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Old 18.07.2020, 12:07
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Housing difficulties in Bern

So I want to move to Bern and I just really haven't had luck with anything, including shared housing and finding long term apartment rental.

When I first started working there, I decided to keep my current apartment and look for a flatshare there to see if I like it there at all. I spent days and days poring over online ad boards and writing dozens of people personalised messages. Barely anyone responded to me. The first place I found turned out to be a scam. The second place, where I ended up staying for a few weeks, had major issues and it was really expensive as well. It was really not suitable and I eventually returned to my own apartment when the coronavirus crisis broke out.

I'm currently hoping to find my own long term rented apartment there, move over completely, and give up my current apartment. However, this is super tricky because I don't currently live there and I don't have a base there. This is a problem with most apartment visits, which tend to happen during the week. Given that I live 3 hours away from there, I can only go for visits during weekends.

The obvious solution would be to find some kind of temporary accommodation there where I can stay and do home office during the week and do the apartment visits. But even finding such a place is turning out to be impossible - unless if I fork out money for a hotel or Airbnb, and I know that apartment searches can take months...

Has anyone tried to search for an apartment remotely? What advice would you give? Should I hire an agent, or how is this supposed to work?

Many thanks in advance for any informed opinions on the subject!

Last edited by kingfisherq; 18.07.2020 at 12:21.
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:21
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Re: Housing in Bern

Are you looking in the city center or are you willing to consider a bit outside with a quick train connection? How many rooms do you need and what kind of budget do you have?
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:24
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Re: Housing in Bern

Most people looking for a flat work. You work in Bern, you can go look at them at lunch time and after work. It's still summer, so there is no lack-of-light-issue after work.

I don't know the situation in Bern but 294 offers on homgate is not much, I admit.
Spread the word at work. Tell everybody what you're looking for, whether they want to hear it or not. It's all about connections.
Put your detailed demands here on EF. You can also put search-ads up on tutti.ch, several sites where flats are offered (don't know if they charge for that there). On the boards at Migros and Coop in the area.
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:34
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Re: Housing in Bern

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Are you looking in the city center or are you willing to consider a bit outside with a quick train connection? How many rooms do you need and what kind of budget do you have?
Many thanks for the reply! I'm looking for something within a 30 min walk of the train station (long story). My absolute minimum requirement for rooms is a studio with a bigger, separate kitchen. I have something between say 40 and 50 m2 in mind. I wouldn't like to pay more than 1600-1700 including charges.

The places I have found so far that fit the bill were considerably cheaper than that, but there is always massive interest and all my applications so far were unsuccessful. In another thread I speculate that the reason for my lack of success could be the fact that I'm employed on a fixed term contract, that could be an issue. I just find it bizarre to not be able to find acceptable housing on a 6 digit salary. I feel like I must be doing something wrong.
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:38
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Re: Housing in Bern

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You work in Bern, you can go look at them at lunch time and after work.
Really sorry, but I can't help but feel that you haven't read my post. I make it clear that I currently live 3 hours away from there and doing home office. I just do not see how your recommendation is helpful, or the number of ads currently on Homegate, given the difficulties I outlined above.

Last edited by kingfisherq; 18.07.2020 at 12:52.
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:43
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

I already posted on your other thread.


Why do you want to move to Bern ? I assume your job is remote or untstable and this absolutely means you are lowest on the tree for a city location - most landlords will look at where you work then decide if you are going to be long-term.


It also sounds (from here and from your other thread) that your on-paper salary is very high, but you are looking at very low rent. That's pretty much impossible...
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:53
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Re: Housing in Bern

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Really sorry, but I can't help but feel that you haven't read my post. I make it clear that I currently live 3 hours away from there.
There are some things you cannot change such as being a foreigner on a limited contract, but there are things you can change...

