Buy an Apartment: Costs, Real Estate Agents and Renting – Ownership Instead of Rent

Buying an Apartment – The decision to buy an apartment is made by most buyers for two reasons. The first reason may be that the buyer wants to use the apartment to live in it themselves. Other buyers are looking for an investment that will yield a good return in the medium- or long-term.

Decisions before your Purchase

If you would like to buy an apartment, you have the choice of different objects. You can invest in an expensive apartment in an advantageous downtown location to rent it on the free housing market or to move in yourself and live in an attractive and popular residential area. Alternatively, you can opt for an apartment that is located on the outskirts of a city or in the countryside. There are also multi-family houses there, where the apartments are sometimes offered at very reasonable prices. If you are looking for a form of housing that is cheap in terms of monthly costs and if you cannot invest a high purchase price, this option is a very good choice for you.

Purchase Apartments Before Completion

As an alternative to buying an apartment that is already ready for occupancy or rented, you can purchase apartments before the house is built for the purpose of rental or for your own use. When the construction project becomes known, contact the developer to reserve the property of your choice. This is possible if the apartments are to be sold individually to different owners after completion of the construction project. Other construction projects are commissioned by a developer. In most cases, the purpose of the developer is to rent out the apartments himself. It will not be possible to buy the apartments individually.

Rental or Personal Use

Having acquired an apartment, you are free to do with it what you will. This may be renting it out, or using it as a residence. Of course, renting is a smart investment, given that it gives you the chance to pay off your mortgage from the rent you receive from tenants. There is of course also the downside of the time it takes to invest in the property. This may be a time investment beforehand, such as in the form of renovation, or in repairs, given that you do not have a property manager.

Real Estate as Capital Investment: Special

  1. Part: Classical or exotic investment – Which real estate is suitable as capital investment?
  2. Part: Real estate as capital investment – What do I have to pay attention to?

Purchase of an Apartment in Need of Renovation

The purchase of apartment buildings which are in need of renovation is becoming increasingly popular. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with the renovation of apartments, which you should know before you make the purchase. The disadvantage is that you cannot use the apartment immediately after the purchase. You have to make further investments.

Investment Despite Need for Renovation

The advantages outweigh this disadvantage, however, so that many investors consciously decide to buy an apartment in need of renovation. You have the opportunity to design the apartment as you imagine it in the course of a renovation.

You can integrate new windows and doors and change the room layout. The laying of pipes and electrical lines is much easier when an apartment is renovated. If you already live in the apartment, it is more complicated and costly to adapt the structure of the electrical system or piping to your ideas.

Design the ceilings, walls and floors exactly the way you want them. An object in need of renovation is usually available at a reasonable price.

However, please make sure that there are no conditions imposed by the monument protection authorities for this object. Otherwise, it is important that you consider whether you are prepared to meet these conditions before you buy. Often the editions are connected with a medium or high financial expenditure. You will have to pay this in addition to the purchase price of the apartment and the costs of the renovation.

Purchase of Modern Apartments Without the Need for Renovation

Very popular on the market are apartments that have no need for renovation and are equipped with modern facilities. You buy such an apartment for a higher purchase price. The apartments are ready for immediate occupancy. They have a positive energetic balance and can also be retrofitted to a certain extent according to the individual ideas of the new owner.

Old Building or Apartment in a Modern New Building

Before buying, consider whether you would prefer a old building flat or an apartment in a new building. Both types of living differ from each other. Old buildings are characterized by high rooms and large windows. The rooms are very spacious. Many buyers find this an advantage. However, you should also consider the heating costs for these apartments. These are much higher than in modern apartments, where the room height is usually lower, due to the room height and the resulting larger volume.

In modern apartments the rooms are often smaller. Apartments in an old building also have a special charm, which many potential buyers love very much. It is a very individual decision and also a decision of individual taste whether they prefer an old building apartment or an apartment in a newer building. If you decide on an old building, it is important that the building has already undergone an energetic renovation. This measure can reduce heating costs quite significantly.

Purchase of a Rented Apartment

With the decision to buy a rented apartment, you take over the rental contract in its current form. You do not have the right to make changes to this contract. Rent increases are only permitted within the framework of the legal regulations.

If you are planning a renovation of the apartment, you are obliged to agree this with the landlord. You may not demand that the tenant leave the apartment for the period of the renovation. However, you have the option of providing the tenant with a replacement apartment. You will have to pay for the costs.

Furthermore, it is important to know that you can only terminate the rental agreement if you register your own needs or if the tenant persistently breaches obligations under the rental agreement. This includes repeated non-payment of rent, but also taking in another resident without you having been informed.

Cancellation of Own Use

If the landlord behaves in such a way, as it is given in the lease, only the own need notice remains to you. You can only give this notice if you really intend to live in the apartment yourself. Sometimes you even have to prove this. Before buying a rented out apartment, you should be sure that you do not want to live in the apartment yourself or that your claim for personal use will be upheld by a court. Every tenant has the right not to accept a notice of termination for own use at first and to demand a review by a court. In this case your move into the apartment would be delayed. Of course you have the possibility to contact the tenant before the planned sale. Inform him/her about the planned personal use so that he/she can prepare for it. In many cases the tenants are willing to move out and you can settle the matter amicably.

Demand for Living space

The size of average apartments in Germany is between 30 and 150 m². The apartments have one to five rooms. They are equipped with a private bathroom and a kitchen. If you buy an apartment on the current housing market, you will hardly get offers without your own bathroom. Even a coal heating system is only available very sporadically. The preferred types of heating for apartments in apartment buildings are gas, district heating or heating oil.

Before you decide to buy an apartment, it is important that you determine your real housing needs. In doing so, you should not only start from the current situation. Try to imagine how you want to live in a few years. Most buyers who buy their own home make an investment for life. And so you should know if they want to enlarge their family in the future, if they need a study after finishing a professional training or if they want to set up a guest room for friends or family members.

Unlike the purchase of a single-family home, buying your own apartment offers you only limited possibilities for expanding your living space. You can only share very large rooms. An extension, as it is possible in many single-family homes with a large garden, cannot be realized in an apartment. For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a property that offers one or two rooms more than you currently need. If the purchase price is right, you will also be very well prepared for future life situations after buying the apartment.

On average, apartments in Germany have two to four rooms. The three-room apartment is particularly popular. It is considered an ideal form of living for singles, for single people with children and for couples who do not have children. The average size of the three-room apartment is about 80 m².
Apartments with one room are rather unsuitable for purchase, as they offer only limited possibilities for individual development. Very large apartments with more than five rooms are rare and are often only offered in larger cities. They are located in old city villas and are often very expensive.

Community of Owners

As the owner of an apartment in an apartment building, you become part of a community of owners. The community of owners makes decisions regarding matters that affect all owners. These include the design of the facade, the renovation of the roof, but also the installation of a TV system and the design of the garden.

The majority of the owners’ association has a quorum. This means that you may have to accept decisions that you would have made differently yourself.

As an owner in a multi-family house, you build up reserves for possible renovations. You also participate in the insurance that has to be paid for the building. Property tax is also paid proportionately. These reserves are paid into an account on a monthly basis and are similar to the service charge payments that a tenant has to make. As the owner of the apartment, you are obliged to pay these benefits.

Conclusion: Buying an Apartment

Buying your own apartment is considered very lucrative, especially in larger cities. If you are interested in buying an apartment, Lukinski can be your partner for the purchase. We have specialized in this region and offer you not only a professional purchase transaction, but also a very good knowledge of the market. Get in touch with us by phone to clarify any questions that may arise. We would be happy to arrange a personal appointment with you and present various properties to you.