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Relocating to Berlin- advice appreciated

(6 Posts)
Wanderlust85 Wed 24-Jan-18 22:09:58

Hello. I'm new to mumsnet and have never posted on a forum before so apologies if I'm too wordy!

For a number of personal reasons my partner and I have been thinking about our life and how we want to spend our time with our son (currently 2), and we have decided to put our full time careers on hold so we can time together as a family, making memories etc. We both love Berlin and have many happy memories here, as well as hoping to build on the rather basic German we know- so we are trying to simply use our savings and move to Berlin for some time. By renting out our home, using savings etc we are hoping to be able not to work for approx a year- which would give us time to settle, attend further German classes, secure employment and just enjoy this time with our son.

However- it is proving extremely difficult to secure an apartment in Berlin. Due to the whole schufe issue, we have decided to go down the route of looking for fully furnished places on sites like SpotaHome/ homelike etc and even contacted an extortionately priced relocation service. However- it seems we cannot secure an apartment til a few weeks before we go (I'd prefer to plan ahead as much as possible), even though we have evidence of savings, landlords are asking for wage slips (not sure why if they'll be from a different country), and one company said that we had to have proof that we would have a monthly income that was three times the amount of the rent!! We have worked incredibly hard and saved so so much, we're not wanting anything fancy as long as the area is ok- but it seems so hard to get anywhere. It feels impossible to get the paperwork that landlords want.

We don't know what to do to move forwards- any advice would help?
Sorry for the essay sad

Eilasor Wed 24-Jan-18 22:23:24

Unfortunately, I have no advice for you as I ended up having to rent a cheap hotel room for almost a month before I managed to secure an apartment in Berlin. It's notoriously difficult when you don't speak German, so I can't imagine how hard it would be without guaranteed income as well!

I hope someone comes along with lots of practical advice for you soon, OP, as both Berlin and Germany as a whole are such wonderful places to live. Wish you all the best with it and hope you find a solution.

Wanderlust85 Wed 24-Jan-18 23:28:32

Aw Thank you! Gosh sounds like everyone struggles to find somewhere- of it was just the two of us I'd consider a cheap hotel room but isn't feasible with a toddler... will keep exploring our options for now I guess & hope for a solution!

Welshcake77 Thu 25-Jan-18 18:54:38

Are you able to go over for say two weeks, stay in an Airbnb and try and speak face to face with some rental agencies in that time? It might be easier to explore all options that way. Also scout out areas you’d like to live in? Maybe make an appointment with a bank to find out if there are any ways to provide a Bürgschaft if you have all your savings with them, or indeed how much you’d need to have in savings to do something like that. Who do you bank with in the Uk? Ask if they have any cooperations with a German bank maybe as a starting point.
Also there are a couple of really good Facebook pages for expat families (in all shapes and forms!) for the area I am in so maybe have a look for a Berlin based one and ask some questions there.
Also have a look on can be a bit unfriendly there sometimes but there is also lots of info in old posts and you can of course ask new questions.

And just to put this out might want to reconsider your plan for neither of you to work and at least try to line something up for one of you if there are no other ways of proving financial security, at least to get yourselves settled (I think it would be worth it, Germany is a great place to live and bring up children!).
Good luck, hope it works out for you.

Wanderlust85 Thu 25-Jan-18 20:41:42

Thank you so much- really helpful! Funnily enough my partner was looking at air bnbs online today so I think that's the route we'll try first! In terms of areas I think we were hoping for prenzlauer berg as everyone seems to say it's best for young families- however we're more than happy to broaden this if anyone will have us lol. We have a friend in Friedrichshain so my partner will be going over at some point and scouting area in a bit more depth. Face to face contact may help explain things a bit more. Good idea about the bank, we're with Santander here.

Ha yes, I had a look on Toytown and was a bit put off by how nasty & negative some of the replies were. Will have a look over some of the older posts again.

In terms of work, I'm a clinical/neuro psychologist so I'd have to offer private, English speaking therapy in Berlin- I've been in touch with some psychologists there but this kind of work wouldn't be regular contracted hours (at least initially until i built up regular so I'm not sure landlords would be happy with that either? Fingers crossed for the face-to-face approach or Air bnb! X

Wanderlust85 Fri 09-Feb-18 17:29:57

So I think we may be in luck with Wunderflats! Keep everything crossed for us x

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