Moving to Aachen from North Yorkshire with family

18 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi all

I am an automotive engineer have been headhunted and offered a new job working in Aachen. I will be moving likely in the new year with my wife and 15 month old child.

where are good family places to live? I have head that Walheim is nice, and have been looking on housing websites at Rott.

Anything I should be thinking about and any advice for a not yet German speaker, about a move to Germany from the UK?

sorry for the not very specific questions, this is becoming real and I am getting a little apprehensive

thanks

Duncan

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Posted

Firstly, don't worry. Secondly, trawl TT for information. Most of what you will want to know is around and won't be too tough to find by searching. It is a very good starting point. I suspect that there won't be a question you will have that won't have been covered.

I don't know Aachen so can't speak for it, but I there has been some Aachen chat recently in the NRW section and if memory serves an Aachen expats facebook page. Again, that might be a good source of info.

I'm not suggesting that the transition will be a flawless and perfect process, but I'm sure you'll be just fine. Congrats on the job and enjoy your time in Germany.

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Posted

Hi Absolute47,

as I live in Aachen, feel free to PM me questions concerning this area.

CU

Franklan

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Posted

Try this for meeting local English speaking people.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/144900475013/

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Posted

Hi Duncan. It depends on what you're looking for in terms of a place to live---central or suburban? Garden? Space? The center is fairly expensive. If you want to live further out to have more space, close-in outside places (that are family friendly) include Richterich and Vaalserquartier. Real estate is less expensive across the border, for instance near Vaals (NL) or Hergenrath/Kelmis (BE), but there are some hassles with living in one country and working in another. Slightly further out is Brand, Eilendorf, Kohlscheid. Even further is Kornielimuenster, Walheim, Herzogenrath, Eschweiler, and on and on. One thing not to be overlooked is where you will find friends for your child. Our child is in daycare in Aachen but we live outside, which makes it hard to find friends "down the block". But Aachen is a very nice small city. A nice historic center and nearby plenty of woods, farms, playgrounds. If you have specific questions, let me know.

Best wishes,

rezikiel

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Posted

Hi Duncan and welcome from another Tyke.

I hope your move goes really well but there are a few things you probably need to prepare yourself for:

Health Insurance.

The UK has the NHS whereas Germany doesn't have a central health system. I think Germany offers more choice. The basic concept is the same in that you must pay into a health insurance each month, but this can be one of many public systems (krankenkasse) or even possibly a private system, but you must sign up with one.

Tax

Germany is the highest taxation country that I personally know of, there is even a church tax.

Relocation

Back to tax really, if you have negotiated a relocation package which involves a payment, don't be surprised when it gets taxed. Yes, really and much unlike the UK.

Lastly for now I'll say "don't burn your bridges, or at least not initially"

You never know, this move may not work out. You probably have to accept a 'trial period' in your new job, usually 6 months during which either you or employer can say "sorry, this isn't quite working out, let's call it a day".

Having said this, Germany is a great place with, in my opinion, a much better quality and way of life than most places in the UK. I really hope this works out for you!

Some useful search criteria for that TT search box up in the top right corner of your screen could be:

health insurance

church tax

tax

renting an apartment

Ahh yes, apartments; don't be surprised if you look to rent an apartment (or house) and find hardly any come equipped with a kitchen or even light fittings, hence my comment on relocation payment(s).

Feel free to ask more specific questions when you think of them, no matter how silly you may think they may be.

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Posted

Welcome to TT, Absolute47,

Here’s the TT Wiki page on renting accommodation in Germany and links to the search features in 4 popular internet accommodation advertising websites, immobillienmarkt , Immonet.de, Immobillienscout24 and wg-gesucht.de. The last site concentrates on flat-sharing offers and requests although they also have regular apartments listed.

You’ll need to re-define those searches to suit your specific needs. To make navigation straightforward the wg-gesucht link is set to their English language option. You can toggle back and forward to German to help you learn the accommodation ad vocab. Many German websites offer an (often a very limited ) English version option button, usually at the top, - if not in words then look out for a US or UK flag. You should get busy with the LEO English-German Dictionary, in order to figure out what type of flats are being described, then look at the list of options on the left and tick only the suitable ones.

Offers are normally only quoted Kaltmiete (net of utilities and heating) unless Warmiete is stated. Flats are shown by m² and number of rooms excluding bathroom (Bad) and kitchen (Kuche). Furnished flats, like ones with fitted kitchens (EBK), are less commonly rented in Germany. Landlords who do let furnished flats may charge higher rents and also restrict certain standard tenancy rights.

