Interested in purchasing a home in Germany?
Whether you are researching the buying process prior to PCSing into Germany or have already arrived and are looking into using your LQA (living quarters allowance) to potentially purchase a home – the following are brief tips regarding the buying process.
What is important to you? Incoming families have different needs regarding size of home, but important questions to ask are…
- How long is the commute to work?
- Does the property fall under the DODEA school that I wish to enroll my kids in?
- Does the property location have the grocery stores, banks, bakeries, restaurants, transportation or nightlife that you are seeking?
These questions might not be as critical as cost, floorplan or size, but can help you rule out home possibilities and focus the search to homes that could suit your family better. Regarding the commute, the autobahn can help reduce driving time if the property is not located in a high traffic bottleneck section of the autobahn. Driving through villages although scenic, can be challenging for those not familiar with driving on narrow two-way traffic.
A great resource for determining school zones is, https://www.ramstein.af.mil. Using the search tool type Military Community School Zone Information for a list of villages and their pertaining DODEA school district. A goggle search of the village is the best way to determine what nearby businesses service that particular property.
Know the market. Americans purchasing homes in Germany are aware that prices can differ drastically between two places like Hawaii or Montana. To get a better understanding of the housing market websites like https://www.immobilienscout24.de provide listings, value trends and area specific home sales to help you see if the home you are searching for is comparable when looking at factors regarding size, location and age of property. Unfortunately, the website is strictly in German, but a friend or translation app can help guide you with the process. Most villages with banking institutions also display properties for sale within the bulletin easily located in front. The more information you can obtain regarding the housing market, the more peace of mind you should have when deciding if the home you are interested is priced fairly considering its size, age, location and comps within the area.
What are the cost associated with purchasing a home in Germany?
After researching the cost of your home and the market for homes in that area what are the additional cost associated with purchasing a home? More information can be found on the links provided below but a brief outline of cost associated with purchasing a home includes:
- A property transfer tax of 5%
- Notary fees (1,2 – 1,5 %)
- Registration Fees 0,5 (varies on region) currently in Kaiserslautern Military Community.
- Average Realtor Fee 3,57 % with included VAT of 19% (can be divisible between buyer and seller) Must be negotiated between both parties.
Totaling approximately 10 percent of additional final home cost.
Lastly most PCSing military members and civilian personnel opt to purchase a home using their respective Living Quarters Allowance. For additional information and examples of how to determine the value of using your LQA, the following link is provided, or you can reach out to us at https://immobilien-hauf.de regarding your Real Estate needs. (2021)