Our Very Own Apartment
WE FINALLY HAVE A HOME!!
We officially moved into our apartment on October 1st. (Four and a half months after moving to Germany!) And thank God for all the amazing, hospitable, caring people who helped us in the process.
So why in the world did it take so long and why didn’t we plan for this?
Well, we thought we had a plan. Before moving over here, one of Taylor’s colleagues told us there would be an apartment available in his complex in June. The company was putting us up in an apartment until June 17th, so this sounded perfect. We had a plan to view the new apartment on June 6th and then get the keys by June 15th. There was supposed to be two days of overlap between our apartments, so we thought we had figured it all out.
But then, we didn’t get to view the apartment until the 15th and from there, it was one bad feeling after the next. Here’s why:
The landlord told us it would be available July 1st, so we were going to have to find somewhere else to live for a couple weeks.
The complex was considered low-income housing, so we’d have to lie about our salaries to qualify. This means taking a home from someone who couldn’t afford other options.
There was supposed to be a kitchen, but there wasn’t. (It’s actually more common in Germany for apartments not to come with a kitchen already installed. More on that later.)
There wasn’t a good place to put my office. I work from home, so I really wanted something to feel comfortable if I was going to be there 24/7.
We didn’t want to buy a car and it would take Taylor at least an hour to get to work via public transportation. Leaving me at home alone for at least 10 hours a day, rather than the necessary (and already slightly depressing) 8.
All things considered, we decided to hold out for something that felt right. Something that we would enjoy living in.
So where the heck have we been living?
Luckily, we found a temporary home in the attic apartment of an elderly couples’ home. (Seriously, I think the Winklers were heaven-sent to save us from homelessness.) This allowed us to spend the time that we needed to find something just right for us.
We looked at quite a few apartments, met with realtors (and totally sucked up, because that’s how apartment hunting works around here), and finally fell in love with one.
In the beginning of July I found this apartment at the end of the pedestrian street, right in the heart of old-town Fürth (the town where Taylor works). It’s within walking distance of the main train/bus station, the subway, a grocery store, and more restaurants and shops than you can count. The building was built in 1860, but it was completely gutted and renovated in 2016, so the apartment inside was basically brand new. It didn’t have any of the funky German-style quirks that we’d dealt with in some of our other apartments, like showers and toilets in separate bathrooms or doorways so low that you have to duck to avoid hitting your head. Needless to say, we loved it!
Again, what the heck took so long?!
It was supposed to be available for us to move in sometime at the end of July – before August first. But then it was pushed back to Aug 15th, then Sept 1st, then Sept 15th, and then “hopefully soon.” Here’s why:
The owner of the apartment just bought it and was trying to finish the deal.
The inspection didn’t go as planned, so they needed to make a few repairs.
All of the owners of apartments in this building had to go to the attorney’s office in Nuremberg to sign an amendment to their contracts saying that the repairs were made.
One owner, who lives in Munich, was unable to come up to Furth/Nuremberg to check the repairs and sign the paperwork with the attorney.
We waited for this man to come sign the paperwork for quite a while.
Our landlord begged the attorney enough to let us move in without the other owner’s signature. (I’m not actually sure what happened with the other owner, but to my knowledge, he never signed.)
It took a week for our landlord’s loan to transfer for the down payment of the apartment.
Then it took another week for her portion of the down payment to transfer.
Then we FINALLY got the keys!
After getting the keys, it’s taken us a little while to get settled. We had to install light fixtures, buy basically everything, and work around the schedules of all the repairs that still had to take place.
If this process has taught us one thing, it’s not to take any of the comforts of home for granted. Last night, we cooked dinner in our kitchen, ate it at our dining room table, and then relaxed on our couch- all within the comfort of our own home. A year ago, I had no idea what a luxury that is!
In 2016, our founder, Bailey Smith, finagled her way into moving abroad with her husband. In their off time, they were able to travel all around Europe. Many of Bailey's travel experiences during those two years have shaped Indie Travel Design into what it is today. Follow along with their story of negotiating jobs, applying for visas, and living in Germany.