Operation Find An Apartment

Now that I have my visa and a bank account, Operation Find An Apartment has begun.  I have now looked at two apartments both in Winterhude.  The first one I did not get and I find out about the second one tomorrow, although I’m not confident about my chances, being a foreigner counts quite severely against me in this extremely competitive rental market.

Finding an apartment in Hamburg is a very different experience to apartment hunting in Sydney. For one, most apartments come without a kitchen, you can search for Einbauküche (EBK) which means it comes with a kitchen fitted, but it does reduce your choices quite considerably.  However, I am just not up to the challenge of trying to install my own kitchen with my very limited German speaking skills, so I am looking for apartments listed as EBK.  Also most apartments seem to be missing rather basic things like light fixtures as in the current apartment I saw.  The last tenant took the light fixtures with her meaning that if I’m lucky enough to get this apartment I would need to buy and then get an electrician to install light fixtures throughout the apartment.  Also most apartments seem to be missing mirrors in the bathroom as well.  It seems that tenants take with them most of the things that coming from Australia one expects as standard in an apartment – light fixtures, mirrors and the entire kitchen.

Apartment hunting in Hamburg has definitely been a learning experience so far and I have only just began my journey.  I imagine I am going to learn quite a bit more before this whole experience is over.


About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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10 Responses to Operation Find An Apartment

  1. Jen says:

    Yeah, German apartments are pretty bare…it’s typical for people to strip everything out including the lights and mirrors. I guess it’s good in that you can keep or get what you want and install your own/take it with you, but I agree it sure is a pain in the ass for those of used to another way.

    • Riayn says:

      It definitely is a pain in the ass, but I guess I am here for new experiences and this is definitely one of them, so I shouldn’t complain too much. But to take the lights? What the??

  2. wodenhausen says:

    I’ve heard from some people in my German class just how difficult it is to find an apartment in Germany…I feel for you. We were lucky that my husband sublet his apartment while we were in the States so we didn’t have to worry about this when we moved here. I hope it goes quickly for you and that you find something you love…fast!

  3. Jen says:

    I forgot to say good luck!!!!

  4. How do they even count as apartments if they are lacking kitchens? Although that explains a bit of why they sell those complete kitchens at IKEA, which had always been puzzling to me.

  5. cliff1976 says:

    Custom re-fitting your kitchen from your old apartment into your new one is big business for carpenters and handymen and their ilk. If you plunk down for stuff you really like, why shouldn’t you take it with you when you move, and make sure it fits optimally in your new place? Or negotiate with the landlord or incoming tenant to take it over from you when you move out if you don’t need or want to take it with you?

    On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of slipshod kitchen set-ups from previous tenants or landlords’ lacklustre attempts at making the apartment more attractive by slapping together left-over sinks, countertops, an appliance or two, and a few cabinets. I kinda wish we could start over fresh with our kitchen (which is an EBK), but am also unwilling to make that kind of a commitment to an apartment and unwilling to buy a place to live around here. This conveniently leaves me with a continual source of griping.

  6. tehnyit says:

    I feel for you. My family and I went through the same process about 18mths ago. One of the things to look out for is the fine print on your rental contract such as how the bond is arranged and what are the vacating conditions. But I have found that the most critical factor is the location. Shifting is an expensive exercise in Germany. Good luck!

  7. Pingback: Tiny Steps in Mastering German | Counting Time

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