Finding an apartment in Leipzig

145 posts in this topic

I've never actually been to Leipzig (although it's on my list for a long weekend this year!), so I can't answer a lot of your question, but I will contribute what I know:

 

[*]it's one of the cheaper large cities in Germany; I'm not sure if your budget is realistic, but you certainly have a better chance in Leipzig than any other big city

[*]it has comparitively few English-speaking foreigners, so if your primary aim is to learn the language (rather than to work), I'd also say it's a good bet

[*]forget about the suggestion about worst or best German. You'll get this said all over the country about "other" places. The closest to plain Hochdeutsch is in and around Hannover...anywhere else will offer you dialects, but in cities they tend to be softer than in the smaller places...and you will mostly be confronted with Hochdeutsch with regional accents and some words. No city is a deal-breaker in that sense.

[*]Leipzig is highly rated in many surveys/articles as an up-and-coming/hip place - it is trying to reinvent itself and a lot is being done to enhance its original flair and upgrade its infrastructure (main station has just been totally revamped, for example)

[*]From looking at my short guidebook on Leipzig, there seems to be an interesting mix of old and new architecture (google it for pictures)..without having been, I can't vouch for the overall impression.

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OK, let me start by saying Vielen Dank für alles! :D

 

My main concern is health insurance, and where to get it and how much it would cost. If it's over three hundred euro, I probably couldn't afford it! My budget would be about 1,400 € .

 

Like I have said, I don't know if I will ever get to do this. I'm not getting any younger, but have wanted to live in Germany for many years. I wish I had simply tried to do so in my younger days. Instead I listened to German friends who told me, I simply couldn't do it. Had I only known then, that I could have gotten German citizenship. I do think it would have been much more of a problem back then without the internet. I had to contact so many people, and dig for so much information. It took over three years just to research my family. I was simply looking in the wrong place--- but none of you care to hear about all that. :huh:

 

Back to this post and what others have said. I find navigating through the German system, to be totally frustrating. I'm sure it would be that way if I lived there as well. I simply do not want to try planning something, and then finding out in the end that it won't work. I'm not as concerned as to areas, as to cost. Although I am curious why Matthew says the Eisenbahnstr is so horrible, but like I have said I only have used Google and you tube for look at the neighborhoods. I have lived both in the Bronx NY, as well as the lower East Side of Manhattan. I don't think parts of Leipzig could be much worse. ( I'm talking about the sixties and seventies, not now ) I find it funny that a lot of the cheaper apartments are dachgeschoss apartments. In Berlin they are usually the most expensive! I don't plan on having a car, as I prefer using public transportation. I would want to be close to a tram line, and not far from a park. I have never driven in Germany, never saw a need to. Regarding Dresden vs Leipzig. There are things about both cities that appeal to me. I like the fact that Dresden has the hills nearby. I like the lakes and parks of Leipzig as someone has already suggested. I like the old buildings, even the ones that have not been fixed up! That's the thing I don't like about Dresden. If I want a replica, I would just go to Disneyland. I can understand a palace or a church, but there are whole neighborhoods. That's a bit much for me. Like the old town of Frankfurt! Of course I love Munich, and most of it is rebuilt as well. But I love the Englischer Garten and the area along the Isar.

 

To answer one of Fitzpatricks questions. Berlin has had an influx of foreign investors. Areas that were once affordable are now too expensive for the locals. That is what causes the friction! I know this can be a sore point on Toytown. I once complained about all the people buying property in Berlin, and the result wasn't pleasant. Evidently there were a lot of people who thought investing was a good idea. Yes I am fairly familiar with Berlin. I originally wanted to move there. Then a friend said, "why Berlin" and all I could say was because I knew the city. I actually find a lot of Berlin to be quite ugly. My friend lives in a modern apartment block, that I honestly thought was a plattenbau. I inadvertently insulted him, by asking if it was! Anyway there are poor neighborhoods, that have gotten pricey and the locals don't like it. I remember when the same thing happened years ago in San Francisco. I was one of those priced out! I couldn't even imagine living there today, even though my old apartment building and neighborhood has changed little!

 

Re the language thing that somebody mentioned. I do worry a bit, but I did grow up in a family that spoke Plattdeutsch. The German I did hear at home, was quite different from what I heard spoken in most parts of Germany. The closest sounding was what I heard in Austria, and I can't really explain it. Just that some words sounded different or slurred. I still remember an old lady in a market asking me for Sechs und Siepsich. I was totally confused. Turned out it was sixteen. I still pronounce Liverwurst as Leberwusht, without the R. I understand that Saxisch can be a bit hard to understand.

 

Well, I think I have sufficiently gotten totally off track here.

