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Old Jun 29th 2017, 2:03 pm   #1
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Default An almighty rush

Hello everyone. My wife and I are in a bit of a pickle. We discussed moving abroad and decided Germany would be a good option, so, keen to do everything properly we began looking into things and learning German.

Due to a complete fluke we have been presented with a potential opportunity of a property which, while wonderful, has taken us completely by surprise and we are nowhere near ready.

In a couple of weeks we are due to fly out and view the property and I need to arrange a structural survey, as I am suspicious about a crack I have seen in a photograph. The property is in Thuringia, old East Germany. Can anyone recommend a good solicitor and surveyors who may speak English in that region?

Any help appreciated!

Wilko.
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Old Jun 29th 2017, 2:27 pm   #2
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Default Re: An almighty rush

What's so special about this property, and what's the rush?

You can engage a solicitor if you like, but it isn't usual. A notary will act for both parties.
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Old Jun 29th 2017, 6:48 pm   #3
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Default Re: An almighty rush

Hi there! Thanks for getting in touch. Really there is no rush in that sense and the whole thing may very well not go ahead. We would like to be in a strong position to take advantage should the property be what it seems. If not, we will walk away and someone else may be interested.

The opportunity has been fortuitous and we would like to look at it seriously, as such the idea of a solicitor may have been a misnomer on my part, a notary, as you say, will act for both parties, but we wanted someone to act for us, not just in this matter but in the future too as we would need a point of contact.

A bilingual surveyor in Thuringia, would still be rather useful though!
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Old Jun 30th 2017, 9:04 am   #4
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Default Re: An almighty rush

Property purchase process in Germany differs from British process. You need to find an architect or structural eng. to do a survey if you want one. Most Germans speak sufficient English but they may not be able to give you a written report in Engl. Don't rush a purchase. Transfer is done by a notary who acts for both parties. He will also check out if there are possible legal issues.

Last edited by Thairetired2016; Jun 30th 2017 at 9:08 am.
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Old Jun 30th 2017, 1:18 pm   #5
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Default Re: An almighty rush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkoandout View Post
Hi there! Thanks for getting in touch. Really there is no rush in that sense and the whole thing may very well not go ahead. We would like to be in a strong position to take advantage should the property be what it seems. If not, we will walk away and someone else may be interested.

The opportunity has been fortuitous and we would like to look at it seriously, as such the idea of a solicitor may have been a misnomer on my part, a notary, as you say, will act for both parties, but we wanted someone to act for us, not just in this matter but in the future too as we would need a point of contact.

A bilingual surveyor in Thuringia, would still be rather useful though!
Sorry I can't help in any way, but as a matter of interest, whereabouts is this property? Thüringen is quite a big Land!
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Old Jul 3rd 2017, 1:48 pm   #6
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Default Re: An almighty rush

Of course! It is in the forest near Wurzbach and looks lovely, from photographs!
Forgive my ignorance, if a notary acts for both parties, would they advise of any structural problems then, or would I have to commission my own survey to find that out?
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Old Jul 3rd 2017, 2:22 pm   #7
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Default Re: An almighty rush

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Of course! It is in the forest near Wurzbach and looks lovely, from photographs!
Forgive my ignorance, if a notary acts for both parties, would they advise of any structural problems then, or would I have to commission my own survey to find that out?
Go out and look at the property before you do anything else! Photos can be doctored....
I don't know about German Notaries, but French ones don't advise on structural problems, you'd have to take the initiative. On the other hand, French Notaries do require a "Diagnostic" for electrics/gas/plumbing/septic tank/termites/asbestos/lead..... and the buyer is informed of any shortcomings. No idea whether this exists in Germany....
If either of you have children from previous marriages, then the Notary will advise on how best to protect every one's interests.
If no one can give more advice here, try the Toytown website!
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Old Jul 3rd 2017, 3:40 pm   #8
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Default Re: An almighty rush

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Forgive my ignorance, if a notary acts for both parties, would they advise of any structural problems then, or would I have to commission my own survey to find that out?
No, you'll have to get your own survey done. The notary won't tell you that a housing estate is about to be built 300 m away, either. (Admittedly not very likely in your case.)

You shouldn't have too much difficulty finding a surveyor who can communicate with you in English. His report might be in German but you can always get that translated.

I hope you realize what you're letting yourself in for. You're looking at one of the areas in Germany that have suffered the steepest population declines (being almost in the middle of the country doesn't prevent that from happening). The Wikipedia page for Wurzbach shows you how steep. You're miles from the nearest urban centre. It's also pretty cold in winter.
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Old Jul 3rd 2017, 4:48 pm   #9
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Default Re: An almighty rush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkoandout View Post
Of course! It is in the forest near Wurzbach and looks lovely, from photographs!
Forgive my ignorance, if a notary acts for both parties, would they advise of any structural problems then, or would I have to commission my own survey to find that out?
You need to arrange your own survey. Contact an architect. Germany does not have the surveyor like U.K. Notary checks only on mortgage on the property, ownership, 3rd party rights for passage through yr property. You asked about a bilingual lawyer. Many partnerships have multilingual lawyers. Best to check for something like "eurolawyers, international lawyers". Beware, German fee system is higher than in U.K. My contacts don't reach as far as Thuringia, can't advise on names. However, you could find a contact via your lawyer in U.K.
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Old Jul 4th 2017, 3:38 pm   #10
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Default Re: An almighty rush

In all European jurisdictions a notary is simply there to attest that you are who you say you are and that an agreement is duly agreed and signed. He is not in any way responsible for what you bought or sold or any other transaction.

This may be a shock - but not everywhere does things the way you do them in England !
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Old Jul 4th 2017, 5:14 pm   #11
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Default Re: An almighty rush

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Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
In all European jurisdictions a notary is simply there to attest that you are who you say you are and that an agreement is duly agreed and signed. He is not in any way responsible for what you bought or sold or any other transaction.

This may be a shock - but not everywhere does things the way you do them in England !
Tut tut Scot 47. This may come as a shock, but not everyone who speaks English is English.
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Old Jul 4th 2017, 5:40 pm   #12
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Default Re: An almighty rush

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Originally Posted by Wilkoandout View Post
Tut tut Scot 47. This may come as a shock, but not everyone who speaks English is English.
We often assume a lot on this forum if details aren't given at the start!
If you are non-EU English-speakers, you should consider the Residency issue. Owning property won't automatically grant you Residents' Status....
On the other hand, if you're Scottish, Welsh or Irish, then there's less of a problem, and hairs are being split.

Last edited by dmu; Jul 4th 2017 at 5:55 pm.
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Old Jul 6th 2017, 2:24 am   #13
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Default Re: An almighty rush

Quote:
Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
In all European jurisdictions a notary is simply there to attest that you are who you say you are and that an agreement is duly agreed and signed. He is not in any way responsible for what you bought or sold or any other transaction.

This may be a shock - but not everywhere does things the way you do them in England !
Sorry scot47, you never bought and sold property in Germany it appears. Your info is incorrect.
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Old Jul 6th 2017, 8:24 am   #14
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Default Re: An almighty rush

I do not have the property mania that seems endemic in the Anglosphere !
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Old Jul 6th 2017, 8:47 am   #15
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Default Re: An almighty rush

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I do not have the property mania that seems endemic in the Anglosphere !
Nor do I. And I am not within the "Anglosphere".
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