Buying Property in Austria - A Brief Guide
Austrian-Property Ltd
    Buying property in Austria is well regulated and clear


- All fees are regulated by the government so that you know
exactly what you have to pay

-  Property is almost always Freehold Title  -  but it is possible to
find leasehold titles if you look hard

-  Once a formal offer is made and accepted it is binding on both
parties so you will not be out bid later

-  Austria has clear regulations on the role of the local  Estate
Agent who is selling the property and Notary

-  A Notary undertakes the work that a conveyancing solicitor
would in the UK and can give you professional advice on local
regulation


Who can buy property in Austria ?

Austria is a member of the EEC.  

Prior to membership of the EEC there were numerous local council
rules that often prevented foreigners
from buying property.

Today some local laws still exist that restrict some types of
ownership and we recommend that you seek your
Notar / lawyers advice when buying in Austria.

Apart from these considerations EEC citizens will find buying
property in Austria orderly, efficient
and quick.

If you are not an EEC citizen you may still buy property in Austria
but only with the express approval
of the  "Grundverkehrsbehörde" - part of  the local council.

Making a formal offer.

Once  you find a property that you would like to buy, it is safe to
discuss your  thoughts with the local
estate agent.  It is usual in Austria that the Agent acts as the
negotiator and will often already know if
there is room to maneuver on price

You will then be asked to make a formal offer in writing.  The agent
will then prepare an offer
document, which will detail all  costs involved in buying the
property, such as legal fees, land registry
costs, agents fees, Stamp duty, vat etc.

Fees usually amount to 10.5% on top of the offer being made. This
will all be detailed on the
"Kostenaufstellung" form which accompanies the offer document.

Currently fees are normally :

- Stamp Duty 3.5%
- Land Registry 1.1%
- Estate agent costs 3% + vat
- Notary fees are on a scale set by law and you should allow 2.% +
vat
- VAT is 20%
- Modest land Registry search fees are also charged by the Notar

Fixtures and fittings/furniture can be split from the total purchase
price, so that stamp duty etc is only
levied on the actual price of the building.

Once you have signed the offer.  The vendor has a fixed period of
days  to accept or reject your offer
after which your offer lapses.  Once the vendor has countersigned
your offer the deal is binding on both parties

From this point on neither the purchaser nor vendor can back out
and you can't be gazumped.

Please ensure you  have your finance in place before you make an
offer. It is NOT "subject to contract"
or the sale of your UK property.

The completion date is agreed between you and often you are
asked to make a 10% deposit into a trust account held by the
Notar.

A Notary will draw up the sale contract on behalf of both parties.  
Please note it is normal in Austria that the Notary acts for both
parties and is seen in law as an intermediary for both the buyer
and seller.

You will be asked to  transfer sufficient funds to cover the purchase
and all fees and costs to the
Notary clients (trustee) account before the agreed completion date.
Once  both parties have signed
the sale contract the Notary passes the money over to the vendor,
but only after ensuring that the
property is recorded in the land registry, and that you have
unencumbered title.  Other clauses are
inserted into the contract to ensure that the vendor has settled bills
with suppliers so that no debts
from the previous owner are lingering after the date of sale.

The timescale from finding your property to full registered
ownership can be as little as 6 weeks

Properties in Austria are built to withstand severe weather
conditions and stand for generations.
Valuations are not usually undertaken which you might find
strange. We would suggest you discuss
with the Estate agent any renovation that the property may
require.  Always enquire the condition
and age of wood Built features.

Paying the day to day running  bills

We recommend that you pay your running bills via direct debit by
opening a local bank account in
the nearest village to your property. Its simple and Easy to do with
your passport and UK address
confirmation.  Most banks have an Internet  account that you can
operate from home in the UK.  

Your local estate agent will help you to complete the documents to
pay your regular running costs such
as electric, telephone,  fuel etc. These items have a similar unit
charge to the UK although remember
the winters are harsher so expect to pay double the heating costs
that you would estimate for a similar
UK property.

Local refuse collection and council charges are very modest
compared to UK council tax

The vendor can advise you the usual cost of these items

IMPORTANT - Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and
provided free of charge. No liability is accepted for the
reliability of the information & statements made as this is
obtained from 3rd parties. Austrian-property.com is a free
property search service - we will introduce you to the local
Estate Agents who have property for sale. We always ask
you take legal advice from a fully qualify Austrian Lawyer or
Notar before buying a property overseas
Information on the buying process, Legal costs and fees, who
can buy, making an offer and what to expect. Find answers to
your questions here or contact us to discuss further
Austrian-property Limited