Expatify

Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Buying Real Estate in Austria

If you are considering buying real estate in Austria, be aware that the country has some of the highest costs of property in the European Union, as well as a high cost of living. There are expensive tax rates in addition to this. Foreign ownership of property in Austria used to be highly regulated, but the laws have been relaxed ever since they joined the European Union. Many foreigners seek to buy Austrian property by ski resorts, summer homes and the city of Vienna.

Attroneys and Real Estate Agents

You should hire a real estate lawyer to assist you with the purchase agreement. They will also make sure that everything is executed in your best interest. They should be fluent in German and your native language.

You may work through a real estate agent, but this is not necessary.

Rules, Regulations and Restrictions

The foreign ownership of Austiran property is restricted, but this is not difficult to overcome. It used to be much more difficult, and the laws have become more lax in recent years.

If you are a non-EU national, you are required to obtain permission from the local authority office in the area you wish to purchase land. This permission is not hard to obtain, and this does not take a lot of time.

If you are looking to finance your house by borrowing money from a bank, it is not difficult to obtain a loan as a foreigner.

General Process

First, you should get permission from the local authority office (see above) to purchase Austrian property.

Next, you should settle on a property and make an oral offer to the seller. Upon acceptance of this offer, the next step is coming up with a purchase agreement. Your lawyer or solicitor will help you with this.

Once you sign this contract, you should put down a deposit of 10% of the total purchase price. This will be held in an escrow until the rest of the process clears. Afterwards, the seller must make sure that everything pertaining to the contract is satisfactory.

Then it is time to transfer the property, on the completion date. At this time you are required to pay the remaining balance of the purchase price for your property. Once you pay this money, the property is legally yours. You must register your new property in the office of the Austrian Land Registry. Be aware that this is a slow process that can take three to four months.

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