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How to choose a luxury apartment in Berlin

Written by Posted On Friday, 15 September 2017 05:51

If you’re looking to buy a luxury apartment, then it may be for one or several of the following reasons:

  • Somewhere for you to live in and enjoy
  • A long-term investment
  • As a buy-to-let property
  • A property for a child or another relative

 

There’s no one size fits all and the ideal apartment for you will depend on your own personal preferences and your overall goals.

Before we look at how to choose the ideal real estate for you, let’s first ask:

Why Berlin?

Berlin is renowned for its impressive architecture, rich culture and tolerant society, with people living there and visiting from all over the globe. The Berliners’ like to use the phrase “There are more Museums than days of rain in the year” to point to the incredible quantity of historical sites and their 170+ museums dispersed throughout the city. It’s a record holder in the number of operas performed each year (largely helped by the city’s three Opera Houses) and is often called the most international city in Germany.

From an investment perspective, Berlin has a large housing deficit, an expanding population and a strong digital technology sector that has created around 250,000 new jobs in the last decade.  These factors make buying an apartment in Berlin a safe investment, in a city with a thriving and robust economy.  The prices are 2 times lower than Munich, 3 times lower than Paris and 4 times lower than London. The living expenses are lower as well, since the prices of food and other amenities pale in comparison to cities like Paris.  This makes buying a luxury apartment in Berlin an option to many more people who are looking for a not so-humble abode.  Read more on why Berlin is Europe’s best place to live.

Think long-term

Regardless of your reason for purchase, our first piece of advice is to think long-term.  You don’t have to pay capital gains tax if you’ve owned a property for more than three years in Germany if it’s your primary residence, or ten years if it’s an investment property.  You may also want to live in your new home for more than a few years, so project yourself ten years forward and ask yourself:

  • If you’re planning a family, will the apartment be suitable for children?  If not, consider buying an apartment with rental potential, that you could live in at first, then relocate and rent out when your family expands.
  • Look past features that are easy to change – an apartment painted bright pink with lime green fixtures (yes, we’ve seen this!) is likely to go for far less than it costs to redecorate and turn into something beautiful - try and visualise the property as it will be, not as it is now.
  • In like manner focus on what’s impossible to change – a large apartment overall with the number of rooms you need, close proximity to transport, parks, canals or night life and lasting luxuries like a roof terrace, an amazing view, a penthouse apartment (with elevator), or a large living area that could be used for anything from an art studio to a boardroom.

 

Which district is right for you?

Each district in Berlin has its own unique qualities, however for a luxury apartment, start by looking in these three districts:

  • Mitte – at the historical centre of Berlin, both a business district and a popular tourist attraction with numerous restaurants, art galleries and museums, incluing the Museum Island.
  • Schöneberg – a district in West Berlin where the residential area is close to a vibrant cultural zone.  Attractions include a large open-air market every week, the RüdolfWilde Park and Nollendorfplatz, an exuberant area with bars, restaurants and regular concerts in the summer.
  • Charlottenburg also in West Berlin, is an affluent area built around the Charlottenburg Royal Palace.  It has a plethora of cinemas, theatres, shops and restaurants.  Other attractions include the Deutsche Oper, Berlin Opera and the the Schiller Theater.  It’s also close to the Technical University and the University of Arts.

 

In different districts you’re likely to find different kinds of luxury real estate, whether it’s a penthouse suite in a new property development, a spacious apartment in a period building or a converted barn.  For more information First Citiz, an experienced real estate agency, have put together a guide on different types of luxury apartments in Berlin and can help you find the apartment of your dreams.

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