Finding an apartment in Leipzig

92 posts in this topic

:unsure: OK, I have posted before and gotten no replies. I am somewhat frustrated.

 

I am anticipating a move to Leipzig within a year or so. First off I am a dual national. I have both German and US citizenship. Although I am a dual citizen, I am American born, my father was German. I got my German passport three years ago. I have never actually lived in Germany. I have spent time in both Munich and Berlin over the years though. I have never worked in Germany, so I will still need to get private health insurance. My German is at best, passable. I do not as yet, have a German bank account, and I am a retiree. Do I still need to be registered? Do I need to have a German bank account, and if so will they accept one that has just been opened? I own my own home here, so do not have landlord references. How does that work? I also have a dog, who I have no intention of parting with. All these things have given me much angst.

 

I have seen apartments advertised in the 200- 260 Euro range. ( kalt ) Then there are so many higher priced ones. I am not used to seeing such differences in rent. ( yes I understand location ) Where I currently live in Florida USA, prices vary little from one place to the next no matter what part of town. I would be looking for the lower rents, and places that would allow a dog as well. I do not need a lot of space. An Einzimmer or Zweizimmer would be fine. I would like a bathroom with a tub though! I am somewhat confused by the term " Nach Vereinbarung". Does this mean it is generally allowed, as long as it is arranged? Just what does by arrangement mean? I have been subscribed to immonet.de and immobilien scout24.de for some time. I have been planning a move to Germany for a few years now. I am not as concerned about neighborhoods much as amenities. I know public transportation is very good. I would like to have markets, bakeries etc. nearby. At my age, I'm no party animal! That said, I don't want to live in a neighborhood full of stuffy old farts. I like being around younger people. I would like to be near a park, where I could walk my dog Buddy. The areas I have been looking at are all over the map. Gohlis Süd, Volksmarsdorf near Eisenbahnstrasse and Schönefeld around the Mariannenpark. Since I am on a set income, I am looking at the lower rent places. What I don't know, is how much competition I have for places like these. I know in Berlin, I wouldn't have a chance in hell.

 

I realize I will have to make a trip, just to find a place. I am curious just how long it will take to find a place. I will have to board my pet during that time. He has never been without me. I am trying to figure out just how long it will take to get this all taken care of. It would be so much nicer if I did not have to make a special trip, but I doubt it's possible. Any and all feedback will be appreciated!

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I have never worked in Germany, so I will still need to get private health insurance.

 

Private health insurance will probably cost you 700€/month at your age (Basistarif).

 

 

My German is at best, passable.

 

Why do you want to move to Germany? Without German nor sufficient funds, I don't think Germany is such a great retirement option.

 

 

I have seen apartments advertised in the 200- 260 Euro range. ( kalt ) Then there are so many higher priced ones.

 

I think you're going to have difficulty finding a place for 260€/month where you can also have your dog.

 

 

Since I am on a set income, I am looking at the lower rent places. What I don't know, is how much competition I have for places like these.

There is always lots of competition for the cheapest apartments in good areas and landlords are wary about renting to foreigners without income from a local source (it is very difficult in Germany to get rid of tenants).

 

Before you make plans to move, you should sit down and plan your budget. Don't forget to leave a buffer for swings in the exchange rate if your pension is USD.

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Hi Kenny,

 

check out

 

http://lostinleipzig.com/accommodation/

 

and,

 

http://lostinleipzig.com/area-guides/

 

Leipzig is a great place to live, you'll find an apartment for you and your dog don't worry. There are tons of renters with pets in Leipzig. One of most pet friendly places in Europe. Yes you'll probably have to go to Leipzig and do some legwork in person, so consider a cheap hostel or a short-term furnished rental. The fact that you can speak some German puts you miles ahead of most expats considering such a move. If you have sufficient pension/income, speak some German and have the willingness and desire this is a no brainer move for you. Ive found that Lostinleipzig site to be v helpful

 

Oh and ignore the pessimism of some posters on here.

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@ engeichen

Thanks for the honest feedback. As I said I am open to ALL feedback, no matter if it is positive or negative. How else will I know anything?

 

Why do I want to move to Germany you ask? Maybe I have my reasons. The culture, art and music, the history, the architecture all that I find lacking here. Perhaps it's simply that I like Germany, after all I was raised in a German family. Perhaps it's because as a gay man, I felt more comfortable in Germany than I ever did here in the deep south! No my German is not all that good, but I did manage to get my citizenship, didn't I? It took quite a long time as I had to provide a lot of information that was not readily available to me. It took a few trips to Berlin and a lot of red tape. I started this journey, quite a few years back. Unfortunately then there was no internet, and not such a wealth of information available. I was unaware, that I was entitled to German citizenship. It took five years of digging thru tons of file, to find what I needed.

