Thursday, May 27, 2010

All-Time Prize in the Category: Berlin Housing Ad

I just can't resist; I'm still on a listserve for Berlin expats and simply can't let this little jewel go by without comment. I can't recall having ever seen better, in nearly four years (can it be?!) tracking Berlin housing. And "only" 321 euros a month. Hell, I know people who live alone for that price in both Prenzlauerberg and Friedrichshain (albeit without utilities included). Then there's a deposit that's nearly three times the monthly rent -- I've never seen that sort of usury in my entire time in Berlin. But the very best of all, I think, is the opportunity to share a single bathroom with 6 housemates plus visitors plus daytime office workers. It sort of seems like, well, the Knast, oder? Note that the CL link seems to be incorrect; I found it here:
Highlighting below is mine.

Beautiful room in flatshare/WG available July or Aug 1st (longterm!)
Wed May 26, 2010 3:07 pm (PDT)

Beautiful unfurnished room available for rent July 1st or August 1st (or any date in between), in old factory building located in the most northern tip of Neukölln (known as Kreuzkölln). Steps away from Maybachufer, Turkish market, Ankerklause, Admiralsbrücke, Reuter Kiez, Kreuzberg 36 and U8 subway.

This is a long-term rental, so please do not respond if you are looking for temporary accommodation or a furnished apartment! We want to find someone who plans on staying in Berlin for the foreseeable future and making this their home.

The room is 26 square meters (approximately 280 sq ft) with 380 cm high ceilings (approximately 12 ft). One large window on one side of the room, and a round window looking out onto your own private hallway on the other side. See Craigslist ad for pics.

The apartment is shared by six others: three men and three women, ages 28-43, all freelance professionals, most working in media/creative fields. We are not party people, yuppies or hippies, and the aforementioned need not apply. The entire apartment is 330 square m. We share a large eat-in-kitchen/ living room (70 square m) and a rather small bathroom (toilet and shower). There is also an office space in the apartment, where several people work who do not live here. Aside from one Dutch/American, everyone who lives or works here is German.

Rent is 321 Euros a month, which includes heat, hot water, wireless internet, telephone, and cleaning of the communal areas once a week. Deposit is 850 Euros, refundable after move-out. Once a year the actual costs of central heating and water are calculated, and sometimes we have to pay an additional bill (dependent on pricing and usage).

The good:
- happening neighborhood, convenient location, close to shopping, public transport, nightlife
- beautiful historical building, very Berlin
- great details, wood floors, lots of storage space
- dishwasher and washing machine
- access to rooftop
- smoking permitted

The bad:
- no gas (like many Berlin apartments), which means we have a crappy old electric "hot plate" stove
- no bathtub; bathroom is shared by seven people (more when there are guests)
- no pets allowed
- third floor, which (due to high ceilings) means lots of stairs to climb
- smoking permitted

If interested, please send an email to woning007 [at] gmail [dot] com including an email address and phone number where you can be reached, some info about yourself (who you are, where you're from, what you do, etc), and why you are interested in living here.

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