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Everything to Know About Building a House in Germany

Self-builds are increasingly popular across Europe as people often want something that says more about their personality than standard developments tend to offer. Of course, buying an apartment to live in still has plenty of plus points in terms of lifestyle and growth potential, but what do you need to know if you want a build a home for yourself and your family instead? Read on to find out.

Why German kit houses are so popular

Although bricks and mortar homes – as well as Holzhäuser, or wooden houses – are popular in Germany, prefabricated houses are a good option that are well worth considering. Far from being a one-size-fits-all option, they are modular and come in many shapes and sizes. What's more, the internal structure is usually freestanding so you can arrange your layout as you please. The main reason people choose them, however, is that they're cheaper than other building methods.

Do you need a surveyor to buy land?

You can buy agricultural land in Germany and build on it so long as you also have the necessary paperwork without a professional survey. However, a land survey can be very beneficial in determining whether the plot is suitable for a construction project or not. In short, doing so could save you thousands of euros if problems are detected at an early stage, so any design alterations can be built into the project before you start building.

How much does it cost to construct a house?

This will depend on the size and style of your property. After you have located a suitable plot, the construction will need to begin with foundations. Although many prefabricated houses only need footings, many German houses have cellars which will mean more substantial earthworks. Therefore, you can expect to pay at least €375,000 for a detached family home of about 150 square metres, but this would rise to €450,000 for a higher specification house build of the same size that included a cellar. Opt for one of the popular prefabricated houses in Germany and you could pay as little as €235,000. It is also important to say that prices are much higher per square metre in German cities, like Hamburg and Berlin, than elsewhere in the country. Cities like Berlin are still cheaper than places such as London, Paris, Dublin or Amsterdam, however. The construction cost per square meter in Germany peaks at about €1,300 in northern cities.

Building a house can be a great alternative to purchasing an apartment.

Is a material list necessary?

If you buy a prefabricated house, then you don't need to think about all the elements on your material list, such as cladding, beams, roofing products and even foundation materials. If you design your own home, however, then focusing on the materials will be a good way of keeping control on your expenditure. Too much spent on a material you will hardly see is a typical way for construction costs to get out of hand.

Can expats build a home in Germany?

Foreign homeowners also have the possibility to build a house in Germany. There are no restrictions on owning property in Germany. So long as you are a resident, you can build a home to live in without needing to worry about being a non-citizen in the country.

A gratifying project

Many Germans find that building their own home is inspirational and feel like they have achieved something permanent by the end of their project. Completing a self-build, even if you rely on construction professionals to do most of the work for you, leads to a sense of accomplishment. That's why so many people who build a home for themselves love it and stay in the house they've built for many years, rarely moving on because they've constructed something they want to reside in forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Written by:

Ed Gould, Guest writer

Ed Gould is a qualified journalist who has been writing professionally for over 13 years. He has a background in the housing sector and enjoys following the housing market in Germany and elsewhere.

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