Questions about the purchase of property.
Our Legal advisor Dr Markus Mayrhofer, a registered Austrian Notary, can answer all your questions and any concerns regardng the purchasing of property in Austria.
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We have put below a few of the most common queries.
What about the Legal side to buy property in Austria?
Once you have found the property of your dreams, be it a small studio apartment or a 6 bed ski chalet on a mountain top, the next step is to make a written offer. This can be difficult in another language and culture, so it is a good idea to take some advice from a local Austrian property agent .
Many companies like, Invest in Austria speak English well and they are very experienced. They are in a position to know what the seller might be willing to accept. You need also to discuss anything else such as furniture or fittings that might be included in the sale. It is quite common for the furniture to be included when buying a holiday apartment. This value of furniture would be kept separate for stamp duty purposes. Always make sure you check this at the contract stage.Next when you are ready to make an offer. This is put in writing and sent to the seller. The agent will set up this offer document for you. On the document will itemised all the costs involved in buying the property. Such as legal fees, land registry costs, agents fees, stamp duty etc This usually amounts to up to approx 10% of the purchase price and is an additional cost to the property price.
It is wise to keep this in mind when viewing properties. So, if you are buying a property for 100,000 euros you need to allow an extra 10,000 euros to cover all the costs involved.
The agent sends the offer document to the seller. If the seller accepts your offer they will countersign it. The seller is given a fixed period to accept or decline your offer price. Once the document is countersigned, you can take it that the property is yours! But do make sure you have your finance in place before you make a legal offer in writing.
A completion date is agreed between the seller and buyer for the purchase, then you must send the total amount including all the costs, to the Solicitor/Notar. It is best to do this a few weeks before completion. This will give time in case of any banking delays. If you like to set up a currency account for money transfer then click on the Free currency account at the bottom of the property page. Then you have access to all the information that you need to make sure you get the best exchange rate and also minimise banking costs. This information is a guide only and is not comprehensive. You are advised to take legal advice before making a purchase.
Do I need a Valuation?
Properties here are built to the highest standards and valuations are not usual, because no-one in Austria is allowed to build a house except a master builder. There are no cowboy builders, so you can generally assume that the property is in good structural order and rely on the advice of the agent. You can request a survey known as a Gutachten, if you wish. It is carried out by a qualified person and is a legally binding document in Austria. The banks and mortgage providers have a 'Property Price Book' that they work from. This gives them a pretty good idea it the property is worth the price you are paying.
What about purchase costs for a property in Austria?
The average total cost to buy a property usually works out at approximately 10% of the purchase price, made up of the following:Property transfer tax of 3.5%Notary fees and estate agent commission around 3-4%.Property registration around 1% Stamp duty 0.5-1%Land registry fees of approximately £300 to £450
Information in German
What about Austrian Taxation?
This is a very complicated area as in all countries and is dependent on the individuals tax situation..we have put below a link that give goods information for all the Austrian taxes.
What about Estate Agents Fees?
These are controlled by law. It will typically cost you up to 3% plus vat. Sometimes you can negotiate if the property is a high value property.
What costs are there after buying an Apartment or House in Austria?
There are Service charges/maintenance fees for an apartment: These may vary according to the size of the property you purchase. However these fees are included in the running costs (overheads) of the apartment and include heating water, rubbish collection, caretakers fees, general water, any exterior repairs or decoration that may be necessary, the building´s insurance and the garden maintenance. It is a monthly payment. For a house here are different costs. You have local council ground tax. Thern you have your running services costs...water, sewage and rubbish collection etc. It is very easy to check these with the local council before you buy..
What about furnishing my property?
There are a few large department style stores in Salzburg and also nearby, that sell everything you could possibly need to furnish a home. And the prices are in some cases cheaper than in UK. I was at the Large 'Kika' store in Eugendorf a few days ago and some of their offers were incredible. A double bed for 99 Euro!!! Granted it did not include the mattress but then you can buy a mattress for 99 Euro.
Letting Your Property in Austria
If you are considering buying to let, there are lots of superb holiday apartments at very reasonable prices on good developments. These have the benefit of no freezing-up problems in winter as common central heating is provided in most apartment buildings inclusive with your monthly building management cost. The rental market can be very good because of the all year attraction. But be aware that the local Gemeinde (Town Council) will want their tourist tax to cover the cost of additional resources needed in the holiday season. This is currently (2011) 1.15 euros per person ,over 15 yrs, per night. About 8 euros for a week long stay. There is also the option of buying investment apartments that are already rented long term. This has the advantage of a guaranteed income over the year and is a great way to invest money when interest rates in the UK are Low. We at Invest in Austria and Amazing Austria are here to help you as much as possible to find a property in Austria, suited to your criteria and budget and also with renting the property if you do not want to do this yourself.
Questions about the purchase of property.
In Austria, purchasing of real estate is subject to the property transaction laws of the respective federal provinces.
this means that different provisions apply in each province for the purchase of real estate. Many provinces require an approval or evaluation process for real estate purchases only in special "reserved communities," while other provinces stipulate a managed official process for every acquisition of title.
The buyer’s EU country of origin does not matter here: EU citizens can therefore purchase real estate under the same conditions as Austrian citizens.
However: In most provinces, anyone intending to register only a second residence in a community is restricted only to the areas permitted for this. The regional zoning plans regulate what may be used as a vacation residence and what may not. In general: The regulations on second residences are stricter in the western parts of Austria than in the eastern parts.
Although Austria is a safe place to invest, you should find out exactly what is involved for any particular purchase before entering into any contracts. Our associates in Austria will help you as much as possible if you have questions about an Austrian property, or if they do not have all the answers they will find out for you. So all there is left to say is Happy House hunting!We do our best to keep all information updated, but this article is intended for general information purposes only as laws and regulations can change. These guidelines are meant for guidance only and describe straightforward purchasing. This information is not meant to replace proper legal advice, which we always advise that you take.You will find at the bottom of the page a link to get information on Exchange rates and transferring funds overseas for property purchase. You can open a currency trading account...it is FREE! It is just like having a second bank account. Also you can forward buy your currency at the rate of the day and as long as you pay for the currency within 5 days they will hold the rate for you.
What about currency exchange and transferring money to Austria?
If you are buying a property abroad, emigrating, or transferring money overseas you will have to make your payment in the currency of that country.
Given the sums of money involved in such a transaction and the associated additional costs, you will no doubt want to save money wherever possible. If transferring sums over a period of time you will also want to ensure that the cost of the funds does not increase due to an adverse exchange rate movement.
The majority of people still approach their high street bank for their foreign currency requirements. However, a foreign exchange specialist, such as our colleagues at Moneycorp, are more likely to secure you a better deal on your currency requirements..
Check out ourMoney Exchange page, about buying foreign currency or to open a free currency account.