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Renting an Apartment in Germany

February 7, 2015

We’ve officially signed the lease on our new apartment and been handed over the keys.  Tomorrow, we will move into the new place.  Getting this far has been quite a process – and we have a long way to go still before we have a functional home-away-from-home.

We ended up falling head-over-heels in love with a bright little apartment in the center of the Dresden Technical University campus.  The flat is a 5 minute walk from my work, a 2 minute walk from the nearest tram station and grocery store, and less than 1 minute to the nearest bakery/cafe and turkish döner restaurant.   It’s a south-facing apartment on the 4th story with an excellent layout, an open kitchen, lots of light, high ceilings, and a large deck that we can use for grilling and entertaining.

But, there is a downside to this apartment (you knew it was coming).  In classic German-style, the apartment is completely and totally empty and unfurnished.  There are no light fixtures on the ceilings, no curtains or curtain rods, and most importantly, no kitchen.  No kitchen means no fridge, no stove, no sink, no counters, no cabinets.  All we get is three white walls and hookups for cold and hot water.  Also some electrical outlets and a vent in the wall.  That means we have to buy and install an entire kitchen.  Naturally, since we don’t want to spend a fortune, we’ll be relying on Ikea. Lucky for us, our landlord is willing to buy the kitchen from us when when we move out for 50-75% of the value.

When we move in tomorrow, there will not be a kitchen. In fact, it might be weeks…  We did manage to take care of some of the basics though.  We acquired (all from Ikea) a bed, a mattress, sheets, comforter, duvet cover, pillows, a wardrobe, clothes drying rack, a pull-out sofa, some side tables, ceiling lights, curtains and curtain rods, an electric kettle, dishes, silverware, and also (from other random stores) an iron and ironing board, bath towels, and cleaning supplies like a mop, broom, dustbin, bucket.  To reach “fully functioning” status, we still need to buy (in addition to an entire kitchen) at least a washing machine, trash bins, more lights, and a table and chairs.  Alex might also add “charcoal grill” to that list.

If you’re wondering how we got all that stuff to our new apartment without a car, the answer is Ikea delivery service plus lots of individual trips carrying stuff by hand.  It also involved three separate trips to Ikea for Alex, which is about 45 minutes away by tram.  Fortunately for him, they sell bottles of beer for €2 and you’re allowed to walk around the store with it.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Zevalkink permalink
    February 7, 2015 8:55 PM


    Sent from my iPad

  2. Betsy jellema permalink
    February 7, 2015 8:59 PM

    Looks amazing, when can we visit?

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