 

Once again thanks for all the suggestions,

 

Kenny

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When the time comes to say goodbye, and hopefully I'll have moments to reflect on my life there will probably be a few things I regret. I’ve already accumulated a few; that girl who loved me and I her but I never did anything about it, the things I didn’t say, the twists and turns in life. Things you can’t ‘do over’, they just are

 

If you truly want to have an adventure in Leipzig or wherever, i say just do it. That is, as long as you have a half decent plan and not completely going on a shoe-string. Just figure it out as you bump along. You will meet mostly good people, have a few laughs, be amazed, as well as shed a few tears in moments of fear and frustration. IMHO it's better to fall flat on your face than not to try something you truly want to do.

 

On the other hand if you're just looking for a chat on the internet, probably best to stay at home...

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Hello Kenny 1948. As a young 60 something, like yourself, who has lived in and around the Leipzig area for 20 years, (where the hell did the years go?), English and married to a German, I feel I am qualified to comment on living here. There are not many ex-pats here (thank God!), but, as long as you even TRY to speak the language, you'll find the people here very accommodating. Granted, the dialect can be hard at first, but like everything else, the more you speak it, the more you'll understand. As for apartments, the further you travel from the city centre, the cheaper they are. I, myself, live 8km from the city, but still have the strassebahn (tram), only a 5 minute walk away, to take me there. (For about €2.50). As for the cost of apartments, I believe €250-350 is a more realistic price, unless you want to live in a ****hole. As for pets, that is usually a matter between you and the landlord, but I think you will be O.K. Sorry, I can't help with the health insurance, but I'm sure you will get an answer on this site. Hope this was of help, and good luck.

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Another neighborhood question. I've found an apartment in Leipzig and been emailing with the current renter. Seemed great at first--nice apartment, lots of light, a big park right outside, takes dogs, no Schufa required--but then I looked up the neighborhood, which is Kleinzschocher/Grünau. Out of 50,000 Leipzigers living in Plattenbau, 40,000 live in Grünau. Google pics of the neighborhood don't look good. This apartment is in an Altbau, but if the neighborhood's a dump, a nice apartment won't really make up for it. So, is it a dump? I'm looking for a neighborhood with cafes and discount groceries within a 15-minute walk. Searching here on TT turns up a couple references to Grünau, but hopefully someone can give me some more information about it.

 

Many thanks.

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There is a big shopping centre there called the allee center and you could probably get discount groceries there, and there are cafes and ice cream parlors and a cinema in it too.

 

The area doesn't look great but I don't think it's dangerous. I've been there after dark a few times and never had any problems.

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Not sure if Kenny 1948 has decided on his move yet. Good luck in your decision. Just some info on our situation- retirees, husband( 68) dual Canadian/German, Me (63)dual UK/Canadian. When we decided to move back to Europe- made the first 6 months holiday- so still had OHIP coverage. ( Cleared with Canadians). Then registered with AOK in Luebeck. No problem for spouse, but for me an issue- had been resident in Canada, so no NHS number. So, they made me Arbeitslose and accepted me. Monthly premiums -Him Euro220, me Euro 280. So, they can be flexible.

Language- listen, practice, DWelle is good- TV and online. I speak reasonable German, but still have some problems with Sachsen,! If you really want to do this, follow excellent advice of TT regulars. Sit down, and list resources, finances, reasons to move. Good luck.

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My husband, our cat and I moved from Melbourne, Australia just over three months ago. We really like it. In regard to accommodation, we sublet from a student tenant who is working abroad. We get a furnished apartment with all amenities right in the city centre. The only pain really is that we only have one key and the board of the building won't allow another to be cut. We sold everything when we left Australia so have to choose with our next lease whether to go with furnished or buy everything. (Not sure if anyone has done a comparative analysis of the real cost of setting up an apartment from scratch?)

 

In regard to health insurance, it is very much a case that everyone's situation is different depending on where they are from, their age, health etc. We ended up seeing a finance and insurance broker here in Leipzig that got us insurance about a third of what we'd previously been quoted. Get a few quotes and advice which can be backed up in writing.

 

The one thing I (am not doubt 99% of forum participants here) would say is that you need to speak German. Whilst most people speak a little english or more, there are no accommodations. Everything is in German. This may seen very obvious, but it's not like Berlin where you can get by with english and the right hair cut. I attend german class 5 mornings a week. I've met lots of expats and german have travelled a lot and thus speak english. I want to be fluent in German eventually, especially as I used to teach cooking classes for 7 years. I've started a Supper Club here too which is a fun way to meet people.

 

Socially, there's lots on in Leipzig. We find a lot of during the week events start quite late, as in 8pm or 9pm where they would start 6pm in Melbourne which is a bit of a challenge with 8:30am classes. There's a big goth scene here as you probably know, but also lots of bars and cafes and restaurants. We've been to many fantastic free classical and jazz events.

 

I write a bit about Leipzig in my blog so feel free to message me if you want the link or have specific questions etc.

