Posts

Buy your own apartment – procedure, costs, advantages & disadvantages

As soon as you move into your first own apartment, most people say: rent, rent, rent. Every month you go to work many hours to spend most of your time on the next rent, which is due at the beginning of the month. No wonder that many young people become friends with the idea of buying a condominium as soon as possible.

Buy a condo – What to consider?

The purchase of a real estate brings many advantages, but also disadvantages with itself. When the word property comes up, most people first think of the classic single-family home. But condominiums can also be an interesting alternative. If you are thinking about whether it might be useful for you to buy a condo, then you should definitely stick to this article until the end. We not only tell you the advantages and disadvantages of buying a condominium, but also explain the necessary requirements and the procedure.

Advantages

Before one deals with the prerequisites and the procedure, one usually asks oneself: What are the advantages of buying a property for me? The answer to this question depends on various factors.  If you have previously lived in a rented apartment, then the following advantages arise for you:

1. Money in everyday life & security in old age

If you have saved enough money to buy an apartment, you are exempt from monthly rent payments. That means for you a lot more money a month that you can spend on other things. Whether it’s one or two holidays, restaurant visits or special events, life can be made more varied without rent payments.

If you pay off your condominium in installments, you look forward to the possibility of saving your hard-earned salary and spending it on something else at some point. Usually it is a dream of a lifetime, which should be fulfilled, like a high-quality expensive car, or a holiday home.

It is not uncommon for older people to find themselves in a situation where, after working hard all their lives and finally having time to travel, they do not get enough pension to fulfil their dreams. If they live in a condominium, they are exempt from the rent and can invest their pension in beautiful things.

  • no monthly rental payments
  • More money for beautiful things in life
  • Saving for life’s dream
  • Ageing protection – spending your pension on other things

2. No fear of problems

If you are a tenant of an apartment, you always have to expect that your landlord will register your apartment as personal use. No matter how the situation arises, the notification is often a shock for the current tenants. No wonder, because this notification means stress. As quickly as possible a new rented apartment must be found, which is not only affordable, but also where the location and other criteria are right.

But if you’re the owner, you don’t have to worry about such things. Nobody can kick you out because you alone decide how long you want to stay in your apartment. Even if you decide that you want to emigrate, you can do so, rent your condo and earn money at the same time.

  • No fear of being thrown out by landlords
  • Earn money by renting is possible

3. Freedom of decision

When it comes to the design of a rental apartment, there are often regulations that are determined by the landlord from the outset. Although it is permitted to paint the walls or change the floor coverings, nothing in the building fabric may be changed. So if you want to remove a wall or have something rebuilt, this is not possible without further ado.

However, if it is your property, there are no limits to your creativity. You can design your home the way you like it and feel good about it.

  • Creativity without limits
  • high feel-good factor

Disadvantages

Despite the many advantages, it is also important to consider the negative side of buying a condo. Here we have two disadvantages for you, which you should not ignore for your decision.

1. Administrative expenses

An apartment means care. No matter if you move into your apartment yourself or if you decide to rent it out. From now on there is no longer a landlord who is responsible for the maintenance of the apartment. That means you have to take care of everything yourself. If you are a landlord yourself, you must always be approachable for your tenant. For the maintenance of your apartment there are compulsory costs, which you have to pay.

  • Apartment requires maintenance
  • Landlord must be available for tenants

2. Neighbors

A big disadvantage when buying a condo are the neighbors. Of course you can be lucky to have the ideal neighbours who will never disturb you and who will always make you happy to meet you next time. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. If you are unlucky, after buying the apartment, neighbours move in with whom you do not get along well. Unfortunately, there is often no right of co-determination here.

  • No guarantee for pleasant neighbours

Search condominium: Private or real estate?

If you decide to search for a condominium, you must ask yourself important questions beforehand. One of these important questions is whether you want to find your condo privately or hire a real estate agent. Many people reject the idea of hiring a broker immediately because it is assumed that hiring a broker is automatically associated with high costs. In some cases, however, this is a misconception. If you would like to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a broker, we have an interesting article for you.

Costs of purchase

But how do the costs of a condominium actually make up? What are the components of the price you pay for a condominium? There are various factors that influence the purchase price of a home. One of the most important factors is the city. Is it a popular city where many people want to live, or is it an unknown smaller city? The more popular the city, the higher the property price. The location within the city also plays a role. Living right in the city centre close to sights, shops and in the midst of the hustle and bustle tends to be more expensive than an apartment on the outskirts.

Another important factor is the condition of the apartment. When was the last time the apartment renovated, what value-enhancing elements are installed? If there is any damage in the apartment, this will also affect the price. For this reason, it always makes sense to take a close look at the interior of an apartment.

