When apartment hunting in Germany, the phrase, “Everything but the kitchen sink” takes on a whole new meaning — a literal one.
Apartments can come without kitchens. No stove, oven, no fridge — and no sink. For many first-time apartment hunters in Germany, this comes as shock. It certainly did for me..
It was one of the things that became a deal-breaker in my hunt to rent an unfurnished apartment. I was willing to “rent” the kitchen from the landlord — that is, pay a little more every month to use the equipment already in there. I was willing to “buy” the kitchen off the previous tenant — a move in their interest too, since they wouldn’t have to rip out their cupboards and cabinets when they left. I just didn’t want to have to measure, select my fittings, order them, wait for delivery, install them and then deal with the unavoidable outcome that something wouldn’t fit right — and all just to be able to make a hot meal weeks after moving in!
Oh, and you may have to live in the dark at first, too, since unfurnished flats often lack light fixtures and bulbs.
But when it comes to moving, I learned, Germans are prepared to be hands-on: According to Deutsche Post, 54% of Germans who move do some kind of renovation or fixing up of their new place. This readiness to change the space was evident during group viewings, when I felt exposed as the newbie: Everyone but me seemed to come equipped with a long, foldable meterstick. They used it to measure…