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Buying Property in Germany

June 21, 2011

Buying property in Germany is almost as buying property in America. There are a few differences. In America when buying a house the owner have to pay the 7% seller fee to the Realtor. Here in Germany is the opposite. The buyer pay the seller fee when they buy the house. When a house, apartment, garden, or plot of land is not sold it of course go to the foreclosure market. The owner is risking that he or she will get more than they ask for than settling for less. Because a person want a price for their property it is not mark in stone to give it too them. You can make a counter offer to see if they take it or not.
house in Germany
John and I was interested in a loft style property. It was beautiful. It was minutes away from the Schloss (castle), five minute drive from were we live now, still in Esslingen, still in walking distant to downtown (stadtmitte), a grocery store, bakeries, meat market, and drink laden (stores that has all type of beverage you name it) was all in walking distance. The property had a park right in the center and is family orientated. It has a underground garage, huge storage place in the basement, elevator, and also extra parking space that I was digging to have to put my last name plate there with a big smile and say who ever park here will get tow so move it, lol. Well not the move it section but it felt good thinking of it, lol. Unfortunately we did not get it. The owner wanted more money than we offer and we explained to him that it is not value for what he asked. We had it in writing from the bank and dare not to go over the value cost. Because if we wanted to sell it later we would of got screwed. We loved the place, made floor plan drawings, and have all the items information for the remodeling job but it was not worth it to cut into our remodeling money to give him what he wanted for a undervalue property. We love it and wanted it but we are not desperate. Where we live now it is perfect. The neighbors are great and my friends live walking distant. I can just pop over one of their house for breakfast or lunch without calling (they gave me the invite verbally).
Sun going down view out the window
Today was the day of the foreclosure bidding. John and I went to breakfast than to the bidding. I was curious to see how many people had interest in the property and what age categories were they in. There were 7 people and two couple who came to bid. Before the bidding the bank talked to John and I to let us know we are a shoe in. Between us no one price was above our max bid. When time came to start the bid the lady read out the contract, description of the place, and etc. She mention everyone must have their passport and 20% of the amount with them in cashier check in which we had and the cashier check can not be older than three days, why?, I don’t know Germany is funny acting with official paperwork older than three days for some odd reason. The lady then ask for who is interested to make their bid. No one got up and just look at each other. So then John said, “I guess I start the bid”. He got up and started the bid and everyone started to whisper. I sat back, smirked, and tried not to bust out laughing. Then a young lady which was with another young lady went up and made her bid 10,000 higher than ours. We looked at each other and started to smile nodding. 5 minutes later a guy got up and made another bid 10,000 more. We was like okay still not even close to our max bid. The timing for the bid is 30 minutes and the other people had not bid. They only whisper and others left the room to make telephone calls to someone else who they were bidding for. So I am sitting there and telling John how boring this is. Why don’t someone say something instead of waiting for the last minute like ebay to act. Then John made a counter bid everyone start to whisper again. 2 minutes left for the bid to be over. One of the young lady who made the bid after us asked the Judge what is the current bid. Then she made a bid 100,000 more. The judge asked the young lady to repeat herself and she repeated herself. Then the judge asked her to say it louder and she said it louder. I think the judge too was a bit surprise for the amount bid because who in their right mind would go to a foreclosure to bid waaaaaay over the amount the owner was asking for originally and for the value of the property. Everyone started whispering, some even talked loud, and most of them started to laugh even the realtor in the back of us who was there busted out laughing. She also knows the value of the property and the bid was ridiculously high. Many people said wow she just bid over 50% of the value. I did not laugh. I did not care. The realtor came up to me and apologize about us not getting it but she and the banker knew that we were the highest bidder. I told her don’t worry about it. Now I can go shopping and enjoy it, lol. As everyone was laughing and talking I went up to the young ladies and told them congratulation for them to tell me, “thanks but it is not ours we were bidding for someone else”. When John and I left we started to laugh like my goodness I think they made a mistake with the amount. Who ever they bid for the person can not get out of the contract. It is theirs and have to pay for it. For John to say he gives it two months and it will be back on the market. I really think it was a mistake because the upstairs have a lot of work to do. The first level minimal but the second level need flooring, light switches, wiring, and walls to be plaster and I am not talking about a little wall. I am talking about high ceiling that I was thinking to make one of the rooms to have a wrap around bookcase in which you need ladders to get on (not like I will ever climb it. I would place books I don’t need or use all the way on top). After the bidding we went for a cup of coffee, talk, and laugh it off. I told him he can now buy his coffee maker he had his eyes on and he told me here is the card enjoy it and get what ever I want on him. We don’t have to live on a tight budget yet, lol. There are so many places in Esslingen for sale. Problem is that we are very picky and we don’t choose a place for now we choose a place for the future. For our children, for our old age, and for reselling. We might not won this bidding or got the property that we had in mind but we are not sad over this. We are not relieve or happy either. We were like okay we have just learn how the foreclosure process work. Back to the drawing board kiss each other and went our way (John back to work and me shopping). Today was a very nice day (and I am not being really was)!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2011 4:07 pm

    Now what a loving hubby handing u the card to buy what you want so you are not upset even as u weren’t going shopping makes anyone happy right ..He’s a Keeper

    • June 21, 2011 4:16 pm

      Hi Fran 🙂 Yes he surely is. He also thought that I was disappointed but I was not. Today I got a chance to spend some quality time with him and it was not even the weekend. I love quality time and look forward to it. The house did not work out but the quality time did.

  2. June 21, 2011 5:41 pm

    Ohhh, real estate, not one of my greatest interests, LOL ( at all) I think it’s right up there with sports and politics, LOL. This was very informative though 🙂 and i like your pictures!
    PS Fran is right, hee hee

    • June 21, 2011 5:59 pm

      Hi Red, me too. Sports and politic is not a great subject for me either unless we add in fashion and hairstyle, lol, I am so serious. The pictures was taking the first walk through. I have a habit of taking photos of places we are interested in. What we miss during walk through we can go over on my disk. Plus than I can place it into photoshop to change colors of the wall and add in furniture. I guess you can say that I do many of my remodeling/renovating through photoshop.

  3. June 21, 2011 7:09 pm

    The are so many foreclosures(20% of all properties) in Miami that $350,000 homes can be had for $50,000. A deal, but the taxes and insurances are over $1,000 a month(not including utilities and upkeep and your mortgage) making buying impossible.

    • June 21, 2011 7:29 pm

      Hi Carl, we had interest in buying a vacation home (later retirement home) for people to stay at when they visit Florida and ourselves. There are so many Germans who visit Florida and also Americans. I see the prices are still dirt cheap but I did not know the taxes and insurance was 1,000 a month. I have to tell John this later when he come home. We were mainly worrying about who could we trust to take care of the property and manage the place when guest/customers come.

      We have a friend that has a vacation house and he told us horror stories. It is easier to manage things when we are local instead of long distant.

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