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Finding a short term room in Berlin

Berlin’s housing situation is, interesting. I’ve always had great success finding a place to stay short term. Rather than keep repeating this to new arrivals, I’m writing it up so I can just link to this post. 🙂

The process:

  • Go to wg-gesucht and create a filter with your search criteria.
  • Refresh that search 3+ times per day.
  • If there is a phone number, call immediately.

    • Ideally you want to be the first person to call, which means calling within an hour or two of the ad being posted.
    • Ask if you can come over to see the room immediately.
    • Most importantly, ask if you can bring cash.
  • If there is no phone number, send a message.

    • One sentence is fine, 90% won’t even reply.
    • Give your phone number and ask for theirs to call about the ad.
    • If they reply, follow the phone process above.

Some notes:

  • Ads without pictures are better. They get less responses, you have a higher chance of winning.
  • Only apply this process max 3 days before you want to move in.

The housing situation in Berlin is nuts. Competition for rooms is ferocious. Many people leave town last minute, are gone for a month or two, and are happy to sublet their room. They want the deal closed as easily and quickly as possible.

Background

It’s routine to post an ad for an “open viewing” and have 60 people show up, for one room. That’s normal. It’s common for people to advertise rooms three months in advance, plan to meet a dozen people, and only decide after 6 or 8 weeks. I’ve heard stories of very inoffensive people who went to a dozen viewings and were not offered any of the rooms.

This process has worked flawlessly for me every time I applied it. I filter by the locations I want, short term, and that’s it. If the room is warm, has internet, and there’s a bathroom, I really don’t care about anything else. This is a short term let, not your dream home. It’s only a month or two.

Posted on: October 19, 2018
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