Imagine walking through a picturesque village in Germany, admiring the quaint half-timbered homes and charming gardens. You begin to dream about owning a piece of this German fairytale for yourself. Finding your dream house in Germany may seem like an overwhelming task, but it is possible with a little patience, research, and the right tools.
Tip Number 1
First, determine what type of property you are looking for. Would you prefer an apartment in a bustling city like Berlin or Munich or a spacious countryside home with a garden on the North Sea (Nordsee)? Take into consideration your lifestyle and needs, as well as your budget.
Research the areas, as well as what city or town you are thinking about moving to. Do you want to live in Zentrum (in the city center) close to shops and restaurants where you don’t need a car to get everything you need, or in a quiet neighborhood? You can join Facebook groups for expats in bigger cities to ask other people what it is like to live there as an expat.
If you have children, you will also want to research your school options. Do you want your child to attend a public or private school? Is an international school where they speak English important to you? You will also want to consider what activities the town or city provide has to offer for your child, as sports and clubs are typically not offered through the school.
Tip Number 2
Next, research online real estate directories to get an idea of what is available in your desired area. Three reliable real estate directories we enjoy using are:
1. ImmoScout24 – This website offers a wide range of properties throughout Germany, and you can search based on your preferences, such as how many bathrooms and bedrooms, do you want a garden, is a balcony important, do you need parking, do you need an elevator, which locations/neighborhoods do you prefer, do you need quick access to public transportation, and what your price range is.
2. Immowelt – With properties ranging from apartments to castles, this website allows you to filter searches by property type, location, and other criteria.
3. Engel & Völkers – Specializing in high-end properties, Engel & Völkers’ website offers luxury homes, apartments, and rentals in Germany’s most desirable locations.
Tip Number 5
Once you have narrowed down your options, schedule viewings if possible. Be sure to take note of important details such as room sizes, building conditions, location, and neighborhood. It is also important to consider factors such as proximity to public transportation, schools, and businesses. Make sure you are punctual to your appointments – it is an important cultural value in Germany. Be sure to ask plenty of questions, and remember being nice and authentic is very helpful in the competitive market.
Tip Number 6
If you don’t speak German fluently, looking at houses can be difficult. While many Germans know English, they are not always comfortable speaking in English. It helps to have a German friend to go with you. If you don’t know anyone yet, our relocation consulting service can be there to help!
Tip Number 7
When making an offer on a property, don’t be afraid to negotiate. In Germany, it is common for buyers to make a lower offer than the asking price. As with any major purchase, consult with a professional and make sure to read all contracts carefully before signing.
Finding your dream house in Germany may take some time and effort, but it is worth it to live in a place that feels like home. With the right tools and mindset, you can make your dream home a reality.