Especially if you decide to live in an apartment on the outskirts of a big city, it is all the more important to have good transport connections. If this is the case and one can be in the city centre with a car within a short time, this also increases the value.  Not everyone who decides to buy a condo also automatically has a car. Not to mention the fact that many people also rely on public transport when their car is broken. A good transport connection also ensures that the value of your property increases.

On the real estate market there are always local prices, at which a real estate price orients itself. Depending on how much similar properties are worth in your area, this will also affect the price. So if you’re looking to buy a condo but don’t have too much money, it might be worth looking in a region that isn’t quite as popular.

As you can see, there are many different factors that affect the price of a property. If you have limited financial resources, you can go through the points and consider which points in the list are not so important to you. If you can compromise with yourself, this could have a positive effect on the property price.

  • City
  • Good transport connections
  • Extended infrastructure
  • Regional property market
  • Condition of the apartment

The financing of a condominium

What are the actual financial models? This question is particularly important for those who want to buy a condo but have not saved enough to pay for it immediately. We have found different financing models for you, so that you can consider whether one of the possibilities is suitable for you.

The most popular cities in Germany

Job or study

Apartments are wanted everywhere. The most popular condominiums are in the major cities of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. No wonder, because most people would like to live in one of the big cities. Here we have a ranking for you, which describes the 10 most popular cities. The northern German port city of Hamburg is repeatedly regarded as the most popular city in Germany. No wonder that the demand for housing is not necessarily low. Rental properties as well as condominiums are in high demand here. In Hamburg there is not only the beautiful Alster, but also the Speicherstadt and the HafenCity. But why is that so? Why does everyone want to live in the big cities?

Usually it is one of three reasons why you decide to move to one of these cities. One of these reasons is the job or the study. It can happen very quickly. Suddenly a job that is better paid is offered in another city and you are faced with the question: Should I move and leave my hometown? For most, the answer is clear, because a better salary can make a huge difference in life. Suddenly you have money for something you never dreamed of. The money for a second family vacation in the year, for a new car, or also for a monthly attendance in the Kosmetikstudio.

After graduating from high school, almost all graduates feel the same: out of their familiar environment and into a new adventure. Even if for many it is often only a stay abroad that is chosen, others decide to study in a completely different city. What is the best way to become self-employed? Exactly by freeing yourself from your parents and learning to stand on your own two feet. Often it is not only the isolation from one’s parents that makes one move to another city to study, but sometimes the desired course of studies is only offered in another city, so that one is forced to move.

Love

Another reason that is often responsible for a move is love. Many know it, the partner is forced to move to another city because there is a job offer waiting for him. But what is the horror of most partnerships? A long-distance relationship. Very quickly the decision is made and one decides to accompany the partner. The search for a rental apartment or condominium begins and presents most couples with a difficult task. The new life in one of the most popular cities in Germany begins.

New life

Many have had the situation before. Nothing in life goes the way you imagined it would. The job burdens you more and more, old friends turned out to be false friends and in love you are always unlucky. Many then come to the point where they say: A new beginning must come here. Everything that connects one with the old life is replaced, the apartment is terminated, the job is terminated and the contact to old friends and acquaintances is completely broken off. Also for a new beginning one of the most popular cities of Germany is chosen gladly. No matter whether Hamburg or Munich the search for a rented apartment, a condominium or a house is particularly difficult in these cities. It is therefore not uncommon for many people to decide to hire a real estate agent. You will also find out in this article which advantages result from this.

Ranking of the most popular cities:

  1. Hamburg
  2. Dresden
  3. Munich
  4. Lübeck
  5. Freiburg
  6. Berlin
  7. Potsdam
  8. Trier
  9. Weimar
  10. Düsseldorf

Tips: Step by step to the condo

You have weighed the pros and cons sufficiently? Your decision has been made and you want to take the plunge and buy a condo? Then you will now learn the exact procedure so that you can prepare yourself sufficiently.

Since spending a sum on a condominium is not just a matter of time, but an important decision for life, it is important that you prepare sufficiently. You should therefore first become aware of how much money you have available and develop a suitable financing plan. It is advisable to contact a professional, because he can inform you about possible risks.

  • Draw up financing plan

If the result of this consultation is good enough, you can start looking for a suitable property. Now you can make up your mind: Would you prefer to search privately for a property, or would you rather hire a real estate agent?

  • hire a real estate agent
  • Find and check real estate
  • land register entry, payment & object transfer

Art of the apartment – The differences

New building or old building?

If you are looking for an apartment, you should also consider whether it makes more sense to look for an old building or a new one. Do you know the differences between an old and a new building? It is correct that all buildings whose building permit was issued after 30.06.1953 are new buildings. However, there are many other differences. The special features of old buildings are the high rooms, the imposing facades, large windows and wing doors. New buildings, on the other hand, are characterised by a modern design. We have listed the advantages and disadvantages for you, so that you can quickly decide what is more suitable for you.

