Thursday 12 March 2015

Land and contracts

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Not much has happened in the past week but today we finally received the contract for the land from the notary and we also received a letter today from Allkauf confirming they received the confirmation we will buy the land and that they instructed the architect to arrange an appointment, so things are moving again.

We already have an appointment arranged at the notary on 10th April because as I mentioned before we have to wait two weeks before we can sign this.  However, as the land won't be ready for building on until the end of April now it these two weeks will not cause any extra delay.

At the weekend we went to the plot with friends who took a drone along to film the area.  The results can be found here and below are a few pictures of the surrounding area.

Thanks Joe.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

All Systems Go

After the Sparda Bank saga we are back on track.  Our financial advisor said it's what he expected and we just move to plan B taking an advanced loan to refinance the mortgage when it expires in 3 years.  He was completely relaxed about it so we're feeling reassured and more positive again.

We received the official mortgage confirmation from Ing DiBa on Saturday and sent it to the Volksbank contact in charge of selling the land, she replied that she will instruct the notary to draw up the contract and send it to us, which could take a couple of weeks.

We also sent the same document to Allkauf as they need proof of financing too.  They commented on the phone that they were surprised how quickly things are moving with us but they were pretty quick responding as we received their reply in the post today confirming receipt so impressed with the service so far.

The next step is to wait for the land contract to come through and then go to the notary to sign.  Bizarrely here in Germany you can not sign a contract for land or property until two weeks after you receive the contract so we have to plan these weeks in to the timeline.  There are some strange laws over here... heard the one about not being allowed to wash your car on Sunday? No, really!

Sunday 1 March 2015

Sparda Bank Nightmare

Yesterday we had a bit of a setback.  For our plan A with the mortgage to work we need Sparda Bank to allow us to buy out of our existing mortgage on the flat so we can refinance it with the house together.  A couple of weeks ago I contacted Sparda Bank to request info on how much it would cost to buy out of the mortgage (we estimated about €17,000 "Vorfälligkeitsentschädigung") and for them to send a confirmation that this is ok.

A letter from Sparda Bank arrived yesterday basically saying they won't allow us to buy out of the existing contract and that they have no grounds to allow this so we simply have to keep paying it.  I would understand it if they would lose money but the fact we would have to pay the entire lost interest for the next 3 years until the contract runs out anyway means they have nothing to lose.  Quite unacceptable, inflexible and totally non-customer friendly service from Sparda Bank.

For us it means that we now have to switch to plan B where we continue paying that mortgage alongside the new on for 3 years but now we have to arrange get a 2nd advanced mortgage that will kick in in 2018 when the Sparda Bank mortgage contract expires, which will then (hopefully) mean they release our Bausparvertrag funds this year.  We need this as capital for the new mortgage on the house so it's a vital step that we get access this money and hopefully Sparda Bank won't completely mess this up for us.

This plan B will unfortunately cost us an extra €15,000 so although I've banked with Sparda Bank for over 10 years I will be closing my account, Steffi will close hers and I would strongly advise avoiding this inflexible, non customer focussed organisation to anyone considering banking with them.

Moan over.