In densely built-up cities like Berlin in particular, it is becoming more difficult to build new buildings. It is therefore important to develop innovative concepts with which new, affordable living space or residential property can be developed. Ioannis Moraitis knows his way around this area because he has been in the real estate industry for 15 years and is a specialist in construction and renovation projects in the federal capital.
New living space according to today’s standards. Image: unsplash.com, Im3rd Media
Renovation of old buildings creates new living space
A worthwhile concept for creating new living space is the renovation or expansion of the attic storeys in existing properties or in outdated old buildings.
Moraitis is primarily looking for properties that he can transform into affordable residential property through professional renovation. Many homeowners shy away from extensively renovating and modernizing their old buildings. The costs for the necessary renovation measures for the buildings, which are in many cases listed buildings, are often immense and can hardly be met by many homeowners.
There are numerous buildings in Berlin that are part of the city’s monument protection.
Construction and renovation projects with high potential
If it is a property with potential, then the project developer wakes up in Moraitis. One of the factors that are decisive for him is above all the location of the property. An old building in the extremely attractive real estate location Berlin or in the so-called “Speckgürtel”, the Spree metropolis, has a lot of potential in Moraitis’ opinion. He also fixes this on other factors:
- Transport connections (train, bus, tram, motorway, airport)
- Local supply through supermarkets and other shops
- Presence of educational institutions such as day care centers and schools
- Health-related services, i.e. pharmacies, doctors, clinics
- Leisure facilities and recreational areas
Many families move to Berlin every year and an attractive environment for living, working and living, including affordable housing, is a win for both parties, the family and the project developer.
Building affordable housing requires cooperation
Anyone who has anything to do with real estate knows how difficult it can be to realize a project in Berlin or even to build a new building with affordable living space.
So that enough living space can also be created in the next few years, better interaction between all those involved in a new building, i.e. the building contractor, the building authority and politics, would be needed.
The main task of city officials would be to dismantle existing bureaucratic hurdles. Often enough, it has been proven that if a construction project for affordable living space is delayed or cannot be realized at all, it is not due to a lack of commitment on the part of the client or the building company carrying out the work, but rather to rigid regulations.
Refurbishing old buildings can also be environmentally friendly.
Refurbishing old buildings is more environmentally friendly than building a new one
For Moraitis, environmental protection is an important aspect of the projects he initiated. In fact, the fact that the demolition of an old building is much more polluting than putting the existing property into a state in which it complies with the state requirements in terms of environmental protection and monument protection through appropriate, environmentally friendly and professional building measures.
Especially when it comes to monument protection, the company is in close contact with the responsible monument protection authority from the start of every building or renovation project and takes into account the requirements for monument protection in the renovation measures.
This mostly affects the thermal insulation of windows, doors as well as the roof and the outer facade. Legal requirements must also be met in the area of building services, i.e. electrics, heating systems and water supply. The key word here is “energetic renovation”.
But also with regard to the materials used for the interior design, Ioannis Moraitis attaches great importance to high-quality materials without pollutants that are environmentally friendly, i.e. obtained and processed with as little emissions as possible. What benefits the new owners here are the long-term low interest rates. They also enable families who do not belong to the high earners to acquire newly created residential property.
Creating affordable residential property where there is little space
Especially in the popular and highly demanded inner city locations of the metropolis of Berlin, there is hardly any free space left to erect residential buildings and to satisfy the steadily increasing demand for living space. The question that real estate expert Ioannis Moraitis asked himself was how to create habitable space where there actually isn’t any. The answer to this question was the attic storeys of the numerous old buildings, which were often only used as storage facilities or drying rooms.
This created a specialty: the renovation and expansion of these little-used attic floors. Since the traditional old buildings in the federal capital usually have a pitched roof, the expansion is easy to implement due to the existing height. The insertion of dormers or skylights for rooms flooded with light can also be easily implemented with a little effort. Good planning creates high-quality residential units that are definitely affordable. And after the repayment of the loan necessary for the purchase at the latest, the owner of such an attic apartment no longer has to worry about suitable living space.
The German capital currently has 3.7 million inhabitants.
High quality refurbished real estate as a retirement provision
Admittedly, buying a home is a long-term investment that comes with financial burdens, but it is generally worth the effort, at the latest in old age.
Berlin has around 3.7 million inhabitants, of which around 2.1 million are gainfully employed. In addition to government agencies, government-related organizations as well as associations and interest groups appear as the largest employers. Then there are the large German companies, for example:
- Deutsche Bahn
- Deutsche Post / DHL
- Charité (second largest employer in the city with around 19,000 employees)
With a view to this information and figures, Ioannis Moraitis says: “This is why there is a great need for affordable housing”. Buying home ownership, living there and, since the Corona crisis, also working professionally in the form of home office, is the best method of how people who previously lived for rent can gain more independence from expected rent increases and from the fear of being losing one’s home for financial reasons. “That is why we have always built residential properties, not least for owner-occupiers, who want to free themselves from the burden of rents in the federal capital that are already quite high and, with some probability, will continue to rise.”
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