Advice on housing costs in Stuttgart

Average prices for renting an apartment etc.

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MikeCO
I am currently living in Denver, Colorado USA and have an offer to work for my parent company in Stuttgart for two years (Starting in August). I am 24 years old (single so no worries on kids, wife, etc) and being in the most lively area possible is very important. They are assuming that 600 Euros a month would be enough for a furnished 1 to 2 room (30-60sqm) apartment. Is that reasonable? Keeping in mind that I don't want to live in areas too far away from the action!

The company is assuming that renting costs in Denver are around $1500 a month. For that much I could be living in a very plush apartment in one of the best parts of town. For the place I have now which is a four bedroom, two kitchen, two bath, two furnished laundry room house I am paying less than that! (I do have roommates). So $18000 a year to live in Denver and only $10,700 to live in Stuttgart? Does this seem odd to anyone?

As long as I am on a roll...they are offering me 3100 euro a month gross. I am currently making mid-50k gross, is that comparable?

Any help I can get would be great...and yes...I have used the SEARCH function extensively!
Kay
I know that Stuttgart is (considerably?) less expensive than Munich but even so I think €600 for a furnished flat seems too low.
MikeCO
Thanks for the quick response! Just to add some more details to what I am looking for...my current place is near downtown Denver and is in a very good area. I am guessing 600 euros would not be enough for me to live in a 'comfortable' apartment?
highered
Just a quick estimate from nettolohn.de of your monthly paycheck:
Rentenversicherung 308.44€ pension insurance
Arbeitslosenversicherung 51.15€ unemployment insurance
Krankenversicherung 244.90€ health insurance (this could be higher or lower depending on insurer, but gives you a ballpark; this is at 14% (split between employer and employee))
Pflegeversicherung 34.10€ long-term care insurance
Soli-Zuschlag 31.95€
Kirchensteuer 0.00€ church tax --(would be ca. 50€/mo if you declared a church affiliation)
Lohnsteuer 580.91€ Income tax
Netto 1848.55€ Net

Would you be paid 12 or 13 times a year? Some companies have a year-end bonus of an extra paycheck.
gatzke
Check night-and-day de. We found a moderate term furnished place for about 900 Euros. 1 bedroom, den, small kitchen. However, we are close to downtown (15-20 minute walk to konigstrasse, 10 to Marienplatz) and a bus stops frequently nearby as well.

Maybe long-term further out is 600? The biggest thing is being close to public transit. Driving and parking in Stuttgart is a mess. Most places are reachable with S U or bus (if you don't mind waiting and waiting, never take busses on weekend)
MikeCO
I will be paid on a 12-month but a possible bonus of 6k euro.

This is a rushed opportunity (found out a week ago) so please bare with me as I have no German language skills yet (trying my hardest now ) and no knowledge of the area so I am at a huge disadvantage. I am going for a visit next week (the 16th thru the following Saturday) and if you guys could supply me with an arsenal of questions or concerns that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks gatzke! That would be a comparable apartment that I would be looking for and in the same area.
highered
Usually companies that post you to a foreign location temporarily will pay for moving expenses, yearly visits home, storage expenses, housing assistance etc. I'd ask for some or all of the above.
highered
According to HomeCompany (which is also a place to look for furnished apartments), the average rent for a 2-room (basically 1BR), 50 sq m apartment is 800€ and the average rent for an 80 sq m 3-4 room apartment is 1200€.
http://stuttgart.homecompany.de/en/mietspiegel.htm

Also, bear in mind that agencies will charge a commission (Provision) to you, the renter when you sign a lease. That could be as much as two months' rent.
Something else to ask about in terms of company support.
MikeCO
That is a very good point. The moving expenses and flights home (they said twice a year) most likely will be in a supplemental contract with my current employer (a subsidiary). I am going to wait to sign my contract until I have that other contract.
MikeCO
This is obviously the first time I have done this but is it customary, or have you ever heard of, a company giving you money above and beyond your net salary as a housing fund? In simple terms, help pay for your housing?
highered
For overseas placements, yes, but it's obviously going to depend on your company's policies.
MikeCO
I am the first American to move to Germany for my company. They have sent thousands of Germans out (they are in over 41 countries) but I will be the first to come to Germany. I don't think they have a true policy on this yet.

Another question I have is that my contract is a 'trainee' contract. This give them much more flexibility...but my position will not be a true trainee contract. I will be trained, yes, for a few months but then I will be working on financial projects for the remainder. Should I argue this?

Also, an international contract lawyer told me that most European contracts do not state a 40 hour work week. Is this true? My contract says 40 hours but with 8 hours of possible overtime (does not say paid) a week. Is this something I should look into?
adrianlondon
If you want a furnished apartment in central Stuttgart you're gonna be paying more than 600 euros all in per month.

However, you say you're going to be here for two years. That's quite a long time so I'd recommend finding somewhere unfurnished (but with a kitchen - apparently that's becoming more common, according to a German colleague) and furnishing it yourself. It's hassle to get started but you'll save quite a bit in the long run, I reckon.

Or, just tell your company that they can pay directly for the housing, whatever it costs, and they can find it for you if they think they can find somewhere central for 600.
MikeCO
I like that second option I tried to tell them that 600 did not sound reasonable but they disagreed. If they think it is...let them find it! Thank you!
moctoj2
We're paying more than 600 euros a month and it includes trash removal and parking. We pay electric, water and heat separately. We had to furnish the kitchen and light fixtures and furniture, of course. But we're way out of Stuttgart (20km). We live out here because we couldn't find a place closer to town for less. One building closer to central wanted 1000 euros a month and it didn't have a kitchen or light fixtures. It was 2 brm and 1 bath. About 80 sq meters or @900 sq ft.
I would negotiate for a higher housing allowance and a trip over to find a place to live. I'd contract a translator before you get here because some landlords want a 5 yr lease or won't rent to foreigners. Another thing...look to central stuttgart or southern stuttgart suburbs for the being close to the 'action' and your age group 'University'.
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