1) Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come.
So I've been staying in Germany for 3 years now. Originally, I'm from India. My wife and I moved to Germany in 2015 due to a job opportunity that arose here in Berlin. I'm a game designer, and I previously worked with Electronic Arts (EA). My wife works in the PR & Communication field and the first few years after we moved to Germany she studied and practiced the language. We mutually decided to invest in an apartment when both of us could contribute to the mortgage expenses.
2) How did you find out about Hypofriend?
Actually, I had initially applied for a mortgage through my local bank (Deutsche Bank) where I have a bank account because my friends recommended that bank. Considering that I have been a client with them for more than 2 years, I was expecting to get the best mortgage rates from them. We also considered other banks such as Deutsche Bank, but due to fluctuating rates our faith in them quickly diminished. We quickly lost faith in them as I got the impression that they were over-promising which shattered my trust towards them. After proceeding with our search, we came across a blog post that mentioned Hypofriend. It wasn't a known mortgage provide to me but I still decided to give it a shot. The online tool was quite simple to use. From then on, we got in touch and from the first meeting on, you seemed pretty committed and I was convinced that you guys could get me a better rate as opposed to offers. I had faith that you guys would find a better rate, however, we were ready to proceed with our alternative mortgage option from Deutsche Bank. Therefore during our first meeting, I asked whether Hypofriend could provide me with more insight within 5 days. As it turned out, I am quite happy that in the end, I decided not to go forward with my initial Deutsche Bank offer because you guys were able to deliver a better experience and mortgage.
3) The property you bought was a new-built and would only be completed in 12 months. With your mortgage product, we ensured that you would have a repayment-free period of at least 12 months to avoid paying your current rent and the monthly mortgage payment at the same time. Can you elaborate on this?
I was actually pleasantly surprised! The initial mortgage product from you mentioned that there would be a repayment-free period of 12 months. In the end, when I received the contract it actually turned to be 24 months. So this was a case where I got more than I had asked for. I was extremely happy with the final offer as it gave me more security, especially considering that the property we had reserved was a new property that might have unexpected construction delays. You also provided me with several government-sponsored loan types [KfW124 for own use and KfW55 for energy-efficient buildings] that worked in my favor with the final interest rate. This resulted in a total of 3 loans which initially made me slightly skeptical. However, after analyzing the details of the terms, I realized that the highest interest was actually on the smallest loan amounts.
4) As an Indian living in Germany, you mentioned that you had some reservations about buying a new-built project. Can you explain this in more detail?
I think it will be difficult for me to generalize, but I think more often than not in India, especially with buildings, and individual projects, it's a big risk for middle-class people who work in hopes building something for themselves. To have somebody to trust from this group of people is very important. I think this is the sort of relationship that Hypofriend provides. In my eyes, such a relationship is vital when dealing with such major decisions like getting a mortgage. Coming from India, we are used to a faster pace, and being able to get quick responses and feedback. When working with Hypofriend, I was given a lot of security and comfort throughout the process. This was a relief, as, when comparing the speed of your responses with other involved parties, you guys were extremely responsive. I think that helps a lot to know that there's somebody on the other side that will help me swiftly in case things go wrong for some reason.
My advice to aspiring homeowners would be to trust the person you are in contact with. In my case, Hypofriend helped me a lot by clarifying numerous questions and worries that did not seem clear to me, and also at overcoming language barriers. I hope that when I will need to refinance after 10 years I hope that Hypofriend will once more be there to guide and assist me throughout the mortgage journey.
5) What could be improved regarding our process?
During the initial stages of the process, I was left a little bit in the dark as to what numbers the mortgage calculator would generate for me. This is something normally a lot of companies do where they let you use their mortgage calculator to get the details and then use those details to contact you at a later point. But if this was told to me upfront, maybe it would have given me more transparency. And the other thing was that I still get emails that don't seem to be relevant at all because it's still saying they found properties for you within your budget or stuff like that.
6) In terms of the actual process of getting the mortgage, were there any parts that you felt needed improvement?
I think from Hypofriend's side, apart from a few minor issues in certain cases, there were no real problems in the process of getting the mortgage right up until the point where we signed the purchase contract. I was pleasantly surprised to have been promised an interest rate of 1,67%, and to have ultimately received an interest of 1,60%. In other words, the team at Hypofriend under-promised, and over-delivered.
Use Hypofriend’s affordability calculator to see what you can afford based on your personal situation.