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Top Tips for Buying Property in Austria

August 02, 2022
These days, real estate is a great investment. Though they mostly cost a lot, it will be money well spent. Who knows? You might even profit off of your own property! Or if you use it as your main residence, you can spruce it up however you want it to. That's right! Owning real estate is the name of the game these days. Even here in Austria. You'd do well to purchase some luxury properties here! But before you start, get to know some helpful tips on how to do it properly. Everything will go smoothly if you do learn a little German, open a local bank account, arrange your own structure survey, and view the property yourself!

Top Tips for Buying Property in Austria

Learn a Little German

If you're a foreigner planning to buy real estate in Austria, you could do with brushing up on your German. It's not necessarily a requirement, but it will help you a lot. Especially when it comes to the important real estate terms you'll commonly face here. Immobilien, for instance, will come up a lot. This means 'real estate.' Katasteramt, on other hand, refers to the Land Registry in Austria. Kaupreis means the purchase price without the additional costs and necessary fees. While Fläche means the surface area, which pertains to the dimensions of a part of the property.

Open a Local Bank Account

Since you'll be handling a lot of money when you buy a new property in Austria, it's better that you open a local bank account here. It'll be easier to deal with the finances and you'll have an easier time taking out a mortgage loan. If you can't pay for the property in cash, your next best bet is to get a mortgage in Austria. And more often than not, financial institutions here will prefer that you have a local bank account. They'll even go so far as to only work with the local Euro currency than anything else.

Top Tips for Buying Property in Austria

Hire a Trustworthy Notary

It can't be stressed enough how important it is that you hire a trustworthy notary. Their role is to notarize and recognize all the steps of the process legally. Any move you make, contract you draw up, or document you sign won't matter when it's not notarized. Furthermore, it's highly possible that your notary will serve as your legal representative in some parts of the process. For instance, if you can't sign the kaufvertrag, or deed of sale, yourself in Austria, your only alternative is to authorize your notary to sign it on your behalf. Shouldn't they be reliable enough to serve such purposes?

Arrange a Structural Survey

Here in Austria, conducting surveys is an important part of purchasing real estate. There are mostly two kinds of surveys that you arrange for the process. One is the valuation survey, which determines the value of the property. And the second is the structural survey, which looks into the current state of the place. The former is mostly done either by the seller or during your mortgage application. Most financial institutions insist on conducting it before they lend the loan. The latter, on other hand, is commonly conducted by the buyer. You'd do well to arrange it yourself so that you'll know firsthand what the place is truly like.

Top Tips for Buying Property in Austria

View The Property Yourself

More than just arranging the structural survey, it's better if you see the property yourself! As long as you have a Schengen Visa or you're eligible for the ETIAS Visa Waiver Program, there's no stopping you from traveling to Austria, right? So you should hop on a plane/train and head to this country if you're purchasing real estate here. Info from surveys, no matter how reliable, pales in comparison to what you'll see yourself when you visit the property. Who knows? You might even catch something the surveys didn't! Only then will you know if the place is truly worth your time and money.

Deal with Your Mortgage Before Signing Documents

Before you sign any document regarding your purchase of any property in Austria, make sure you've already gotten your mortgage. This is a wiser move because of two things. The first is that it ensures that you can, in fact, afford to pay the property price in full, especially within a specified timeline. The second is that you can still include terms and conditions in the contracts regarding your mortgage. For example, you can set the condition that if something happens to your mortgage in the middle of the purchasing process, you can legally bow out of the transaction.

Top Tips for Buying Property in Austria

Sign the Kaufanbot

Even though it's not the deed of sale yet, you shouldn't forget to sign the kaufanbot, or the offer to purchase. This is Austria's version of a pre-sales contract and it's a legally binding document. It details the essentials of the sale—info on the property, info on both parties (buyer & seller), the final price, and the payment schedule. Though it won't require you to pay the deposit yet, it will help you 'reserve' the real estate until you're more ready to pay for it. This, in turn, leads the seller to take the property off the market so that other potential buyers won't get their hands on it.

Set a Move-in Date

Let's say you're relocating to Vienna and you already bought a property here. Then when you finally move in, you find out that the previous owner, the seller, hasn't even taken out their stuff yet? In the end, you're left in a very awkward situation with all your belongings out on the street. You don't want that to happen, would you? Then set a move-in date. Include it in any of the contracts you'll sign during the process. And when the day comes, you can easily move in and start your new life in the home!

Top Tips for Buying Property in Austria

It's no secret that buying a new property in Austria isn't a walk in the park. However, as long as you follow these helpful tips, the process can go as smoothly as you want. It's all about preparing yourself properly for this big endeavor!

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