Monday, September 3, 2012

Mix-Up Monday: BYOK (Bring Your Own Kitchen)

Frankfurt! (
The Garlic and Onion Lovers are moving! We are leaving our sleepy little Southern German town for the big city --> Frankfurt.

We are in the midst of the hunt for an apartment...and a hunt it is. Frankfurt is a large city with a competitive market for apartments. Renters have very little power and competition is fierce. Add this to the already strange apartment rental system in Germany and you got yourself a giant headache.

There are two main reasons apartment rentals in Germany are so strange.

The first is called Provision. This is also common in large American cities, however, even the smallest German town might have many apartments with provision. Provision is the name given to the fee you pay your apartment "finder." Many apartments (a large percentage of apartments in the Frankfurt area especially) are put on the market through a real estate agent. The renter can only see the apartment through the use of this person and if you want the apartment, you must pay 2.3 times the monthly rent - just for opening the door for you to look! This system is also common in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., etc. A frustrating system when you have to pay extra just to be able to give someone your money!

One of the many kitchen-less apartments (
The second and SUPER STRANGE thing about apartment rentals in Germany is that you must BYOK - Bring Your Own Kitchen. When she tries to explain this to people in the USA they just don't get it (so we have pictures for you!). When we mean bring your own kitchen we mean you bring the ENTIRE kitchen. Counters, cupboards, stove, oven, everything. This is extremely common in Germany and often times those apartments that do include a kitchen must be bought from the previous owners (often ranging in the thousands of euros). Luckily, even though apartment rentals in Germany are strange, they do come with toilets :)

So, this is what we are facing. The race is on to find a nice apartment in Frankfurt with no provision and a kitchen so we can keep cooking and adding recipes to our blog :)

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