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The most important thing when buying real estate is to be prepared and know how much you are ready to spend; this is as much the case today as before the coronavirus epidemic. Foreigners are often willing to accept conditions on a loan that Czechs would not, says Tomas Rysanek, a real estate expert from Pafin Foreigners. Photo credit: Freepik / Illustrative photo.

Brno, Feb 2 (Partner content) – Brno Daily spoke to Tomas Rysanek, founder of Pafin Foreigners, an insurance and mortgage specialist that provides financial advice to foreigners in Brno, about the options for financing real estate purchases under the specific circumstances of the global coronavirus pandemic.

What is the current situation in the real estate market?

TR: Although some experts envisaged the collapse of the real estate market in 2020, the opposite has happened. Interest in buying real estate was at a record level last year, as was the volume of mortgage loans. Of course, this was possible thanks to the low interest rates that continue to this day.

What would you recommend to people looking for real estate?

TR: Definitely at least to have a clear idea of what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. Ideally you should discuss your options in advance with an experienced real estate agent / mortgage specialist. Unfortunately, if you go to see the property unprepared, it usually won’t happen. 

Many not-quite-serious real estate agencies often require the signing of a reservation contract during the inspection itself – the current situation in which demand clearly exceeds supply only supports such behaviour.

Foreigners are often worried about whether banks will provide them with a loan, is this a big problem?

TR: I don’t think so. You just need to deal with it in advance, especially if you come from outside the EU and do not have a permanent residence there. It is just a matter of finding a bank whose procedures will suit the given case. 

Is there any difference in how banks approach foreign and local clients?

TR: In my experience, a huge advantage for expats working in the IT sector in particular is their very decent income. 

We also often encounter the fact that clients automatically apply for a loan at the bank where they have their account. And banks often offer them conditions that a Czech client would not often agree to – a higher interest rate, compulsory insurance included in the installment, a loan processing fee, an estimate fee, and so on. This is a great pity.

Do you also help clients to find real estate?

TR: Yes, and I think in a rather unique way. 99% of real estate agencies sell only the real estate they have on offer. If you don’t choose, you’re out of luck. We work with two experienced brokers who search together with the client, according to their requirements, and then communicate directly with the real estate agency that has the property on offer. In addition, they keep track of ongoing and future development projects, which you often do not even find on the Internet. The client thus has someone who works directly for them, avoiding a lot of inconveniences. And in most cases, they don’t pay anything extra for this service.

Pafin Foreigners are insurance and mortgage specialists with more than seven years’ experience. Based on their experience working with several major financial advisers and insurance companies, Tomas Rysanek and his colleagues started their own company in 2015 and set their own service quality standards. Their services are designed both for individuals and legal entities.

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