As will continue to be notated, Luxembourg “centre”, aka Luxembourg city, is both a very desired and very expensive location to live. Because most of the banks (majority of jobs) and business are located within the hub of the city, as well as a few popular bars and restaurants, finding a home is challenging and expensive. I was lucky enough to have a relocation specialist assigned to my profile, so we looked through the selection on the market and she set up ‘viewing’ appointments.
During our first meeting, she was very strict and stern about trying to find a place on the first day. Rental spaces are severely limited, and the combination of single (unfurnished) apartments, in-city, and low budget was definitely a challenge. There is no time in the year where demand is higher or lower, and most places are furnished and very expensive. Those coming to live in Luxembourg are usually on a contracted work assignment of two years, so the locals get a very good deal based on supply and demand. Room shares are very common, so I’d suggest for anyone moving here to ditch all your stuff and look on the following website to co-habitate: Appartager. Once you put in your details, automated messages of those “matching” your parameters will be listed, and you can contact directly. Instant friends AND the best deal! If in a pinch, my friends have had good luck with AirBnb for short-term lodging.
I want to live close in-city and have the furniture, so although options are more limited, if I can find an unfurnished apartment in-city it’ll still be less than a furnished on the outskirts. I’d rather my paycheck go to travel than rent, and I am keeping the advice of my beautiful friend and ex-roomie in mind: “Find a place that you like enough to come home to, but not enough that you’ll want to stay in all the time”. Wise words indeed, especially for my hermit-crab tendencies!
As for the process: This is my first-ever apartment, and I imagined house-hunting to be like “Say Yes to the Dress” – You want to go shopping, you want to try out all the pretty options, but saying “yes” on the first day? Not as romantic an experience as I was imagining. So we booked a few viewings and set off on the journey, with me expecting this to be one of many exciting days out.
If I’ve ever felt like Goldilocks before, this experience took the cake. I knew with my smaller budget I wouldn’t see the most ideal housing units, but one unit was so small a Queen Bed wouldn’t fit into the room! Another option had a beautiful balcony, which overlooked beautiful fields — because it was out in the country. Another option came in at twice the budget with half the square footage, but in town. Needless to say, I was starting to get worried. I have one month until I need to move out of temporary housing, and the combination of starting work and viewings occurring only during the day started a quiet panic. I decided that if something was found today, I’d put a bid in and see what would happen!
After lunch, with a renewed, competitive mindset, we set off for the next viewing. This place had just come on the market because the current tenant needs to move back home for family reasons. We were the first appointment since it was on the market, and like hyenas to a dead water buffalo covered in sriracha sauce; five other prospective tenants were already waiting at the door. Woa, this just got real — we had been quintuply (now a word) booked! A pursed lipped tiny blonde, two real-estate agents, another young gal, and me.
And of course – I love it. Beautiful bay windows overlooking a forest line in the front, out back overlooking a green pasture. Right in the middle of town (old town), within budget, charming, and bigger than anything else I’d seen! Tiny bathroom and kitchen, but large bedroom and a common room that will house all my lovely items travelling across the Ocean. There is a very noisy night-scene right next to the home, but around the bend and across the river, so there is almost no noise pollution. I will have a water view going to and from the home every day, which is rare as the “river” is a small stream that only is visible in a few places in the city.
We had one more viewing after what I shall call the City Cottage, but as soon as we got in the car, I had the agent drive straight to the office to put a bid on the house. We both put on our best faces and charmed the agent as much as possible without outright bribing.
Tricky items when renting:
– The agents take an exhorbitant fee (1 month’s rent+ 15%) for writing up the contract
– This is a legal contract bound by Luxembourgish law
– Contracts are a minimum of 1 year, non-breaking clauses non-acceptable
– When trying to obtain an apartment, you MUST specify all of your earnings. They will not allow a renter to spend more than XX amount of their income on rent so as to ensure they will get paid.
– Must put down a bounty of 2000 Euro during the length of the contract, available after final move-out inspection
– You have to buy your own washer/dryer (odd, new post coming soon)
After smiling like a crazed Toddler in Tiara, we finished putting in paperwork for the City Cottage and set off for the last house. Very pretty, but twice as expensive and farther out in the city.
The next day, we learned that purse-lips had also put a bid on the apartment. It was down to us two, and with the lower rent I was rather confident I’d win, but still stressed. Flash forward a week later and … I got it! I get the keys in one week and will hopefully be borrowing a blow-up mattress until everything else gets to the house. No pictures yet, but will post once everything is in place!