Buying a flat – fact check – so that the dream flat does not become a nightmare

As a tenant, a wrong decision is annoying, but does not become a financial fiasco and nightmare. If the apartment you move into does not fit your needs, you can easily reorient yourself and move. When you buy an apartment, you are making a decision that involves a lot of money and is a life decision for most buyers. Before you take a closer look at the purchase, define your goals concretely and consider whether you prefer a condominium for your own use or as an investment.

If you want to move in yourself and no longer want to pay monthly rent to an owner, your specific ideas are the focus. If you are buying an apartment with a focus on yield, for example as a retirement provision, other criteria are the focus. Because then the selection of the residential location is not about your needs, but about the level of demand and the achievable rent per month. Residential property as an investment is particularly suitable in booming, continuously growing cities. Here you not only have the highest return, but also the certainty that you will not be looking for a solvent tenant for long.

Financial considerations before buying an apartment

In most cases, the purchase of a home is realized through a loan. With an equity ratio of 20 to 30 percent, you have a good chance of obtaining favourable financing with a short term. But first you should ask yourself how much the apartment may cost and what monthly loan amount you can repay without restriction. In this regard, compare the current household income with the expenses and calculate what amount is left per month and available for loan repayment. Here you can add the current rental expenses, since these are omitted when buying an apartment.

In most cases, homebuyers aim for a repayment rate equal to the current rent payment. Caution is advised here. While the rent includes all ancillary costs, there are, for example, garbage collection fees. Janitorial costs and operating costs in the condominium in addition to the loan amount. Look at your financial situation critically and consider whether you can realize the repayment even with professional, and therefore financial changes. The less credit you have to take out, the shorter the term and the lower you can set the rates.

A consideration of the purchase price of the apartment is therefore worthwhile and should be an occasion to consider different options and, for example, to include apartments in the vicinity of your desired district in the considerations. You should also bear in mind that some incidental purchase costs are incurred when buying an apartment and are usually paid for out of equity.

Buying or renting? For whom the purchase of an apartment is worthwhile!

Add up your rental payments for the past 20 years. If this sum exceeds the current purchase price for a condominium, you don’t have to think twice and are much better off buying. In regions with excessive rents, the purchase prices for apartments are also significantly higher than the national average. A comparison may be worthwhile and may, for example, result in you paying lower prices per square metre for residential property not far from your current location. Keep in mind that the purchase is a long-term liability with the lender.

Therefore, the purchase of an apartment should also be planned according to your personal, professional and financial factors. The purchase is profitable if you get financing with a favorable interest rate and low risks. Your decision is safe if your professional future is also secure. When financing, keep in mind that you will have finished repaying the loan by the time you reach retirement age at the latest. If you have children, you decide with the apartment purchase for a value-increasing inheritance and thus for the future security of the offspring. If you are planning to buy an apartment as a retirement provision, it is best to focus on regions with secure value appreciation.

Where demand is highest, you will pay more money per square metre, but you can also count on higher rents. Location is a general decision criterion, regardless of whether you are buying for owner-occupation or as an investment. In either case, buying an apartment is a good decision if you have the important qualifications and have paid off your financing before retirement.

The visit: the right time and period

You should plan at least one hour, but preferably two hours, for the viewing. Arrange the viewing appointment during daylight hours and ideally use the afternoon. While many neighbours are out of the house in the morning and at lunchtime and the traffic on the street is almost at a standstill, it can be different in the afternoon hours at closing time. To get an authentic impression of environmental noise, visit when neighbours are at home and cars are on the road.

It is best to come to the appointment in pairs. As is well known, four eyes see more and in company you have the advantage of not rushing things and of being able to look more closely with helpful tips. While you usually only visit a rented apartment once, two to three viewing appointments are not unusual when buying an apartment. At the first appointment, you have found out about the noises from outside and seen how bright it is in your favoured apartment in the afternoon.

At Lukinski, we recommend that you also view the condominium once in the morning and once in the evening. This will give you a concrete overview of the lighting conditions and give you a feel for how your life could be in your new home. For all three appointments together you will need between 4 and 6 hours. In return, you can be sure that there will be no unpleasant surprises in terms of noise or lighting conditions.

If you take some photos during the viewing, you can look at the apartment again at home in peace and deepen your impressions. This has the advantage that you can avoid making decisions out of euphoria and can reflect once again on your feeling in the apartment and the premises themselves without outside influence.

Old building or new building? Requirements for the equipment

Whether you want to move into a charming old building or into a comfortable new apartment depends on your own personal ideas of a dream apartment. If you would like to implement individual room layout and furnishing ideas when buying an apartment, a new building is usually the best option. Here, however, you have to weigh up whether you are buying an apartment that has not yet been built or whether the apartment you are viewing is for sale.

In new construction projects, it is not uncommon for the apartment sale to take place before ground is broken and for the apartment you view to be a show apartment. This model in the apartment sale is quite suitable for capital investors or families who want to have their condominium developed according to their own ideas. If, on the other hand, you attach importance to knowledge of the neighbourhood and ambient noise, you should refrain from buying an apartment that has not yet been built. You will also find modern, comfortable furnishings in condominiums that are offered for second occupancy or for first occupancy after completion.

For owner-occupiers, these offers or the old building are particularly interesting. If you purchase an existing apartment, structural changes are only possible to a limited extent. If you prefer to buy an apartment in an old building, pay particular attention to the technical equipment, the functionality of the electrical system and the craftsmen’s bills for the renovation measures carried out. Do not sign if the energetic reorganization is outstanding or no energy document of identification for the real estate is present. There should also be no outstanding ancillary costs, as when you sign the purchase contract you are not only taking over the property but also its inherited liabilities and are assuming responsibility for them.

The way to your dream apartment – an experienced real estate agent helps!

As a rule, you buy one apartment in your life. This means that you should be particularly attentive and exclude any compromise in the decision. Lukinski will be happy to advise you and support you in your search, so that you save a lot of time and quickly find the right apartment to buy. Let us know your wishes, on the basis of which we will search and find for you. Buying a home is a matter of trust and for most families it is the biggest purchase of their lives. With affordable financing, the right focus and detailed advice, you can be sure that your condo is the right decision. Before the search begins, take a hard look at what you want in terms of location, purchase price, amenities and details of your dream condo. With these tips and our professional real estate agency, buying an apartment is guaranteed not to be a nightmare.