We should first appreciate that a transfer tax of between 3.5% and 6.5% 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% of the price. Notaries have been known to charge as high as 2% 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 1% 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.
An annual fee known as the Grundsteuer needs to be paid by the new owner. The amount owed is primarily determined by the value of the property with the standard rate of 0.35%. This figure is calculated by multiplying the property’s assessed value with the local tax. These rates can go between 1.5% and 2.3%.
An online search phrase such as “buying a property in Germany” will sometimes highlight other expenses to note. These can include:
- Rubbish collection.
- General upkeep and maintenance.
- Utility bills (water, gas and electricity).
There can also be instances when street maintenance charges are applicable. This will normally appear within the contract for the property in question.