Kinga approached Hypofriend to buy her first home in Berlin. In the following interview she is sharing some of her experiences and what she ran into.
How did the process for buying a home go?
The process of buying a flat in Berlin -- at least from the moment I found a place -- was much smoother than I expected it. No doubt, there were lots of steps and -- at times -- it was hard to follow which is the next one to take, but looking at it in retrospect, it was a pleasant experience altogether.
At which point did you engage Hypofriend?
As soon as I decided that I would try to purchase a place in Berlin -- rather than rent one -- I reached out to Hypofriend. They responded immediately, and we had a very good first meeting. What I appreciated in that very first meeting -- besides having someone finally shed light on what seemed as a big dark spot on how one buys property in Berlin – was the holistic approach of the Hypofriend staff. Before discussing the details of what flat, how much loan, for how long and so on, we reviewed in detail my short and long-term goals and financial situation. This conversation allowed us to build trust and support towards the same goal. There was plenty of space for me to brainstorm with Hypofriend staff what would make the most sense financially, but also given my family and personal situation.
Why did you not work with your normal bank to get a home-loan?
I did ask my bank for some details of a potential home-loan. The information I received, however, was only in German and the web-translation did no help. The rate they cited also seemed higher than what I heard from others who already worked through Hypofriend. Sure enough, the interest rate I ended up having by working through Hypofriend, was half less than what my bank quoted! Besides this, the fact that I did not have to deal with the banks directly was a great help both time wise and process wise.
What would you recommend your friends to do when buying their first home?
You need someone who knows the German system and structures to walk with you on this path. Whether it is Hypofriend or someone else, it is extremely helpful to have someone you can turn to for advice or help when an unexpected letter comes (it will!!), when you have to figure out what is the next step (you will have to!) and so on. For me at least that peace of mind – besides the clear and supportive financial advice and structures – came from Hypofriend. If I ever buy another flat in Berlin, I would use Hypofriend again and again.
Looking for a mortgage? Use Hypofriend’s affordability calculator to see what you can afford based on your personal situation.