How to prepare your housing search
In Germany looking for an apartment can be a time-consuming and nerve-wracking experience. Give yourself plenty of time whatever you do, than it will be more possible to get what you are looking for.
Start looking for accommodations before you leave your country, or plan free time to be dedicated to the search. If you are arriving alone, the best solution may be to initially stay in a hotel/guest-house, with friends or a person known informally. If you’re coming with your family, it may be more comfortable for them to arrive after found an accommodation.
Consider several options for your apartment search if you want to depend on getting lucky. A very important thing is to have a clear idea of what you’re actually looking for, because it is easy to waste time. To get well known with your new environment the best start is to walk around, asking other people about different neighbourhoods and areas and seeing how transport works.
On arrival in Germany you can stay for example in temporary accommodation for a few weeks or months, until you can move into an apartment. In most cases hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments offer reduced weekly or monthly rates and provide for long-term guests.
When looking for an apartment there are a lot of options. Understand that the more you pay (i.e. for an agent), the easier your search will be. You should be familiar with the basic rental terms in Germany for an efficient search. Especially with the difference between cold rent (Kaltmiete) and warm rent (Warmmiete). Last mentioned includes additional costs such as garbage disposal, cleaning costs and sometimes water and heating.