Some countries (also within Europe) have regulations governing when and under what circumstances foreigners can buy property. Our expert knows what laws apply in Germany.
I live in Munich, am married and work on a permanent employment contract. Can I buy a residential property here although I am not a German national? Do I have to take any special aspects into account as a non-German?
Answer by Alfred Hollmann, the real estate expert at Terrafinanz group
Foreigners can of course buy any kind of property or share in property in Germany, and thus also in Munich. If you are not married, the situation is exactly the same for you as for a German national, so the financing has to be in place before the purchase and any land charges should ideally be notarised with the deed of sale.
If you are married, the only extra consideration is to what extent your home country or country of birth places restrictions on the purchase of real property. In particular the matrimonial property regime that applied to your marriage in your home country may have to be taken into consideration for the purchase.
If you did not marry in your home country, the marital property laws of the country in which you married and perhaps in which you have lived longer are to be observed. The notary will be able to advise you here.
Also note that before the notarisation the notary will check that your German is good enough to understand the essentials of the deed of sale. If not, you will need a certified translator/interpreter at the notarisation appointment, or you will have to give someone who does have the required German-language skills power of attorney to act on your behalf. Also, if you will be leaving Germany for an extended period after the notarisation, you will have to name an authorised recipient who lives in Germany to receive any documents relating to the property for you. Their address and date of birth will also be required.
There are some regulations that a non-German has to consider when buying real estate in Germany, but they are not as strict as in some other countries.
You will find more information about what you have to look out for when buying real property in our detailed » Guide to buying residential property