Buying a new apartment that is being constructed on top of an old apartment

7 posts in this topic

Hi,

My husband and I are planning to buy an apartment here in Berlin. We kinda liked one apartment (new apartment) with 75sq.mt area and on 5th floor. The downside is that it is being constructed on top of an existing old apartment building. We are not sure if this would affect us in future w.r.t the resale value and future problems (pipe breakage, wall leak etc.). What are the things we should be concerned about ? and what are the things that we should check before buying the house?

 

Looking forward to any suggestions!

 

Cheers!

 

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If it's not built don't buy it, I know three lots of people here in Berlin that have bought flats off plan, in other words not yet built, and in every case it's gone wrong, first case,flat was three quarters finished,then the building contractor  disappeared, took  a further two years to get the thing finished, case two, the builders started construction around six or seven years ago then stopped, started building again last year, the apartment should be finished this year November, I walked past them today, I would say with luck they could be ready to move into next November, case three, a real financial  nightmare, (without details) notice handed in at the old flat, new flat not finished on time, furniture and household items need to go into storage, building contractor can no longer be contacted, he's seemingly disappeared into thin air,along with the money,it's now a legal matter,and has been for the last eighteen months, the potential new flat owners live now in an uncertain stress filled limbo.  Each to their own,but I would not buy something that I couldn't actually see, for me there are to many pitfalls.

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Thank you so much for the information. That sounds really scary! 

Wasit the case that the builders were not well known? In our case, we are looking at a well known builder accentro, and the new apartment is coming on top of an already existing old apartment building. Our main concern so far was wether the old building, old plumbing would affect the new one too ? And would it affect the resale price? 

Also, were all three cases buying neu bau?

 

 

 

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Two were neu Bau, one was complete renovation of an existing apartment. Will it be possible to reach the new apartment you are interested in by lift?  If there is permission to build a lift it doesn't mean that you will actually ever get a lift. Normally this is a bauliche Veränderungen (something like change of building use/structure) all the owners of the other apartments need to agree to this change,not just a majority. If there already is a lift this is a huge bonus,even if it only goes to the floor below. Walking stairs is also ok, just you mentioned resale.

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I can add to @Wasteland's stories - one good friend was doing as the op suggested, building out attic apartment on old building with reputable builder and all looked great. 4 years later, messy lawyer bills, conflicted relationships with rest of building tenants (due the chaos of the rebuild) and 30% additional costs, not including lawyer fees, and a shoddy finish - my friend now has her apartment but so much stress. Not what I would advise.  What she paid and the resale value now do not match, she may have to wait quite some years.

 

regarding resale, there are many factors that would affect the resale value, the most dominant in my opinion is the location.  Many older buildings have their plumbing, electrics and windows renovated these days, so being "old" does not mean decrepit ! 

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I thought the op was talking about a complete new build on top of an existing building, not renovation / Ausbau, of a roof space. I was also surprised,but you can actually buy the flat roof square meter of an apartment block, and build a new flat penthouse style. Look on the immo sites there is one for sale in Friedenau, if the foundations are strong enough why not? I would not worry about old water pipes, all cold water pipes should have been replaced by now, in Berlin there was a law and an end date when this should have happend, it was because of the old lead pipes. Have forgotten when this cut off date was, but something like 2010 or 2012. many did indeed do the replacement and exchanged the waste,Abwasser pipe at the same time. Thanks Kirakay, these stories are not so uncommon, you need to be super careful.

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@Wasteland I did not know that about a complete new build on top of an existing building?!  Aye well learning something new is always good :P  now that you mention it about the pipes replacing I do recall something of this but I guess some buildings did get missed Berlin being Berlin !

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