Most foreigners moving to Berlin will rely on the services of estate agents to find a comfortable place to live. Regardless of if you plan to buy a property or are looking for a decent place to rent, your first port of call may be an estate agent and realtor.
A sampling of leading estate agents in Berlin
Here is a non-exhaustive list of reputable agents who offer professional services in Berlin:
Engel & Völkers
Dr. Garlichs Immobilien
Koch & Friends
FARAWAYHOME (also short-term rentals)
Home to Home (furnished rental apartments)
coming home (furnished rental apartments)
One website worth not missing is Germany’s largest online portal for buying and renting apartments called immobilienscout24.de. It has over 3 million offerings listed and claims that more than 80 million viewers visited the website in 2017. The website is only available in German but with any of the many online translation tools available, it’s best to first familiarize yourself with a few terms such as “Kaufen = Buy” / “Mieten = Rent” / “Ort = City”, and then gather the facts you need to narrow down your listings that fit your requirements.
The old and the new – finding the right abode
Be aware that Berlin offers a true hodgepodge of living quarters. Most of the city’s houses and apartment buildings were destroyed in air raids towards the end of World War II. In the aftermath of the war, many buildings were erected quickly and on the cheap. Although many beautiful pre-war buildings with high-ceilinged rooms and stately entrance portals remain and astound the visitor, don’t expect modern amenities in these. Despite their charm, you might have to walk several stories on an old flight of stairs to reach your apartment or end up living in an unbearably hot environment during the summer months with high heating costs in winter due to bad insulation.
Since the beginning of this millennium, many new real estate projects have been initiated. Although in German, it’s worth checking out the website Neubaukompass on new development projects which will give you a good impression of what’s going on regarding newly built apartments based on the many photos and facts the website provides.
Relocation contacts in Berlin
For those of you who are in the fortuitous position of working for a company that covers all expenses of moving to Berlin, these relocation services may be worth reviewing:
In our next blog episode, we’ll walk you through some tips that will provide guidance in your quest to find the best Berlin abode.