banana bread and coffee to lift my spirits after a long morning of house hunting.
Everyone says how difficult it is to find a flat in Hamburg.
“It took me 5 months.”
“There are lines of 40 people at showings.”
“You need to sell yourself.”
But they said that about Frankfurt.
I learned I need to put together a packet to take with me to viewings: credit score, last 3 paychecks, copy of passport, letter from previous landlord (Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung- yes this is the actual word for landlord approval letter), and, if you want to stand out, an “about me” cover page indicating why you’d be the perfect tenant (I didn’t write mine in German yet, but will probably tackle that task this weekend).
I feel like I’m applying for jobs all over again, and at the same time applying to be Germany’s next top model.
The thought of fighting for a place to live makes me exhausted.
I’ve visited 4 different flats, among dozens of other people looking at the same time, each with their “packets”.
I’ve emailed over 20 listings with no response, or auto-replies noting the high amount of applicants, or replies that the flat is already gone, or replies that were 100% fake: please transfer money first, then we will show you the flat.
Flats that were previously on my “possiblity” list have quickly moved up to “please take me”.
I start to think if I’m lucky enough to find something – anything – then I should take it.
But then I use logic and a little bit of putting it out to the universe.
I know I’ll find an apartment – when the right one comes along.
And honestly, of the places I visited, none were quite right anyway.
The first place was good. It checked off more pros than cons. It would have been an acceptable place to live. But it just didn’t feel like home. And that trumped the pro/con list.
When I went to the second place, I didn’t see a coffee shop that looked like it could be “my” place. As I climbed the 5 flights of stairs, I imagined doing it every day. With groceries.
But when I got to the flat, the landlord was holding 11 application packets. And I thought “this place must be great, I’ve got to apply too!” (When really it wasn’t great).
I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I might not have my home for a few months.
And that’s ok.