Yesterday we went into Aachen (about 50 mins by train) to look at an apartment that was for rent, and today we went in and signed the lease! It was a bit of a surprise; we thought we might just be meeting the landlords and expected they might do some sort of credit/background check but as we sat there talking to them it became clear that they were going to give us this apartment. So here is a little bit about it:
- It is a one bedroom, so a bit smaller than what we had in Tuscaloosa, but we also only brought 5 suitcases of stuff with us, so I don't see size being a problem. When we went to look at it I saw that a crib could definitely fit in the bedroom with the bed.
- It has a built-in kitchen. In Germany, this is NOT STANDARD, and this was a big factor in deciding on this apartment.
- The previous tenants were willing to sell us pretty much all of their furniture, including a refrigerator, for 390 Euros. We were envisioning spending like, 1500 Euros at Ikea, so this was also incredibly helpful.
- It only has a shower. This isn't my preference, but I've had access to a bathtub for the past 5 years and I guess it'll probably save some water.
- It's close to a grocery store and a bunch of other restaurants and things and not too far from the train station.
- It has a hookup for a washing machine, which I think will be indispensable once Scunter gets here (I'm planning on using cloth diapers).
There is really only one downside to this apartment: it's on the top floor. And when I say top, I mean fifth floor. I don't think I need to say there is no elevator. I know that the thought immediately going through everyone's head is How are you going to deal with carrying a baby up all those stairs? or some variation thereupon. To which I say:
I thought a lot about this, and there are so many other benefits to this place that I think I can deal with it. I'll have three months to get used to walking up and down the stairs with groceries and things. Walking and stairs are just a part of life here and I know I can handle it.