What should I know about the acquisition

House purchase checklist

Step by step to the dream home

Dirk Eilinghoff
Expert for banks and stock exchanges As of August 20, 2020

Dirk Eilinghoff

As a team leader for banking products, Dirk Eilinghoff is responsible for financial investments and old-age provision at Finanztip. He brings experience in this area from his work as an independent financial and fee advisor. In previous years, the historian and business graduate managed charitable projects at the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Körber Foundation.

  • When buying a house, you should first consider where and how you want to live in the future.
  • An important point on your checklist is your budget. You can calculate this in advance with the Finanztip mortgage calculator.
  • If you have found what you are looking for, you shouldn't just look at the property. Mortgage lending also deserves your attention.
  • Prepare yourself particularly well for sightseeing. The house purchase checklist that we have put together for you will help you with this.

For download

  • Get several offers for financing. Finanztip recommends the loan broker Dr. Klein, Interhyp and Planethome.

Even if real estate prices have been rising for years: Young families in particular long for their own four walls, preferably in the country. Looking for oneaffordable home However, there are a few points to consider. With our House purchase checklist, to which the following points belong, you will reach your goal safely.

At the beginning there is the "W" for residential area

The decision has been made - you want to buy a house. Before you look for offers on the relevant real estate portals, you should ask yourself: Where do I want to live in the future and what can I even afford there?

The correct residential area is crucial for personal wellbeing. So take enough time to find the right environment. Think carefully about what your new place of residence should bring with you so that you will still be happy and satisfied there in a few years.

For retirees, for example, areas with a well-developed infrastructure are interesting - shopping opportunities, leisure activities, but also medical facilities should be within walking distance. Families with children are more likely to value public facilities such as schools, kindergartens or swimming pools and playgrounds. Anyone who works in the city but has fallen in love with a green oasis outside of the city should pay attention to convenient transport connections by car and local public transport.

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Gain clarity about your budget

The next item on the house purchase checklist is the cash drop. Compare your income and expenses as realistically as possible. This gives you an initial clue as to whether you can afford a detached single-family house, a semi-detached house or a terraced house in your desired area.

Note: There are additional costs to the actual purchase price - the Additional purchase costs. These include theReal estate transfer tax, notary fees or brokerage fees. Unfortunately, there should be an exclamation mark behind this point on your home purchase checklist. Because the costs hit again With 10 to 15 percent in addition to the purchase price.

You should also factor in moving and renovation costs when buying a house, and - if you decide on a used property - modernization costs.

So that you can plan your budget realistically, we have developed the Finanztip mortgage calculator for you. With it you can calculate how much your property will cost and how high the building loan may be.

Download home purchase checklist

Here you can download our checklist for buying a house:

For download

This is how you search for your property in a targeted manner

The future residential area has been identified and the financial framework is in place. Then you can start with the actual Property search getting started. Basically, the following applies to the house search: Take enough time. In the best case, you watch the real estate market for a few months. This will gradually give you a feel for real estate prices in your region.

Keep your eyes open

First points of contact are Real estate portals like Immobilienscout24, Immowelt or Immonet. You can also find many real estate offers on Ebay classifieds. The next time you empty your mailbox, you should also take a look at the advertisements in local newspapers. Older people in particular still use itNewspaper advertisementsto offer homes for sale. It also doesn't hurt if you just ask around in your circle of friends or ask acquaintances and work colleagues to ask around.

Even unusual paths lead to success - DIY stores and discounters often have “I'm looking for / offer” boards in the entrance area. You may find interesting purchase offers there.

Ask a broker for help

If you prefer to be a homeowner today rather than tomorrow, you can also get help from professionals. A realtor doesn't just support homeowners who want to sell their home. You can also hire a broker if you are interested in buying. He knows them Market situation and real estate prices in your dream district. You will also find out about new properties before they are offered on the real estate platforms.

The broker's support is not cheap. Brokers charge between 3.57 percent and 7.14 percent of the purchase price for their service. However, it is almost always the case that the buyer shares in these costs even if the seller originally hired the broker. So if you have to pay in the end anyway, you can take advantage of a broker right away and hire them yourself.

Be inventive

If you cannot find a suitable property despite the many possibilities, it is time to get creative. Strikingly designed and distributed in the desired areaHandout may attract the attention of third parties. Make a note of the most important key data about the dream house and give your request a personal note - this will increase your chances of success.

When visiting, leave out the emotions

Probably the most exciting point on the home buying checklist is the viewing. Exposés, photos and descriptions in real estate advertisements serve as a first point of reference and make it easier for you to make a preselection. But they are not a substitute for a tour.

Don't forget your notepad and folding rule

Take you to visit if possible much time. Also think of tools such as a pad and pen or folding rule. A camera is very important, separately or on the smartphone: Photos support the memory and help you later to make the right decision.

Also important: visit the property if possible by daylight. House and surroundings can look so much better to you, and you can recognize obvious defects better this way.

Schedule further viewing appointments

Feelings play a big role when buying a house - many people have dreamed of owning their own house with a large garden at an early age. Even if you got a little closer to your dream with the first viewing, you shouldn't just leave it at one viewing appointment.

Above all, you should be thorough in used propertyexamine for weak points. Make sure to pay attention to the building fabric, the materials used. Has the house already been energetically renovated or will you have to take care of it in the future? The building services should also be carefully examined - are the heating, water and power lines still in good working order or do they have to be replaced in the next five years? And what about moisture and water damage?

Four eyes see more than two

It is almost impossible for laypeople to recognize damage to substances such as mold, dry rot or pests. However, such defects reduce the value of a house in the long term. In the worst case, they lead to a complete loss of value.

