“Chose for myself”: Tranio’s client about investing in Bad Gleichenberg
An apartment in the Austrian Bad Gleichenberg is Olga’s second purchase abroad. At first she chose between Miami and Berlin, but eventually stopped again in Austria. “At some point, I even wanted to buy two apartments: this one to rent, and even a small one for myself,” Olga shares her impressions. How did Tranio win a small resort town in Styria?
– Olga, we know that for you this is not the first purchase of real estate abroad, you still have an apartment in Austria.
– Yes, in Vienna.
– Then it was an investment or a purchase for yourself?
– The fact is that I have a residence permit in Austria, and according to the rules I was obliged to rent an apartment here. At some point, I decided: how to pay rent for strange apartments, which I also did not like, would be better if I bought mine.
– And for what purpose did you buy a second apartment?
– It was already an investment.
– And turned to Tranio?
– My searches took place on the Internet, and Tranio is one of the first companies that search engine shows. I made a request. And since then, the company has not left me, unobtrusively interested once every couple months, as the search goes, invited me to events. I went to them, listened. I was at presentations on real estate in Germany. At first she studied it – not only Berlin, but also small towns. Sophia Bulanova, an investment specialist at Tranio, said that there could be more profitability, but at the same time the question of liquidity immediately arises, because the higher the short-term income, the more likely the liquidity of the apartment will be. You need to play between profitability and liquidity.
I studied the markets for a long time, took pauses, left to think. I was told that it is normal that on average a year passes between how a person thought and bought. I was not at all sure that I would buy something.
“Then why Austria again?”
– As you understood, in my thoughts I walked around different countries and continents. Even considered America. Someone told me that it is not bad in Miami, that there are much more interesting offers. But then I thought: where am I, and where is Miami? All this is far and not very convenient, and the conditions on closer examination turned out to be, in fact, the same. Therefore, my last throwings were between Berlin and Austria.
I wanted Berlin, because there was a lot of information about its investment attractiveness. But this wave is already declining, it was necessary to do everything a few years earlier.
And then Sofia suggested that I pay attention to Austria, in particular, to Graz, because in Vienna a person with a residence permit cannot buy a second apartment. And in Graz, you can buy any number of apartments, regardless of passport and residence permit. Graz is the only Austrian city open to all foreign buyers. However, it is the second largest after Vienna. I have never been to Graz before, I just drove by when I traveled by car to Croatia. And it became interesting to see.
– What criteria did you initially have, what kind of apartment did you want?
– I had a budget of 250 thousand euros. And, naturally, I wanted maximum profitability. But, as it turned out, it is the same everywhere, plus or minus: in Berlin and Austria. Of course, commercial real estate gives a higher yield, but there are completely different amounts of investment. I understood that it was an investment purchase, but at the same time I wanted the apartment to be liked by me. Although they say that the investor should think exclusively rationally, and include emotions only if you buy for yourself. But I did not want to invest in an object that I did not like.
We phoned on Skype with Sofia and with partner Tranio in Austria. I asked some insane amount of tax questions, because as an economist I was wondering why this VAT was suddenly returned, and I tormented everyone for a very long time. In the end, I decided to go see and meet.
If the buyer confirms that he is buying an apartment for investment purposes, then the Austrian tax authorities, depending on the type of investment, return the amount of VAT paid in full, that is, 20%, or in part. Unlike other countries, in Austria, this rule applies to both businesses and individuals. If the buyer purchases real estate for his own residence, the VAT is not refundable, but sellers can make a discount for such buyers.
I was greeted and with a sincere, genuine enthusiasm, everything showed, drove, told. Everything was very well organized. I received a huge booklet with a bunch of materials, everything was circled, there were addresses everywhere.
During the first day we toured six sites in Graz, I liked some places more, some less. I did not take any decision, because I knew that we were waiting for the second day, when we went to nature, to the thermal springs: several objects were there. Two of them were part of the hotel complexes, and one apartment.