Real Estate in Germany
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in Germany? How do you find a home in Germany? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?
How do I find a place to live in Germany?
We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:
"Live near my wife's work, so the commute is walk-able, 1 mile, even in winter. We are on the subway line so city center is 15 minutes away. Used an online search to find it," explained one expat living in Munich, Germany.
"The German companies have no relocation programs. That means that you are on your own in finding a place to live. The companies that will help you for a fee are very expensive. And if you just read the newspaper (providing you speak German), you can visit the apartments yourself. But expect not be alone but surrounded by many other people at the same time - depending on the area, too, of course. In Frankfurt or Munchen more than in smaller cities. The German renting system is very different than in US. While in US there are bigger companies, which offer apartments for rent, in Germany there are many people who have an apartment for rent in the attic, for example, of their house," said another person in Frankfurt.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Germany?If you live in Germany, newcomers to Germany would love to hear your answer to this question.
"Renting a flat. I think this is very common in Munich. 40% of the population is from outside of Bavaria or Germany. Not too many US expats. But there are a couple of US expat groups," remarked another member in Munich.
"I live in Germany for eight years, almost. I now bought a house with my partner. And I have an apartment for you as well, in the attic of my house, of course. :-) A plus, I have an apartment in the finished basement, too," explained one expat living in Frankfurt, Germany.
What is the average cost of housing in Germany?
If you are thinking about moving to Germany, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:
"Lower here than the SF bay area. Cost is area dependent although Munich has the highest rents in Germany. Rents are now around 1,000 euro for a 2 room apartment (living room and bedroom) cold. You may have to install your own kitchen and lighting. Buying in our area is about 5,000 euro per quadra meter (10,75 sq. ft.) We don't have a car, rent as needed, saves 60-100 per month on garage fees," said another expat in Munich.
"Housing is much more expensive in Germany. As mentioned above, it has to do with an inefficient system like every other system in a socialist country like Germany. You name it, expect it to be inefficient or much more inefficient," remarked another member in Frankfurt.
Should I buy or rent a home in Germany?
If you have not spent a lot of time in Germany, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:
"We did buy an old house in East Germany, Nordhausen, and we got very ripped off when trying to sell it. We had to practically give it away in order to get rid of it. It needed too much work and did not like the locality. It's easy to pick up a cheap house in East Germany, but then you must do a lot of work on it and as I said, selling it again is a no go," added another expat who made the move to Eifel .
"I purchased an apartment over 20 years ago. It is not much different that the process involved in purchasing in the U.S," explained one foreigner living in Friedrichsdorf, Germany.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
- What do I need to know before retiring in Germany?
- How do I meet people in Germany?
- What is life like as an expat in your area?
- Is there a lot of crime in Germany?
- Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Germany accepting of differences?
- What are the schools in Germany like?
- Is the cost of living in Germany high?
- What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Germany?
- What are healthcare services like in Germany?
- Is the cost of living in Germany high?
- What type of recreational facilities are in Germany?
- What is the weather like in Germany?
- Are there good restaurants in Germany?
- Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Germany?
- What are the visa & residency requirements in Germany?
- Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Germany?
- What do I need to know when buying property in Germany?
- Are foreigners allowed to own property in Germany?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?