When our plans got more concrete, probably by March 2019, we had to start seriously thinking about how we would rent a place in Germany and how we would do that.
We researched and read several reports and opinions and came to the conclusion that the rent process in Germany would be difficult, complicated and exhausting the. First because we do not speak German, we did not know the areas and also by the heated real estate market in the Frankfurt region.
When you need help with the rental process
Each place may be different, but we hear stories of houses with multiple families trying to rent, like a war, such a lack of properties for rent.
We were already terrified, so we decided to look for relocation companies or real estate agents who had experience with expats like us. Luckily I found a very cool company, which gave us a huge hand and certainly made our process of finding a home relatively low-stress.
Of course, this did not come for free, we decided to invest in the service and we are sure it was a wise decision. If anyone is coming to the Frankfurt region and want a recommendation, leave me a message in the comments below the post or shoot me an email for it.
Another important factor for the success of our “mission” was that we visited the area a few months before our big move and had a brief idea of the potential neighborhoods.
At that time, with the help of our relocation agent, we visited 2 or 3 houses and got an idea of how things work here (we ended up not choosing any of those …).
Defining the area (neighborhood or small town) where to live is also essential. Variables to this decision are difficult to narrow down.
Set your requirements to rent in Germany
We defined that the house should be 10/15 minutes from the girls’ schools and be fairly close to a S-bahn or U-bahn station. We also have an x number of rooms and bathrooms we would prefe and patio in the back. Also, the rental price should fall within our budget etc. This has filtered a lot for us and basically gave us the few options to choose from.
The site below, called immobilienscout24.de was what we used the most for research. We actually chose our house and passed it on to our agent (from the relocation company). He helped us with the virtual visits and the legal procedures during this process, since we were still in Canada.
We selected the properties that matched with our requirements, passed on to the agent to give us the address. Not all addresses are visible on this website, so you might need to contact to find out the exact location. Or we found out on our own, Sherlock Holmes style, based on photos and descriptions.
Use technology to find your rental in Germany
Of those that were at the top of the list (2 or 3), our agent paid a visit and showed us via Skype. We know is not ideal, but it was the only doable thing for us.
We were not able to see all the details, but we were able to get a good idea of the conditions and space. Several questions were added to clarify what we couldn’t get an idea from the video. The fact that the agent interceded between us and owners of the house was essential.
Example was the issue of accepting dog in the house, which was marked as negative on the property listing. Our agent talked to them and they accepted our little pups, which was great.
And so we decided, without having visited in person before.
At first, the idea was to live in Frankfurt, but we ended up deciding for a small satellite city. It was based in a combination of factors, including space and value for the money.
The whole paperwork was sent and checked by our agent and we had to sign several things. Apparently there was no competition with other families, which we found great and avoided much stress.
Of course, not everything met our list of requests / dreams for the perfect home. But this is our first home in Germany and no house is perfect, right?
But overall, we’re very happy with our choice and so far, it has been great.
Well, that’s it, I think it sums up our process right there. Any questions, throw yourself in the comments!
See you next time!