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Flat hunting in Berlin_cont.

 Part 2

I have just returned to London after a blissful 2 weeks with BF in Germany.

Hooray! We managed to find a sublet for 2 months starting from May. Getting a sublet was straightforward, we  contacted people from the website, and the third flat we liked we got after a chat on Skype with the owners. However, we  also got offered a 3-bed flat by some friends of darling BF, so in the end we agreed to rent their flat until mid-July instead, therefore sadly we had to let the couple from down.

Our short-term pad is located in the trendy district of Neukoln in Kruez-koln. We will use this 2 month period to look for more permanent accommodation. Apparently finding a permanent nice place can be a nightmare, with over 30 people viewing the same flat in a single day (Berliners love open house) and the land- lord select their tenants based on who earns the most money. Anyway lets see what happens.

My first impressions of Berlin accommodation compared to London are that you get more space. In general the flats in Berlin are built  larger, this includes the bathrooms and kitchens. You can fit a small table and chairs in many kitchens and bathrooms generally have space for washing machines. The flat we are renting has 3 meter high ceilings which I love, this is typical of buildings built before 1930 or so. The only downside is that most flats come unfurnished and in some cases you may have to install your own kitchen!

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Flat hunting in Berlin

Part 1

The first and most striking difference to my experience of London is that there are not many websites advertising available flats or rooms to rent. In fact there are just 3:

1. – perhaps the best of the bunch, mainly flats to rent, and for sublet. Apparently Berliners often rent out their pads if they go abroad, so you can rent for 2 weeks or several years; I saw someone renting their place out for 2 years last month. This is all perfectly legit and you can often meet the landlord before signing a contract. Only downside  is of course the person letting out their flat wants to meet you first, so you have to be in Berlin to view the property.

2. – will add info later

3. – prices here tend to be inflated, because the site is geared towards the English speaking crowd.

And of course if one is new to Berlin, renting a place on AirBnB is a good idea when you first arrive. But all the flats on there are more expensive. Although Berlin is still cheaper than London.

At the moment we are looking for a 2 bedroom flat in central Berlin (excluding Mitte but within 3-miles of the center). Our budget is £400 per month. In London we wouldn’t be able to even afford a double room in a flat-share for that price let alone our own place. Hence, one of the reasons I chose to move with BF to Berlin. The rent is described either hot or cold. Hot means that the utilities bills are also included in the overall rent, and cold means rent only. In general you can expect to pay about 200-250 Euro in utility bills.

I am planning on working from home on my PhD for the  next 9 months so finding a job is not an issue for me at the moment.

We are going to Berlin in April for a week, so part 2 will be about viewing flats, and finding our little love nest in B.

berlin flat

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Waiting, hoping, dreaming

I have just returned home to London after a long stint living in Africa. 2 years ago when I moved to a  little island in the middle of Lake Victoria to study chimpanzees I had no idea of what to expect. Who would have guessed that by going off to live literally in the middle of nowhere–total population 120 inhabitants–I would find my love (DD). 1 year on since meeting DD I am back in London with a broken arm and lots of chimpanzee poo in the laboratory. I am waiting to have surgery. I never thought I would be so happy to be sliced open. But after enduring 2 hellish months of pain, incompetent doctors and sadistic nurses in Tanzania I finally came to my senses and returned home to Britain and its wonderful doctors. This blog is about my move to Berlin which will take place in 3 months time (fingers crossed). My preparations, house hunting, learning a new language, as well as, exploring the city.