You are going to have to change you self imposed limitations if you want to find a new place to live. If you live three hours away, you can search up to nine or ten a few nights a week, being half an hour away is better than three hours away and so on.
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:57
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

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Really sorry, but I can't help but feel that you haven't read my post. I make it clear that I currently live 3 hours away from there and doing home office. I just do not see how your recommendation is helpful, or the number of ads currently on Homegate, given the difficulties I outlined above.
I did. You said you started working in Bern and the home-office thing sounded like a plan for the future.
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Old 18.07.2020, 12:58
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

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I already posted on your other thread.


Why do you want to move to Bern ? I assume your job is remote or untstable and this absolutely means you are lowest on the tree for a city location - most landlords will look at where you work then decide if you are going to be long-term.


It also sounds (from here and from your other thread) that your on-paper salary is very high, but you are looking at very low rent. That's pretty much impossible...
Thank you for your reply! I would be willing to pay more, but even the flats I find for 1600-1700 are usually 80-90 m2, and I don't need that big. The flats that tend to meet my requirements for central location and 40-50 m2 size tend to be cheaper, between say 1,100 and 1,400. If I could find a more expensive flat of that size with less interest from others, I would gladly take it, but it simply doesn't seem to exist.

At this point, I'm actually starting to wonder if the reason why most of my friends there are flatsharing is because one-person flats tend to be too 'cheap' and too popular.

Last edited by kingfisherq; 18.07.2020 at 13:09.
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Old 18.07.2020, 13:04
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Re: Housing in Bern

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There are some things you cannot change such as being a foreigner on a limited contract, but there are things you can change...

You are going to have to change you self imposed limitations if you want to find a new place to live. If you live three hours away, you can search up to nine or ten a few nights a week, being half an hour away is better than three hours away and so on.
Thank you for the suggestion! At this point I just want to make it clear that I live 3 hours away *one way*. So to go there, look at one flat, and then coming back home would take 6.5-7 hours. Doing multiple viewings in one go sounds sensible in theory, but I never really managed to schedule even two for the same day... Most agencies have one or two fixed dates which are not really up for negotiation.
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Old 18.07.2020, 13:47
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Re: Housing in Bern

Here's a list, just in case you're not already familiar with all of these:
https://flatfox.ch/en/search/?east=7...94481145804685
https://www.ums.ch/furnished-apartme...7974/7.447447/
https://www.ronorp.net/bern/immobili...nung-bern.1219
https://www.anibis.ch/de/immobilien-...dvertlist.aspx
https://www.tutti.ch/de/li/bern?q=wohnung%20

Oh, I can certainly understand the attracting of having flat within 30 minutes' walk of the Bern central station! Personally, I think that's likley to be the most limiting of your various criteria.

Finding accommodation in Switzerland is stressful for most people. What many do is take something, anything, even less-than-ideal, that at least gets them into the basic geographical area. That then makes the search much easier, since one is more quickly available to attend the viewings.

Good luck!
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Old 18.07.2020, 23:11
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Re: Housing in Bern

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Many thanks for the reply! I'm looking for something within a 30 min walk of the train station (long story). My absolute minimum requirement for rooms is a studio with a bigger, separate kitchen. I have something between say 40 and 50 m2 in mind. I wouldn't like to pay more than 1600-1700 including charges.
I guess you prefer to be within walking distance to save on train costs or something? You don't have to tell the whole story if you don't want to.

If you look just a bit outside of town, such as in Ittigen, there are many places on offer and it's no more than 15 mins into the main station. Many are bigger than you want, but at least they're in budget. Also a studio with a separate kitchen isn't all that common. Part of the point of a studio is to have a big, open room (at least in CH, it seems)

Here are two possible bargains, but again just outside of town:
https://www.homegate.ch/rent/3000532013
https://www.homegate.ch/rent/3000499885

This one is just a few tram stops from the center of town:
https://www.homegate.ch/rent/3000534293

Aside from the quick S-bahn train lines, the tram and bus network in Bern is pretty good and you can be in downtown in a few minutes, no need to walk. Of course trams run more often than trains, so that might be more appealing to you.

I'm not sure what to tell you on rejections. Are you writing a letter of interest and submitting a complete packet and still getting rejected?