 

So why as a Canadian are you living in Germany? Is it because you want to, or is it because a job brought you there? You sound like a lot of people I have encountered here before. Yes I have been on Toytown, for some years.

 

Yes, I am trying to figure out a budget. I actually have one, perhaps you can enlighten me as to how practical it is. I have figured I could live on about $1,400 USD a month. I do my own cooking, I never or rarely eat out. I managed on my own in Berlin as recent as five years ago. I don't drink, so when I do go to a bar it's usually water, or something non alcoholic. I do have my worries if I should live to a ripe old age. I have savings, but they will only last so long. My rent, and utilities are the big expense. I honestly do not have much to go by. A few years ago, Berlin was still affordable for me. Now it would be a stretch of my budget. Munich which I dearly love, is absolutely out of the picture!--- but then so are most American cities, and definitely no Canadian cities! Maybe that's why Canadians, are such penny pinchers. We have many here in Florida. In my line of work, I encountered many of them.

 

I was given a quote of 199 Euro for my health insurance. Honestly I'm not sure if it's actually "private". She made it sound like it was part of the government system. The lady I spoke with, said there's a cap on what they can charge a pensioner such as me. That was only one broker. I found her thru "The German Way" another forum I belong to. Remember, I do have full citizenship! It's just that I never paid into the system. She was ready to sign me up That was two years ago however. As I said I have been planning this move for some years. It still might not come about, as I am still caring for one elderly parent. If I am too old, I would not make such a big move. However I find that I am STILL BREATHING.

 

I will take your opinion seriously, however. I certainly would not want to find myself stuck in a strange place, with no resources.

 

I still need more feedback, on the availablility of apartments in Leipzig. Especially ones that allow dogs.

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So why as a Canadian are you living in Germany?

Because I made the mistake of learning German in high school (I now speak it fluently). However, I wish I learned Spanish, the climate is better in countries where Spanish is spoken. :rolleyes:

 

 

I was given a quote of 199 Euro for my health insurance. Honestly I'm not sure if it's actually "private". She made it sound like it was part of the government system. The lady I spoke with, said there's a cap on what they can charge a pensioner such as me. That was only one broker. I found her thru "The German Way" another forum I belong to. Remember, I do have full citizenship! It's just that I never paid into the system. She was ready to sign me up That was two years ago however.

AFAIK you are too old to get into the pubic health care system (the cap is 55). I would strongly suggest that you contact Starshollow or John.G for a quote.

 

 

Oh and ignore the pessimism of some posters on here.

 

Do you think it is possible for a foreigner without a source of income in Germany to find an apartment in Leipzig for 250€/month?

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Hi Kenny,

 

Leipzig is a great place to live, you'll find an apartment for you and your dog don't worry. There are tons of renters with pets in Leipzig. One of most pet friendly places in Europe. Yes you'll probably have to go to Leipzig and do some legwork in person, so consider a cheap hostel or a short-term furnished rental. The fact that you can speak some German puts you miles ahead of most expats considering such a move. If you have sufficient pension/income, speak some German and have the willingness and desire this is a no brainer move for you. Ive found that Lostinleipzig site to be v helpful

 

Oh and ignore the pessimism of some posters on here.

 

Thanks for the POSITIVE feedback!

 

I do however, appreciate even the negative as well. I try to balance them out.

 

Thanks for the info. I have seen this website, but will look into it further. Expenses are definitely important, especially to someone like myself. I will be visiting Leipzig whether it's to look for an apartment, or just to be a visitor. I have not been there or to Dresden, other than passing through. The thing about Leipzig that attracts me, is that much of the old infrastructure still exists. I'm not afraid of urban blight, having lived in depressed areas in the past. To me Leipzig just seems to offer more than Dresden. I also love Berlin, but it has changed so much since I first went there many years ago before unification. I really want to avoid the type of Expats who think they are entitled to special attention, because they have money. When I have encountered them in the past, I usually exclaimed, "Bitte, Ich spreche keine Englisch. Lernen sie Deutsch!" I usually got away with it. So my German isn't that bad. Unless I'm speaking to Germans. LOL My vocabulary is good, it's just the grammar ----- and I just can't get around the gender thing. That one really causes me problems. I can read it, much easier than I can speak it or write it. In any case thanks for your help! :)

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Because I made the mistake of learning German in high school (I now speak it fluently). However, I wish I learned Spanish, the climate is better in countries where Spanish is spoken.

 

AFAIK you are too old to get into the pubic health care system (the cap is 55). I would strongly suggest that you contact Starshollow or John.G for a quote.