One important option to note is Provision Frei which means no Makler (letting agency) fee. The Makler is a shark-like creature unique to German speaking countries. They have nothing in common with UK estate agents or US realtors other than knowing how to post ads, make viewing appointments and collect commission (of 2.38 x net monthly rent in exchange for a guarantee of no further service). They probably only survive in Germany because the Finanzamt (German inland revenue) allows their fee to be set-off against tax where moves are job-related. If you do have interest in a property on their books be cautious about even inferring you will take it as verbal agreements can be binding and, if you change your mind, they may still attempt to extort collect their fee.

Good luck with your planned move.

2B

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Posted

Hi,

I'm Church of England and don't have to pay "kirchensteuer" my wife being Catholic does. Hope this helps.

As much as I love Cornwall and the United Kingdom I still plan to stay here as long as I have to work for a living. There are some downsides to living/working here but also untold benefits. We've been here for over twenty years now and still don't regret it-except it being a much longer walk to the beach(like 160 km longer!)

Feel free to ask if you have any questions and Toytown is great for info.

Good luck and welcome to Germany.

The Cornishman

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Posted

You don't have to pay church tax - I do not ...

I guess I just have to dodge the lightening bolts when they start raining down on me ....

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Posted

thanks for the information everybody.

looks like its all signed and sealed and we will be moving at the end of Feb.

had a look on the sites recomeneded and the picking seem a bit sparce... I am guessing housing is rented from local papers / estate agents? rather than the german equivilant of rightmove.

company is putting us up in a furnished apartment for the fist 3 months so I should have a little time to find a home once we get there.

we are not religious so I am not expecting to pay church tax.

thanks for the info.

Duncan

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Posted

Congratulations! Thanks for the update, it's always nice to hear how things work out after someone posts here.

For finding a place to live, keep checking the websites 2B posted (and also check null-provision.de) - but print ads in the local newspapers are also a good place to check. Accommodation ads are in the papers on Wednesday and Saturday. Many of the ads will be online as well, but often those ads from private persons (as opposed to agencies) are only in the print edition. Get the paper early and start ringing from 8:00 am onward for a viewing. Also make sure your employer puts the word out via intranet, bulletin board, whatever - often it's someone who knows someone who... you get the picture.

RE church tax: You may not expect to pay church tax, but you need to be aware that the Germans *will* expect you to pay, unless you expressly state that you're not. For more info on where and how to do this, have a look at this TT Wiki page on residence registration, which is the first thing you will need to do when you arrive in Aachen.

All the best as you plan and prepare for your move!

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Posted

Hello.

What would you recommend for renting when working near the Wegberg town?

Aachen or Dusseldorf?

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Posted

Hello Duncan

My name's Yvonne and I'm from Newcastle. I'm teaching English in Cologne and I just stumbled across your posting. Don't be too apprehensive about moving to Germany from the logistics and language point of view. English is very widely spoken here so you will be able to find your way through all the bureacracy quite painlessly. I just thought I'd tell you about a great institution here, called the Volkshochschule, this means literally the people's high school and is equivalent to adult learning in the UK but loads better. You and your wife could sign up to do German classes, which is a nice way to meet other foreign people living in Aachen (a nice town with a lovely old historic centre). They also do lots of other stuff where you don't need a command of the language, from exercise classes, to walking and cycling excursions, even canooeing. Here's the site, it's in German but they are certain to speak English and be able to reply to an Email in English. I recommend them highly, it saved my sanity in Hamburg and Nuremberg as I was there alone. http://www.vhs-aachen.de/vhs/ueber-uns.htm

I'm sure you will enjoy the experience here. The business and work environment is pretty similar to the UK, there are no major cultural differences, except perhaps for the fact that language of business is a little more direct. On the whole I have found Germans to be extremely hospitable, thoughtful and educated.

All the best to you

Yvonne

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Posted

thanks yvonne,

Yes we have been here for nearly a month now and are finding the buerocracy very easy to deal with (so far)

now getting to the point where a basic command of the german language is starting to become a want as well as a neccessity, we (wife and I ) are just starting language classes and hopefully this will get us past the stbling blocks of day to day life.

Cheers

Duncan

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Posted

Hi Duncan,

I am about to make a similar journey from West Yorkshire to Aachen. I have a basic command of German and am looking forward to immersing myself into the culture and language when I move there at the end of April. I am an Automotive Engineer as well and will be starting my new job in May.

How are you finding the flat/house hunting? Do you have any tips to a fellow Brit regarding any preference with banking and any wise words regarding registration and insurances? I am starting to go through TT forums scouring for this information as well.

I wish you the best of luck with your new life in Aachen!

Best wishes,

Raul

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Posted

Hi Absolute47 and raul_tharma, welcome to Charlemaigne's city!

Which companies are you working for???

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Posted

We are too new to Aachen, only 1 month here.

Do you know any places to practice football, tennis, table tennis in Aachen?

Thanks!

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Posted

Anyone knowing anything about playng table tennis in Aachen?

I found this site:

http://www.tt-aachen.de/

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