areas.

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27 minutes ago, Krieg said:

Why is it unrealistic? There are still plenty of cheap appartments in Berlin. With 50k you can get a studio apartment easily. Of course it won't be in Hipsterland, but still in pretty OK areas.

 

Not so easily anymore, unfortunately. As of today there were 31 apartments listed for under 60k on immobielienscout24.  Most were rented (at prices that wouldn't tempt me to tie up 60k...) or auction sales (meaning they probably will end up selling for more than this).  Ah for the good old days...

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3 minutes invested in searching and I found:

- Apartment in Spandau ready to move in for 78500 EUR

- Apartment in Treptow which seems not rented out and renovated for 65000 EUR

- Aparment in Spandua that needs full renovation for 46500 EUR. It is described as "Hanwerkerobjekt", which is exactly what the OP is looking for, something cheap that needs lots of work.

Sometimes I do not get the negativity here, it is like people do not like other people to do things.

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Sometimes I do not get the negativity here, it is like people do not like other people to do things.

 

Talking about negativity – you really suggest this Spandau "Handwerkerobjekt"?

 

A f*cked up ruin

 

to the OP?

 

Now add your "lots of work" – coordinated over phone from cyprus with absolutely no control over the Berlin based Handwerkers (or the additional cost for a local Bauleitung) ... then add the costs for local Hausverwaltung if that flat ever gets ready to rent it out ... and you have a receipt for financial desaster.

 

Quote

- Apartment in Spandau ready to move in for 78500 EUR

 

Ready to move in? This one is listed as "renovierungsbedürftig" and has lots of pictures of the surroundings but not even one from the inside, what would make me very suspicious.

 

78.500,- + tax: 4.710,00 + notary fee: 1.570,00 = 84.780 EUR + costs for renovation.

 

And again: Who will deal with the renters? Short term or long term – someone's got to deal with the renters, arrange the apartment sightseeings, listen to their complaints etc – add the cost for Hausverwaltung. 

 

It's not negativity but reality to see that such an investment wouldn't pay off. 

 

 

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OK, you must know better than me then. Maybe you can tell us how many apartments you have bought in Berlin in the past years, because you seem to be powered only by Google knowledge.

But since the OP is probably interested in what I have to say ... this is still totally possible. The only thing is that you have to go out of the 4 hipster districts (Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Neukoelln, Friedrichshain) and forget the really expensive districts (Dahlem, Mitte, Fronau, Friedrenau, etc).

You still can find some good offers in districts that are still OK, like Moabit, Spandau, Charlottenburg Nord, Lichterfelder, Marienfelder, Treptow, Reinickendord, some parts of Steglitz and a few others.

I've been myself chasing a new apartment for some months but I want it in Charlottenburg, and we are a bit picky about this one because we plan to move one day in the far future into this one, so it has not been easy.

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Actually, on a second thought, if I were the OP I would just buy one that is already rented out. Apartments that are rented out are normally cheaper because kicking the renter is very difficult in Germany. And since the OP only wants to let the aparment sit for the 10 years he could still make around 5% yearly yield for those years and then sell it after that for profit. The OP is the perfect candidate for something like that.

And maybe after a long time the renter m oves out and the OP hits jackpot. But even with the renter staying I am sure he can profit.

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15 minutes ago, Krieg said:

OK, you must know better than me then. Maybe you can tell us how many apartments you have bought in Berlin in the past years, because you seem to be powered only by Google knowledge.

 

Actually it was you that presented his Google/Immoscout knowledge and I ask you again: Would you really suggest that completely f*cked up Spandau ruin to a guy who sits in Cyprus – as an investment?

 

I wouldn't risk money with buying low end apartments in Berlin although I'm only 530 kms away and not 2.500 and although I speak the language of the land. 

 

 

 

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OK, that's you. Maybe that's why you do not own anyone and that's why you are not a business oriented person.

Read your own words, if renting apartments is a bad business then how the heck most of the people live in rented apartments?

Actually, besides the issues with the over protection of the renter, it is very easy to be a landlord in Germany, specially for apartments because most the landlord job is done by the HV.

Yes, I posted ONE aparment that need lots of work, and I said it needs lots of work. That's obviously the reason for its low price. And yes, bringing it up to standards will take time and money, that's why it is very cheap. And yes, the water is wet.

When you buy an apartment you do not base your decision in a 5 minutes Google research. That's now how people who make money do it. Of course it will take time. But telling the guy that he can forget about it because he is late to the party it is basically bollocks. South-Moabit exploded 3 years ago, specially all the area at the border with Mitte, and you do not even need an area to explode in order to make money.

Again, how many properties have you bought in Berlin that you are such an expert?

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2 hours ago, Krieg said:

OK, that's you. Maybe that's why you do not own anyone

 

Correct, I don't own "anyone", who is that poor person you own? :) 

 

I own property, but not hundreds or thousands kilometers away without speaking the language of the land, without any contacts and without any control of what some unknown Handwerkers might do  – or rather might not do – with all the money I have pay them to make a ruin livable...

 

2 hours ago, Krieg said:

 

and that's why you are not a business oriented person.

 

I'm not bad business oriented and know funnier ways to burn money. 

 

2 hours ago, Krieg said:

Read your own words, if renting apartments is a bad business then how the heck most of the people live in rented apartments?

 

Better YOU read my words again: 

 

"I wouldn't risk money with buying low end apartments in Berlin although I'm only 530 kms away and not 2.500 and although I speak the language of the land."

 

Where does it say 'renting (out) apartments is bad business'?

 

2 hours ago, Krieg said:

When you buy an apartment you do not base your decision in a 5 minutes Google research.

 

Tell it to Carter, he's the one that would need to fly in from cyprus. 

 

2 hours ago, Krieg said:

Again, how many properties have you bought in Berlin that you are such an expert?

 

Again, since your reading abilities suck:

 

"I wouldn't risk money with buying low end apartments in Berlin although I'm only 530 kms away and not 2.500 and although I speak the language of the land."

 

Why don't you spend your precious experts time providing your in-depth knowledge to the op? I'm sure you have lots of hidden gems at hand that would suit Carters needs. And you surely have the best english speaking craftsmen available that do reliable work – without supervision. Or at least a cheap construction manager to do that supervision. And as an expert you know of both cheap and reliable HV that the op can advice per telephone from cyprus. Come on, be helpful! 

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