 

Do you think it is possible for a foreigner without a source of income in Germany to find an apartment in Leipzig for 250€/month?

 

The lady I spoke with was an insurance broker in Berlin. I was referred to her by a lawyer on the German Way. I had originally enquired with BUPA and was told as a German Citizen, I needed to get German insurance.

 

FYI I have a source of income. It's not like I'm living on welfare! It is limited however.

 

As for Spanish speaking countries, maybe the climate is nicer. However I will take German culture over Spanish anytime. Ever hear of the Spanish Inquisition, or Franco. Having studied Pre-Columbian civilization, I also fault the Spanish for the atrocities they committed in the Americas. Yes, perhaps you did study the wrong language, but it still doesn't answer the question, why are you living there. Now does it?

 

I appreciate your input whether it's what I want to hear, or whether it's what I need to hear. :rolleyes:

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Greetings, Kenny!

1. Lovely dog

2. You might qualify for German public insurance under the so-called Nummer 13 rule...there´s a rule for everything here! MIGHT!

3. Lovely dog: would need dog owner insurance - not expensive

4. Back to Nummer 13 rule..maybe it would work..it´s your best bet at your age - absolutely forget private insurance - no chance.

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Do you think it is possible for a foreigner without a source of income in Germany to find an apartment in Leipzig for 250€/month?

 

They could do it for less than that. I did

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Hi Kenny 1948

Why not considering Dresden?Leipzig is first choice for party goers but it doesn't

sound that you are one.To my mind Dresden has a lot more to offer e. g. a very beautiful

surrounding, a very interesting history with lots of remainings that can be explored

and I would assume the cost of living is (at least slightly) cheaper.

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I had considered Dresden, it actually was my first choice. Then I looked at both places in more detail. I was told horror stories by my father, as to what the allies did to this place ( Dresden ). He always brought it up, when anyone talked about the German atrocities. Also so much of what's there to see, is actually a recreation. Whereas in Leipzig, most of the buildings are original not modern copies. I have looked at both places, and Leipzig seems like it would be a nicer place to live. Without fully visiting both places I will not know. I have seen Dresden, but never explored it, as I was just passing through. Leipzig, I have only seen pictures and on Google Earth. So until I am actually there, I do not know. Berlin I am very familiar with, having spent time there, both with the wall and after. It's where my family is from.

 

Honestly I don't know if I will move at all. I'm just trying to find out exactly what would be involved, and how easy or difficult it would be. Thanks for the feedback! :)

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OK, one question I haven't gotten an answer to. That I would like cleared up.

 

When I am looking at sites as immonet and immobilienscout I have checked for haustiere. So often it says nein which I know. Or Ja which I know also. Now comes Nach Vereinbarung, which translates as by appointment. I do not understand what this means. Does it mean they will allow pets, if you pay a deposit or something like that? Just what do they mean?

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OK, one question I haven't gotten an answer to. That I would like cleared up.

 

When I am looking at sites as immonet and immobilienscout I have checked for haustiere. So often it says nein which I know. Or Ja which I know also. Now comes Nach Vereinbarung, which translates as by appointment. I do not understand what this means. Does it mean they will allow pets, if you pay a deposit or something like that? Just what do they mean?

 

It simply means that you have to discuss it with the landlord. Probably if you have a little fish he will be happy, if its an elephant he might not.

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Greetings, Kenny!

1. Lovely dog

2. You might qualify for German public insurance under the so-called Nummer 13 rule...there´s a rule for everything here! MIGHT!

3. Lovely dog: would need dog owner insurance - not expensive

4. Back to Nummer 13 rule..maybe it would work..it´s your best bet at your age - absolutely forget private insurance - no chance.

 

Hi John,

 

Where could I find out information about this "Nummer 13" rule? I have read so much conflicting information. The German Consulate here in Miami, although friendly are not very helpful for information such as this. It took forever, to get my citizenship. They then asked me, " why you wait so late in life?" I replied that I wasn't aware I qualified for citizenship when I was younger. That I only found out thru the internet! :rolleyes:

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It simply means that you have to discuss it with the landlord. Probably if you have a little fish he will be happy, if its an elephant he might not.

 

:rolleyes: An elephant no! How about a dog? I figured this is more or less what it meant, but if the posted this it should mean they haven't ruled it out, correct?

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An elephant no! How about a dog? I figured this is more or less what it meant, but if the posted this it should mean they haven't ruled it out, correct?

 

I'd think so. Maybe it would depend on size, breed, behaviour of the dog. You'd have to ask the landlord.

