Friday, 15 September 2017

Have You Recently Bought a Condominium Apartment in Berlin?

Many international investors have bought condominium apartments in Berlin during the last years. Some will have full-service packages taking care of everything, hoping that everything will be alright. Some have bought an apartment, maybe even coming personally for the handover, proudly looking at their apartment - but what now?

Photo by All Bong on Unsplash

Just a few points to be thought of, best done a few months before:
  • Who makes sure that any snagging is done right and timely while you are back home?
  • How serious will the developer be when his last payment depends on the tick in the box on snagging - do you trust him to be acting in your best interest without supervision?
  • Who holds the keys?
  • At what rent should the property be rented - or should it be rented furnished with short-term contracts?
  • If you want to go down the "Furnished Apartment" road, who takes care of this and who does the marketing for it?
  • Who manages your apartment and rent collection, including
    • Budgeting
    • rent collection incl. chasing if necessary
    • payment of contributions to the owners association
    • property tax payment (quarterly)
    • tax documentation and handover to tax consultant in Germany
    • representation at annual owners meetings

Critical Point in Your Investment

This is the point in your investment that is as important as the purchase contract. The purchase contract and all the brochures are a promise. Now it comes to the fulfilment of your expectations - don't leave it to the developer and the agent who received a healthy commission - either from you or the developer - to make sure your plans work out. Even more important if reality does not meet brochure - you want someone on your side who knows the game. It also is a critical point for reclaiming some of the money you paid for a promise that was not 100% fulfilled - the clock starts ticking on handover day.

Our recommendation

Be prepared, don't leave it until the last day. But even if your handover has already happened and you are in the midst of having to make decisions by the minute - get some professional support with local experience. Someone with broad knowledge, experience and solutions. Everybody can point out problems, the next step is much more important - what to do? You don't need a lawyer, an architect and a rental agent to identify your next steps, you need someone who "owns" and "lives" your property and then proposes other specialists when needed and with specific tasks. Otherwise, you are likely to receive long documents with lots of possible or even real issues attached to a big fee account and still no solution.

We don't offer off the shelf solutions because every investor has a personal view about the degree of their own involvement. We can go from one-stop-shop including the management of the investment to just the production of a checklist based on the contract and its documentation. We are happy to engage in a conversation to find out what you feel is best for you.


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