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JFK School of Berlin 2017 graduate

Denial is no longer an option now that my second child’s high school graduation is just one month away. As another school year winds down I find myself casting wistful gazes at young women with baby strollers and daddys wiping smudges of ice cream off their toddlers’ faces. I wake up each morning feeling relieved to still count two children at home. I’m eager to do their laundry, prepare their favorite meals, and join them for a game of German Yatzy.

“Make sure you keep busy!” has been my mantra for the past year of coping with my dwindling nest. I’ve taken this counsel to such an extreme that I have almost no free time. I’m toiling over my German citizenship book project, upping my hours at my job, and criss-crossing the city to check out every apartment that comes on the market within my desired five kilometer radius. Seven years after our first temporary move to Berlin, I’m ready to create my own more permanent nest here.

Apartment hunting is a fun way to explore our favorite Berlin neighborhoods and get a peek into the city’s beautiful turn of the century Altbaus. I love the feeling of mystery about what we’ll discover when we step inside. There’ve been many surprises such as the penthouse that gave off the distinct feeling of a bordello, an apartment where all the interior walls were moveable, and one with a bathroom that looked like an outhouse.

After going to 31 Besichtigungstermine (viewing appointments), finding an affordable 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with a balcony and an elevator in a historic building is starting to feel a little unrealistic. But a small penthouse in a newer building recently caught our eye. The best part: no need for renovations!

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