Place to Live

We are looking for a place to live here in Germany.  This is tough!  We have had many ups and downs with this process and we still don't have a place to live.  What we have learned so far:

  • Oil Tanks - Some homes have these huge oil tanks in the basements.  The problem is that some of them smell like petroleum and those fumes are not healthy!  In one house, the oil tank was in a separate shed away from the living space (good news!); however, the washing machine was in the same room.  The washing machine was so close to the oil tank that if I bent over to get laundry out... my butt would bump into the oil tank.  PLUS - I would really enjoy getting all bundled up, trudging through ice and snow, carrying laundry in negative 20 degree Celcius weather  (very sarcastic!).  Basically, I would never do laundry :)
  • Smoking - I refuse to move into a home that smells like an ash tray or risk living above / next to someone who is smoking.  Since there is no central air conditioning, we live with our windows open in the summer.  The last thing I want is to breath second hand smoke for 3 - 5 years.
  • Interesting Décor - This isn't a deal breaker for any of the homes we have seen, but it is funny what we see here in Germany.  Check out this bathroom below!
  • Master Bathrooms - There aren't any!  It isn't a deal breaker, but in the US it seems pretty standard that at least one bedroom is connected directly to the bathroom so you don't have to go out into the hallway. 
  • Kitchen - Mirrors - Lighting - Germans take it ALL when they move out of a rental. I don't just mean the kitchen appliances are gone.... the whole kitchen is EMPTY.  When you move into a rental unit you have to buy the ENTIRE kitchen - counter, cabinets, oven, stove, fridge, everything!  It can cost you around $5,000 dollars to buy a kitchen (or more depending on the size of the kitchen!).  When you walk into a place to rent here in Germany - you can expect to find a completely empty room with exposed wires.  Same thing in the bathroom for the light fixtures, shelves, and mirrors.  This might explain why kitchens and bathrooms are super small here.  At least they leave the toilet.

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