Buying an old apartment vs new apartment

29 posts in this topic

Hi Everyone,

 

I saw few similar topics, but I am not that much convinced, since I have to invest a lot of money. 

I saw 1975 built 4 room apartment (95 mt sq), which is around 15 km to Frankfurt hbf in s bahn and it would cost around 230,000 euros and I found another neubau 3 room apartment which is also almost same distance 75sq mt which cost around 300, 000 euros. 

I have the following doubt;

  * How long the apartment stays ?  I will live in that apartment around 3 yrs max and rent it for another 10 to 15 yrs and want to          sell it. Old apartment is renovated completly, floor, heating , water pipes are insulated and Interior insulation of the outer                walls. 

 * Does the old apartment value decrease a lot ? 

 * Which would be a better option ?

 * What else I need to check ?

 

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I don't think it makes a lot of difference to be honest, especially if the old one's been renovated to a good standard.  I had a similar choice and went for the new one and it's worked fine.   The old one's also in a very popular district.  At the moment, most places will rent and that's not likely to change soon.

 

If you like, you could tell us a bit more on location because some of us know the "15km from Frankfurt" area :lol:.  In Offenbach, for instance, I would definitely prefer one of the fabulous old builds but in, say, Langen, I'd probably go for one of the new central blocks.  I did consider both when last buying here (but did so in Berlin in the end).  Generally the area's booming massively but some locales are diverse, and some are more favoured and more progressing have have more potential than others.    It helps for us to be near a city like Frankfurt but our locales are not reliant on it, most have their own economic base.   There are a couple of obvious "cold spots" though, such as blighted by airport noise, or industrially at a low ebb.

 

The old adage on what to check: location, location, location.

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It is in Langen, but the problem is, it has electric floor heating which cost 110 euros every month. I am also confused that in future electricity price might increase and it might effect. And also now 110 euros is bit expensive. 

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Floor heating would definitely normally be considered a big plus but you are correct, it does need to be economic and that sounds high, and so perhaps find out why.  

 

It is a valid point that old builds may be less energy efficient than new ones but the sales particulars should tell you.  There is a standard scale from A+ as perfect (where you find many new builds) through to extremely inefficient.   Any deficiency would also be reflected in a lower purchas price and - later - lower rental, so it balances out.  If you register on something like Immoscout, you can see lots of information on locale.  It also says Langen prices have rised by 40% since 2014.

 

Langen is an example of a fairly self-supporting locale that is thriving, and growing and (I think) still offers possibilities like living in or near the centre.    It's got a lot of its own industry and is in the centre of national air traffic control. It is like as much a South Hesse (Darmstadt anchor) locale because of the nature of its industry and its TU student population.    It's a fairly safe place to buy in I think, and relatively good value compared to much of the area.  Exactly the sort of place that be chosen by even more professionals and others now Darmstadt and Frankfurt have rocketed away.  If I was planning a rental in the longer term, I'd probably choose the centre (near the station). 

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17 minutes ago, swimmer said:

It is a valid point that old builds may be less energy efficient than new ones but the sales particulars should tell you.  There is a standard scale from A+ as perfect (where you find many new builds) through to extremely inefficient.   

 

A surveyor gave me good advice a couple of years ago - all things being equal, go for the apartment / house built after 1973  or even better after 1979 (oil crisis years) - their insulation will generally be a lot better than one built just before these years.

 

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1 hour ago, suharama said:

It is in Langen, but the problem is, it has electric floor heating which cost 110 euros every month. I am also confused that in future electricity price might increase and it might effect. And also now 110 euros is bit expensive. 

 

My dad had a floor in the kitchen of his last house which was electric heating.  It cost a fortune to run (even just for 1 room) and they turned it off and never used it.

 

As such then I would suggest to avoid this, or expect to replace it ASAP.

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42 minutes ago, swimmer said:

Floor heating would definitely normally be considered a big plus but you are correct, it does need to be economic and that sounds high, and so perhaps find out why.  

