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15+ of The Best Places to Find Housing in Germany as a Foreigner - Life in Germany

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. Finding housing in Germany, in particular, can be a daunting task. But fear not! I'm here to guide you and ensure that you find...

Moving to a new country can be both exciting and challenging. Finding housing in Germany, in particular, can be a daunting task. But fear not! I'm here to guide you and ensure that you find the apartment of your dreams, even if it takes a little time. Let's dive right in!

Before you start looking for an apartment, you’re going to need to know...

Before you embark on your apartment hunting journey, there are a few important factors to consider:

  • Budget: Determine how much you are willing to pay for rent. If you're unsure about the fair price range, the Welcome Program offers valuable insights and estimates.
  • Furnished or Non-furnished: Decide whether you prefer a furnished or non-furnished flat.
  • Shared or Individual: Consider if you would like to share an apartment and rent out an individual room.
  • Neighborhood: Have an idea of which neighborhood(s) you'd like to explore.
  • Important Facts: Familiarize yourself with the key aspects of renting a flat before reaching out to landlords.

Remember, preparation is key! Ensure you have a European bank account with an IBAN number to facilitate the rental deposit process. Services like Wise or CurrencyFair can help with money transfers.

The Best Websites to Find Housing in Germany (in English)

If you're focused on finding short-term and/or furnished flats, the following websites are excellent resources:

  • HousingAnywhere HousingAnywhere offers a wide range of furnished flats.
  • HomeLike is another platform that specializes in furnished flats.
  • Wunderflats is known for its selection of furnished flats.
  • Booking.com and Airbnb.com are popular platforms for short-term rentals.

Renting a short-term furnished flat can be an excellent way to settle into Germany while you search for a longer-term unfurnished apartment.

The Best Websites for Long-term Apartment Rentals

If you want to pay the same prices as German speakers, you'll need to do some local research. The following websites, although in German, provide affordable rental options:

  • ImmobilienScout24
  • Engel & Völkers
  • Ebay Kleinanzeigen
  • Immowelt
  • Immonet
  • Immobilio
  • WohnungJetzt

Don't forget to familiarize yourself with the rental vocabulary and terms when using these websites. The Welcome Program also offers a detailed section on rental terms and other fees to watch out for.

The Best Social Media Sites to Find Apartment Rentals

Believe it or not, social media can be a goldmine for finding available apartments, especially for last-minute rentals. Join local Facebook groups and inquire if anyone is renting out their apartment. Many expats come and go in major German cities, so you might even find a lease previously held by someone in a similar situation.

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Flea Market Facebook Groups
  • Expat Facebook Groups

The Best Websites for Student Apartment Rentals

If you're open to sharing an apartment with others, Germany offers great options known as "WG" (Wohngemeinschaft). Check out the following websites for shared spaces:

  • WG-Gesucht
  • WG-Suche
  • Uniplaces

It's worth noting that you don't always have to be a student to share an apartment. Carefully read the rental description for more information.

Rental Vocabulary Words You Need to Know

As you navigate the German apartment rental scene, it's essential to familiarize yourself with key vocabulary words. Here are a few important terms:

  • Kaltmiete - Cold Rent
  • Warmmiete - Warm Rent
  • Wohngemeinschaft (WG) - Shared Living
  • Nebenkosten - Additional Costs
  • Einbauküche - Built-in Kitchen
  • Umkreis - Distance
  • Bezugsfrei ab... - Vacant From...
  • Etage - Floor Level
  • Erdgeschoss (EG) - Ground Level
  • Preis - Price
  • Zimmer (Zi.) - Rooms
  • Wohnfläche - Size of Living Space
  • Mieten - To Rent
  • Kaufen - To Buy
  • Wohnung - Apartment
  • Altbau - Old Build
  • Neubau - Newly Built
  • Stellplatz - Parking Spot
  • Vollmöblierte - Fully Furnished

These terms will help you navigate rental listings with ease.

How to Make Sure You're Prepared to Rent in Germany

Renting an apartment in Germany, especially in major cities, can be challenging. To avoid unnecessary issues, it's crucial to be prepared. Here are some documents you may need:

  • Identification: Copy of your passport and/or ID
  • Proof of Income: Last 3 payslips or bank statements
  • Proof of Good Credit Rating: SCHUFA Score, which you can order online for free
  • Completed Application Form: If renting through a real estate agency

Additionally, you may be asked for other documents like a Meitschuldenfreiheitzbescheinigung (proof of no debt to previous landlords), Mietbürgschaft (financial support guarantee), or proof of liability and home contents insurance. Be prepared to provide a deposit as well.

More Tips on How You Can Improve Your Chances

Here are some additional tips to improve your chances of securing an apartment:

  • Have your documents ready: Prepare all your documents in advance to show your commitment.
  • Dress professionally: Treat apartment viewings like job interviews and dress to impress.
  • Bring a German speaker: If possible, bring someone who can translate for you during the viewing.
  • Call ahead of time: Make a phone call to the landlord before visiting the apartment to express your interest.
  • Introduce yourself: In your email or message, attach a photo and briefly introduce yourself, including your work and German language proficiency.
  • Leave pets at home: Finding a flat is easier without pets, so it's best to leave them at home during viewings.

If you feel overwhelmed and need assistance, consider hiring a real estate agent (Makler). They can help you navigate the housing market, especially if you face language barriers or lack the time to search on your own. athome.de is a useful platform to find local real estate agents in your city.

Ready to Start Buying Furniture for Your New Apartment?

Once you secure an apartment, the next step is furnishing it. Fortunately, Germany offers numerous affordable options, many of which provide free shipping. Here are some favorites:

  • ManoMano
  • OTTO.de
  • Home24 (new customers get 10% off)
  • Wayfair
  • IKEA

If you prefer secondhand furniture, check out Facebook Marketplace and eBay Kleinanzeigen for great deals.

Now that you're armed with the knowledge and resources to find the perfect housing in Germany, it's time to embark on this exciting journey. Happy apartment hunting!