New construction – Advantages

If you decide to build a new house, you will benefit from the fact that you will have to pay low ancillary living costs because the thermal insulation is greatly improved. In general, it can be said that the latest technologies are usually used for a new building. If you decide to have a property rebuilt, you have the possibility to incorporate your own wishes into the design.

old building – advantages

You will notice one of the biggest advantages of an old building as soon as you enter such a building. An old building with a beautiful facade can enchant. You enter such an apartment and the ceiling is very high in contrast to new buildings. A high ceiling combined with an imposing chandelier can look like a small castle. Even if you are not interested in making your old building apartment imposing, there are many other possibilities to use an old building apartment. Since the ceiling is so high, most rooms are particularly suitable for special bunk beds.

Does a property make sense as a capital investment?

Property as a capital investment – Many people come to the point at some point in their lives where they wonder whether it might make sense to invest in a property. As a layman it is sometimes quite difficult to find your way around the topics of real estate. We have interviewed an expert for you to answer all your open questions.

Interview with real estate expert Jan Rickel from IHV – Die Immobilien Makler.

Is real estate a sensible capital investment?

Nobody will be surprised that I, as a broker, answer this question with a clear “yes”. But it depends on the reason! When buying real estate as a capital investment – and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a house, a plot of land or an apartment – everyone likes to talk about “concrete gold”. There is a reason for this: real estate has indeed grown steadily in value over the past years and decades. Generally speaking, anyway. As with gold, you also have to endure times with worse performance or even a downward trend in real estate.

FIV: Then I’d rather invest in gold right away. After all, do I never have to “renovate” gold or worry about tenant issues?

At first glance, that is correct. But at a second glance it quickly becomes clear: if you do your real estate right, you can achieve gains in value in periods and heights that gold investors only dream of. I’m talking about the “leverage effect” of buying real estate. In short: The capital used for the purchase experiences already after ten years with sales of the real estate a value increase in the tidy two to three-digit range. No gold in the world can do that!

No gold in the world can do that!

However, with gold it doesn’t matter where it is located – the main thing is a secure safe at a bank. With a real estate it is not indifferent. In addition to the state of construction, the location plays a decisive role in value development.

invest money in Frankfurt & Rhine-Main area

FIV: What does that look like in the Rhine-Main area? Which regions are in demand?

The Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden and Mainz area is known to be at the top of the scale when it comes to demand for real estate. You only have to drive on the relevant motorways once in the morning and after work to know that many people work and live here. The urban agglomeration is interesting for many people to shorten the distances to work.

But of course there are also differences in the intensity of demand and thus in the development of prices. It is really expensive wherever people have good connections to buses, trains and roads. The Rhine rail to Bingen, for example, is therefore very good, or the surrounding area from Frankfurt to Butzbach, Hanau etc..

Real estate as a capital investment fits perfectly into these locations of the Rhine-Main area!

However, the locations in the Middle Rhine Valley or in the rear Main-Taunus district are a little less good. There, real estate is sold rather than bought. Basically, the purchase prices decrease with the distance to the large centers. This is interesting for investors because although the purchase prices for real estate in the periphery are often lower, the rental income to be achieved is not. This has a noticeably positive effect on the yield of the property.

Brexit and real estate prices?

Question: Do you think that Brexit plays a role in real estate prices in the Rhine-Main area?

Yes! I’m sure of it!! Since the decision to resign was made, many companies have relocated their headquarters to continental Europe. Frankfurt is one of the first addresses in the world for banking and financial services, so that some companies from this sector have already come to Frankfurt. Others will follow. Compared to the rents and purchase prices in London and the surrounding area, our prices seem rather moderate to the bankers.

Which areas in the Rhine-Main area benefit from the influx of exiled Brexit victims, however, cannot be said so clearly. For example, even greater pressure on the housing market was predicted for the inner city of Frankfurt than it already is. However, this has not happened so far. Many prospective customers are now looking for a house or apartment in the surrounding area. The Rhine-Main conurbation is much more manageable in its dimensions than Greater London. The journey by train or car to work in Frankfurt is obviously acceptable for many prospective buyers. Real estate buyers in more distant areas can also profit from this development. The corresponding properties and locations only have to be professionally marketed to the target group of interested parties. The Rhine-Main area is becoming more and more expensive, so that locations that were considered moderate yesterday are interesting today as capital investments. This includes Rheinhessen, for example.

3 tips for investing in real estate

Question: What three tips would you give our readers if they wanted to buy a property as an investment?

  • Tip 1: Have the courage to get money from the bank for buying a property as an investment.
  • Tip 2: For the beginning tut´s also ne chic 2-Zimmer-Wohnung in desired situation, in order to enter into the plant business with real estates.
  • Tip 3: When buying, also listen to your “gut feeling” and not only to the advertising slogans of the realtor.

