Family needs a flat

33 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

this is not a new topic and everyone knows finding a house / flat in Hamburg is pure hell.

Anyway I decided to post this here because I just want to try all the possibilities.

 

We are  family of 4 living in a small 2,5 room apartment in Hamburg Ottensen.

When our first child (3,5 years old now) was born we thought we could deal with the half room as a child room for the first years and slowly start looking for something bigger.

Suddenly we were expecting a second son. When we discovered he was on the way we immediately started looking more urgently for a bigger place. We are looking for 1,5 years with no success and becoming increasingly frustrated and depressed to a point that we are already thinking to leave Germany due to this situation.

We tried everything: online portals, newspapers, asking friends, asking neighbors, panflets on the street, our own ads on newspapers, ebay kleinanzeige... nothing works. After this amount of time one starts thinking that it is not difficult but simply impossible to find something.

 

So I decided to post it here. If anyone knows of a vacant apartment with at least 3.5 rooms / 85-90m2, I would be very grateful if you could send me a PM.

I know a lot of people are looking for the same thing and if not, have friends who are, but it's definitely worth a shot in the dark.

We could afford up to 1600,- (warm) rent and are looking for something on the west side (Altona / Eimsbüttel / Bahrenfeld or nearby...) due to the fact that our kids are in kindergarten in Ottensen and we both work on this side of town.

 

I am looking forward to any tips / advices / hints ;)

 

Thank you all in advance!

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3 hours ago, sombra said:

We could afford up to 1600,- (warm) rent and are looking for something on the west side (Altona / Eimsbüttel / Bahrenfeld or nearby...) due to the fact that our kids are in kindergarten in Ottensen and we both work on this side of town.

 

You need to open up your search criteria.  Its too narrow.

I suggest looking further out to the North / North-West & forget being tied to that Kindergarten.

 

About 33 years ago we were living in a  2-room small flat in the Altstadt of Wedel.  Then child #1 was on the way my wife started house seaching.  A house in Wedel was never going to be affordable.  House project shelved whilst the 9-mth project was completed then she started search again.  We finally found a semi-detached house on the North-West side of Pinneberg.  Quiet (apart from early morning aircraft) but we needed 2 cars.

 

We still in same house.  Kid #1 lives South of the river; Kid #2 (29) still lives here.  Also 2 dogs (Yorkies).

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Searching for a flat matching your criteria (I entered cold rent of €1300) within 20 km from Hamburg comes up with 53 offers: So maybe it would be good enough to leave Hamburg, not Germany. https://www.immobilienscout24.de/Suche/radius/wohnung-mieten?centerofsearchaddress=Hamburg;;;1276006001;Hamburg;&numberofrooms=3.5-&price=-1300.0&livingspace=85.0-&pricetype=rentpermonth&geocoordinates=53.55384;9.99165;20.0&enteredFrom=one_step_search

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Maybe not leave Germany, but leave Hamburg? I might try Braunschweig, lots of jobs there, Kassel or Bremen.

 

Or Hamburg-Bullenhausen, I read that flats there were much less sought-after because it is just a bit further. Might be a good place to stay for years with the children, better even than very busy Ottensen.

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5 hours ago, HEM said:

 Quiet (apart from early morning aircraft) but we needed 2 cars.


Thank you for sharing your experience. Owning cars is something we were trying to avoid, as we are not the richest people and owning two cars + cost of rent + stress of driving in the city would be in our view the same as paying a bit more and live more central.

 

2 hours ago, Fietsrad said:

Maybe not leave Germany, but leave Hamburg? I might try Braunschweig, lots of jobs there, Kassel or Bremen.

Yes, that is one other possibility we have on top of the table.
 

2 hours ago, jeba said:

Searching for a flat matching your criteria (I entered cold rent of €1300) within 20 km from Hamburg comes up with 53 offers: So maybe it would be good enough to leave Hamburg, not Germany. https://www.immobilienscout24.de/Suche/radius/wohnung-mieten?centerofsearchaddress=Hamburg;;;1276006001;Hamburg;&numberofrooms=3.5-&price=-1300.0&livingspace=85.0-&pricetype=rentpermonth&geocoordinates=53.55384;9.99165;20.0&enteredFrom=one_step_search

 

The online offers we also see them. Unfortunatelly there is a big difference between applying to an offer and then to be invited for a “wohnungbesichtigung” and finally to be the one that receives the flat from between 100 interested people.

We even have a “premium” immobilienscout account with 100% profile, schufa-included, earnings and so on. We were initially searching on a wider radius but having to go to a 20km house visit that we are not sure we will receive, always during work hours, where we both have to be present and sometimes matches the time when the children have to be picked up from kindergarten proves difficult. We don’t have cars or grandparents to help us with this logistic.

That is why we were trying to find something closer to were we already live - does not need to be ottensen because we know that is simply impossible - but where we do not need to take a one day holiday just to be able to travel to a wohnungbesichtigung. Unfortunately due to covid also all those areas outside of hamburg are very well sought after.

 

What I already understood after searching for all this time and speaking with many people is that flats are actually passed through connections, like someone that knows the neighbor of someone and so on or that is moving out and needs to find quickly other occupants. If that is the case with someone around here, please PM 😁


Thank you all for your replies.


