Relocating to a new city can be quite challenging, as we often assume that the rules and real estate market will be similar to what we're used to in our home country. However, based on my personal experience, I've realised that this is not always the case, especially when finding housing in St. Gallen.
To assist you in your search, I've compiled a list of 10 important factors to consider. Let's dive in!
Make a Budget: It is important to understand the cost of living in St. Gallen and create a budget accordingly. Accommodation prices vary based on factors such as location, size, furnishings, and whether it is shared or not. Knowing your budget will help you focus on affordable options.
Stay flexible: During the MBA program, there may be opportunities for corporate projects in other cities like Zurich, Basel, or even Germany. Having a rental contract with a 2-month notice period can make it easier for you to relocate if needed.
Unfurnished Apartments or Studios: If you are looking for an unfurnished place, be prepared to provide a deposit equivalent to 3 months' rent. Additionally, you will be responsible for monthly utilities, internet, and telecommunication fees.
Shared Spaces: Renting a room in a shared space can be a convenient option as it usually doesn't require a deposit. However, consider the cost of reservation and final cleaning in addition to the monthly rent, which often covers utilities and internet.
Start Early: The real estate market in St. Gallen is highly competitive, especially during the academic periods in January and September. Starting your search as soon as possible will give you time to explore different options, understand rental prices, and avoid last-minute decisions that may lead to higher prices and stress.
Seek Assistance: The MBA program provides housing support in St. Gallen. The housing assistant can help you find suitable options and provide valuable market information to aid your search.
Utilize Online Listings: Take advantage of online platforms like ImmobilienScout24, Homegate, Airbnb, and Flatfox to search for available apartments, rooms, or shared housing. These platforms allow you to filter your search and receive notifications based on your preferences.
Schedule Video Tours: To manage your expectations, consider scheduling video tours of the accommodations you are interested in. This will help you understand the condition and type of property you are renting, as St. Gallen has older properties at higher prices.
Furnished Options: If you need furniture and want to save money, consider looking for secondhand furniture. St. Gallen being a student city, you can often find students selling furniture in good condition at the end of each academic period. Connect with MBA students and explore Facebook groups like "Sharing is caring" for such opportunities.
Be Patient: Finding the right accommodation may take time, so it's important to be patient and persistent in your search. Don't rush into decisions; keep exploring different options until you find the one that suits your needs.
I hope these tips are helpful to you in your search for housing in St. Gallen.