October 19, 2010

Flats in Germany

Let's talk about apartments in Germany, K?

Floors. If you want an apartment on the first floor, keep in mind that you may end up sweatin' up a flight of stairs. In the land of black, red, and yellow, folks begin counting floors with the ground floor "Erdgeschloss" and the first floor "erstes Stock" corresponds to the second floor in the States. This little bit of info also applies to office buildings, department stores, and hospitals. Think this one over before your first beer; it's a bit tricky. I'm sober and I am still not sure if I explained it right!

Rooms. When talking about the rooms in a German apartment, it's important to keep in mind the total number of rooms (kitchen excluded) in a flat. For example, if you want an apartment with two bedrooms, you will need a place with a minimum of three rooms (two bedrooms plus a living room). Each of the rooms, not bedrooms, counts.

Kitchens. One funny topic, dear Readers, one funny topic. More often than not, you gotta b.y.o.k. (bring your own kitchen). I swear. When I first came to Germany I moved into an apartment that was already furnished. Can you imagine my surprise on moving day when I came home from the uni to a kitchen-less kitchen? There I was, wanting to whip up a little lunch, but unable to do so because the hardware was m.i.a. Clueless as I was, all I could do was gasp at the pipes all lonely and unhooked on the wall, wondering where in the heck our kitchen went and how it got there when my boyfriend-turned-hubby informed me (duh) that our roommates' folks took the 'ol kitchy-poo h.o.m.e because it was theirs. So yes, you can take a kitchen to your next pad it if it's yours or you can buy an existing one off the ex-renters if they wanna sell theirs, or if you're superduper lucky, the apartment might come with one free of charge -hail to the landlords who provide kitchens!!

Rent. Last, but defintely not least, there are usually two rents listed in the paper, the "cold" rent or "Kaltemiete" and the "warm" rent or "Warmmiete". You wanna focus on the "Warmmiete". This, however, is not the end price because utilities and other things, the so-called "Nebenkosten", also come into play. For example, your "cold" rent might be 575 euros, your "warm" rent might be 650 euros, and the rent you ultimately end up paying might be 700 euros. You pay your ultilities and heating in advance, so you may end up getting money back or having to pay more at the end of the year.

OK. That about sums this baby up. Is your head spinning yet? Thanks to Jackie Kersch, whose decor I dig, for the shots of her beautiful home; if you wanna see more check out what More Ways to Waste Time posted about her pad.

Happy day.

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