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Ok this is a very old thread.  Mom just passed away at the age of 96.  I am once again seriously thinking about making the move.  I am currently requesting insurance quotes.  So hopefully I will know soon.  This is the only issue that could either make me, or break me.  I have checked into short term rentals as well, and come up with a few that allow pets.  So I could take Buddy with me.  I do worry about him, and really would not want to leave him behind.  I don't know if any of you are still on here or not, but in revisiting this post, I just want to thank everyone.  If I do make the move, it will be within the next six months.  If I lived somewhere else, it might be a tougher decision.  I am no fan of where I live in redneck Florida.  I am older than when I originally posted these questions so have had time to do more research, as well as lose just a bit of my sense of adventure.  Watching Mom decline, has gotten me to thinking about my own declining years.  

Have kept up on the rental situation and there still are places within my range.  In any case I plan to go to Leipzig, probably late Spring sometime.  In the mean time, I will make the decision whether it is just a visit or a move.  Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback.

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Kenny,

I can tell you that at your age (you are 3 years older than me and I've been here 7 years) Bafin approved German insurance will cost you a lot more than 300€.  You will have to check with only the private insurance companies since I doubt that you can get into one of the "public" ones.  Check with some of the independent insurance representatives on TT such as Starshollow, etc.  Other people on here may be able to give you more info.  If you want to, you can PM me.

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As @john g. said before, he should be able to get into public health insurance: 

On 24/01/2014, 20:23:37, john g. said:

 

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

 

In his case, the relevant law would be §5 Absatz 1 Nr. 13 Buchstabe b SGB V:

§ 5 Versicherungspflicht

(1) Versicherungspflichtig sind
13.
Personen, die keinen anderweitigen Anspruch auf Absicherung im Krankheitsfall haben und
a.)
zuletzt gesetzlich krankenversichert waren oder
b.)
bisher nicht gesetzlich oder privat krankenversichert waren, es sei denn, dass sie zu den in Absatz 5 oder den in § 6 Abs. 1 oder 2 genannten Personen gehören oder bei Ausübung ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit im Inland gehört hätten.

the one for German citizens who have never had health insurance in Germany, but only if they weren't self-employed in the country they came from (hint, nudge: they will only know that you were self-employed if you tell them...).

 

Details in (though that case was about Buchstabe a, the rest applies to Kenny):

 

Regarding how much public health insurance would cost @kenny1948, it will be a percentage of his total worldwide income, which he said would be around 1,400€ a month.

 

It's 2.8%  for public nursing insurance rate for non-parents (if Kenny ever had a child it would be 2.55% but he would need to show that child's birth certificate - yes I read he's gay, but still), which is the same for all public health insurers.

 

The rate for public health insurance for income that is not a social security pension is 14.6% + Zusatzbeitrag. The Zusatzbeitrag differs across public health insurances, you can look up the Zusatzbeiträge for all of them here: http://www.zusatzbeitrag-2017.de/

 

Let's sum this up for the two most likely candidates:

  • if he joins AOK Plus (this is the local branch of the default health insurance): ([14.6% + 0.6%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 18% * 1,400€ = 0.18 * 1,400€ = 252€ per month
  • if he joins Techniker Krankenkasse (they have the advantage that they speak English): ([14.6% + 1.0%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 18.4% * 1,400€ = 0.184 * 1,400€ = 257.60€ per month

 

If, on the other hand that 1,400€ income is from a social security pension, since the basic health insurance contribution on social security pensions is only 7.9% he would pay less for public health insurance:

  • if he joins AOK Plus (this is the local branch of the default health insurance): ([7.9% + 0.6%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 11.3% * 1,400€ = 0.113 * 1,400€ = 158.20€ per month
  • if he joins Techniker Krankenkasse (they have the advantage that they speak English): ([7.9% + 1.0%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 11.7% * 1,400€ = 0.117 * 1,400€ = 163.80€ per month

 

If his income is a mix of both, he will pay the lower rate on the social security pension and the higher rate on his other income.

 

If the Krankenkasse (= public health insurer) starts being difficult about taking him, as far as I remember @Starshollow knows a lawyer who for a fee of around a 300€ will make them follow the law.

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that is correct - I would recommend a "Versicherungsberater", i.e. an insurance consultant who has legal rights like an attorney. He can help getting into the public health insurance...

 

Cheerio

 

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On 1/15/2017, 8:34:22, PandaMunich said:

As @john g. said before, he should be able to get into public health insurance: 

 

In his case, the relevant law would be §5 Absatz 1 Nr. 13 Buchstabe b SGB V:

§ 5 Versicherungspflicht

(1) Versicherungspflichtig sind
13.
Personen, die keinen anderweitigen Anspruch auf Absicherung im Krankheitsfall haben und
a.)
zuletzt gesetzlich krankenversichert waren oder
b.)
bisher nicht gesetzlich oder privat krankenversichert waren, es sei denn, dass sie zu den in Absatz 5 oder den in § 6 Abs. 1 oder 2 genannten Personen gehören oder bei Ausübung ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit im Inland gehört hätten.

the one for German citizens who have never had health insurance in Germany, but only if they weren't self-employed in the country they came from (hint, nudge: they will only know that you were self-employed if you tell them...).

