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Old 23.09.2022, 13:56
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Buying a flat in Germany as a British citizen

Hi everyone!

I am thinking of buying in Switzerland but unfortunately prices and the system have made it difficult for us.

I was checking house prices in Germany and I seem to be able to find reasonably priced flats in the towns that are close to the border (in the region of 200000 EUR).

Internet says foreigners can buy a house in Germany. Since I have the B permit (moved here before Brexit), would that make a difference?

Has anyone considered or bought in Germany as opposed to buying here in Switzerland?

Now that I don't need to go the office as often, I might as well buy in Germany and commute when I need to (once a week).

Also, can I use the Swiss retirement pot towards buying a house in Germany?

Thanks!
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Old 23.09.2022, 14:06
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Re: Buying a flat in Germany as a British citizen

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Hi everyone!

I am thinking of buying in Switzerland but unfortunately prices and the system have made it difficult for us.

I was checking house prices in Germany and I seem to be able to find reasonably priced flats in the towns that are close to the border (in the region of 200000 EUR).

Internet says foreigners can buy a house in Germany. Since I have the B permit (moved here before Brexit), would that make a difference?

Has anyone considered or bought in Germany as opposed to buying here in Switzerland?

Now that I don't need to go the office as often, I might as well buy in Germany and commute when I need to (once a week).

Also, can I use the Swiss retirement pot towards buying a house in Germany?

Thanks!
Well, check out first if you are allowed to live in Germany.
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  #3  
Old 23.09.2022, 21:06
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Re: Buying a flat in Germany as a British citizen

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...Since I have the B permit (moved here before Brexit), would that make a difference?
I think you'd need to check both the residence permit on the German side as well as the change of permit on the Swiss side, before you even consider buying a flat for commuting purposes.

From a German permit perspective, you weren't residing in Germany before Brexit. So you don't have any grandfathered rights to residency there. You're a non-EU for the Germans under current rules.

Similarly, your rights in Switzerland are based on the rules in place at the time you entered. According to the SEM FAQs page, "Acquired rights depend on the residence status or type of activity exercised in Switzerland under the terms of the AFMP." and "In order to benefit from the agreement on citizensí acquired rights, UK nationals must have acquired rights under the AFMP by this date. Applications for short-stay, temporary residence or cross-border commuter permits had to be submitted along with all the necessary documentation to the competent cantonal authority by 31 December 2020."

To me, this last sentence reads as if you must have already lived in Germany and applied to be a cross-border permit holder before December 31, 2020.
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Old 24.09.2022, 02:00
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Re: Buying a flat in Germany as a British citizen

That makes sense. I have moved to Switzerland in 2018 and lived here since. However, this shouldn't sadly grant me the rights to live in Germany.

Having read the previous posts about this, living in Germany doesn't make much sense from a tax point of view anyway.

Having seen the prices, it's still tempting to get a holiday home in Germany tpo spend long weekends

I know it's not the cheapest place but 200K for a nice flat looks very reasonable to me (I wonder this would still require a residence permit)
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Old 24.09.2022, 11:18
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Re: Buying a flat in Germany as a British citizen

While the 180 day rule is the most common criteria in determining tax residency,
having an unoccupied place of abode in a country and paying regular visits to it, such as every second weekend say can also be used to determine tax residency.

Get good tax and legal advice before making a decision.
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