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matroskin

Thinking About Buying A House In Germany

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Current job allows working remotely/travel to sites all over Europe. Family is happy to move.

Plan to learn German, get lots of land on the cheap, grow grapes and make own wine.

What else could possibly go wrong? Advice/rant/warnings appreciated :P

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Current job allows working remotely/travel to sites all over Europe. Family is happy to move.

Plan to learn German, get lots of land on the cheap, grow grapes and make own wine.

What else could possibly go wrong? Advice/rant/warnings appreciated :P

Be careful, rent before you buy to make sure you and the family like it.

I lived in Frankfurt for 4 years and the region is notorious for being unfriendly.

Do you like rules and regulations and for them to be strickly enforced?

There is no translation of documents into English, can yo ufill in a German Tax form?

Do you like handing over 55% of your income to the tax people even on relatively low salaries?

If you leave are you happy that you have paid into the gernerous germans state pension system yet will get nothing back?

Do you like customer service? I once ordered a fridge and was 5 mins late for delivery, did they leave a note saying I can collect it? No the delivery man phoned my mobile and gave me a mouthful and refused to deliver it.

Now I also lived in Italy for 5 years and that is a fantastic place to live.

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Their basic tax rate is 55%???

When I was there the social charge our NI was 23%.

Every time I signed the wages off I though to myself paying the tax man more than you take home is such a disincentive to work.

The single people had 60% taxes anf 40% take home pay.

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And what is the health service like?

When I was in hospital there, I was quite seriously ill, they did the basics and next morning some agressive women sat at my bedside and said how am I going to pay. I told her that I was insured (no free health care for Brits in Germany then) she kept on and on so in the end I chucked my credit card at her and told her to keep it.

As I said customer service is not a priority.

Then a very attractive girl turned up in the afternoon and I thought Hey Ho not to bad in here. Then she said "I will be doing your operation (a life threating one but low percentage of failure)". I looked aghast and she then said "do not worry I will be supervised".

So not only did I have to pay I got the trainee.

Well thats what being an Insla Affa means.

In Italy, I had to wait two hours but the doctor really knew what he was doing and that was free discolated fingers.

Edited by ralphmalph

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Be careful, rent before you buy to make sure you and the family like it.

I lived in Frankfurt for 4 years and the region is notorious for being unfriendly.

Do you like rules and regulations and for them to be strickly enforced?

There is no translation of documents into English, can yo ufill in a German Tax form?

Do you like handing over 55% of your income to the tax people even on relatively low salaries?

If you leave are you happy that you have paid into the gernerous germans state pension system yet will get nothing back?

Do you like customer service? I once ordered a fridge and was 5 mins late for delivery, did they leave a note saying I can collect it? No the delivery man phoned my mobile and gave me a mouthful and refused to deliver it.

Now I also lived in Italy for 5 years and that is a fantastic place to live.

I have lived just across the border from the southern Pfalz for the last 10 years:

1. In comparison to Baden Württemburg & Hessen (Frankfurt) people in the Pfalz are friendly. It will take some time to get used to the local dialect though if you learn "standard" German.

2. The one stereotype which I've found is not accurate is that all Germans like strict rules and regulations. Particularly in this area of Germany there is a lot of flexibility.

3. There are plenty of tax advisors most of whom can speak good English.

4. If you are married and your partner is not working you will get their full tax allowance & child allowance is similar to the UK. I don't pay any more tax than I would in England and have a generally lower cost of living. As local income tax is taken from the salary there is very limited council tax to pay. Financially I'm better off here.

5. You would be entitled to the German pension system on retirement after being here and contributing for 10 years.

6. Customer service is not always as bad as that. But I must admit that it's not called "service desert Germany" for nothing.

The southern Pfalz is a lovely area - castles, hills, wine & close proximity to France with generally friendly people.

Rent for a while before you buy though; the German mentality does take some getting used to and if you are looking at buying in one of the wine villages you would want some local advice. Think about transport links if you're planning a lot of travel and reckon on a good 3 years for your German to get to a reasonable level. If you've got kids also consider their schooling - a major step.

PM me if you are serious and want more info.

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Their basic tax rate is 55%???

No, their maximum tax rate is 55%. It starts at 20 something, just like here.

tim

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Current job allows working remotely/travel to sites all over Europe. Family is happy to move.

Plan to learn German, get lots of land on the cheap, grow grapes and make own wine.

What else could possibly go wrong? Advice/rant/warnings appreciated :P

Germans don't move often. On average, they will buy one house in their lifetime. Often they will want to buy a piece of land and self build (because there are large tax breaks for doing so).

Consequently house are very slow to sell. It is not uncommon for a house to be for sale for 4-5 years.

Mortgages reflect this. You will find that the norm is a 20-25 year fixed rate mortgage. Look at the redemption penalties, they are severe, you are not expected to want to redeem early, Germans just don't do it.

If you are going to buy, you have to be absolutely sure that it is the place that you want to live for the next 25 years. Buying for 2 years and moving on just does not work in Germany. If you want to do this you rent - just like most of the rest of the population does. You will not be a second class citizen in Germany for doing so.

The above doesn't not apply to small BTL type properties which Germans buy for investments. Many people buy properties which they would never in a million years want to live in (because they are to small) whilst paying to rent their family home.

As above. Germans don't aspire to home ownership and this fact affects the way the market works. If you go there with your UK expectations you will get probably the worst of the deal

tim

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When I was in hospital there, I was quite seriously ill, they did the basics and next morning some agressive women sat at my bedside and said how am I going to pay. I told her that I was insured (no free health care for Brits in Germany then)

Yes there is. If you do it right!

20 trips to the specialist and two ops (first one didn't work). Didn't pay a penny (or a pfening)

tim

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Foot of the Alps at the bottom of the Val D'Aosta where it meets Piemonte.

I hoped so, the very north is where it gets just about tolerable and much better... but the Italian bureaucracy and efficiency must be experienced. Will hv to register my car locally soon, and my stomach already feels very bad before I have started the process; I know it must be very painful, costly and irrational, it just can't be any other way. Just an example..

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Thanks to everyone who replied even to those who posted about Italy :-)

I have a follow-on question - is it a common practice in Germany to offer less than asking price for a house? If yes how much less is common and how does one make a low offer and does not get rejected/ignored/laughed at?

Or does everyone have to pay asking price for a German property at all times?

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