Best Strategy for Furnishing Your Home in Germany

Surprising facts about apartments in Germany

When people move to Germany, they will find some surprising facts about apartments in Germany.

Finding a furnished apartment in Germany is more often than not, a rather difficult task, as opposed to other popular expatriate locations such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, where furnished apartments are rather popular. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Germans just don’t tend to move around as much, and when they do change residence, they usually bring all their furniture along with them. 

As the number of expats in Germany increases, so does the demand for safe, affordable housing.  Moving to a whole new country can be rather scary in itself. In addition to having to learn the language, and get used to the new society on a whole, expats want to feel safe while doing so. A part of this safety involves living in a more high-end neighborhood where one is able to feel a sense of security while growing familiar with the German culture.  However, prices for these homes are skyrocketing in German expat destinations such as Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg or Leipzig and the construction industry isn’t quite able to keep up in those cities.

Thing you didn’t know about renting in Germany:

·     Furnished apartments are few and far between. There really just aren’t that many of them.

·     Germans may get preference.Because of the tendency of Germans to live in the same residence for year and years to come, landlords may prefer to rent to German residents as opposed to expats regardless of their ability to pay higher prices. 

·     Perhaps you’ve never really considered your kitchen a part of your furniture. Moving to Germany will change your vision on what furniture really entails, as unfurnished apartments often come without a fitted kitchen in place.

·     Boarding houses may be exceedingly costly.

Regardless of the high costs associated with boarding houses, it is a promising second option for expats looking to rent a living space in Germany. Some boarding houses run similar to bed and breakfasts where a meal is provided for the residents. These accommodations are often rented out by landlords for either a short-term stay or a longer period of time, weeks, months or even years. Boarding houses usually come furnished and thus diminishes the task of having to self furnish.

However, if you are looking to call Germany your home for a year or more, then looking into an accommodation where you have the flexibility to decorate as you please and add your own personal touch to, then boarding houses may not be your best option.

Expats often purchase furniture in their home country or have their existing furniture shipped to Germany. This can be a time consuming process and one that is more on the expensive side. It may, however,be cheaper than purchasing high quality furniture that suits your style in Germany. A great way to be comfortable and not have to live in an empty apartment is to rent your furniture for the duration it takes for your shipping to arrive.

If you’re planning to ship your own furniture from home to Germany, you can give yourself a bit of insurance and peace of mind by arranging for short-term furniture and appliance rentals while waiting for your own to arrive.  Or, you may decide that it makes the best sense to leave your own furniture at home, and simply rent high quality items for your home or apartment in Germany as needed.  Either way, you’ve got your bases covered.


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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