Aoife and Giacomo (and little Luca of course) approached Hypofriend to buy their first home in Berlin. In the following interview they share some of their experiences and what they ran into.
How did the process for buying a home go?
The whole process for us went surprisingly smoothly! Once we found the place we loved we just sent the info to our broker at Hypofriend and he dealt with the house agent to get all the documents we needed for the bank. We got fast approval for our mortgage and a much better interest rate than we expected...to be honest it all has seemed a bit too easy, we kept waiting for the hard bit to happen but everything felt very straightforward.
At which point did you engage Hypofriend?
We used the hypofriend affordability calculator to work out what we could afford when we first started to flirt with the idea that maybe it made sense for us to try and buy a place. We didn’t understand anything about requirements or the process in Germany before this, so at the very start this helped us to work out what we could feasibly afford. After that we had a conference call with one of the brokers (Michael) who explained everything to us and advised on what would make sense for our particular case. After that we knew our budget and started to look more seriously for properties. Eventually we found a place we loved and at that point contacted Michael again who took over and sorted everything!
Why did you not work with your normal bank to get a home-loan?
We felt really daunted by the prospect of navigating the process of getting a mortgage through German - both the language and our lack of understanding of how mortgages and home buying work in Germany, hence to having an expert to advise us in English and advocate for us was really important. We also did not want to end up ripped off and paying off a bad loan for the rest of our lives so we felt it was a good move to involve someone to make sure we were getting the best possible deal.
What would you recommend your friends to do when buying their first home?
I have already referred many of my friends to speak to hypofriend before doing anything to understand the market and what they can afford before starting their search! I’m glad we had an understanding of the process before we found the home we wanted as we were then able to move quite fast and to feel as confident as we could be through the whole process that these huge decisions made sense and were not so intimidating.
Looking for a mortgage? Use Hypofriend’s affordability calculator to see what you can afford based on your personal situation.