Costs associated with buying a property in the Czech Republic
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Buying a property doesn’t mean simply paying the purchase price, there are other costs associated with it. In this article, we will go over the fees and costs associated with buying a property like lawyers, taxes, building fees, insurance, and more. And since we provide a one-stop-shop for all expats, we can help provide excellent references for all of them.
Main points from this article:
The highest cost is the 4% transfer tax - EDIT: since 2020 the tax is no more applied
Consider moving costs or renovation
There will possibly be 1 month of overlap where you will pay for both the mortgage and the rent
You have to file 2 tax returns after you buy a property
Involve a lawyer in the purchase
Watch for outstanding debts from the previous owner
Ask for annual heating/gas bills
Full example below at the end of the article
What are all the major costs to be considered when buying a property?
Unless you plan to do major renovation, the highest cost will be the 4% transfer tax, which is due to be paid 3 months after becoming a new owner. This tax does not usually apply to new developments and in some other cases, but even if the transfer tax is 0, you still have to file the respective tax return.
Renovation and outfitting the apartment should also be mentioned; however, that is individual to each property. Consider things like updating the kitchen, bathroom, rewiring the apartment, or installing a new heating and cooling system. These renovations can take months and cost hundreds of thousands. Don’t forget to also factor in moving costs, whether it be for packaging or moving all of the items in the home. And if you have a piano, prepare to pay a couple thousand crowns extra.
Should there be a real estate agency involved, just make sure their commission is included in the purchase price - as it is in majority of cases.
What about other one-time costs?
We think these costs should also be considered when planning your purchase:
Lawyer fee for overseeing the transaction – or do you dare to sign the contract without knowing the language or the legal specifics? The cost of a lawyer can be in the thousands. We are happy to recommend an English speaking lawyer with whom we cooperate as well.
Stamp duty for Land registry for registering you as the new owner – you are due to pay 2000 CZK for each contract being registered. Typically, the seller or his agent pays for the Purchase contract, and if you have a mortgage involved, you are responsible for registering and paying for the Pledge contract for the bank.
Valuation of the property by the bank via online valuation, unless provided for free, can cost about 1.000 CZK. Meanwhile, the valuation of a flat costs around 4.000 CZK, and the valuation of a house can go for up to 6.000 CZK.
Cost for filing the tax returns – there are two taxes to be mentioned. One you already know about is the transfer tax, and the second is the annual property tax, which is due to be paid every year to the financial office. The amount depends on the local area and size of the property and it can vary over the years. To know the tax and pay it, you need to file the tax returns yourself – again, we are happy to help you with that.
Bank approval or drawdown fees – some banks have an approval fee of up to 2.500 CZK and can charge another 1.000 CZK for drawdown
Insurance for the property – everyone should have their property insured. Now, there are 3 types of insurance – household, physical building, and liability. We suggest covering all areas – this is a subject for a full blog post though – coming soon. Amount depends on the insurance coverage and value of the property, expect 1-10.000 CZK per year.
Annual property tax mentioned above. You have to pay around 1-3.000 CZK annually every year by the end of May. Still quite a low amount, but this depends on the size and city.
Revision of gas appliances or chimney – done once a year, costs about 1.000 CZK each.
And monthly, don’t forget that besides your mortgage payment you might also be paying:
Electricity and gas bill – every individual depending on your usage and the home’s energy efficiency. Let’s say 2.000 CZK each for a mid-sized flat of 80m2.
Internet and TV bill – around 500 - 1.000 CZK monthly.
Building/service charges – often consists of a repair fund, water, garbage disposal, property management, etc. Depending on the size of the property, it can be as low as a few hundred or as high as 6-7.000 CZK if the repair fund is set at high contributions.
Is that all? What usually stands out?
In most cases, the items we have mentioned should be it. However, let us mention a few things people often forget about:
Once you draw the mortgage and until you get the keys, there is roughly 1 month of processing, which means you might already be paying your first mortgage payment but still living in an old apartment.
If you set your deposits for electricity, gas, or water too low, you can end up with a big bill by the end of the year when the meter readings are being done.
Watch out for debts from the previous owners on the building charges or gas/electricity. To prevent this, get a confirmation from the building management prior to signing purchase contracts and do a proper handover.
Real life example shared by our clients:
Eren and Paula agreed with sharing their story and breakdown of the costs associated with buying their property in Prague. They bough a flat in 3Q/2019 with 80% financing from Hypoteční banka.
Lets us show you how the whole acquisition worked and what all costs were due from start to finish:
with our help, clients found a property in Balabenka, Prague 8 of 76m2 with purchase price 5.850.000 CZK. Property was fully furnished, we even managed to get 50.000 CZK discount which effectively worked as a payment for paying our service of Buyers agent - paid from 80% by the bank.
clients had 20% down payment, so we took a mortgage of 80% of the property with amount of 4.680.000 CZK with interest rate 2,54% fixed for 7 years. Mortgage duration for 30 years leads to monthly repayments 18.589 CZK
the purchase went without any problems, the process officially started on 01.08.2019 and clients moved in on 18.10.2019
So what one time costs appeared for the purchase?
valuation of the property was free of charge so we saved 4.000 CZK
clients had to put a down payment of 20% from 5,85 MCZK - first money to be paid only after we knew 100% the deal is going to happen. Once we signed the purchase contracts, clients paid down payment of 1.170.000 CZK
registering the Pledge contract for the mortgage bank costs 1.000 CZK (this year it's 2.000 CZK)
moving in required hiring a van and a cleaner, total cost of 3.600 CZK.
as soon as they moved in, they had to pay for minor renovations in the apartment of 29.000 CZK plus 20.000 CZK on furniture and 12.000 CZK for new owen - altogether 51.000 CZK
while moving in, there was an overlay of their rent, meaning they had to pay 1,5 months extra for the old rental apartment - 27.000 CZK to be added in plus interest for the 1st month of the mortgage 6.273 CZK (this is specific for the first month of the mortgage until your normal repayments start) - total 33.273 CZK on overlay of rent + mortgage
3 months after the purchase, the 4% transfer tax in the amount of 232.000 CZK was paid, plus 1.500 CZK cost for filling the tax return.
another one-time cost came early 2020 for a fee of 1.500 CZK for filling the second tax return for the annual tax
note - clients paid 50.000 CZK for the service of Buyers agent which was effectively from 80% paid by the bank so we are going to count only 10.000 CZK as a cost as it is effectively reflected to the clients in terms of monthly repayments which are fully considered.
Recurring payments are as follow:
monthly mortgage repayments 18.589 CZK for the mortgage
bills for the Home Owners Association are 4.100 CZK
monthly gas 1.500 CZK, electricity 1.000 CZK and 550 CZK for the internet
annual payment for property tax is 900 CZK
annual payment for property insurance is 4.766 CZK
To show in a graph for better understanding:
We hope this article helped you to better understand all costs associated with buying a property in the Czech Republic. Our mission is to help all expats with buying property and to make the process as smooth as possible.
Feel free to ask for meeting with Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +420 777877849
And special thanks for this article to Paula and Eren!