Having moved in at the end of last year, it’s safe to say that we’re well overdue taking you on the tour of our new home!
As you probably expect, there are still a lot of changes we’d like to make but one thing that will probably come as a bit of a surprise – it’s a really boring new build!
Almost every room is a boring, bland and completely characterless box. So, why on earth did we choose to live here? Well, take a look at the view!
Our apartment is right on the river!
Living on the river is the main reason we chose to live here but the other reason we chose this apartment is that it’s in a completely different part of the city. We’re still in what I’d class as the centre of Berlin, but we’ve literally moved from one end of town right across to the other.
Our previous apartment was in the Charlottenburg area in the west of Berlin, which is very middle-class, fairly quiet and affluent. There are lots of fancy big apartments with ornate facades and you’ll regularly see old ladies in fur coats walking along the Ku’damm (the main shopping street in the west of Berlin).
Now we live in the east of the city which is completely different. It’s a lot more vibrant and gritty. There’s graffiti everywhere, it feels more diverse and it’s a lot more relaxed. You can’t leave the apartment without someone walking past you with a bottle of beer in their hand, covered from head to toe in tattoos or smelling a bit of wacky backy.
We always joke that we’re not hip enough to live in this part of town!
It feels so different that you could think you’re in a completely different city.
But, back to the tour of our apartment…
Did you know that we’ve started a YouTube channel? And, we’re taking you on a tour of our home there, too! So, if you’d like to see the video tour of our home, head over to YouTube and while you’re there, why not give us a like and follow, too? We’d really appreciate it!
Let’s start with the most important part and the reason we’re here in the first place – the balcony which is huge. The balcony in our last apartment was jam-packed with furniture and plants but our new balcony looks completely empty with almost the same things on it!
We’re hoping to spend a lot of time out here this summer so our main priority over the next couple of weeks will be to get it looking absolutely amazing! We have loads of projects planned including building a tropical holiday style cabana and some outdoor armchairs. We’ve also just had a new table and chairs delivered (they are currently indoors) that we’ll be using to create an outdoor dining area.
As fab as the balcony is, the rest of the apartment is a lot less exciting.
It’s roughly 130m² which isn’t small but it is a lot less than our last apartment, especially as our balconies (yes, we have two) take up a large chunk of that area.
The living room, dining area and kitchen are all open plan and the large balcony runs along the entire length of the living area. Leading off the kitchen there’s a utility space that you have to walk through to get to the second bedroom which we’re currently using as a study.
The master bedroom is quite spacious and has its own en-suite along with a walk-through wardrobe type situation. Sorting the wardrobes along with building some stylish outdoor furniture are the next projects we’ll be doing so don’t forget to pop back soon for an update.
What we have planned is going to be amazing and will look soooo much better than the boring Ikea Pax wardrobes we plonked into the space.
Although we only have two bedrooms, the apartment itself is actually about the size of our 4-bed semi in Manchester.
Here’s a rough comparison of the apartment sizes. As you can see we upsized from our house and then downsized to roughly the same size again now.
It’s not huge but it’s perfectly fine for us, especially as it’s only temporary.
House hunting in Berlin is notoriously difficult and it’s not uncommon to be in competition with hundreds of people for the same apartment. As we only had a short time to find somewhere new to live, our choice was very limited and we had to search in a price range that is a lot higher than we would have liked just to be able to find somewhere at fairly short notice.
The apartments in the building we’re now in are marketed as luxury apartments but in reality, they really aren’t.
Corners have been cut in so many areas and the finishes aren’t exactly high-quality. The parquet floor is softer than butter that’s been out in the sun for hours, there’s a severe lack of sockets and almost all light outlets are in weird positions. Oh, and our triple glazed windows are draughty!
We aren’t planning on staying for a long time, so none of these problems really matter too much, even if it’s a bit annoying when you’re paying a hefty monthly rent.
There is another amazing feature these apartments offer. There’s a huge communal roof terrace which gives you pretty good views along the river up to the Oberbaumbrücke which used to be part of the border between East and West Berlin.
The view over the rest of town is pretty good, too – if you look closely, you can see the TV tower, the Badeschiff which is an outdoor pool in a shipping container that’s been dropped into the river and even Potsdamer Platz and Tempefhofer Feld in the distance. I have a feeling we’ll be spending quite a few hours up here as soon as the weather improves!
As much as living on the river is amazing, it definitely comes with a few drawbacks, too.
There are probably thousands of people that walk past our balcony every day and we feel a bit like the animals in the zoo with everyone taking pictures of us on our balcony!
On the other hand, you do get to see a few amazing things, too!
There are loads of boats that pass by the apartment every day that are full of people partying or taking tours of the city, in December there were about 25 Father Christmasses on standup boards paddling up the river playing Christmas music and, best of all, there’s a hot tub boat that passes regularly with naked people!
I know that it feels like we’ve only just moved in and, trust me, I’m the last person that feels like packing and moving again so soon but we are actively looking for a new home.
We’re currently renting this apartment so that we are flexible enough to be able to pounce on the right house when it comes along!
Obviously, we’re on the hunt for a renovation project with as many period details as possible but we’re looking in a very popular and very pricy area so we’ll have to see just how far our budget can stretch and make a few compromises here and there (which is never something I’m good at)!
Either way, it’s hopefully going to be a case of back to normal – well, normal for us at least!
One thing that is certain, is that we won’t be staying in Berlin! A lot is currently up in the air as it’s almost impossible to plan anything given that we aren’t really able to travel but hopefully we’ll be able to get a clearer idea of what’s going to happen soon!
It goes without saying that we’ll be keeping you updated here on the blog! I’m not exaggerating when I say what we have planned is going to be epic!
Don’t forget that you can also check out the full video tour of our home over on YouTube, too!
Do you find house hunting as difficult as we do? What would your dream home look like? What’s at the top of your must-have home wishlist?