Mortgages for foreigners
Can foreigners invest in German real estate?
Property financing for expats living in Germany
As a foreigner, you might think investing in German real estate is daunting. Granted, dealing with the infamous German bureaucracy and overcoming possible language barriers sounds like a Herculean task — especially if you don't have any reliable contacts to turn to. It's also why many people, even German citizens, dismiss the idea of buying real estate as a capital investment. However, there are many good reasons to — and it's honestly not that hard once you get the right support. Just keep reading to learn how your residence status influences your mortgage possibilities and how Urbyo can help you.
What do I need to buy property in Germany?
Let's start with the good news: Generally speaking, all foreigners can purchase and own real estate in Germany, and many banks offer mortgage solutions for citizens and foreigners alike. Awesome! Case closed, right? Well, here's the thing: The specific criteria necessary to secure a loan depends on the bank. Your financial situation is, of course, one key factor. The bank will look at your savings, household income, and expenses — as they would with any applicant. Apart from that, German banks care about your current resident status. Depending on your status, you'll be eligible for certain financing models. To see which options are available to you, we've created this nifty overview:
|EU Citizens & Permanent Residents (Niederlassungserlaubnis)
|Thanks to the EU's open-border policy, EU citizens get pretty much equal benefits compared to German citizens. If you qualify as a permanent resident and worker (and are therefore a taxpayer) in Germany, you can apply for a mortgage to cover up to 100% of the property value. In theory, some banks even go the extra mile and offer financing with no down payment. The availability of this option depends heavily on the region, your financial situation, and the property itself.
|Blue Card Holders
|If you've got a high-skilled worker visa, you may qualify for a mortgage that covers up to 100% of the property value. If successful, you'll only have to pay the ancillary purchase costs yourself, which amount to 10-15% of the purchase price). Got an EU Blue Card? Then you can improve your chances by applying for a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis). To qualify, you need to have lived in Germany for 33 months. And if you're well-versed in the German language and have acquired a B1 level, you can already apply after 21 months.
|Other non-EU Nationalities
|Most banks will consider you a high-risk applicant if you're not from an EU country. Therefore, they'll request a larger down payment, usually starting at 30%, and won't cover your ancillary purchase costs. As a result, you'll need more equity to seal the deal. Keep in mind that the German government also offers permanent resident visas to people who aren't EU Blue Card holders. Since the permanent residence visa gives you access to better financing, it might make sense for you to wait before applying for a mortgage — at least if you're close to being eligible.
In a nutshell
Regardless of your visa status, banks will always want proof that:
You can legally reside, receive an income (paid in euros), and pay taxes in Germany
You've got a good credit score (SCHUFA)
You have the necessary equity to cover the down payment and the ancillary costs (when needed)
You can comfortably pay the monthly installments according to your household budget calculation
How can Urbyo help me?
There's no reason why buying real estate in Germany should be difficult — for you or anyone. With Urbyo, you'll get the support you need to get your hands on the property you want, with the best financing you can get.
You can use our platform to find great investment opportunities, along with all the relevant details and calculations you need to make an informed decision. And why stop there? Once you've found the right property, our financial experts will filter out the mortgage deals that match your needs. Our team will even help you find a notary in your area. All you need to do is hire a translator to accompany you to the appointment. Or have us go to the notary appointment for you and confirm it at a later date. Pretty convenient, right?
As you can see, buying real estate in Germany as a foreigner really isn't as complicated as it looks. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact us —or simply let the Urbyo community answer them for you.