Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Someone's not getting it, and it's me

I have been searching for a permanent place to live, and I have not been enjoying it. Since this is a bigger city where I'm living, I would have thought that there would be more apartments available. What I didn't take into consideration is that it's a bigger city with a university and is also surrounded by lots of military bases with not enough room for all their personnel. So apartments, especially decent ones, get snatched up very quickly.

I have tried calling some real estate agents because it's very difficult to find an apartment here that is provisionfrei, or without a real estate agent's commission. Unlike the US, where the property owner would normally pay the commission, here the renter would pay it and it's usually between 1-3 months' rent. Ouch.

Calling the real estate agents to view properties was not that easy. Reception on my phone was horrible and there was the language barrier to work through, which is even more difficult when the conversation is not face to face. I felt very bad to offer spotty reception and lack of German.

And then there's just my stupidity. One real estate agent was more than happy to show me the property but we had a tough time finding a time that would work. He only wanted to show the property during the day. I told him that I couldn't do that because I had to work. I asked if I could come at night. He said no, because I couldn't see the property. I told him that it was okay if I couldn't see the outside of the property that well; I was sure that the streetlights would illuminate it.

He finally was able to get it through my head that I wouldn't be able to see inside the apartment. The light bulb (har har) finally went on inside my head, at least. I had forgotten that it is not uncommon for many German apartments not to include what Americans would take for granted: light fixtures and other built-ins and appliances (such as kitchen cabinets, ovens, etc.). There is a good possibility that the previous tenants took the light fixtures they had bought. The other possibility is that the electric had been in their name and when they moved, it was turned off.  We did manage to work out a time on the weekend that would allow us to see within the apartment itself.

Moo just wants a permanent place to rest his Moo-face.

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