Buying a house in Germany is an attractive option for many foreigners. Having come to Germany to work or study, it may be that you are considering buying a house here.

If you require specialised advice on purchasing property in Germany, please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers directly. We can be reached by phone, email or through our contact form.

You can contact our law office anytime if you have a particular issue or legal question concerning German law. Our lawyers for ex-pats in Germany can be contacted by phone and email and provide video conferencing options. Please visit our lawyers for ex-pats in Germany page for more legal information.

The Process of Buying a House in Germany

Buying a house in Germany involves the following steps:

  • Decision on which mortgage to pursue: Find out what you can afford and how well you qualify for a mortgage. There are purchase fees which must be covered as well. Sometimes these purchase fees, when combined, can be up to 10-15 % of the purchase price. Finding the right mortgage and understanding the amount you can borrow from the bank is critical for knowing your market.
  • Finding a property: Finding a suitable property will depend on your situation. Websites will provide the broadest range of properties available. Working with an estate agent is another way to find your dream German property.
  • Contact the seller: Contact the seller and start the negotiation. Make sure to have our legal professionals in your corner, as we can analyse the price they present and whether it is according to the going rate.
  • Reserve the property: As the German market can be pretty competitive, it is advisable to reserve the property once the parties have agreed. This reservation will give you time to finalise your mortgage arrangements. Securing a property will generally involve paying a fee, but this is essential in popular cities such as Munich.
  • Finalise the mortgage: Present the details to the different banks and establish the most suitable offer. We can help you when it comes to the necessary analysis. Once a decision on which mortgage to pursue has been made, the application for that mortgage can begin. You can sign the mortgage contract at the end of this process if you wish to commit to it.
  • The purchase contract: The contract between you and the seller can be drafted. Our lawyers will analyse every aspect of the agreement to ensure you get a fair deal. Once the purchase contract has been agreed upon, it can be signed at the public notary’s office. Once it has been signed, the notary will register the priority notice in the land register, and you will be on your way to becoming the official owner.
  • Paying the costs: Paying the seller the down payment and arranging the transfer of the loan amount with your mortgage provider allows the property to come into your possession. You will then pay the property transfer tax from here, and the property will be on its way to your hands.

As can be seen, this is a long process, and it can also be complicated. Working with an experienced German partner can quicken the process, and it may be reassuring to know that you are on the right path.

Buying a House in Germany as a Foreigner

There are no restrictions for foreigners looking to buy a house or other property in Germany. This rule applies to those looking for a place to live and to those looking for an investment property. This rule applies regardless of whether the buyer is an EU citizen or not an EU citizen.

Many German property websites, such as and, provide their information in German, which can prove challenging for those who do not speak German.

Working with our legal professionals means receiving straightforward advice and counsel in English. Our lawyers will ensure that the small print is read and understood and, thus, speed up the process.

The house can still be used as a rental property if you eventually move from Germany. As stated, renting is very popular in Germany, so benefiting from your property after moving is very likely. Having that property available and under your name in Germany will also benefit your children and other family members.

Our Services as Your German Partner

As lawyers who regularly work with those new to Germany, we can provide solid financial and legal advice. We will advise you on aspects such as:

  • Location of your property: which areas to consider purchasing depending on your personal situation and reasons for buying a house in Germany. Knowing where to look is key to a successful purchase. Having a partner in Germany with knowledge of the local area is an essential step to finding the perfect location.
  • Financial advice: once you have provided the background information of your financial situation and your personal preferences regarding payments and mortgages, we can advise you on how to approach banks for loans. We will also notify you of the process of purchasing.
  • Bureaucracy: even if you have a strong level of German, purchasing a property is complex. The vocabulary you can expect is challenging, even for fluent German speakers. The paperwork you will face in this matter is extensive. However, once our lawyers are at your side, we will look after the bureaucratic elements.
  • Contract analysis: when it comes to your mortgage and the purchase contract, our lawyers will examine the conditions in place. Some properties (especially older ones, including those in the “Fachwerk” style) may also have clauses restricting alterations.
  • Legal analysis: our lawyers will examine any regulations in place concerning environmental law and alert you to their existence. There may also be other regulations that need to be considered from the Baugesetzbuch (Federal Building Code) or other state regulations.
  • Tax advice: our professionals will advise you on what taxes must be paid to purchase the property. Ensuring that all financial necessities are covered is crucial to a smooth purchase. Once the property has been purchased, we can advise you on any further property taxes which need to be considered.
  • Landlord legal counsel: following the purchase of the property, our lawyers can advise you on your rights as a landlord if you plan to use your property as a rental property. We advise landlords all over Germany on their rights, as landlords can face complex legal cases without knowing them.

The above-listed services are just some of those which we offer our clients. Our services will depend on the needs of the client and the situation they are facing. If you want to find out how our lawyers can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email, or contact form.

The Advantages of Buying a House / Property in Germany

Compared to renting, buying a house/property provides the owner with greater freedom. Owning a home allows for greater stability and security for the owner, and the property in question becomes your property instead of the one you rent.

In the present/medium term, it allows for pet ownership, provides for alterations to be made to the property, and can be sold in the future if needed.

Even if you do not live in the property or leave Germany, there is a strong demand for property. This applies to both the purchasing market and the rental market. Therefore, there is the possibility of selling the property for a profit later or renting out the property if needed.

Your Legal Partners in Germany

At Schlun & Elseven, we are experienced lawyers when it comes to working with those new to Germany. From our offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf, we work with clients worldwide. Furthermore, our lawyers can advise through video conferencing and email to stay in touch wherever you are.

Once our clients have settled in Germany, our legal team provides additional assistance with our lawyers for ex-pats services. If you want to purchase a house or other property in Germany, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.