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Old 24.04.2015, 02:01
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Hello!

My husband and I and our two cats are moving to Bern from the US this July/August. I realize this is quickly approaching and we're obviously anxious to figure out our living situation. I was hoping someone might be able to point us in the right direction and offer some guidance.

1) Is it possible to find an apartment a month or two before the move in date in Bern? We currently live in Chicago and that is the norm but I'm wondering if Bern requires a longer time frame and if we're looking too late for a July/August move in date. We are flying out next month (May) and hoping for a July 1 move in date.

2) Any resources for finding temporary housing that you can suggestion? Our original plan (temporary housing through the University) fell through because they do not allow cats.

3) We'd love to find a realtor or leasing agent who can help us navigate the apartment market since we're not fluent in German. Is it possible to find leasing agents to help with apartment rentals or do they only help with buying? Any advice on how to find someone? And any insight into how that process might work (do you pay them a fee, etc.)? In Chicago, there are apartment finding agencies that assist in the process, but they do not charge you (instead they charge the landlords who advertise with them).

Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide! I apologize if these are really basic or simple questions, but we're starting from square one and unfortunately do not have a lot of time.

Oh, also, if anyone has any recommendations for a neighborhood that is arts-friendly/bohemian/vegan-friendly, those would be much appreciated!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 24.04.2015 at 15:06. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 24.04.2015, 07:43
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Re: Finding an apartment (temporary or not) in Bern on short notice

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Oh, also, if anyone has any recommendations for a neighborhood that is arts-friendly/bohemian/vegan-friendly, those would be much appreciated!
You did say that you were coming to Switzerland, didn't you?
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Old 24.04.2015, 21:17
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Re: Finding an apartment (temporary or not) in Bern on short notice

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You did say that you were coming to Switzerland, didn't you?
Ha.

I guess I could've explained more what that might entail, and maybe I should've made a separate thread. But a "vegan-friendly" neighborhood would be one that is likely diverse with ethnic restaurants and food stores (likely to have vegan products) or one with good grocery stores with organic products and specialized food stuff.

Looking through the forum and reading online, it seems the Lorraine/Breitenrain area fits the bill and is more bohemian and arts-friendly. Or, the Länggasse or University area may work. I was hoping someone might be able to lend some insight, but again, probably not the right thread or forum section. Sorry!
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Old 24.04.2015, 21:38
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Re: Finding an apartment (temporary or not) in Bern on short notice

Try these websites:

www.immoscout24.ch
www.immostreet.ch
www.homegate.ch
www.home.ch

That'll allow you to check what's available in your price range, whether pets are allowed and also find agencies who may be able to help you on the accommodation side. Are you planning to move furniture and stuff too or is it just you and the cats? Have you sorted out what you need to do for bringing the cats with you? The Swiss Vet Office has a useful online tool to help as well as a couple of PDF files with info.

http://www.blv.admin.ch/themen/04670...x.html?lang=en

As for vegan friendly, well I've seen the occasional ethnic shop around, but nothing I would call a whole neighbourhood. Organic food is fairly easy to come by (if expensive), but Switzerland doesn't really do "specialised" when it comes to food. What are you thinking of exactly?

I also suggest you get hold of a copy of "Living and Working in Switzerland" by David Hampshire. It's full of useful info for both before and after you move. You can order it from your local bookshop or via the internet.
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Old 26.04.2015, 16:09
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Re: Finding an apartment (temporary or not) in Bern on short notice

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it seems the Lorraine/Breitenrain area fits the bill and is more bohemian and arts-friendly. Or, the Länggasse or University area may work.
Yes and yes, but...apartments in those areas tend to be very hard to find. Berne is a small city, even if you end up living in another area, you will be fine. Be open to areas surrounding Berne. The university is an easy elevator commute from the main train station.
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Old 26.04.2015, 16:17
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Re: Finding an apartment (temporary or not) in Bern on short notice

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Yes and yes, but...apartments in those areas tend to be very hard to find. Berne is a small city, even if you end up living in another area, you will be fine. Be open to areas surrounding Berne. The university is an easy elevator commute from the main train station.
Thanks Swisscanmom, that's good to know!
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Old 26.04.2015, 16:26
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Re: Finding an apartment (temporary or not) in Bern on short notice

Thank you, Medea, for all the helpful info!

Right now we are looking on UMS Temporary Housing for a furnished, temporary apartment for a few months so that we can get our bearings and take our time looking for an apartment in person since we hope to find a place for the next several years. So, yes, right now, it'll just be us, the cats, and a few necessary things. Once we find a place, our plan is to have family ship the remaining items -- no furniture though -- in boxes. This site has been an excellent resource for navigating shipping and moving expenses.

We are working on getting the cat stuff in order now. Thank you for that link!

For anyone reading this that is also curious about vegan-friendly neighborhoods, I found this thread helpful: Vegetarian or Vegan restaurant in Bern?

And within that thread there was this helpful map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/ed...&oe=UTF8&msa=0

I also found this website: http://vegan.ch/unsere-ziele/welcome...n-switzerland/
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