How to remotely invest in German property

A common problem that international property investors face is access to attractive real estate markets worldwide. Aside from geographical distance, they face obstacles like complex legal requirements and language barriers. 

Why invest remotely? Save your time, energy and money

In today’s day and age, we have more access to information and technology than ever, allowing us to find creative solutions. While not very common yet, investing in real estate in another city or country remotely is becoming increasingly accessible and attractive.

The obvious advantages are saving time, energy and money. You don’t need to spend time on flights, money on tickets and accommodation, take time from your vacation or change your plans. 

We’ll explore a few things you need to consider below.

Find an expert for a first consultation

First, you need a reliable local partner with an extensive network in your market of interest and that ideally has had some experience with overseas investors.

Setting up a remote initial consultation is the first step in any real estate investment process. Most property agents should be ready to advise you by phone, chat or video call at your convenience. 

Remote viewings

Due to the readily available technology, it is easy to get a complete picture of the property without leaving your home: panoramic images, virtual tours and 360-degree videos. Remote property viewings are a great option too – you’re guided through the property via video call, while the agent answers your questions live.

Making a reservation

Signing a reservation for property allows the buyer to have it reserved until the conclusion of the deal. This is especially important when you’re looking to finance the property with a mortgage, and it allows time to prepare the paperwork. 

When investing remotely, it is easy to make a reservation: you only need to fill out the reservation form and return a scanned copy to your agent or sign the electronic version with a digital signature.

Apply for financing from the comfort of your home

Generally, natural persons without a residence in Germany are allowed to purchase property and can receive mortgage financing from a German bank. 

However, remote applications for financing a property investment through a German finance provider depend largely on your country of residence. 

If you have your residence in a Eurozone country, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein or the United Kingdom, you can apply for a mortgage from the comfort of your home. EichenCredit helps non-resident investors apply for a mortgage fully digitally: provide your details online, upload scans of the required documents, and sign your mortgage loan contract digitally.

If you reside in any other country not mentioned above, there still are a few options to remotely finance your property in Germany.

You can speak to your local bank to see if it would finance a property in German. Although uncommon, the bank might consider this if it can take property or another asset you own in your country of residence as collateral.

Another option, if you’re looking to make a more substantial investment, is to incorporate a company (GmbH) in Germany, through which you apply for the mortgage loan. However, there are costs associated with running a company in Germany, which are worthwhile only from a certain investment amount.

Getting a postal address in Germany

A mandatory step in the process of investing in property in Germany is having a postal address for correspondence with various institutions like the tax office or the land registry. Usually, asking a friend or family member with a residence in Germany to accept and regularly check your correspondence is the simplest way. Alternatively, lawyer’s offices or property management companies can accept your post and process it. 

Closing the deal – the notary appointment

After finding the right property and securing financing, perhaps the most important step is closing the deal. This is done at the notary’s office, where both the seller and the buyer have to be present in order to sign the sales contract. 

If you prefer not to travel to Germany, it is possible to sign a power of attorney, which grants authorization to another party, such as an attorney, to represent you at the notary. In this case, the only extra step is to legalise your signature, which can be done in person at the local German embassy.

Peace of mind with the right property management

For most international investors, the successful purchase of a property in Germany is not the final step. Furnishing the property, finding a reliable tenant, setting up contracts with facility providers, representing the owner at annual owner’s meetings, handling repairs and renovation – managing the property abroad can become stressful, as there are many legal aspects to consider. 

EichenGlobal is a property management company that offers a wide range of property and rental management services to help you develop your investment portfolio in the long term, professionally and successfully. You can easily sign a property management agreement including a power of attorney from abroad and let EichenGlobal take care of your investment.

Currency exchange rates

Investors that hold capital in another currency other than the Euro should be aware of currency exchange rate fluctuations. The time lag between reservation of a property and the actual payment can range between a few weeks to a few months, which can lead to a significant difference in price in the local currency.

Work with property experts you can trust

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rubina Real Estate is an internationally distinguished real estate consulting company with offices in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Our multilingual team is focused on assisting international buyers with their real estate investments in Germany. We offer tailor-made services for individual needs at every stage, including solutions for your remote property investment in Germany.

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