 

Details in (though that case was about Buchstabe a, the rest applies to Kenny):


 

Let's sum this up for the two most likely candidates:

  • if he joins AOK Plus (this is the local branch of the default health insurance): ([14.6% + 0.6%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 18% * 1,400€ = 0.18 * 1,400€ = 252€ per month
  • if he joins Techniker Krankenkasse (they have the advantage that they speak English): ([14.6% + 1.0%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 18.4% * 1,400€ = 0.184 * 1,400€ = 257.60€ per month

 

If, on the other hand that 1,400€ income is from a social security pension, since the basic health insurance contribution on social security pensions is only 7.9% he would pay less for public health insurance:

  • if he joins AOK Plus (this is the local branch of the default health insurance): ([7.9% + 0.6%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 11.3% * 1,400€ = 0.113 * 1,400€ = 158.20€ per month
  • if he joins Techniker Krankenkasse (they have the advantage that they speak English): ([7.9% + 1.0%] + 2.8%) * 1,400€ = 11.7% * 1,400€ = 0.117 * 1,400€ = 163.80€ per month

 

If his income is a mix of both, he will pay the lower rate on the social security pension and the higher rate on his other income.

 

If the Krankenkasse (= public health insurer) starts being difficult about taking him, as far as I remember @Starshollow knows a lawyer who for a fee of around a 300€ will make them follow the law.

 

On 1/15/2017, 8:34:22, PandaMunich said:

 

Thank you Panda Munich!

I believe what you have posted here, is what I was told a few years ago ( I wish I kept old e'mails ).  I had been told it would be roughly 199 Euro a month because my income is based on social security.  I also have savings, and a home that I own outright, and would sell.  I'm not sure just how they take that into account.  Thank you very much for the information.  I haven't been back here till now, but will check out the links you provided.  I haven't heard back yet from the agent in Berlin.  She said I would be hearing from her in a few weeks with some options, that was about two weeks ago.  So far I haven't heard back from her.  In any event I have been making my plans for a two week stay in early May.   I have my tickets and apartment reservation already.  Unfortunately I have a return ticket, and the apartment I leased does not allow pets.  So I would have to return for Buddy and to tie up any loose ends here.  I haven't decided as yet to put my house up for sale.  Once I do, there will be no turning back.  Thanks for the input from all of you.

Kenny

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Back to Panda Munich,

 

I had quoted 1,400 euro as my budget.  That could be a little more or a little less.   That is not my actual income.  That was what I figured I had to spend, coming from both my social security and the rest from savings.  Assuming I live another twenty years. :(

I'm not sure if Germany considers savings as income.  Here in the States it is no not.  When I was corresponding with the agent a few years back I had told her exactly what my monthly social security amount was.  So I think that was what she was going by.  She actually corresponded with me via phone from Berlin.

 

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Your income is what you take in per year:

  • social security pension
  • interest income
  • dividend income
  • rent from a house you have let
  • and so on

Using up your savings is not income.

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On 1/31/2017, 3:08:47, PandaMunich said:

Your income is what you take in per year:

  • social security pension
  • interest income
  • dividend income
  • rent from a house you have let
  • and so on

Using up your savings is not income.

 

So in other words my income would be just what I collect from Social Security.  Would they take into account American Social Security?  Therein lies the rub.  I don't know if I qualify.  Yes I am a German citizen, but no I have no German income, nor did I pay into the system.

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Then your yearly income, based on which your public health contribution will be calculated, is:

 

12 * 908$, converted into €

 + any interest income you may have from investing the money from the sale of your US home and car. Of course, with interest being near 0%, that won't amount to much.

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5 minutes ago, PandaMunich said:

Then your yearly income, based on which your public health contribution will be calculated, is:

 

12 * 908$, converted into €

 + any interest income you may have from investing the money from the sale of your US home and car. Of course, with interest being near 0%, that won't amount to much.

 

Thanks for that quick reply.  By now you've seen I edited my response.:unsure:

Where my confusion comes in.  Is, would I qualify.  Being that my only source of income is from American Social Security? --- and once again you answered that.  DUH!

 

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As I already told, you qualify for German public health insurance since you have German citizenship.

Officially, your contribution will be around 11.3% * 908 USD = 11.3% * 908 USD * 0.94€/USD = 96.45€ a month

 

But they may say that you have to pay at least the minimum contribution for voluntary members, which is around 185€ a month.

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