Vienna is a perfect city for sustainable long-term investment in real estate, and of course, it’s also a wonderful place to live. Before you begin your search, take a look at these tips for buying property in Vienna.
1. Privately-Owned Land or Building Rights?
In Vienna, it’s not always realistic to purchase building plots outright; particularly in desirable neighborhoods, land deeds seldom change hands – and when they do, often at prohibitive prices. One popular workaround is purchasing building rights instead, which allows you to construct and own a property without buying the land beneath it.
While this is significantly cheaper than purchasing the plot, you do have to pay rent to the landowner; in addition, leases for building rights are only valid for a maximum of 100 years. So it’s important to familiarize yourself with the exact nature of ownership to avoid additional costs or surprises for future generations.
2. Location, Location, Location
Where your property is may be the single largest factor defining its valuation and potential for quality of life. Pay special attention to all relevant features of the surroundings, ranging from public transport, schools and shopping areas to nearby parks, recreational zones, as well as noise- and pollution levels.
3. Pure Investment or Residence?
While real estate investments offer consistently better returns than most index-based investment accounts, whether you plan to rent out a property or live there yourself makes a significant difference in your purchasing options. Banks offer better conditions if you intend to live on the premises, as it poses less risk to them. Becoming a landlord only makes sense if the rental fee covers your mortgage rate.
Please note however that as a landlord you’ll be responsible for upkeep and your profits are subject to income tax. Also, non-EU citizens may have trouble purchasing property in Vienna if they don’t plan to live in it for the first two years after buying.
4. Research Financing Options
There are plenty of option when it comes to financing your dream home; so it pays to shop around for the best mortgage conditions. Often, the developer can offer advice.
5. Tour the Property
Plans, models and visualizations are all well and good, but nothing compares to inspecting a property in person, so insist on doing so whenever possible. If you’re purchasing before construction, you often have the chance to make special requests – concerning the features like the bathroom design, flooring, wheelchair accessibility and fixtures. The developers are usually happy accommodate you.
6. Check the Average m2 Price for the District
Real estate prices can vary from district to district and even between neighboring areas – relatively innocuous boundaries like the Gürtel or Danube river can spell the difference between a good deal and an unreasonable asking price. It pays to do some due diligence and familiarize yourself with the going rates for the areas you’re interested in.
7. Negotiate Shrewdly
It’s almost always possible to get a developer to sweeten a deal.
8. EU Citizens Can Buy Property in Austria
When looking to purchase property, bear in mind that citizens from EU member states of have unrestricted access to the Austrian real estate market under the EU’s equality principle; non-EU citizens, however, generally require special permits to purchase property in Austria, particularly if it is purely for investment purposes.
9. Never Get Information by Phone. Meeting in Person Is Always Better
Making an appointment allows you to size up a company and test its consultant’s knowledge. Research the firm’s reputation, as well as how many projects they successfully completed. Also take note of secondary cues, such as the design and quality of the real-estate agent’s office.
Metropole compiled these tips in cooperation with Hart & Hart, a real-estate company, which can support you with finding property to build on, live in or invest in. Their international team has both the local expertise necessary to help you make sound investment choices as well as decades of experience serving buyers from all over the world.