Apartments are the primary type of accommodation in Berlin. Most apartment buildings are only a few levels tall and consist of front and rear houses surrounding an inner courtyard. Altbaus, or older buildings, were constructed in the early 1900s. Often beautifully restored, these spacious apartments boast old oak floors, larger French doors and moulding on the ceilings. Altbaus are highly sought after and, as such, often attract a higher rental price.
If an older style apartment is not your thing, the post-war boom that Berlin experienced as a need to restore the war-ravaged city, saw a rapid development of buildings that range from architecturally brilliant to communist cold war prefabricated knock-ups. These newer buildings generally have better insulation and a range of more modern amenities such as lifts.
Stand alone, single houses and villas are usually found in the outer suburbs of Berlin or in small settlements scattered throughout where apartment blocks were demolished and replaced by rows of housing. Most of these were constructed post WWI, post WWII and in the 50s. The standard of the home will vary greatly depending on when it was built and where. Generally speaking, though, these homes tend to be spacious and comfortable. While they are further away from the center of the city, they offer more space, a more quiet lifestyle and, often, a yard or garden.
Loft conversions are becoming increasingly popular. Many can be found in Mitte, Wedding and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.