Renting a house/apartment in Hamburg

I'm soon moving to Hamburg and have the following 2 questions, Any share of experience or information will help alot:

1) Is it hard  ( time consuming ) to find a home for foreigners?
2) Which areas are the best for young families?

Hi Samnajian,

You will get some relevant information in the Accommodation in Hamburg article.

Make sure to read it.

All the best,

Thanks for the help!
I'm just recently getting active on this forum and that's why I'm not very good with navigating around.

Being a foreigner is rather a disadvantage rather than an advantage.  Even if not openly xenophobic, many Germans are simply uncomfortable dealing with foreigners – especially if they are not well integrated and speaking perfect German. A critical thing is to show that you have a good steady job. The last thing a landlord wants is someone who might not be able to pay the rent. Yet even with a good job it might not be easy. Really nice apartments are in demand and which one of the hundred applicants will a landlord most likely give an apartment to; the nice doctor/lawyer German couple or a foreigner… That said; Hamburg is a large cosmopolitan city and you obviously won’t be the first foreigner to arrive.

As far as recommendable neighborhoods I have no idea never having lived in Hamburg. But if you have kids and they don’t speak German yet, you are going to need a plan for educating them. Private schools with English instruction exist but are usually around 1000 Euros a month. If you need to enroll children in such a school for at least a year or 2, then you will probably want to find the school first and then look for accommodation close by or easily reached with public transportation.  Ideally, children should be supported that they reach a level of Germany within this time so that they can switch to a public school; free but usually good unless in the worst of neighborhoods. Even then the facilities and teachers are often good but what kind of friends they might be making comes in question. 

Many foreign kids land in the public school system with little German because their parents can’t afford private school. The risk is that they academically fall behind, possibly ending up losing a year or 2 as so much effort will be needed just to learn the language.  Not an easy task but the best preparation for any children is to get their German skills as high as possibly before arrival. Even if they do go to private schools, getting along in the society is thus easier.

Thanks for the explanation @TominStuttgart, fortunately I don't have kid issue yet since my only son is only 1!

Moderated by kenjee last year
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Good luck.

But the situation with kids can be important quicker than one thinks! Working parents often need nursery schools even if they don't work full time. They should be much more available even in smaller communities than a normal school but it's something to think about.

And it would be a shame for a family to be settled into a place and have to uproot themselves after 5 years or so because of school but maybe your intended stay is not in this time frame anyway.

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