I think you are confused. It is not normal floor heating like A+ efficient in new buildings. It is electric floor heating which is too expensive. 

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Also I saw much variation to ground floor apartment than the top floor apartment for the same size and everything is similar.

If the ground floor apartment is 310,000 euro, top floor apartment will be 330,000 euros. Is top floor apartment is worth of 20,000 euros ? 

Why it has so much variation.

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Is 110 really *that* expensive when heating a place that's almost 100 qm?

 

IIRC my heating (gas/hot water radiators) for last year was about 400 euros total and my place is listed at 32 qm.  Also, you don't run the heat year round so...

 

maybe a more objective evaluation comes from the energy certificate on the place - that would at least give you an apples to apples comparison with other apartments. I'd focus on that when you are comparing "value" - it tells you a lot.

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12 minutes ago, suharama said:

Why it has so much variation.

 

because top floor apartments have more privacy than ground floor apartments?  They're more secure? They get less to no street noise? They tend to be brighter?  They often have more interesting architecture?  etc?

 

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46 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

IIRC my heating (gas/hot water radiators) for last year was about 400 euros total and my place is listed at 32 qm.  Also, you don't run the heat year round so...

 

Right.  An being 3x that size does not mean 3x consumption anyway.  Most of us are still often only heating one one main living room normally, with perhaps a little in extreme cold in other.

 

Quote

Also I saw much variation to ground floor apartment than the top floor apartment for the same size and everything is similar.

 

Upper floor generally worth more, although ground floor stuff may have added value e.g. garden.  Factors like facing road vs off-street also come in.

A decent developer or agent will factor these in - it is in their interest in order to get a sale.  You can ask them to explain the best features and such (perhaps in that sort of why, rather than not understanding the logic).   

 

The two I mentioned were same price.  Once was renovated penthouse a little out of the centre.   The other was a more central (thus more noisy) new build.  I had to balance those different variables.   I had a wide choice in Berlin but the upper ones were more expensive (including river view), as were the ones off-road,.    So I fitted my budget by having a ground floor one, but off street, and for me the quiet was 100% worth selecting :lol:.    Most of us do this.

 

Price is only ever what we are willing to pay.   In general, I would say.  If we find something really offputting, do not buy it. Go with your "gut".  If we might be able to live with it, ensure the price reflects any constraint accordingly.   But also try not to sweat about small values, a couple of k can always be accommodated.   It comes out in the resale value usually:  if something makes a property cheaper to buy, it will be cheaper when it sells as well.   We don't "lose" according to buying the cheaper or more expensive one.  I won't be able to sell the Berlin flat for as much as the one with the river view...but I also did not pay as much for it, and can do other things with cash not spent.

 

PS - It is not good form to tell people that have many years of experience in a subject you are asking for help on that they are "confused".    I think a child knows what electric underfloor heating is. A 50 year old like me who has owned property for nearly 30 years, and currently owns several, certainly does.

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2 hours ago, lisa13 said:

 

because top floor apartments have more privacy than ground floor apartments?  They're more secure? They get less to no street noise? They tend to be brighter?  They often have more interesting architecture?  etc?

 

 

My ground floor flat is also more expensive to heat than the ones above it. The cellar is very cold and drafty and my flooring gets positively icy in the winter.

 

For newly built properties that would be mostly irrelevant though.

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sure @Smaug anything is possible.  Similar apartments are rarely "the same" on every count. 

 

I have mixed feelings about my EG - on the one hand, I have a garden - yay!  on the other hand, I am constantly picking up garbage that people drop off their terraces, cleaning up leaves and dreck that the hausmeister blows into my garden, people parking their bikes in the garden or blocking the garden entrance, usw.  I can't avoid seeing just about everyone in the building as they come and go when I'm in the garden, and I have a playground about 2.5 meters from my windows.  Some neighbors like to wave at me if they see me sitting or moving around inside :/

 

Even with a garden, I don't think I'd pay top euro for it as there are a lot of hassles that go with the EG.  Without the garden?  nooooo I would not even consider living here.