Question: How high are the real estate prices in Frankfurt and the surrounding area? Which parts of the city are currently particularly in demand among buyers and investors?

The prices for real estates are usually indicated gladly per square meter. In Frankfurt they are between € 3,500 and around € 8,000 for existing properties and between € 5,000 and over € 11,000 for new buildings. Now I have also looked at apartments and houses together. You can get a good first overview from the page wohnlagenkarte.de.

square meter price between 3,500 and 8,000 Euro in inventory

square meter price between 5.000 and 11.000 Euro for new building

How high the price is then really, decides not only on the age of the property. The state of refurbishment, equipment, location in relation to public facilities and local suppliers also play a decisive role. As mentioned above, the accessibility of public transport and good roads is also very important with regard to the purchase price.

Which districts – not only in Frankfurt – are particularly in demand depends on many local conditions. In addition, the ranking of “in districts” is very variable. Who would have thought in Frankfurt that the Ostend would one day become a really sought-after district? Before the decision to rebuild the ECB (European Central Bank) there, the Ostend was almost like the city’s dump. This has now changed and an end to the positive development for Ostend is not in sight.

Sure. Bockenheim, Westend and Sachsenhausen are still the first choice for Frankfurt. The Gallus district has also done the right thing.

Wherever, for example, old industrial plants are turned into versatile quarter complexes with cultural and shopping facilities, where industrial wastelands are built over with well thought-out new buildings, a district becomes a preferred place to live and thus also a lucrative investment location for real estate buyers.

New building in good location – what do you say?

Question: If I now invest in a new building in a very good location, am I on the safe side?

There gibt´s from me a clear “Jain”! A yes because with a properly executed new building there is first of all peace and quiet before renovation work. Perhaps also because for the tenant, whom I want to win as an investor, a new building usually seems more attractive than moving into an existing property.

The NO, for example, applies to the fact that the investment in new buildings is usually significantly higher than in existing properties. Then the rent to be achieved must be so much higher that my yield from the rental income is so high with existing properties. The real estate as capital investment is not only interesting because of the regular rental income. Ultimately, the return is achieved when I sell the property again sometime. In good locations, the value of the object will then continue to rise. However, anyone who has already made a very high price entry when buying a new building must experience a stable and very steep performance in order to make the investment work.

The purchase of an existing property – naturally also in a correspondingly good location – can function much better and safer as an investment. You have to calculate all this with your banker, but also with a qualified broker.

Should you sell your property now?

Question: Conversely, do sellers benefit from the current trend?

But absolutely! Because everything I said from the perspective of the buyer also applies to the seller. Above all, of course, with regard to the selling price to be achieved. But watch out! There are initial signs that the upward price spiral is slowing down. Some are already warning of a real estate bubble. Because in the past years with the favorable interest rates and the strong interest in real estates it showed up also that for houses and dwellings partly genuine fantasy prices are called. Many a salesman thinks he can now do the business of his life.

But after all: especially if you want to sell your property quickly or even have to – for example in the event of death, insolvency or something like that, the seller today still achieves significantly higher prices than a few years ago.

However, I would really warn against assuming that the upward trend in prices will continue in the distant future. And even if real estate prices continue to rise, interest rates will eventually become more expensive again. Then many will shy away from buying a property and the market will cool down.

Price development for real estate and square meters

Question: What are the prices like in the so-called bacon belt of Frankfurt? How have demand and real estate prices developed?

The so-called “Speckgürtel” now stretches from Frankfurt far west towards the Rhine, north to the Giessen area. In the east geht´s to about Gelnhausen in the Main-Kinzig district and in the south far down the Bergstrasse.

The closer area around Frankfurt is still everything in the front Taunus from Hofheim to Bad Homburg. But Friedberg can also be counted among them. I recommend that you just take the S-Bahn ticket with the terminal stops. This gives a reasonably suitable radius for the narrower bacon belt around Frankfurt. Since the demand here is correspondingly high and the connections to the center are good, the real estate prices in the surrounding area unfortunately often play in the same league as in the city center.

Last question on that: If you have the money, you should buy in 2019 or not?

Even if you don’t have the money, you can still think about buying! Nobody expects the purchase price to be paid completely out of equity and if possible in cash. In most cases, a little money of one’s own in relation to the total price is sufficient as equity capital. In addition, the banks currently still offer attractive interest rates! That’s the beauty of capital accumulation with real estate: you don’t have to bring a fortune with you, you can earn it with real estate!

Thank you very much for the interview!

Interview with real estate expert Jan Rickel from IHV – Die Immobilien Makler.

More on the subject:

20 Must-Know Legal Documents For Property Buying

Capital investment real estate: Long-term investment