mbpark asked this question 9 years, 7 months ago:

AHRN website

I've been here a week now and have been using AHRN exclusively to find a place. So far, I've visited 7 houses and have called a few others that I found out were already rented. Some of the places I saw were very nice, just didn't fit what I want/need. We asked for a contract with one place and they agreed, but didn't want our cats, so it fell through. At this point, I have exhausted everything on the site. Everything else is either too costly or too far.

Does anybody know how they update this site with new listings? Do landlords post their own listings? Or are they filtered by the housing office? Since the office is closed on weekends, would that mean no more listings until Monday?



9 years, 7 months ago

From what I see on the site - landlords or property managers can post listings, but they have to be approved by the Housing Office. So you probably won't see anything until Monday.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by DcCow:
From what I see... you probably won't see anything until Monday.

Thanks. That's what I suspected.

Tips for others who are using the site...

1. If you have pets, don't search for just places that take pets. The housing office told me that "no pets" can often mean "no large dogs", so it's better to just call and ask. Just don't forget like I did. We lost a place that was awesome because the owner just didn't like cats and I forgot to mention it until they were ready to do a contract. :(

2. Most places are rented within a day or two of being listed. The little red "N" in the left column indicates new listings. If you hover over the "N", it will tell you the date it was listed. My strategy thus far has been to get up early and call the new listings that interest me and make appointments for that day. If I'm the first person to see the place and I want it, maybe I can get it before anyone else even sees it.

3. My OHA cap is 1205 Euro, so I created a saved search for 800-1300 Euro that will display ALL listings on one page. Then I will click on the column for price and sort highest to lowest. Then I go down the list, looking for listings that are in the area I want. After a couple days of this, you get familiar with some town names you like or don't like.

4. Get help from the housing office if the LL doesn't speak English. Most people won't bother contacting these people, so you're more likely to get the place if you like it. Sometimes they're really eager. The housing office has a new service (since Feb 11 or so) where they will sit down with you and go over listings, then call a few landlords and actually drive you to look at the places. This is VERY helpful, because you don't have to worry about the language barrier AT ALL. You will need to make an appointment to do this, but it's easy. Just call.

If I think of anything else, I'll add it later.

9 years, 7 months ago

I am currently looking for a home, but, since I am in a place now, and I really don't have to (or really want to) leave, there is no hurry.

Eventually the right place will come along. For those in a hurry, and who don't mind spending a few (a lot!) extra bucks, a Realtor (or several) is a good way to go.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by mbpark:
Thanks. That's what I suspected.

Tips for others who are using the site...

1. If you have pets, don't search for just places that take pets. The housing office told me that "no pets" can often mean "no large dogs", so it's better to just call and ask. Just don't forget like I did. We lost a place that was awesome because the owner just didn't like cats and I forgot to mention it until they were ready to do a contract. :(

2. Most places are rented within a day or two of being listed. The little red "N" in the left column indicates new listings. If you hover over the "N", it will tell you the date it was listed. My strategy thus far has been to get up early and call the new listings that interest me and make appointments for that day. If I'm the first person to see the place and I want it, maybe I can get it before anyone else even sees it.

3. My OHA cap is 1205 Euro, so I created a saved search for 800-1300 Euro that will display ALL listings on one page. Then I will click on the column for price and sort highest to lowest. Then I go down the list, looking for listings that are in the area I want. After a couple days of this, you get familiar with some town names you like or don't like.

4. Get help from the housing office if the LL doesn't speak English. Most people won't bother contacting these people, so you're more likely to get the place if you like it. Sometimes they're really eager. The housing office has a new service (since Feb 11 or so) where they will sit down with you and go over listings, then call a few landlords and actually drive you to look at the places. This is VERY helpful, because you don't have to worry about the language barrier AT ALL. You will need to make an appointment to do this, but it's easy. Just call.

If I think of anything else, I'll add it later.


Agreed about the animals. We did that. Just called and asked.

I wish the housing office did some of the help when we were looking. Would have saved heartache.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by DakotaCowgirl:
Agreed about the animals. We did that. Just called and asked.

I wish the housing office did some of the help when we were looking. Would have saved heartache.