 

eta: luckily, it's not cold.  I do have drafty windows but that can be fixed

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2 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

My dad had a floor in the kitchen of his last house which was electric heating.  It cost a fortune to run (even just for 1 room) and they turned it off and never used it.

 

A retired friend of mine has electric floor heating all over his five-bedroom house. He worked out that, as the electricity costs during the three coldest months of the year was thousands and thousands of euros, he was better off turning the heat down to the bare minimum and renting an apartment in Thailand for the duration. That's what he's been doing for the last three years or so.

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Indeed.  Mine's right on top of the not very well insulated boiler :blink:. I could just about run without adding anything in winter, but it can be a drag in summer.  Also worth bearing in mind that not all heating costs are 100% allocated anyway often, because there's often some interdependency of that sort.   Some are apportioned.  So we do not always pay just on personal direct consumption.   Depends on the model the owners agree.   We have something involving 70% and 30% (detail lost in mists of time).

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Before we found a house to buy, we nearly rented a late 70's house. We approached the neighbours and they offered to show us their electricity bills that included electric underfloor heating as we had no clue about the expense ...huge.  Plus, it wasn't particularly efficient (probably poor insulation) and they had to use secondary heating on each floor.

 

A relative recently bought a fully renovated 70's apartment. It looks fabulous though she has since had general costly repairs and is now facing the replacement of the underfloor heating and some electrics.

 

Maybe I missed reading the info...does the 70's apartment have an energy efficiency rating? Around here, anything pre 90's is usually F plus no matter what supposed additional insulation measures were added since build.

 

We have friends and family who own various rental properties...general concensus is that a reputably built new property with various guarantees, potentially offers a more hassle free rental income up to medium term...10-15 years. Of course, location is a major consideration.

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1 hour ago, Smaug said:

A retired friend of mine has electric floor heating all over his five-bedroom house.

What is the purpose of owning a five-bedroom house as a retiree :)? I would sell the place and move to Thailand or live much smaller.

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50 minutes ago, emkay said:

We have friends and family who own various rental properties...general concensus is that a reputably built new property with various guarantees, potentially offers a more hassle free rental income up to medium term...10-15 years. Of course, location is a major consideration.

 

Inclined to agree with that in general, and also knowing Langen and see, some of what's been going on in the development of it recently.   It's not like the "old build" is of the attractive sort that is sought after in some places and there's also quite a lot of new build that seems to be decently located in the centre of an already thriving and still growing area.

 

When we say "old build" in south Hesse, it tends to be  post-war commodity stuff (given what happened in the war etc), not the grand old ducal sort of Wiesbaden or that artists' colony of Darmstadt or even the attractive sort "with potential" in our historic "problem child" Offenbach.  (And most of that stuff does not cost the prices here, of course).   A lot of the former really doesn't have a long robust economic lifespan.

 

Quote

What is the purpose of owning a five-bedroom house as a retiree :)? I would sell the place and move to Thailand or live much smaller.

 

If you have such a place, you probably have enough money not to need to move to Thailand, or you can afford to live there as well :ph34r: My neighbours' plot is probably worth several mill.  (Me in a flat, I hasten to add, not how I live, villa row for sure, but not for most of us)   People here do often perpetually remortgage of course, and on an interest only.  They are utilising the value.  

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1 hour ago, LukeSkywalker said:

What is the purpose of owning a five-bedroom house as a retiree :)? I would sell the place and move to Thailand or live much smaller.

 

He is a collector of Indonesian art and the house is completely filled with it. Every inch of space on the walls, every table and cabinet is filled with it: masks, puppets, sculptures (big and small), jewellery, paintings, hand-carved furniture (four-poster beds, tables, chairs, wardrobes...)... He had the house built to house the collection. I bet his insurance premiums are even higher than his heating bill.

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