Real Estate in Germany
Last updated on Feb 03, 2023
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:
"Finding a place to live in Germany can be an exciting and challenging process. Your first step should be to consider your budget, deciding what type of accommodation you can afford, such as a family home, flat/apartment, or a room in shared accommodation. You should also research available areas of Germany and consider factors such as schools, transport links, shops, and amenities. You can also look online at property listing websites, such as Immoscout24, which offer a range of accommodation, including flats and rooms for rent. Additionally, interacting with local expat communities or forums, such as Internations, can be a great way to gain information about accommodation in the area and introduce you to people who might be able to help you in your search. Lastly, if you are living in Germany for a short period of time, you could explore staying in an Airbnb or renting a furnished apartment from a rental agency," added another expat who made the move to Germany.
"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 foreigner living in Munich, Germany.
What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Germany?
"Expat apartments in Germany tend to vary depending on the city, however they can typically be quite spacious. They are usually equipped with modern appliances and amenities, such as kitchen appliances, heating, air conditioning and cable TV. Many expat homes have balconies as well as dedicated parking spaces. In larger cities such as Berlin, apartments tend to be slightly smaller, but with the same availability of amenities. Expat homes in Germany can come in the form of apartments, duplexes, or single-family homes," said another person in Germany.
"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 foreigner who made the move to Munich.
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:
"The cost of housing in Germany varies greatly depending on the region, type and size of dwelling, as well as other factors. Generally, renting a typical apartment in an expensive city such as Munich can range from €8 to €15 per square metre, while renting a similar apartment in a less expensive city could be around €5 to €10 per square metre," said another person in Germany.
"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," added another expat who made the move to Munich.
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:
"When considering buying vs. renting a home in Germany, the decision comes down to personal preferences and financial abilities. The deciding factors may include lifestyle preferences, the length of stay in Germany, the availability of sufficient funds for a down payment, and the ability to cover ongoing maintenance costs. Purchasing a home in Germany can be rewarding in terms of wealth creation, lifestyle, and pride of ownership, but it requires considerable financial commitment. Alternatively, renting a home can provide the flexibility of continued mobility, the freedom from ongoing maintenance costs and the ease of relocating when necessary. Ultimately, the decision between buying and renting should be made carefully and the factors should be weighed to determine the best option depending on individual circumstances," remarked another member in Germany.
"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," explained one expat living in Eifel , 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 moving to Germany?
- How do I find a place to live in Germany?
- What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Germany?
- What is the average cost of housing in Germany?
- Should I buy or rent a home in Germany?
- What should I pack when moving to Germany?
- What cultural faux pas should I try to avoid making in Germany?
- Why do people move to Germany?
- How are healthcare services Germany?
- What are medical services in Germany like?
- What are typical rents in Germany?
- What appliances are typically included in a rental?