The housing office, from what I can tell, only has one job. That job is to give people useless lists of homes that are not really available. issed:

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by JOFTAA:
The housing office, from what I can tell, only has one job. That job is to give people useless lists of homes that are not really available. issed:


Yeah. From what I've seen, if you catch it the day it's posted and see it within a few hours, you have a chance. Otherwise, it's probably gone.

9 years, 7 months ago

Also check out the Kaiserslautern American and Ramstein Yardsales websites. They update through out the day. You have to call early and using a realtor might unfortunately be the way to go for you.

9 years, 7 months ago

Anyone had any experience using the immobilienscout24.de website? I saw it recommended on another website. It appears to have more homes listed on it than the AHRN? I know it is a bit early to be looking for housing, but we enjoy looking at the pictures of the homes there.

9 years, 7 months ago

immobilienscout24.de seems to be a commercial website. You can look at the pictures all you want, but if you use their service, you will have to pay the commission for the house you get unless you get pre-approval to use a realtor service.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by RgtMtr:
Anyone had any experience using the immobilienscout24.de website? I saw it recommended on another website. It appears to have more homes listed on it than the AHRN? I know it is a bit early to be looking for housing, but we enjoy looking at the pictures of the homes there.


Personally, I don't think using a realtor is worth it unless you are at rock bottom. We contacted a realtor when we got here and they were useless. The fee alone is crap - most charge one month rent. Seriously! We even contacted 2 other realtors to see if it was just the one that was trying to take us. They all wanted one month rent and would only show us one place expecting us to take it.

Others might have better stories but I didn't and neither have any friends that tried them. It's just another way to scam money out of Americans IMO.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by STL7997:
Personally, I don't think using a realtor is worth it unless you are at rock bottom. We contacted a realtor when we got here and they were useless. The fee alone is crap - most charge one month rent. Seriously! We even contacted 2 other realtors to see if it was just the one that was trying to take us. They all wanted one month rent and would only show us one place expecting us to take it.

Others might have better stories but I didn't and neither have any friends that tried them. It's just another way to scam money out of Americans IMO.


If you can afford it (or can get reimbursed the fee) then it just opens up that many more houses to you.

Many landlords use a Realtor because it doesn't cost them anything. Normally, the Realtor is only responsible for advertising, showing the property to prospective tenants, and coordinating the completion of the Rental Contract.

9 years, 7 months ago

Agreed regarding the realtors. They don't share listings like in The U.S. A realtor will only show you what he/she has listed. You have to call MANY realtors in order to see more homes.

We resorted to using a realtor after having no luck finding anything using AHRN for two months. The realtor should have provided a jar of Vaseline when presenting her invoice for her commission. Unlike in The U.S. where the seller/landlord pay the commission, the buyer/renter pays the commission.

Our realtor did give us the VAT back when we presented a VAT form, but she never returned our copy of the form, never returned our calls, and just disappeared from the planet once she had our money. So, we are down one VAT form, but it isn't the end of the world.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by DcCow:
Normally, the Realtor is only responsible for advertising, showing the property to prospective tenants, and coordinating the completion of the Rental Contract.


I'm in the wrong business if that's all they do for one months rent.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by STL7997:
I'm in the wrong business if that's all they do for one months rent.


No kidding. The advertising they do is practically useless, and when it comes to showing homes, it is either on the realtor's schedule, or not at all in my experience. Customer service is not a consideration.

Realtors here know that Americans are desperate for a place to live, and take advantage of this by making customers work around their schedule. They also lie to customers by saying that there are no other homes available when there most certainly are. They tell you this because if you don't buy their property, they make no money.

Eventually German realtors, especially in The KMC, will realize that sharing is helpful. It is better to get 50% of a commission than no commission at all. The listing Realtor would get half of the commission, and the showing Realtor would get the other 50%. Not really complicated unless you are a greedy realtor.

Just my opinion though. No animals were harmed in the creation of this post.

9 years, 7 months ago

Quote by STL7997:
I'm in the wrong business if that's all they do for one months rent.


Right! Some parts of Germany, they charge as much a two months rent!

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