If you are seriously interested in a house, it is advisable to make a viewing appointment with an expert. Perhaps there will be a group of friends or acquaintances Engineer or architectwho can accompany you. Or you play it safe and hire an expert to create one Appraisal.

Such an expert opinion is of course not free. How expensive it is depends on the scope of the appraisal and the sales value of the house. You can get so-called brief reports for up to 100 euros. Regular appraisals are more detailed, but cost significantly more at up to 2,800 euros according to the appraisal committee in Berlin.

Use the land register and development plan as a source of information

A comprehensive inspection of a property also includes taking a look at the land register or the development plan. in the Land register not only all previous homeowners are registered. There you will also find information about possible old and construction charges as well as the land charges.

However, you have to prove a so-called legitimate interest in order to gain access. To do this, the purchase negotiations usually have to be quite advanced. Often the seller keeps current land register extracts anyway and makes them available to seriously interested buyers.

A look into the Zoning plan also tells you which construction projects are being considered in your new residential area. But be careful: you need a little practice to read a development plan correctly.

Always have the seller show you the house's energy performance certificate. In this way you can find out what energy costs you can expect.

Future neighbors are also a very rich source of information. They can tell you a lot about water damage, problems with the house, zoning plans and everything else that concerns homeowners in the area. Do not hesitate to knock outside of the actual viewing appointment and without an agent and introduce yourself as a prospective buyer. A side effect is of course that you get to know the neighbors yourself. In this way you can better assess whether living together might become difficult later.

Secure yourself a cheap home loan

After many viewing appointments and countless conversations with realtors or homeowners, you have finally reached your goal: You have found your dream home, in the right location and at a reasonable price.

Unless you already have offers for the financing you should now deal with another and very important point on your home purchase checklist - namely the question of how you finance the house.

Make sure to compare several offers together. Because: the cheaper the mortgage, the less interest you pay. The difference between a good and a bad financing concept is often several thousand euros.

The right financing concept, tailored to your needs

When soliciting offers, make sure thatTerm and Interest mortgage lending to suit your personal circumstances. A real estate loan is usually designed as an annuity loan with a fixed monthly payment within the fixed interest period. You can find out from your credit broker or a bank advisor whether an annuity loan is right for you or whether you are better off with a different financing model.

Get in any case not only at your house bank Financing offers, but also take advantage of large onesCredit intermediary. These carry offers from several hundred banks, insurance companies and building societies - a great help in finding the cheapest building finance.

Finanztip has dealt extensively with mortgage brokers. We recommend Dr. Klein, Interhyp and Planethome. In our building finance guide, you can find out what you should still pay attention to when it comes to mortgage lending, how much equity you should bring with you and what other financing concepts there are.

Dr. Small
All finance broker specializing in mortgage lending
  • free and non-binding advice
  • works mainly with independent consultants
  • more than 400 banking partners, including savings banks and Volksbanks
  • Telephone and on-site advice from over 550 consultants nationwide
  • Advice at the customer's home is also possible
  • specializes in mortgage lending
  • free and non-binding advice
  • works exclusively with employed consultants
  • more than 400 financing partners, including savings banks and Volksbanks
  • Telephone and on-site advice at more than 100 locations nationwide
Mortgage lender
  • free and non-binding advice
  • works exclusively with employed consultants
  • more than 220 financing partners, including savings banks and Volksbanks
  • Telephone and on-site advice in 14 branches nationwide

In the end there is the purchase

With receipt of the written funding commitment from the bank you have almost reached the end of your home purchase checklist. Now all that's missing is your signature under the sales contract - one would think. Before you can really call yourself a homeowner, however, there are still other points to be ticked off the checklist.

The notary is ordered and the Draft sales contract put on. Just don't rush to agree to the draft. Purchase contracts are extensive and, thanks to legal German, not always easy to understand. Take enough time to read the contract and discuss any open questions with the notary.

Make sure that the inventory of the previous owner that you are taking over is also shown separately in the purchase contract - this not only reduces the purchase price, but also the real estate transfer tax.

If both parties agree, both sign the purchase contract in the presence of the notary. You are then (almost) a homeowner, with all rights and obligations. The whole business is only really finished when you are in the land register a few weeks later.

In rare cases, the notary's appointment can be canceled. So that you don't get stuck on the loan, you should coordinate the notary appointment and the loan agreement well. It shouldno more than two weeks lie between the signature of the loan agreement and the appointment with the notary. This means that you still have the option of withdrawing from the contract within the statutory period of 14 days.

Before you finally move in, you should take a look at the existing homeowners insurance. You can either take over this contract or terminate it within four weeks after the property has been changed.

Our podcast on the topic

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More on this in the building finance guide

  • With the right construction financing, home builders can quickly save thousands of euros.
  • Our provider recommendation: Interhyp, Dr. Small, Planethome

To the advisor

Anja Ciechowski

Anja Ciechowski

Anja Ciechowski speaks openly about her own money issues at Finanztip - as part of the Finanztip podcast duo “Auf Geldreise”. The editor volunteered at Finanztip and received, among other things, insights into everyday editorial work at the dpa topic service. Before Finanztip, Anja wrote for the Ostsee-Zeitung in Greifswald. During her work for the Legal Tech Advocado, the business graduate also got to know the startup industry.

Dirk Eilinghoff

Dirk Eilinghoff

As a team leader for banking products, Dirk Eilinghoff is responsible for financial investments and old-age provision at Finanztip. He brings experience in this area from his work as an independent financial and fee advisor. In previous years, the historian and business graduate managed charitable projects at the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Körber Foundation.

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