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Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

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N.Ireland
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Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Hi I posted last year when we were looking for property in Berlin. We're still looking and hoping to get back over in a couple of months time. In the meantime I'm looking at what is available with vacant possession as we want to use the property ourselve not rent it out. I've found a nice one in Friedrichshain but I'm not sure about the area. Can anyone give me any advice. Also is East or West best?

Thanks

Germany
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1. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

In central Berlin it really depends where, here I would not say that the West is better than the East. For the districts outside the central areas this is however true.

Generally a good idea to look up the address in the living quality map of the Berlin Mietspiegel

…berlin.de/wohnen/mietspiegel/

Mainly a price statistic/suggestion for rentals. But it will show you the living quality (good, normal, poor) of any address on a map.

Friedrichshain is as such an upcoming district. But it will always depend where exactly as these districts are not that small. And e.g. addresses directly at busy roads are in a widespread city like Berlin not that attractive.

N.Ireland
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2. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Thank you abalada, I'll check out the website.

Berlin, Germany
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3. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

As abalada already mentioned you can't really say whether east or west is better … I depends where you feel comfortable. In the eastern part as well as the western part of central Berlin you'll find really nice areas and not so nice areas. I love living in Charlottenburg (which is in the west), other wouldn't even think of living there. For example I like spending time in Prenzlauer Berg but wouldn't like living there.

As for Friedrichshain it really depends on where exactly the flat is. Friedrichshain has some really nice areas which are quite hip but other not so nice areas. As you want to buy just for yourself and not for renting out you should buy in an area you personally like.

N.Ireland
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4. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Thanks Berlingal. We're planning another trip over in the near future. The property we like is on Gabriel-Max-Str. If anyone has heard of it I'd be interested in their comments.

Barcelona, Spain
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5. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

The Mietspiegel doesn't tell you a lot really, as it doesn't seem to reflect renovation done in recent years in Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg for example. Many of the streets in those areas are defined as "simple" or at most "middle", whereas Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is mainly "good", top category, though I personally can't see that there are more trees and open spaces there than in the area where our flat is, on Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg border. Nor is its "image" necessarily better these days ("gute Image" and also good shopping facilities being another two deciding factors).

As BerlinGal says things can vary a lot from street to street in any case. I suggest you search a bit more and view several properties, even though you think you've found one already. Walk round the district and see if there are areas/streets you particularly like, and then you can check adverts for the names. You can also get mailing of properties in your area through immonet.de.

One factor you might like to bear in mind in your search is type of heating. Gas prices have shot up in the past year so monthly charges are rising a lot (Not just your consumption, which wd be low, but the general costs paid regardless of consumption). Fernwärme is a lot more economical as a heating system.

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Franco,

Whether Friedrichshain is a nice area or not depends in part on what you look like and who you want to be around.

When I lived in Berlin in the mid 90s, I rented a small apt in Friedrichshain and loved it. They have lots of the older buildings with high ceilings and pine floorboards that you can sand to a beautiful golden shine, tall windows, etc. My African friends were always hesitant to visit me there.I thought they were nuts until last year.

When my son (I'm white, his father is black) and I were in Berlin last summer, I made a mistake trying to get to dinner and we wound up taking the streetcar on a long loop through Friedrichshain, Prenzlauerberg, and parts of Pankow and Mitte. When I realized that was where we were going, I figured it would be a nice, nostalgic little sidetrip. I lived in several of those neighborhoods 10 years ago. I was very uncomfortable being there with my son. No one said or did anything rude to us, but I don't think there was anyone else with skin darker than the man on the moon on that streetcar the whole 45 min we were on it.

The further out you go in F'hain, the closer you are to Weissensee and Marzahn, known both for the socialist 'block' architecture (NOT the lovely Soviet influenced Frankfurter Allee) and also racist violence. On the other hand, it's also across the river from Kreuzberg, which is truly diverse, and close to P'berg, which is tolerant, though very Germanified (except for the Vietnamese guys selling cigs on the street and service personnel).

berlin
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7. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Get your geography right: not all of East Berlin is Friedrichshain. Marzahn is northeast of Hohenschoenhausen, which is northeast of Lichtenberg, which is east of Friedrichshain. One has to go through three Bezirk (districts) to get there. Weissensee is northeast to Prenzlauer Berg, which is north of Friedrichshain.

Friedrichshain borders are Karl-Marx Allee (around Straussberger Platz) in the west, with Mitte; The "ring" in the east, with Lichtenberg; the Spree in the south (with Mitte, Kreuzberg and Treptow); and north of Volkspark Friedrichshain in the north (with Prenzlauer Berg).

I'll just note that not being dark skinned I might be oblivious to some things, but that at least where I hang out in Friedrichshain (and I am also around the Plattenbau area), there are people who are not Caucasian (Asian/African complexion), and it seems normal. Regarding personal safety, I would be more concerned to live in Moabit, Neukoelln or Wedding than anywhere in Friedrichshain - not that these districts are particularly dangerous.

If I would have bought a flat for personal use there? I wouldn't have bought a flat for personal use without seeing it first and knowing that I like the neighbours, the neighbourhood, etc. In addition, small things like isolation or what Linda has noted regarding heating are important. It is also important to know, in the case of an Altbau building, things like whether it is a listed building; whether it must be (or is going to be) renovated on your expense; if there is a lift; etc. What about the other flats? Is there a maintenance company? With a newer building, it is really important to know what type of newer flat it is, when it was last renovated, etc.

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Thanks for correcting me. Is the street with the older Russian apartment buildings on it Ff Allee or is it Karl-Marx-Strasse?

I've apparently merged together too many of Berlin's districts (it has been 10 years since I lived there), but I will not forget the chilling hateful stares my friends (Somalis) and I got at the U4 subway station. I also recall that one of my friends, from Gambia, used to take a very long, circuitous subway (U-Bahn) route to come visit me instead of the much shorter elevated train (S-Bahn) route. I frequently tried to explain the shorter route. I knew that lots of African Berliner avoid the S-Bahn, but told him the stations near me were safe. He didn't answer much, until the day he came to visit and told me one of his compatriots had been pushed under an oncoming train at that station that morning.

Things may have changed in the decade since then, but I recall the map of dangerous areas for black people in Berlin that was put out at the time of the recent WM matched my recollection very closely, so I don't think it's changed that much.

As for buying a place without looking at it--I had the same impression when I read the original post. Maybe real estate transactions take so long in Berlin that their visit in a couple months time will be before the deal closes.

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Between saying we wanted the place and signing at the notary's took us just over 3 weeks and that included time for a translation to be prepared for my husband. 2 weeks later I had the keys, so that's pretty speedy! Far quicker than in England for sure.

However there was then some delay with the title deeds being registered, and we got notification of registration 9 months after geting the keys/starting paying the Wohngeld. However that was a problem caused by someone's extended sick-leave, probably since resolved.

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10. Re: Is Friedrichshain a good area to buy in

Most of Friedrichshain still looks like the Soviet era to me, but it's a good district. Lots of nightlife in some parts like the quite trendy Simon Dach Str. Marzahn is pretty far from there and there's absolutely nothing to go there for - a shopping centre surrounded by communist era tower blocks is my recollection of the place.