Introduction

The search for accommodation in Germany

Finding reasonably priced accommodation to rent can be difficult in Germany depending on the area you are looking in. This section gives you information about the German housing market, as well as a wide range of tips and tricks for your housing search.

Most Germans in cities live in various forms of urban housing such as apartments and semi-detached houses. Due to the destruction caused during the two world wars, most of today's housing was built after 1950. Old properties ( Altbau) usually have been built before 1914, since there was little construction between the wars.

Things to bear in mind on your search

Accommodation prices (both for purchase and rent) are determined by the size of a home which is measured in square metres ( Quadratmeter - qm). In rooftop units, floor spaces where the ceiling is between 1 and 2 metres high are only counted at 50 per cent, so the actual size might appear a lot bigger than you thought.

The second factor to bear in mind is the number of rooms, which includes bedrooms, living and dining rooms. Kitchens, bathrooms and toilets are not included in the room count. A half room indicates an area that cannot be separated by a door or a room that is too small to be fully counted.

Housing in Germany is either let unfurnished, partly furnished, or fully furnished. Unfurnished accommodation is the most common and it really is "unfurnished", i.e. without lamps, curtains, or any kitchen equipment. Moving into your first German apartment can be quite a shock: not only are you supposed to supply your own light fittings, but you will literally have to buy and install everything from the washing machine to the kitchen sink. Since this isn't exactly cheap, you should allow extra in your budget to get established. A furnished kitchen is usually mentioned separately in advertisements.

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