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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 10:18 am   #1
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Default Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Hi everyone. I'm just after some opinions/advice if possible please.
My son loves visiting Berlin for the culture there and has started talking about trying to buy a flat there (if he can find something he can afford). I'm thinking it may not be a good idea with Brexit going on..property/residential rights etc. Can anyone here offer any advice/opinions please? I'm only his mother so of course I know nothing.. :-). Many thanks in advance for your input.
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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 10:48 am   #2
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smudge1 View Post
Hi everyone. I'm just after some opinions/advice if possible please.
My son loves visiting Berlin for the culture there and has started talking about trying to buy a flat there (if he can find something he can afford). I'm thinking it may not be a good idea with Brexit going on..property/residential rights etc. Can anyone here offer any advice/opinions please? I'm only his mother so of course I know nothing.. :-). Many thanks in advance for your input.
Hi, wouldn't it be simpler to stay in an AirBnB whenever he's visiting? And plenty of flat-shares have short-term vacancies where he could sublet. For example, my daughter was looking for some one to sublet her room in her flatshare in August.... Your son could consult the Toytown site.
Can't help on the flat-buying front - if your son can communicate with the professionals involved, and manage the property from afar when he's not visiting, why not? It would be an investment, if your son only uses it as a pied-Ã -terre..
Not under the same circumstances, my nephew bought an appartment in Berlin a few years ago and I seem to recollect that he had various problems due to his poor German. Not to mention the problem of not finding work. He sold up and returned to France...
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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 11:10 am   #3
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Residential rights and property rights are largely separate in Germany. I don't see any legal obstacle to your son buying a flat with the intention of staying their during his cultural visits. (Whether that's a good idea, or is fair in consideration of the general pressure on accommodation, is another matter.)

The questions that really need answering are:

Is your son intending to move to Germany and take up residency? In which case the issue is what he is going to do there that will give him residency rights when he loses them post-Brexit. Flat ownership won't entitle him to residency.

If your son isn't going to be living there full time, what does he intend to do with the flat the rest of the time? For example, if he's thinking of letting it via AirBnB, there are major restrictions on doing that specifically in Berlin (although admittedly the restrictions are proving difficult to enforce).
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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 12:12 pm   #4
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Thanks for your replies dmu and Watchpost. He does speak German but currently has no plans to relocate there permanently. It's very early days yet and he is just thinking out loud at the moment so am not too sure what his ideas might entail but I think he had an idea that it could be a long term investment that he could use whenever he goes over and possibly rent it out on Airbnb but if there are restrictions on this then I will advise him to do a lot more research. Thanks again for your input.
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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 1:03 pm   #5
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

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Originally Posted by smudge1 View Post
Thanks for your replies dmu and Watchpost. He does speak German but currently has no plans to relocate there permanently. It's very early days yet and he is just thinking out loud at the moment so am not too sure what his ideas might entail but I think he had an idea that it could be a long term investment that he could use whenever he goes over and possibly rent it out on Airbnb but if there are restrictions on this then I will advise him to do a lot more research. Thanks again for your input.
No idea about the rules and regulations for AirBnB or short-term holiday lets, but your son would certainly need some one trustworthy on the spot to hand over the keys, clean, etc....
And I completely forgot about the possible consequences of Brexit!
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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 5:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Yes, it all seems a bit of a minefield to me. I can think of easier places to buy an apartment but he seems to have a bee in his bonnet at the moment..hopefully he will decide against it once he realises that it is not as straightforward as he thinks it will be. Thanks again for your comments, much appreciated.
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Old Jun 23rd 2017, 8:45 pm   #7
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

As far as I know you can't rent out your apartment to tourists unless you have a permit. Housing is a massive problem and Berlin needs the apartments for its residents. That is why renting private apartments to tourists is restricted.
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Old Jun 24th 2017, 7:13 am   #8
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Don't do it. Do NOT assume that property works the same way in Berlin as it doers in Barnsley or Basingstoke. If you were on the ground in Berlin it might be psosible but at a distance......no.

Glaub es mir Schaetzchen !
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Old Jun 24th 2017, 7:59 am   #9
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Thanks all, I believe he is now beginning to understand the pitfalls and has decided against it..much to my relief! Phew! Appreciate your input everyone! í ½í±
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Old Jun 24th 2017, 8:00 am   #10
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Oops...those questions marks were meant to be a thumbs up! :-)
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Old Jun 24th 2017, 10:01 am   #11
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Don't do it. Do NOT assume that property works the same way in Berlin as it doers in Barnsley or Basingstoke. If you were on the ground in Berlin it might be psosible but at a distance......no.

Glaub es mir Schaetzchen !
Hopefully Mr. Smudge isn't reading this thread!!

@Mrs Smudge: your son's made the right decision!
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Old Jun 24th 2017, 5:37 pm   #12
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

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Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Hopefully Mr. Smudge isn't reading this thread!!

@Mrs Smudge: your son's made the right decision!
Mr Smudge is blissfully unaware of this thread... I am a cunning mother
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Old Jun 25th 2017, 1:10 pm   #13
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Well I'm going to go against the general opinion here and say that your son shouldn't just dismiss this out of hand.

I speak as a Brit who bought a place out here a few years ago (without any German at all) and I haven't looked back. It was rented a little (not without pitfalls but manageable, with local help) when I lived in the UK and I now live in it. Yes, Brexit issues are looming but they wouldn't put me off.

For a capital city property prices are relatively cheap although they are increasing.

Buying costs can add up and commission to a traditional estate agent is around 7.25% but it can be avoided if he can find a place "provision-frei".

Broadly speaking AIRBNB type lets are forbidden for stays of less than one month but there are plenty of people looking to rent for one or two (or more) months so he can use the place in between lets. I speak from experience here.

Maybe he could take a look at immobilienscout24.de to get an idea of prices and do a whole lot of research first - just like he would in the UK.

My only regret is that I didn't buy a second place when I could afford it.
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Old Jun 25th 2017, 1:31 pm   #14
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Remember that Berlin is a red city. Neither populace nor the Land Government look kindly on rentiers and landlords.
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Old Jun 26th 2017, 6:19 am   #15
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Default Re: Buying an apartment in Berlin?

Thanks for your comments rammy100, it's good to read different perspectives on the matter. I think he has more or less given up on the idea now as being in the 'too hard' basket which I must say I am not too disappointed about.... Thanks again, appreciate the input.
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