Costs when buying property

Taxes and additional charges

Costs when buying property

To avoid unwelcome surprises buyers should be aware of additional taxes and fees that come on top of the sale price for any property in Germany.

There are several types of taxes and fees a purchaser should pay when buying a house in Germany:

  • Transfer tax is between 3.5% and 5% of the property price
  • Registration at the land registry costs 0.8-1.2% of the selling price
  • The notary fee can be up to 2% of the price
  • Fees for any translators or lawyers you may need
  • Bank fees for transferring the amount for the estate to the seller (between 0.1 and 1%, depending on the price of the property)

German municipalities also collect an annual tax on land/property - the Grundsteuer. Its net total depends on the assessed value of the property using a basic federal rate of 0.35%. This amount is then multiplied by several coefficients to calculate the final tax due. The effective rate is between 0.98% and 2.84% of the monetary value, the average rate is 1.9% (2012).

Non-residents are subject to a wealth tax on property owned in Germany (around 0.5%).

Buying an apartment in Germany comes with monthly expenses other than the mortgage. Monthly fees which cover water, heating costs, rubbish collection and general upkeep can add up to a couple of hundred Euros a month.

It is also quite common for homeowners in Germany to pay for maintenance of the street where their property is situated. This should be stated in the property contract.

Further reading

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