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Top 4 Differences Between American & German Housing

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While the layout of a German apartment is similar to an apartment in the United States, the amenities vary greatly. This is something that Max Dunlop, the Vice President of Project Management at Dwellworks, and his wife, Karla, realized when they moved to Germany for two years.

Smaller Kitchens

  • The kitchens in German apartments are significantly smaller than the typical kitchen in the United States, and that means smaller appliances, too. While the kitchen in Max and Karla’s apartment was considered larger than average, Max still remembers feeling compressed when cooking meals or doing dishes.

Smaller Kitchens = Smaller Appliances

  • Additionally, refrigerators in German kitchens compare in size to a typical American dormitory fridge, meaning more frequent trips to the local market or grocery store are necessary to eat fresh food. And stove tops and ovens are much smaller in Germany, as well. Typical kitchen sinks and faucets reminded the Dunlops of the average American bathroom sink.
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The Kitchens Move!

  • One other bit of knowledge to keep in mind when searching for a home in Germany is that when moving, it is common German practice for kitchen appliances, including cupboards and shelving, to be taken when a previous tenant or home owner moves out of the house. Max recalls this being a frustration when he and his wife were searching for housing. “We would see some options we really liked, but we would get to the kitchen and there was nothing there except two plumbing stubs coming out of the wall. It was an empty room with a drain and water hookups."

    While common in Germany, this may present hurdles for an American seeking temporary housing. There are options to buy used  or new kitchens, but this yields further issues, as it can be difficult  to purchase a kitchen that fits in the apartment’s allotted space.

The Bedroom

  • Similar to kitchens, German bedrooms also differ from a typical American bedroom. First, there are no closets inside of bedrooms. Some Germans opt for “open-air closets,” while others simply purchase a wardrobe to house their clothing. Furthermore, placing TVs in bedrooms is considered taboo. Cable hookups and wall mounts are virtually nonexistent in these spaces.

To read more about other cultural adjustments Max and Karla faced in Germany, such as transportation and dining, click the button below:


This is an image of a download button for the Relocating to Germany Guide


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