Finding an affordable apartment reasonably close to the city center is no easy task in Munich.
Munich is notorious for its high rental prices, and it can take months to find a suitable apartment. When I moved out of my old place, I suggested a new tenant – who was immediately dismissed, because an extra €1,500 commission was able to be earned by using an estate agent (who happened to have the same surname as the Hausverwaltung). So sad.
So how do you go about finding an apartment in Munich? I’ve moved house enough times in Munich, so I think I can offer some friendly advice:
1. If you’re looking for a furnished apartment, Toytown Germany is full of treasures. I found my first apartment on there, and it was reasonably priced, no estate agent commission and beautifully furnished.
2. If you’re prepared to pay commission, Liz Frey and Mr. Lodge are the most well-known companies offering furnished homes for short-term let, and their advisers both speak fluent English. I can’t vouch for either, but I have heard a lot of positive things about them from people in Munich for a short period of time.
3. Looking for a shared flat? WG-Gesucht has hundreds of offers from people with a room spare – mostly without any commission. You can also pop up an ad with a short paragraph about yourself, and people can contact you directly.
4. Immobilienscout24 – the most famous flat-hunting website out there. Used a lot by estate agents, so many apartments are with commission, but you can find the odd gem. A colleague of mine spent hours and hours searching for a flat on there, but nothing came to fruition – and when I was flat-hunting, I viewed a few places, but bear in mind – most of Munich uses Immoscout, and it can be incredibly tough to find something there.
5. Word of mouth – my past two apartments (and my current one, owned by friends) were found by speaking to people. By mentioning to friends that I was looking to move, by checking the intranet at work, by interogating friends about their living plans. I think this is by far the best way to find somewhere suitable, but you need to network, and if you’re new to the city, it’s not easy.
6. Similar to Toytown, Internations has a forum with a section devoted to housing. You need to register, and become a part of the community, but then you can browse the flat offers from other members. It’s also great for networking – they host regular events (at the weekend they hosted an event in the BMW Welt), and if you want to meet international, open-minded people, it’s a cool group.
7. Room for Rent – a friend of mine has just re-opened a lovely design boarding house in Unterhaching, a 20 minute S-Bahn ride from Munich’s city centre. Double rooms including a kitchenette (and all the equipment you’ll need) are available from 1,100 € per month. If you’ve just moved to Munich for a job and are having trouble finding an apartment, this snazzy little place will ease the stress of finding a place to live.
Finding a flat really isn’t easy, and I know many people who have struggled for months to find something relatively central and reasonably priced. Good luck! And if I can help in any way, feel free to send an email my way…
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