Almost a year has gone by since my last post, the most discouraging article I have written so far but also a very real endeavour. What happened since then? Did my struggle to find a flat in Munich proved fruitless? Did I end up moving somewhere else? Well, I kind of ended up cheating the system a little. Here is the story of how I ended up living in Ottobrunn (a commuter town near Munich).
After a month or so of actively looking for flats and getting nowhere, we decided to hire a private agent to do the job for us and use her contacts and influences. It was not cheap, but thankfully we had some money on the side and could afford it. She would apply for flats in our name and get us visits, while privately we didn’t get many visits, as soon as a professional agent took care of it, we were getting flat visits almost daily. That however was just the first step, our combined salaries back in October/November of last year were not the greatest. We just arrived to the city so we both (my partner and I) had temporary contracts, and we were moving with 2 cats. Those factors did not help at all and we were not willing to break up our little family and move in without the cats. So we had to compromise, the agent told us, compromising in location was the best option for us to get a flat as quickly as possible. It was like this that we started getting visits outside the city, and landlords started to give positive feedback and show interest.
One of the first flats I visited with the agent, stood out to me for some reason. It was filled with ugly and outdated furniture and even had carpet in the bathroom (carpet! in the bathroom!), but for some reason, I saw a lot of potential in it. Although I got frustrated with our agent several times because I felt powerless and with no control over the situation nor the negotiations, she made a great effort into convincing the agent working for that place to take us. A couple of days (that felt like months) later, we got a yes for that flat, and we had to give a quick answer since other people showed interest in it too. We were starting to get confident that maybe another flat in the city would be available for us but we had to act fast and considering how the housing market is in Munich, we had to take it. Ugly furniture, carpet, and all.
Another thing to know is that since the demand is so high and the offer so scarce, landlords can impose basically anything on you because well, if you say no, there are like 20 other people that would be happy to take it. We had to sign a 2 year contract (2 years!) and accept that all the (old hideous) furniture in the flat should stay. Luckily the place came with a storage room in the building’s basement and we moved everything we didn’t want down there. The (very ugly) sofa was impossible to get out the door though so we have it now on the balcony (like real hipsters). The very first thing I did once we got the keys was ripping off that horrible carpet from the bathroom (why? oh why!).
We managed to turn the decor around and we are very proud of our flat now. It feels like a huge upgrade from the one we had back in the UK (don’t get me started on the quality of flats there) and our cats love it too.
The commute to work is not that big of a deal and getting to Munich’s city centre by public transport only takes about 30 minutes. The flat also came with a garage so we can now have our car (we didn’t have it in the UK) and do weekend trips to the amazing Alps or go to the stadium to watch a football match.
Was it then worth it to move to Munich? Absolutely. The stress and the pain of the first months here was nothing compared to how our quality of life has improved.
Now that I am back to the blog, there will be more chapters to the “Moving to Munich” category where I promise I won’t be talking about real estate anymore and I will go through all the things I’ve discovered, what’s different, what’s a shock to me, what’s better, and of course, where to go when visiting.
I am so glad to be back!