You might have more luck taking over someone else's contract on a sublet just to get to Bern. Doropfiz has posted some good links. If you're doing a sublet, you'd be dealing with private individuals and could possibly schedule multiple viewings in one day.
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Old 19.07.2020, 22:28
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

one idea could be this.......according to your hints about your salary, you could afford that.

https://loewen.apartments/

To rent for one -two month/s a room here, this is situated in the village I grew up
in. To the trainstation to Bern you get within 5 minutes, trains to Bern every 15 mins, travel time another ca. 15 minutes. Rooms are furnished. So you could then search for flats after work and have a place to sleep nearby.
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Old 20.07.2020, 05:26
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

Perhaps some of these will help you. They are for limited duration rentals, similar (or more expensive) to that linked to by EastEnders, above.

https://www.mohnhaus.ch/en/
http://www.wohnen-im-spiegel.ch/
https://www.appartement-bern.ch/
https://www.apartment-beauvilla-bern.com/
http://b20.ch/en/
https://www.glandon-apartments.ch/bern/florhaus
http://www.berncityrentals.com/index.html
https://www.booking.com/aparthotels/...rn.en-gb.html?
https://www.hometogo.ch/

and here's a relocation service that searches for apartments (though it won't be cheap)
https://www.packimpex.ch/corporate/c...tion-services/ (scroll down to "home search" and "temporary housing").

I can see your dilemma. You don't want to give up the apartment you have, in case you end up with nothing. Where you live now is too far to travel comfortably to where you work. But you don't know what your work situation will be, six months from now, and then you might be glad that, even if you don't have a job, you'll at least have your existing home.

Some people travel to the other city for the week, and travel home at the weekends. In German, this is known as being a "Wochenaufenhalter" (literally, someone who stays around during the week). So you might like to have a look at this link, some of these people are private persons, not agencies:
https://www.allekleinanzeigen.ch/woh...lter-bern.html

For a Wochenaufenthalter, this one seems like a really good deal (though no photos):
https://www.homegate.ch/rent/3000451...einanzeigen.ch.
They say they prefer a female tenant. Even so, if you are male, and write a friendly letter setting out your situation, perhaps they'd accept you.
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Old 20.07.2020, 10:17
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

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I already posted on your other thread.


Why do you want to move to Bern ? I assume your job is remote or untstable and this absolutely means you are lowest on the tree for a city location - most landlords will look at where you work then decide if you are going to be long-term.


It also sounds (from here and from your other thread) that your on-paper salary is very high, but you are looking at very low rent. That's pretty much impossible...
I don't blame a person on fixed contract wanting to rent a lower rent apartment.

OP - flatsharing sounds good, especially if you are on a fixed term contract and live in a university city. Friends do that and if you find decent room-mates, there are no privacy issues. I'd look temporarily into that option.
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Old 31.08.2020, 02:05
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

I am also having difficulties with findin the right apartment for me in Bern. Iím an international student. Can anyone help?
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Old 12.10.2020, 13:14
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

We are also finding it difficult to find a long term rental in Bern. When we have done apartment viewings, there are dozens of other people there, so it must be really competitive at the moment. We are currently living in a temporary flat booked through ums (https://www.ums.ch/welcome/), which has worked out great for us. Unfortunately our stay is almost over and we still haven't found a long-term place.
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Old 12.10.2020, 14:22
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

We also had the same issue when looking for an apartment. I went to look at a nice place and stood in line with 20 people - it was taken almost immediately.

Someone gave us the tip to go up in price and that would help. Fortunately (not for our savings), we were able to do so and got a wonderful place right away.

Wishing you all the best in your search!
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Old 15.10.2020, 17:39
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Re: Housing difficulties in Bern

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We also had the same issue when looking for an apartment. I went to look at a nice place and stood in line with 20 people - it was taken almost immediately.

Someone gave us the tip to go up in price and that would help. Fortunately (not for our savings), we were able to do so and got a wonderful place right away.

Wishing you all the best in your search!

Thanks for the tip. We offered above the asking price and got the first apartment we applied for It was on the lower end of our budget, so it's a win-win
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