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HomeDenmark30-year-old American Teacher Moved to Denmark—Now Pays $2,100/month to Live in a...

30-year-old American Teacher Moved to Denmark—Now Pays $2,100/month to Live in a Luxury Apartment and is ‘Much Happier’

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In June 2018, I packed three suitcases and booked a one-way flight from Texas to join my husband in Denmark. We met in 2016 and had been dating long-distance for much of our relationship. We were excited to get married and build a home and life together.

We found a wonderful apartment online in a new building in Amager, located in the southern part of Copenhagen. My husband viewed the apartment in person and sent me photos while I was still in Dallas.

I love the size of Copenhagen. It feels like a city, but it's small enough that everything is still accessible

I love the size of Copenhagen. It feels like a city, but it’s small enough that everything is still accessible

Photo: CNBC Make It

Today, we rent our 1,020-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment for $2,100 a month. The neighborhood is a decent commute to work — I’m a primary school teacher and my husband is in finance — with plenty of beautiful outdoor space and fun places to take our two-year-old son. 

A look inside our Copenhagen apartment

We have a small entryway with a built-in closet, and a bench to sit on when you take your shoes off.

Our lease is indefinite, and rent increases are tied to inflation. But we had to pay two month's rent upfront, and three month's rent as a security deposit.

Our lease is indefinite, and rent increases are tied to inflation. But we had to pay two month’s rent upfront, and three month’s rent as a security deposit.

Photo: CNBC Make It

We had to buy our own light fixtures, since they often don't come installed in many Copenhagen apartments. A lot of Danes like this because they can choose things that best fit their style.

We had to buy our own light fixtures, since they often don’t come installed in many Copenhagen apartments. A lot of Danes like this because they can choose things that best fit their style.

Photo: CNBC Make It

When you go into a lot of Danish homes, they have many of the same small design pieces, like this like this little Hoptimist toy. They come in a lot of different colors and styles.

When you go into a lot of Danish homes, they have many of the same small design pieces, like this like this little Hoptimist toy. They come in a lot of different colors and styles.

Photo: CNBC Make It

Our sleek, modern bathroom doubles as a laundry room. We’re lucky to have both a washer and dryer in the unit.

Modern bathroom and kitchens can be hard to come by in the city center on a budget, so we were lucky to find a place that had both.

Modern bathroom and kitchens can be hard to come by in the city center on a budget, so we were lucky to find a place that had both.

Photo: CNBC Make It

What’s nice about our main bedroom is that it came with a wardrobe already built in, which isn’t the case for many Danish apartments.

We liked how much space there was in the bedroom, and we're able to fit in almost a king sized bed.

We liked how much space there was in the bedroom, and we’re able to fit in almost a king sized bed.

Photo: CNBC Make It

Since this was a new building, the apartment came with closets already installed. Most people in Denmark have to buy and set them up on their own.

Since this was a new building, the apartment came with closets already installed. Most people in Denmark have to buy and set them up on their own.

Photo: CNBC Make It

The second bedroom was initially our guest room and office, but we turned it into a nursery when our son was born. What’s nice about our main bedroom is that it came with a wardrobe already built in, which isn’t the case for many Danish apartments.

The main area in our apartment is one big room that includes our kitchen, dining room and living room.

I came here with just three suitcases and didn't ship anything from the U.S., and my husband had been living with a roommate, so we started fresh.

I came here with just three suitcases and didn’t ship anything from the U.S., and my husband had been living with a roommate, so we started fresh.

Photo: CNBC Make It

The kitchen sits along one wall, and is somewhat small by American standards, but we actually have a good amount of storage, especially because we have drawers instead of cabinets.

The kitchen and dining area is slightly smaller than I was used to in the U.S., but we do have some elegant storage options.

The kitchen and dining area is slightly smaller than I was used to in the U.S., but we do have some elegant storage options.

Photo: CNBC Make It

The neighborhood is very family-friendly, with plenty of restaurants, bakeries, shops, parks and playgrounds within walking distance.

We have a number of international neighbors. There is also a great beach nearby, which is bustling in the summer. And we have a small balcony that my son loves to play on when the weather is nice. 

I'm much happier living in Copenhagen than in Dallas. I think a big part of that is job satisfaction. I'm able to enjoy the time that I'm not at work because I'm not as stressed out anymore.

I’m much happier living in Copenhagen than in Dallas. I think a big part of that is job satisfaction. I’m able to enjoy the time that I’m not at work because I’m not as stressed out anymore.

Photo: CNBC Make It

While it’s pricey, I’m much happier here

For our utilities, we spend about $210 per month: $36 for heat, $55 for water, $66 for electricity and $53 for WiFi.

I'm not 100% fluent, but I can have most everyday conversations and exchanges in Danish.

I’m not 100% fluent, but I can have most everyday conversations and exchanges in Danish.

Photo: CNBC Make It

We have a car and pay $120 a month for a parking spot in an underground garage. We also have renter’s insurance that comes to about $40 a month.

The cost of living in Copenhagen is sometimes high. But I know that my salary goes way further here than it did in Dallas, especially in terms of what I was paying for healthcare and transportation in the U.S. And the rent we pay now is a good value for the amount of space we have.

Before I moved here, I never lived in a city with good public transportation before, so I really appreciate it now!

Before I moved here, I never lived in a city with good public transportation before, so I really appreciate it now!

Photo: CNBC Make It

We live close to the metro, so I can easily get anywhere in the Copenhagen area. I pay about $90 a month for a public transportation pass that covers my work commute and everywhere else.

On public transit, it’s 15 minutes from our front door to the city center in one direction, and 15 minutes to the airport in the other direction, which is very convenient.

Looking ahead, we’d like to eventually get some more space, and we may need to move a bit further out of the city to achieve that. But we love Copenhagen, so we wouldn’t go too far. And I have loved living in this apartment. It has been a great first home in my new country. 

Source: CNBC

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