 

 

 

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The rent quoted in Hamburg is so high. In a smaller Grossstadt you might earn much less, but with much lower rent (and lower other costs) you would be better off after. But you would earn fewer Rentenpunkte.

 

Hamburg seems much too big, Oldenburg/O or Rostock or Goettingen could be other alternatives, with a university and everything you need, plenty going on. I should have recommended Leipzig twenty years ago but that is a boom town now, likewise Potsdam.

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41 minutes ago, Fietsrad said:

The rent quoted in Hamburg is so high. In a smaller Grossstadt you might earn much less, but with much lower rent (and lower other costs) you would be better off after. But you would earn fewer Rentenpunkte.

 

You would earn less pension but if you continue to live where housing is cheap, you will not need as much pension.  Then again, you could plan to get better pension and then move to a cheaper area when you retire.

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1 hour ago, sombra said:

What I already understood after searching for all this time and speaking with many people is that flats are actually passed through connections, like someone that knows the neighbor of someone and so on or that is moving out and needs to find quickly other occupants.

 

Vitamin B is most definitely the best way to find a place in Germany. Posting here is a good first step. I recommend that you also mention to all your colleagues as well that you are looking for new accommodation (locals usually have a larger network). 

 

Good luck!

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I´d also try to pin notices to the pinboards of supermarkets in areas you´re interested in. You´ll have to monitor though when they´ll be taken down by the staff (usually every 2-4 weeks).

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11 minutes ago, jeba said:

I´d also try to pin notices to the pinboards of supermarkets in areas you´re interested in. You´ll have to monitor though when they´ll be taken down by the staff (usually every 2-4 weeks).

 That is a good idea. Still did not try that option.

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You could also try local Facebook groups. Instagram too. Flyers in supermarkets, post office etc.  Maybe there are local groups for people of your nationality. Church groups too if appropriate. Parent groups, kindergarten etc. You could try asking the Gemeinde. I’ve also seen eBay Kleinanzeigen ads offering a reward for rental leads…usually between 300-1000€. I’ve no idea how well this works.

 

You can get lucky…..we tried so many ways to find a house. We did get lucky when someone remembered that we were searching. Deal done within hours!

 

All the best. 

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oh boy, I feel your pain...

 

Christian Lindner (FDP) comes to mind, during/before the last election. 

he said (and got a shitstorm in response) "if you're having a hard time finding a place to rent, you should be looking to buy".

 

Just consider that one of your options. Currently, with interest rates around 1.2% on mortgage loans and landlords charging above 3.5% return on investment for rent, you might be better off just buying.

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18 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

oh boy, I feel your pain...

 

Christian Lindner (FDP) comes to mind, during/before the last election. 

he said (and got a shitstorm in response) "if you're having a hard time finding a place to rent, you should be looking to buy".

 

Just consider that one of your options. Currently, with interest rates around 1.2% on mortgage loans and landlords charging above 3.5% return on investment for rent, you might be better off just buying.

 

Landlords are not charging above 3.5% return in any major or even minor German city with current prices being as they are. It’s more like 2 to maybe 2.5% on a good day. I recently rented one of my properties at 2.4% and that’s with a conservative evaluation of the place‘s worth.

 

Besides, given what he has posted about his financial situation, it’s a bit mean to suggest he can buy anything family friendly instead of renting. I understand that you mean well, but the math doesn’t add up.

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43 minutes ago, mtbiking said:

 

Besides, given what he has posted about his financial situation, it’s a bit mean to suggest he can buy anything family friendly instead of renting. I understand that you mean well, but the math doesn’t add up.

 

well - even the math adds up, within the parameters given 

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/expose/130362519

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57 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

oh boy, I feel your pain...

 

Christian Lindner (FDP) comes to mind, during/before the last election. 

he said (and got a shitstorm in response) "if you're having a hard time finding a place to rent, you should be looking to buy".

 

Just consider that one of your options. Currently, with interest rates around 1.2% on mortgage loans and landlords charging above 3.5% return on investment for rent, you might be better off just buying.

I can’t imagine that finding property to buy is any easier than finding a rental?

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1 minute ago, emkay said:

I can’t imagine that finding property to buy is any easier that finding a rental?

 

define "easy". 

 

In my personal (recent) experience most people are looking to rent, so you compete with 50 applicants for every rental place - while you compete with maybe 3 or 4 for a purchase.

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18 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

 

define "easy". 

 

In my personal (recent) experience most people are looking to rent, so you compete with 50 applicants for every rental place - while you compete with maybe 3 or 4 for a purchase.

Just out of interest…if the OP suggests a 1600€ (warm) monthly affordability, would buying such as the link you posted at 490,000€ be affordable? What percentage deposit would be necessary to make it affordable? Considering also potential Makler charges and Grundbuch costs?

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15 minutes ago, emkay said:

Just out of interest…if the OP suggests a 1600€ (warm) monthly affordability, would buying such as the link you posted at 490,000€ be affordable even with a 10-20% deposit? Considering also potential Makler charges and Grundbuch costs?


No, it’s not affordable, unless you’re essentially on an interest only loan. A place that costs €490,000 is going to be rented for around €1000 or something anyway. Read the description: Verkehrsgünstig is the code word for “you’ll live on top of at least one highway”.

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