My first year here, I did not have to worry about accommodation. My employer provided a very nice 2 bedroom apartment which is quite near my workplace. In this post, I will share my flat searching experience in Nurnberg.
Knowing that after a year, I need to find a place for myself, I did a little research (actually, I asked my friends in the office) and found that I need to start looking for a place 3 months before. This is because, unlike with other country I lived in, moving out here requires 3 months notice to the owner and would already be available for viewing. This is quite early for my experience, in Singapore, I only need a month notice.
Digging a little deeper, I found that, most of the owners conducts credit check to possible renters. Also you need to prepare a hefty 2 months deposit with 1 month advance. If you go for an agent, most of them charge 1 month rent. Most agents actually does not really search a house for you. They have a list of houses that they “take care of” and just show it to you and schedule the viewing.
Since I am on a very tight budget and don’t want to spend 1 month for an agent, I tried searching in the internet myself and found 2 quite good place; one is Immobilienscout24 which I will discuss later and the other is Nurnberg Buy and Sell
For the Nurnberg Buy and Sell, this is actually a facebook group that people buys and sell. Most of the members can speak English and are also foreign workers that when they move out, they post their flats there. For single or couple, this is a good place to search as the flats are in the city, fully furnished and normally very convenient.
For my case, I found mine at Immobilienscout24. At first, you need to register as per normal websites. Then when you find a good place, you need to write to the owner (or sometimes an agent) a short letter about yourself. My first few tries, I did not get a response at all. This is because I was writing in English. To remedy it, I asked my colleague to translate it to German and before I know it, I got quick responses.
I got 5 viewing before I could find the one. The last 2 viewing is quite interesting, its both open house and people queued to view the flats. And when you are interested, you need to fill out an offer letter. Once the open house is over, the owner reviews it and choose the one they want. For my case, it took 2 weeks to receive the confirmation that I got it.
The place I got is not furnished, no kitchen. When I meant no kitchen, it has no sink. There are no lights as well. This is quite normal in Germany as most have their own say on what to put on the house. In some rare cases, the previous renters will sell you the kitchen for a price.
Now let’s talk prices. During my search (2016 autumn), for a 1 bedroom flat, it cost around 550 to 800 euro in the city centre. The farther from the centre, the cheaper. The place I got is costing me 700 euro a month. It has 2 bedrooms (in Singapore its called 2LDK), around 95 sqm and at the edge of the City. As mentioned, 2 months deposit plus 1 month advance plus the agent’s fee if you have. Be sure to have that amount when you move.
That’s it for now.