Choosing the propertyWith the right preparation you will find the right property

The success of any property investment depends on choosing the right property. It makes no difference whether you are an owner-occupier or an investor – by asking yourself some important questions in advance, you will have a clearer understanding of your requirements, and will be able to narrow your search to a smaller number of really suitable properties.

Get upfront answers to relevant questions

Do you want to use the condominium yourself, or are you buying it as an investment? Owner-occupiers need to know: Does the local infrastructure satisfy my requirements? Do I like the location and district? Investors need to analyze the property’s rental potentials. Well-established infrastructure and an attractive floor plan are key factors in maintaining the long-term value of the property.

Whether you are buying your personal dream home or an investment property, you should ask yourself: Do I want a condominium in an Altbau (i.e. classic, pre-war building) or in an existing, post-war building, or would it make more sense to buy something in a new-build? A classic Altbau, with its parquet flooring, French doors, and ornamental, crown molding, is not only charming, it can also pose a number of challenges. For inexperienced buyers, it can often be challenging to assess the condition of such buildings. It isn’t easy to detect age-related defects or estimate the scope of refurbishments or renovations that may be required. With an Altbau, it can certainly make sense to commission an experienced property surveyor or valuer. They can provide you with an accurate assessment of the property’s condition, along with an accurate assessment of its current market value. This will provide you with the information you need to decide whether the asking price is fair or not.

Review all relevant documents

Irrespective of the age of the property: Once you have narrowed your search, you should carefully review the apartment’s description and determine its current condition. And if you plan on moving into the apartment yourself, you should find out who your new neighbors are, both condominium owners and tenants. It’s also well worth inspecting the building’s declaration of division to get a clear picture of the division of common and special property, and you should read through the minutes of HOA meetings, which will provide you with a wealth of information, including scheduled maintenance works. You should also take a look at the maintenance backlog and the building’s energy performance certificate. With a new-build, you’ll also need to review the building specifications. This is where you will find out which services the developer will provide, and which services you will have to organize yourself. The building specification also frequently allows room for special requests – which you need to ensure are specified in writing. Trust is good, but control is better. Checking the developer’s financial standing, reputation, and previous development projects can help protect you from unpleasant surprises after the contracts have been signed.

Finding the right property is certainly a challenge, and a property purchase is always a major decision that should be carefully considered. The property consultants you decide to work with play an important role in this process and can help to make your investment a success.

Checklist: Selecting a property

  • What will it be used for
  • Floor plan and location
  • Current condition
  • Owner/tenant mix
  • Declaration of division
  • Maintenance backlog
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Building specification for new-builds