Accommodation in Berlin

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accommodation in BerlinExpats looking for accommodation in Berlin will find themselves sifting through everything from leftover living spaces to the sleekest apartments money can buy. Whether someone would prefer to have a home amid Cold War-era East German high rises, the sophisticated neoclassical buildings of Prenzlauer Berg, or the experimental collectives of Kreuzberg, there's certainly accommodation for everyone in Berlin.

The city has long been renowned for its reasonable housing options, and foreign nationals looking to dive head first into Western Europe's coolest capital will find a real estate market defined by oversupply and subsequent low costs.

For those fortunate enough to consider purchasing property, apartments in Berlin's cutting-edge central district of Mitte are somewhat reasonable; easily four times less than the cost of precious space in the likes of London or Paris.

Such sugary temptation is sadly bittersweet for locals and most expats, however – nearly ninety percent of Berlin's population is too poor to purchase and is resigned to renting.

Renting accommodation in Berlin

As mentioned, cheap real estate is the temptress that has attracted so many young, creative expats to Berlin's centre and suburbs.

That being said, the face of the Berlin housing market is changing in small ways, and expats should take note. Rent has steadily been increasing in the city and average incomes in the Berlin are still relativley low compared to other cities in Germany. Those arriving in Germany without a firm job offer need to have a substantial amount saved to cover the cost of accommodation while they look for employment. Bear in mind that most landlords can ask for up to three months' rent to cover the security deposit on a place.

With such a large variety of places on offer in Berlin, expats need to devote a good deal of time to looking. In Berlin, expats often find that flats of shockingly different standards can often yield similar rents. 

Generally, accommodation in Berlin tends to be spacious for the going price. Apartments tend to be around 40 percent larger in Berlin than in other European capitals such as Paris or London. However, some rooms in attractive buildings can also be shabby and may rely on coal heaters; the token smell of Berlin's bohemia. Refurbished buildings with beautiful amenities are also plentiful, but are naturally more expensive.

Finding rental properties in Berlin

There are a number of different ways to find a property to rent in Berlin. Expat students can check the bulletin boards at their university buildings where signs for shared apartments, known as Wohnung Gemeinschaft (WG), are posted. Professionals can consult print publications like Zitty and TIP, or on Saturdays, look for the Immobilien issue of Zweite Hand (secondhand).

Otherwise, for a fee, agencies known as Mitwohzentrale or Mitwohnagentur will find apartments to meet individual specifications.

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