I've been in Berlin three days. I more or less have work sorted out so I can afford to eat. However, I don't have anywhere to live after the end of this month.
In this post, I'll try to use social media to find an apartment in Berlin.
What's the German for "lazyweb flat hunting"?
One thing I've quickly learned about Berlin is that while month to month rents are far more reasonable than London, you need to jump through quite a few hoops before you can rent on a formal basis, and renting through an agent involves paying some fairly hefty fees (often in the region of two month's rent plus VAT).
So, after seeing a friend, Jon Worth find a place without having agents take their pound of flesh, I figured I might give it a go.
Granted, he has a very well established online presence as a blogger, speaker, writer and trainer, so his post probably reached more people than this will, but it's still worth a try, right?
So, what am I looking for?
Location - ideally around Neukölln, but Central/South East works too
The majority of my friends, and members of my girlfriend's family seem to be congregated around Kreuzberg and Neukölln so far, and the coworking spaces that catch my eye are fairly close to Kotbusser Tor, or Mitte, so that's where I'm looking at present.
That said, Berlin's transport system is good enough that I'm not religious about Neuköln. It's just the neighbourhood I know best so far.
Flat size and features - kitchen, 3-4 bedrooms
After a fantastic send-off party back in London last Sunday, I now have a sizeable backlog of people who want to visit, and I have a fellow Londoner, Debbie Davies, coming to live with us in Berlin too, so we're looking for an apartment with three bedrooms (ideally four, to use as a home office without disturbing people visiting).
We're ideally looking for an unfurnished place, with a balcony, but we'd need a fitted kitchen (Einbauküche).
Why a fitted kitchen? One thing I've learnt is in Berlin, you're often expected to bring your own kitchen when you rent, and funnily enough, we don't have any fitted cabinets and worktops among the boxes of stuff we're schlepping to Germany once we find a place.
Cost and availability - €1000-1200, April onwards
Me and my girlfriend are in Berlin now, and we're looking at spending something in the region of €1000-1200 warm (i.e. including the cost of heating), based on what we think we're looking for, and what we can find available on immobilienscout24.de, nestoria.de, and wg-gesucht.de.
We're happy with subletting (untermieten), and but we'd need to be able to do the whole "put your name on the door" thing, so we can get a bank account, and the SCHUFA-Auskunft, that allows for renting in a more formal fashion.
We're looking to move in the first week of April, although we have some flexibility there if need be, and stay there until at least the end of summer.
Reckon you can help?
Alternatively, if know someone who might, and you shared this page through your own networks, I'd be a pretty happy kid.
Lets see if this works (crosses fingers).