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10 things most German banks won’t tell you about your mortgage

Once leading a simple life of little means, some of us are now facing the realities of adulthood. Enough with wasting money on rent, it’s time to buy property to call “home”. The prospect is exciting but the road is long, and the hurdles numerous. Some of them are particularly harsh on foreigners like us; language barriers and lack of local rules/market knowledge for example. It’s just simply not nice to feel ignorant or fooled by the bank mortgage specialist (I’ve been there, i know).

While it is a regulated market, bank will sometimes withhold information that could be beneficial to you. Here is a selection of what you should probably know about before you apply for a mortgage, and after too.

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Picking the right language course for you

In the past few years, there has been an abundance of new ways to learn a new language. Numerous apps are promising to make you speak a new language in only 2 weeks for example. (We all have seen that ad: “A normal guy learned 7 languages in just 1 year!”). This requires a lot of self-discipline, something we all too often lack.

To add a learning routine in a busy lifestyle and committing to it in the long-run is hard to do alone. That’s why a lot of us are still going to a good old-fashion language school. A motivating teacher and a bit of peer-pressure can sure do marvels to get from A1 to B2 in no time. We talked about language in schools in Berlin in this post but i have seen on Facebook groups and forums many questions on how to pick the right one.

I took those questions to one of the best language schools in Berlin to get some answers. This is what Sprachenatelier had to say about it:

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Why you should (maybe) consider Hamburg for your expat life – Part 1

I know what you are thinking…

This guy has a blog called “settle in berlin”and he is telling me that i consider moving to Hamburg? What is wrong with him?

You’ve got me there. It doesn’t make sense. However many of us expats become a bit obsessed with Berlin with time. We all know why; excellent quality of life, top night scene, alternative lifestyles, etc. We all fell in love with the city for good reasons. However sometimes, when you feel passionate about something, it’s hard to see past it. We do visit the country once in a while, especially Hamburg since it’s only 1h45 away with the train  but we might never consider other candidate cities in Germany for our expat life. A special invitation from the city & a personal wish to see past my love for Berlin leads me to do that today.

If you ever felt like you got tired of Berlin, maybe this post will help you reach a decision.

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4 dirty tricks Berlin landlords might try to pull on you

With so much demand for housing in Berlin and an offer that simply cannot provide for everyone, pressure has increased tremendously for tenants when looking for a flat. It requires more organisation, more perseverance & more flair than ever. It also requires speed as you have to be fast to make decisions.

When there are 30 other applicants waiting in line for the same flat,  some people may sometimes take advantage of your weakened position and trick you.

This increasingly competitive environment has led some individuals with loose moral to trick unaware flat-hunters into some bad schemes. Here is a quick best-of, provided by our friends at Wunderflats.

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Subleting a flat – Those are the 3 legalities you should pay attention to

Once you have arrived in Germany, you will need a place to live. No question. It will be cheapest to share a room in an apartment by becoming a subtenant. When you rent an apartment, you will need to know a lot of rules. This article is to brief you on what you ought to know for general orientation.

First thing is to find such offer. University students post their empty rooms on the blackboards on campus. Another possibility will be with classifieds in local magazines. After visiting and testing many possibilities, you finally found something suitable and affordable. Good work! Continue Reading…

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