Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

Real Estate in Germany

By Joshua Wood, LPC

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?

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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," added another expat who made the move to Munich.

"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," explained one foreigner living in Frankfurt, Germany.

"I lived in a pension (hotel) for 6 months until I knew enough to find a nice rental," said another in Brandenburg an der Havel.

"I asked future co-workers who lived in the area then I visited those areas they suggested," explained one expat in Karlsruhe.

"We had our company choose an apartment for us first. We where there 1 year and where able to explore all the areas around us. After that we choose a realtor to find an apartment for us. It was expensive but we really liked the apartment and where able to choose an area closer to the friends we had made and the places we liked to frequent," explained one person living in Frankfurt, Germany.

"Primarily, our relocation agency found this particular house for us. But, during a Look and See trip, my wife and I identified neighborhoods and towns that we liked. First, we wanted to be close to my work, and to Heidelberg (closest major city). Second, we were looking for a "small-feel" town that had a nice pedestrian zone. Third, there had to be playgrounds within walking distance. With that, our relocation agency found 7 homes in 5 different towns. We settled on this particular home because it was a single-family home versus a twin," explained one expat living in Sandhausen, Germany.

Need a rental in Germany? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies.

Search for Rentals

Need a rental in Germany? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search for Rentals in Germany

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Germany?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get a Quote

Living in Germany GuideLiving in Germany Guide

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Germany Forum Germany Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Germany.

Best Places to Live in Germany Best Places to Live in Germany

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Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Germany.

Pros Cons of Living in GermanyPros & Cons of Living in Germany

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Germany.

Retiring in GermanyRetiring in Germany

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Contribute to Germany Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Germany.

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