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Hi kenny1948,

Did you find any solution? I have the same problem..I'm Brazilian and I'll move with my family to Leipzig as PhD research (and this include a little dog [schnauzer mini]). This task is difficulty to solve. I can't leave my entire life behind and don't find a place to stay with my family at Leipzig.

All the best.

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Personally I prefer Dresden a lot more over Leipzig. The inner city of Dresden is absolutely stunning, yes it was bombed during the war, however, they did not do a lot of rebuilding during the DDR times and when East and West joined together, they sensibly rebuilt everything in the original styling (much to the chagrin of the wessies who are still paying extra taxes for this type of renovations).

 

Dresden has more of a focus on classical culture, whereas Leipzig is more contemporary. It depends on what you prefer. The nice thing about Leipzig is that they have the massive lakes just on the outskirts of the city, that you can easily get to, perfect for dog walking.

 

In terms of accommodation, this is a real problem in both cities, they are both booming in terms of the German economy and accommodation is in short demand. Even in the last 5 years, rent prices have shot through the roof. A one bed or two bed flat in a nice area is going to cost you at least 500 euros a month. You can go Plattenbau, but they are not normally the nicest neighbourhoods.

 

If you are fairly mobile and don't mind travelling into the cities, then there are lots of smaller cities and villages around where prices are a lot cheaper. However, given your sexuality, you may find it is socially constrictive. I love the village life where my girlfriend comes from, however, they are fairly small minded and unfortunately it may be hard to fit in.

 

In terms of budget, if I was honest, then 1000 euros a month is really really difficult. If you are considering a car, then probably not feasible. My personal outgoings in a flat that I share is 650 a month, including all my bills, insurances, food and sharing a car. If you had pay for everything yourself, then you are obviously looking at double that, plus if you have to pay Private Healthcare on top, you are looking at around 2000 a month, which does not include any budget for going out/vacation/replacing broken goods/treats. With 1000 euroes I would really recommend to consider trying living with someone else to share the costs. I just don't see how you would be able to pay for everything alone and do all the things you would want to do here.

 

If you looked at somewhere like Görlitz, where it is a retirement heaven, then prices are a lot lower and you could budget accordingly. Germany is a great country, but it is a difficult/expensive place to retire, if you have not been working long enough here to qualify for all the social assistance.

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Hi Kenny

As someone who spent 4 years in Leipzig.

Firstly, as a German citizen, finding an apartment in Leipzig shouldn't be difficult, although some landlords might be fussy about a dog. Leipzig is still a fairly poor city by German standards and despite the recent economic boom, unless you want to live in the upmarket areas which are basically Gohlis, Zentrum/Zentrum West, Waldstrasse, Musikviertel and Sudvorstadt and the Schleussig area, there are loads of empty apartments in Leipzig that landlords want to get off their hands. I can't recommend Eisenbahnstrasse which is a horrible area, but Reudnitz is actually pretty nice in places, especially around Taubchenweg. Also worth looking at are Connewitz which has an alternative vibe and the Plagwitz/Schleussig area, though that is increasingly up and coming.

As for Leipzig, 'halt die Ohren steif', as they say. The positives are that there is a lot going on there for a city of its size, especially with music and the arts, and it is a huge university town so it is quite lively and young. It has some really nice buildings and the Klara Park is amazing, and apart from one or two areas, it is mostly a really attractive and impressive city. It also has good transport links with Germany and an excellent tram system. The negatives would be the overhang from the communist years, if you're used to Berlin or Munich, Leipzig can feel quite parochial and stuck in the past times, there is a lot of poverty (lost in Leipzig says the average salary in Leipzig is over 3,000 Euros which is total crap, I would say half of Leipzig is either unemployed or doing a mini job). Also people can be a bit anti-foreigner and are often distanced, and customer service is often absolutely dire.

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Hi all,

 

I'm really enjoying reading this thread and am glad that Kenny started it :) I'm also considering a move to Leipzig, but I would be looking for a WG-Zimmer which I hope will be able to find in the inner city for less than 200 euros per month. I hope my expectations aren't unrealistic.

 

Anyway, if Kenny doesn't mind me contributing a question to this thread, could anyone else comment regarding what life in Leipzig is like as of 2014? I've read a few threads on this site about Leipzig already but most of them are at least five years old... and I figure Leipzig has probably changed a lot in the last five years. Are the people friendly? I get the impression that in Berlin the locals are fairly hostile towards foreign expats so I'm curious as to whether Leipzig is the same. Also, is it a good place to improve and practice one's German? I've read on Die Welt that 'Sachsen sprechen das schlechteste Hochdeutsch." I'd be interested in knowing anything about contemporary life in Leipzig really :P

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