My Wife Talks About Apartment Hunting in Hannover, Germany

apartment hunting - finding an apartment
“Oh, we’re trying to find an apartment in Europe now? Let me just suck on the end of this shotgun for a sec…” — Photo by Colin and Sarah Northway (

Over a year an a half ago, The Wife and I experienced a hyper stressful time in which I was pulling the plug on my life in America and moving to Germany, and how she was simultaneously starting her new career in Hannover while trying to find us a place to live and get everything moved-in prior to my arrival. She was a real trooper about it, but — like I’ve said before — Germans are downers.

My wife searched through countless listings and talked to a wide variety of contact people in the hopes of finding an apartment in Hannover. She was so desperate she even considered hiring an ‘Immobilienmakler;’ a ridiculously expensive apartment broker agency which charges the equivalent of two month’s rent plus fees. We didn’t need to do so, thank Christ, but we did need to know exactly what our budget was, and in which part of the city we wanted to live; no small task for a clueless American and a jet lagged German. So we were talking on the phone late one night, discussing our options, when a fundamental difference between our two cultures revealed itself in a moment of perfect clarity:

ME: “What? Everything will be fiiiiiiine. No worries, yo. I mean, why don’t you think we’ll find something under €800 euros? Is it because we don’t know the neighborhoods? Or like, because of the competition or something?”

THE WIFE: “Because I’m a pessimist.”



35 thoughts

      1. I gave up and went with an agent and paid her entirely way too much money to “show” me an apartment that we HAD to take because we had no other choice. We’re now looking to move into something bigger/better and have been looking a full year – alas


  1. This made me smile. She is too cute.

    >>> “Oh God, My Wife Is German.” 2/10/2014 12:01 PM >>>
    Oh God, My Wife Is German posted: ” Recently, I talked about the hyper stressful time when I was pulling the plug on my life in America and moving to Germany, and how The Wife was simultaneously starting her new career in Hannover while trying to find us a place to live and get everythi”


  2. I think if history is taken into consideration, it’s pretty easy to see why Germans might be pessimists, especially compared to Americans. That’s why yours is probably a good match: Your job is to look at the bright side; hers is to inject a dose of reality . . .


  3. I believe this is a genetic trait. Both my parents were German but I was born & raised in the US. However, I completely understand your wife’s statement since, well, I think the same! So, despite being raised among optimistic Americans that little genetic pessimistic German still stands tall :)


  4. Sounds not unlike being in a relationship with a Czech!

    I swear most Czechs heads would explode if they couldn’t find at least one thing to be pessimistic about in every situation. :-D


  5. You got a point on it that many germans are downers, but this is not the complete truth.
    While we like to complain too much we are also good in realizing problems which need to be solved. This focus on problems could lead to paralysis and every now and then we need a little kick in the back…e.g. by a positive American.

    Well, Americans like to ride too fast in direction of a cliff, sometimes even don’t realize that there is a cliff! Germans have a tendency not to ride at all, in fear of a crash: ”Oh, look at all these problems!”
    Like so often the best way is somewhere in the middle.

    “Because I’m a pessimist.”
    Reminded me very much to a talk of our parents (both germans).
    “You’re so pessimistic you make everybody miserable!”
    “Yes, I expect the worst but I’m an optimistic pessimist!
    Everybody will be happy cause it will become better than expected!”

    Good luck with your Apartment Hunting!
    For sure it will become better than expected! ☺☺☺


      1. That’s true, I should have realized you’d been there for a while. We’re actually planning to move from Korea to the US this year which should be pretty stressful, though hopefully not too much.


  6. When we moved to Stuttgart there was an apartment crisis. AFRICOM moved people to Kelly Barracks from various locations in Africa. Heidelberg was closing down and starting to move Americans to AFRICOM or EUROCOM in Weisbaden. Then there was Mercedes bring home people from their short stint with Chyrsler in the states. In one month there were only 3 apartments we could view. Maddening. I don’t think Americans can really get the picture of a world where most people rent for life and there are very few places to live. 100’s of people would show up to listings for apartments.


  7. I have long suspected that there might be something wrong with me. Now I have the confirmation: I am not a German. I am an optimist. Through and through. Thanks for the clarification :D


  8. I try to explain this cultural difference to my American boyfriend all the time but he refuses to believe me and calls me “the only pessismist” he knows. Pff!


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