German English Property Glossary Released

By: Uwe Falkenberg

Some providers of property services in the German property market are capable and experienced working with international investors and English at a conversational level is widely spoken. To rely just on those with language capabilities at a professional level might be a wrong selection criteria with regard to service quality. It immensely narrows down the options for possible business partners to support property transactions .

It is useful for the investor to make some investigations and search work independently. In this attempt the property investor will gather information and property offers from different sources including newspaper ads and internet research. Using ready available internet tools like "babelfish" or "LEO" might give a first impression of what is said but will not help with abbreviations and quite often produces ridiculous results. To help understand the main parts of property information we have produced a German-English Property Glossary which also includes abbreviations commonly used in German property ads and rental ads. It as an ongoing project that is constantly extended. We are currently focussing on terminology used by property managers in reports and performance figures provided by a vendor prior to a purchase.

It would not suit the format of an article like this to provide a full list, it will have to be limited to some example items to provide an impression of what can be expected:

Abbrev.--German term--English term

AB -- Altbau -- Period property

Aufz.-- Aufzug -- Lift

Kfz. -- Autostellplatz -- Car parking space

Bd -- Bad -- Bathroom

Bj. -- Baujahr -- Year of construction

BeK -- Betriebskosten -- Operating cost

BEZ -- Bezirk -- Borough, City District

BKM -- Brutto-Kaltmiete -- Gross Rent without heating

DG -- Dachgeschoss -- Penthouse apartment

The list is at the moment just over 100 items long and growing constantly. There is also a facility provided to propose new terms to be included in updates.

Language is only one of the obstacles an international investor has to master. Especially with large numbers of private investors from UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Spain and Italy to only name a few origins, buying from one apartment to several apartment blocks the need to bridge the cultural caps is big. It starts at the purchase phase which is usually accompanied by English speaking agents, lawyers etc., specialised on international investors. Once the investment gets to the operational phase the fees are much smaller and investors will find less multilingual service providers like property managers and most certainly will receive German reporting. There are few professionals providing help at the operational end of the investment.

Getting the free German English Real Estate Glossary will be a useful action for those that have already invested in Germany property and even more for those planning to make this exciting move. You will find the complete German English Property Glossary on the authors website.

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