Biliškov Nekretnine

WORLD: From a different angleFriedrichshafen, Germany

WORLD: From a different angle

Friedrichshafen, Germany

Text: Dino Mandic

I’m Dino Mandic, I’m 35, married and father of three. I have lived in the German city of Freidrichshafen since I was 11 years old. Friedrichshafen is a very nice and cozy town with a population of about 60,000, located on the northern shore of Lake Constance in southern Germany on the border of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. As the city is located on the lake itself, you are more likely think that you are at some place in the Adriatic, rather than in Germany. The city is full of green areas, parks, bike trails, hotels and tourist facilities. Apart from the pleasant life in this city, a few years ago, a big plus for us Croats who live here is the direct season airline Friedrichshafen-Zadar.

Living in Germany is quite safe and contributes as much as you are willing to work. If the family wants to afford a quality and financially unburdened life, it is imperative that both spouses work. In that case, they can afford two good cars, a quality vacation trip, but also a real estate to buy.

After several years of tenancy, my spouse and I decided to buy a property because we felt it was more profitable to pay off the loan and have something of our own. Due to high demand, it is extremely difficult to find what suits your personal needs. We have been looking for our property for almost 4 years. We bought a house with three residential units, because of the possibility of renting, so we live in one apartment, and we rent two, which makes it much easier for us to fill our home budget and pay off the loan. The house is located near the centre, and the total area is about 300 m2. The price of such properties ranges between 650,000 EUR and 850,000 EUR.

When you find a property that suits your wishes and needs, in consultation with your agent, the transaction is finalized and you move within 4-6 weeks. So much is needed to prepare the necessary paperwork and go through the procedure with bank. Interest rate on home loans in Germany has never been lower, and now ranges from 1.5% to 3%, depending on the amount of participation you have.

In addition to the property purchase price, as in Croatia, you have additional costs such as public notary, registration costs, real estate taxes and real estate agency costs. Real estate tax varies from region to region, and in our region Baden-Würrtenberg is 5% of the purchase price. Real estate sales tax is not paid if you have been in the property for at least 3 years, otherwise it will be paid. Also, if you are renting a property, then it must take at least 10 years before selling it in order to avoid paying taxes.

In Germany, there is a long tradition of buying and selling real estate through specialized agencies, so, I would say, in over 90% of cases of real estate purchase in Germany occur through real estate agencies. The service that the agency performs for the client is comprehensive, from the fact that the agency attorneys prepare the contracts, the whole organization is done by the agent, who settles everything with the notary and the banker …  you hand them all the documents, and they do the rest. After all, you also do turnkey service to your clients at Biliskov real estate, and there is not really much difference between agencies in Germany, except in fees which are higher in Germany than in Croatia. Agency fee is 3 – 6% and are paid by both the buyer and seller. The amount of the fee depends on the price, the real estate, the market… Basically as a seller you can bargain a bit and negotiate, and the buyer has no opportunity to bargain.


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