Today I have a question about home-loans: I started saving money to raise a small capital in order to submit a request for a loan and since I am totally new to this topic (and some language barriers don't make learning easier), I would like to ask for some advice here.
First things first: I live and work (permanent contract - or "unbefristet") in Germany (I am registered - or "angemeldet" - too), I pay my taxes here and would like to get a loan in a German bank.
I am not German myself, but I do come from a EU country in the Schengen area.

  • To what should I pay the most attention?
  • What kind of credit is it better to ask for?
  • How much money should I save to get a loan (are there any banks that offer a 90% loan)?
  • How would I calculate money to spend on furniture, electrical appliances, notary, taxes, ect. ?
  • How should I choose interests?

Thanks in advance for all the help you can give me!

EDIT: Thanks for your answers first of all. Quite a lot of time passed since I wrote this question and I had the opportunity to arrange a couple of meeting with 2 different banks. I found out the following:

  • There are banks who offer up to 100% loans (which are of course more expensive)
  • If I get to cover at least 10% of the house value, the interests get to be... interesting (of course I need to cover all the costs described in the point below too)
  • 9%-10% is a correct estimation of "accessory" costs, if a "Makler" (intermediary, which costs 3,57%) is included
  • Interest usually have a 5 or 10 years period during which they don't change (if I'd choose a 5 years period, I would get lower interests at first)

Now, provided that I am not a major "saver" and that I live at the moment in a rented house, which I consider a silly expense, I am not going to wait to cover more than 10% with my initial capital. I would also like to point out that I live in Bavaria.
Having written all of this, here is what I asked and had a couple offers for:

  • 400.000€ Value of the real estate (this is a good estimation)
  • Real estate is an apartment near town
  • Apartment is 90 to 110 m²
  • I have 40.000 as capital

With these basis the best offer I've had involved an interest of 2.0%, with a 10 years fixed interest. Yesterday I spoke with my father (living in country where I am from) about this and he asked me what the bank spread was... "Wait... what?". Is there another % to be considered too?
How do you find this offer?
I was also proposed a "Bausparvertrag" and a "Hausriester". What are the differences? Should I be doing one of those (major pro is basically that I won't pay taxes on the deposited sum)?

  • 1
    This is a very broad question. Even the first bullet on its own is quite broad.
    – MSalters
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 9:06
  • Bausparvertrag and Hausriester are not the right thing for you, if want to buy now. It might be if you want to save up to buy in more than a few years. Banks have to give you the "effektiver Jahreszins", all fees are included here, by law.
    – Christian
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 10:04
  • Yeah at the time (basically 2 years passed) seemed like a good idea... Now I'm actively searching for an apartment, so it's not an option anymore Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 10:06
  • Do not assume that paying rent is a 'silly expense'. The value of renting vs buying can be very different even city to city, due to possible differences in local housing markets. If delaying a house purchase by renting for a while allows you save, then the larger down payment can reduce your costs overall in the long-run. Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


With permanent contract in Germany you shouldn't have any problem getting a loan. It's even more important than how much do you earn.

To what should I pay the most attention?
What kind of credit is it better to ask for?

Generally, you should ask for a house mortgage (Baufinanzierungsdarlehen) with annuity as a type of credit to save on interest. Besides, you usually get a better conditions with a saving bank (Sparkasse) or a popular bank (Volksbank) situated in the area where your house is situated. You also shouldn't combine your credit with extra products (the simpler is the product, the better is for you), maybe I'll write later an extra piece on the common pitfalls in this regard.

How much money should I save to get a loan (are there any banks that offer a 90% loan)?

Probably, you could find a bank that would give you such a loan, but it would be very expensive. You should save at least 40%, because then the bank can refinance your loan cheaply and in return offer you a low interest.

How would I calculate money to spend on furniture, electrical appliances, notary, taxes, ect. ?

Taxes depend heavily on the place where you buy a house. When you buy it, you pay a tax between 3.5% and 6% (look up here). Then you pay a property tax (Grundsteuer), it depends on community how much do you pay, the leverage is called Hebesatz (here's example). Notary would cost ca. 1.5% of the house price. All and all, you should calculate with 10%

How should I choose interests?

A country-independent advice: if you want to save on interest in the long run, you should take an annuity loan with the shortest maturity. Pay attention to effective interest rate.

Now to Germany specifics. Don't forget to ask about "Sondertilgung" (extra amortization) - an option to amortize additionaly. Usually, banks offer 5% Sondertilgung p.a.

The interest-rate is usually fixed for 8 years (however, ask about it), this period is called Zinsbindung.

It sound ridiculous, but in southern lands (Bayern, Baden-Württemberg) you usually get better conditions as in Berlin or Bremen. The gap could be as big as 0.5% p.a. of effective interest rate!

In Germany they often use so-called "anfängliche Tilgung" (initial rate of amortizazion) as a parameter.

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