We should first appreciate that a transfer tax of between 3.5 and 5 per cent of the total property price needs to be paid. Additionally, the buyer must register the purchase with the land registry. Depending upon the registry, this will cost between 0.8 and 1.2 per cent of the price. Notaries have been known to charge as high as 2 per cent of the property value in order to secure their services. Note that lawyers, professional translators and similar requirements will have their own rates that must be paid. Those who are not residents of Germany will be obliged to pay a wealth tax that equates to approximately 0.5 per cent of the cost of the property. Finally, transfer fees will be charged by the financial institution that sends money from the buyer of the estate to the seller. These rates can range from 0.1 per cent to a full percentage point.
An annual fee known as the Grundsteur needs to be paid by the new owner. The amount owed is primarily determined by the value of the property in relation to a standard rate of 0.35 per cent. This figure is combined with other variables in order to ultimately determine the amount owed. These rates can fall between 0.98 per cent and 2.84 per cent. As of 2012, the average figure was 1.9 per cent.
An online search phrase such as “buying a property Germany” will sometimes highlight other expenses to note. These can include:
- Rubbish collection.
- General upkeep and maintenance.
- Utility bills (water, gas and electric).
There can also be instances when street maintenance charges are applicable. This will normally appear within the contract for the property in question.