Finding a Place to Live
Finding a place on your own
The cheapest and most common way of finding a place is through the local newspaper, the Göttinger Tageblatt, or the online portals (see links below). Rentals appear under the heading "Immobilienmarkt" in the Wednesday and Saturday editions. Listings usually clearly indicate whether the apartment is being offered directly by the owners or by a real estate agent (for an explanation of newspaper listings and abbreviations see the PDF document in the right box). There are also online ads available at www.goettiger-tageblatt.de (see the "Anzeigen suchen" column, click on "Immobilien", which means "real estate", but also includes places for rent).
Another way is to make use of a real estate agent, called an Immobilienmakler or Wohnungsmakler. This is usually expensive though – when a Makler succeeds in finding a place for you, i.e. when you sign the rental contract, he or she is entitled to charge you a fee. 2 months rent (excluding utilities) is the legal limit. Never pay a fee if the Makler's work does not result in the signing of a rental contract!
Paying about one third of net income for housing is common in the major metropolitan areas of Germany. The MPI-BPC owns a limited number of apartments that it rents to its employees. Take a look on the bulletin boards in the department you are working in and/or ask in the institute's administration.
Housing is rented by the square meter (Quadratmeter), not the number of rooms (1 qm = approx. 11.25 square feet). Although announcements will include the number of rooms in an apartment, the rent will be calculated by the total number of square meters. The number of rooms is calculated as follows: If you are looking for an apartment with two bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, you will be looking for a four room (4 Zimmer) home in Germany.
Furnished (möblierte) apartments are rare; most come unfurnished (unmöbliert). If an ad is listed without the term "möbliert" or "möbl.", the apartment will most likely be unfurnished. Unfurnished apartments and houses do not include cabinets, closets, shelves, tables, or even lighting fixtures. More often than not, you may even have to buy your own kitchen fixtures and appliances, including cabinets, fridge, sink, and stove.
Among the most popular apartments in Germany are those located in "Altbau" buildings. These are old style buildings, usually with high ceilings. Some have a lot of character. Despite their age and sometimes faulty plumbing and heating, an Altbau is generally more expensive than a Neubau or "new building".
Finding accomodation in Göttingen
www.wg-gesucht.de (German only)
www.wohnung-mieten.de (German only)
www.immobilienscout24.de (German only)
www.immonet.de (German only)
www.immowelt.de (German only)
Göttinger Tageblatt Accomodation Advertisements (German only)
For abbreviations in housing advertisements, please have a look at our Housing Advertisement Abbreviations (PDF).
How to find furniture in Göttingen
Möbelino – a furniture shop offering second-hand furniture as well as household goods
Neue Arbeit Brockensammlung – this social project includes a furniture shop offering well-preserved (second-hand) furniture