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House and flat hunting

Finding a comfortable home in the city.

A real estate agent (Immobilienmakler) can assist you in finding a place to live. Agents usually charge fees of 2-3 months' rent. The client / tenant and the owner / landlord each pay half of the brokerage fee. It is important to understand the agent's conditions before signing a contract. It is common practice for a contract to be drawn up between client and agent authorizing the latter to collect this amount if housing is found through his/her help.

The local newspapers (such as the "General-Anzeiger Bonn"), especially the Saturday-Sunday and Wednesday editions are a good source for housing put on the market directly by the owner. Available apartments and houses may also be found online with the local newspapers or Germany-wide at (opens in a new tab) or (opens in a new tab). Houses that are for sale are also advertised through the local banks. 

If you are looking at a new place, please note that a 2-room flat (2-Zimmer-Wohnung) in Germany is considered a flat with a bathroom, a kitchen, corridors and just two additional rooms. It does not mean the flat consists of two bedrooms and a living room. Usually there will be no fitted kitchen. There may be an option to buy it for a discount from the previous owner, or you will have to purchase your own.

When figuring the future rent, you should be aware of the difference between „Warmmiete“ and „Kaltmiete“. The so-called „Kaltmiete“ is merely the basic rent the landlord charges for the flat. In addition to that, the „Warmmiete“ contains the cost for heating, water and electricity. 

Learn more at the special accomodation  glossary.