House hunting in Niederrhein


Martin and I are looking for an apartment/house to move into in the Niederrhein area.

We live in Nordrhine-Westfalen (NRW), which is the north-west state on the border of Netherlands and Belgium. Martin works deep in the Niederrhein, which is more north, and I work in the Rhineland area which is south (in the Cologne and Düsseldorf region).

Everyday we commute 35-40km in opposite directions, but soon that will be a thing of the past as we commit to changing our lifestyles for the better.

Normally, I have to stay working in the Rhineland area of NRW because that’s where all the international jobs are. But, since I will be freelancing soon, I’ll be able to work from home!!

We’re so excited to move and to get rid of our commutes. We just have to find a place to live now, which is a big pain in the @ss.

Ideally we would like to be within walking or biking distance from Martin’s workplace. In immobilienscout, we type in his work address and search within a 5km range.

At first we were only considering renting, but since it’s hard to find something suitable, we are also thinking of buying a flat. Then over the weekend, we visited my friend in the Netherlands and fell in love with her house and house-living. So now we are also opening our search up to buying a house! (renting a house is pretty expensive and difficult to find in the area we want, we’ve found)

Typically we have been very confused folk about [a lot of things!] but especially when it comes to where to live and what to live in; from dauercamping to renovating an Altbau. We are all over the map, the reason being that we are so so so different personality-wise and background wise. I hail from Toronto, and Martin is from the most rural area of east Germany where you can see wild pigs running through the fields (true story!). So what we tend to look for/how we feel comfortable in a place differs by a lot.

Since moving to Germany though, I’ve shed my big city identity and now have a much stronger appreciation for nature and small town (maybe even rural!) living. It’s pretty nice not being directly in a big city. Less rush, less spending, closer to nature, and more space. We want peace and simplicity. What a big city has to offer is less important to me now.

The more time I spend in Niederrhein, the more I like it. It’s really fantastic for biking, with flat lands and extensive bike trails. We love biking, so this area matches how we want our new lifestyles to be.

We’re planning to move in mid-November, and hopefully I’ll have some good pics to post about our house hunt soon.

Something fun to note: a big difference between house hunting in Toronto and Niederrhein (maybe Germany in general) is that it seems to be a plus in Germany that a space was renovated in the 80’s or 90’s. Like look! you don’t need to do anything since it was renovated a mere 20-30 years ago! Whereas in Toronto and the GTA, this would be something that the potential buyer should overlook, because clearly it’s a gut job. :mrgreen:


8 thoughts on “House hunting in Niederrhein

  1. Did I miss something or did Mr German just get a real name?! And you’re even mentioning actual locations!

    I would love to be less anonymous with my blog but I just can’t do it given that the blog is critical of people within my industry and firm.

    It’s great to hear that you are getting rid of your commutes – I remember my time living in very big cities and how annoying it was to have such long commutes. It feels like you waste much of your life travelling to and from work.


    • Yep, I’m giving him a real name. 🙂 It feels too weird referring to him as “Mr. G”, and our names are so common it really doesn’t matter.

      Now that I’ve quit my job, I’m much less paranoid about someone from my office finding me. No one is going to fire me anymore. 🙂


      • Ha ha, it must be a good feeling to know you can’t be fired. While I’m not really in the position to be fired in the traditional sense, if I were to fall out with my partners it would probably be even messier than being fired!

        It’s good to see that you are already enjoyin the benefits of not being employed – I can’t wait for that day to come for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahh, I am kind of nervous of being unemployed! Trying not to think of it, as I’m not financially ready to be retired yet. I see it as more of a break from the work force, as I settle our lives and prepare for my upcoming and hopefully lucrative freelancing career. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha — love those 80s and 90s renovations! Though it does seem to me, based on my limited travel experience, that European flats and homes are less trendy, and a bit more timeless, so 80s or 90s doesn’t necessarily mean green carpet and pink bathroom sinks there the same way it does in N. America — but could be wrong!

    Love the name revelation! I hope your new freelance gig lets you feel freer in lots of new and exciting ways. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It depends! I don’t find the German interior decorating aesthetic to be “timeless”, but certainly find so in Germany’s neighbours: France, Denmark, and Netherlands –> these countries know how to design and decorate! That’s okay though, it also tends to be cheaper to live in Germany, so I’m totally fine putting up with a bit of 80’s to 90’s flair. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Renting is great! | Ms. Canadian Expat

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