Housing near U.S. military bases in Frankfurt - Germany

Californian barber wants to move to Germany

Hello everyone…Guten Tag!

I’ll try to make this quick and simple. Please Help with any advice if you can. Here it goes…I understand that there’s a couple of U.S. military base(s) in Frankfurt Main. Can anyone tell me if there’s an apartment that I can rent near the base(s), preferably walking distance. My German is not good. I’m currently living in the U.S. Obviously, I plan to move to Germany, preferably Frankfurt Main. I’m a Barber. Once I’m there, I know and understand that it’s going to be extremely difficult the first 6 months to a year. For income, I like to start building clientele from our U.S. military personnel. I do regular haircuts, skin fades and shadow fades, razor line up. Here’s the plan…

1. When I get there in FFM…I will stay at a hotel for about 14 days while looking for an apartment hopefully within walking distance to U.S. military base/housing. It is somewhat critical during this time as I would like to get an apartment as soon as possible as staying in a hotel is expensive. I won’t have a car, so getting around would be by foot, taxi, or public transportation. The apartment I’m looking for would preferably be unfurnished 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 kitchen, and 1 bathroom. I read about some of these places being real safe and nice…Bornheim, Bockenheim, Nordend, Sachsenhausen. I read somewhere on TT that Hanau has a lot of U.S. personnel living there…is that a good area? One more area I need to know….is Braunschweig??? Are there U.S. military Base/Housing there? If anyone has any recommendation of a place that‘s near a military base/housing please let me know in detail to what street the apartment would be on. (BTW…what does cold rent and warm rent mean?)

2. Income. This is obviously the most critical. During the first couple of months while I’m getting use to the weather, lifestyle, etc. I will do barbering for income. I would like to know if anyone is willing to give me a try??? Awhile back I cut a U.S. military personal who was stationed overseas in Belgium and when I was done; he said that he wished he had a good barber like me in Belgium. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to show off or say I’m the best or anything like that. I’m not the best and not the type that like to show off. It’s just that he gave me the idea that I can actually move to Germany. I believe that if I can give you a good cut and good customer service, you will come back again.

3. Tools. This is critical. As I understand that in Germany they use 220v. I will bring tools from U.S. with transformers, but don’t know how it will work in Germany. Anyone know where the barber supply shop in FFM is? The tools that I use are Oster 76 Clipper with 7 metal blades from 000 – 3.5…..Wahl 5 star Clipper with a set of 8 plastic guards from #1-#8. Andis T trimmer. And ofcourse a straight razor with razor blades and scissors but I’m sure that can easily be found. In Germany they probably use different brands and stuff, but my point is if anyone know about the tools, what are some of the similar tools that they have to what I use and what the names are and where the Barber supply store is.

4. Future. When my German is somewhat decent. I would like to look for a small place to expand and open a Barber Shop. I understand that this is not easy. But, can someone give me an idea how hard it is to open up a small barber shop(600-900 sq. ft.) there? Is it like the same way you would do it here in the U.S.?

5. Other. I will have a world phone and is already unlocked. I will need a SIM card once I get there and more likely start on a pre-paid basis. Anyone know how much it cost and are there a lot of cell phone dealers around.

I understand it’s going be difficult… like getting a resident/working permit etc. and among other things… and I will probably run into many problems. So, any advice would be much appreciated. If there are no changes in plan. The time frame that I’m looking to making the move is sometime between Dec. ’08 – Jan. ’09. taking a German course this semester and it will end in Dec.

Thank you….Danke.

I am a hairstylist as well and have been living in Germany for four years. I can answer some of your questions, but not all of the them.

Point one: Areas in Frankfurt I am not sure but for an apartment go to immobilienscout24.de there you will find listing for appartments of all kinds and you can always check where they are in reference to the military base. Kalt miete (cold rent) means before utilities warm miete(warm rent) after utilities. But be prepared because it is not only first and last rent you have to pay when you rent an apartment it is also the real estate you have to pay (approximatly 2x your rent)

Point two: It takes a long time to get a German to trust you.

Point three:Forget about buying transformers for your clippers, It burns them out over a period of time. I know that from experience. If you are looking for a beauty supply in the area search google for friseurbedarf

Point four: For this point I would suggest you find out if the German government will accept your qualifications. You need to be a friseurmeister in order to be self employed and I know from experience that it is not easy and not cheap to get this title. What qualifications do you have right now?

Point five: There are tons of cell phone companies, T-com, O-2,Vodafone just to name a few. They are all on the internet.

Also, please don't missunderstand me I am not trying to talk you out of moving because Germany is a great country to live, but it is not easy and not cheap. I am just trying to prepare you for some of the surprises that I faced when I moved here. I hope this info helps

I understand that there’s a couple of U.S. military base(s) in Frankfurt Main.
The army base is actually in Wiesbaden. Now, this is only just a little bit down the road from Frankfurt, and so very close that many people commute daily between the two, but it's still far enough that there aren't that many US Army personnel milling about in town these days.
Frankfurt has virtually no military personnel or posts. Most or all of the posts have been closed in the past 10 years.
Thanks for your answers...As for qualifications...I am currently a licsense Barber in California.
There are military bases all over Germany. Are you stuck on going to Frankfurt Main?
Are you stuck on going to Frankfurt Main? ...No, I'm considering Braunschweig.
Well, if you google 'military bases in germany' you will find loads of bases/posts in Germany. Most bases have information on where they are located on their websites and you can get an idea of the area they are in as well as how big the base might be. Some of the sites I have been on also have a listing for the job office where you might be able to speak to someone and even have a job lined up before you get here because I'm pretty sure you'll have to work on the military base as I have a friend in Germany that is a hairstylist and it's my understading that you have to be certified in Germany before you can do hair (but I could be wrong on this!).
There are no Military bases in Frankfurt. As posted above Weisbaden Army Air Field, is about a 30min drive from Frankfurt (Without Traffic).
The army base Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne in Darmstadt (South of Frankfurt - 20min) will be closing by the end of 2008 and moving all operations
to Hanau, Wiesbaden, Kaiserlautern and Stuttgart. As such the base is slowing closing down and not many places are open any more and many
people have already left. There were many barracks and base in and around Frankfurt, but the army closed its last barracks in 1996 and the
Airforce closed Rhein-Main AB, in 2005.

If your looking for something with-in walking distance of a Military base, you deff. won't find it in Frankfurt. Or best bet is to look for a place
in Downtown Wiesbaden. No, there are no US military bases in Braunschweig. Hanau is a big industrial city and is a very busy place. It does have
a huge military presence, and as such apartments are expensive. Its also rumored that Hanau will be closing in the next 3-5 years.

#3 Tools = Saturn or Media Markt

#4 - It will cost you a fortune (50k Euro+) and many hours of paperwork. I'd think again, and try something else.

#5 - There are cell phone dealers on every corner. The cheapest price for a SIM Only is around 10-20 Eur.

If your really looking to work from a Military base your options/locations are limited to:

Wiesbaden, Hanau, Bitburg/Spangahalm, Kaiserslautern, Stuttgart and Hohenfels/Grafenwöhr
All the American military bases are in southern Germany, the north is covered by the Brits, there is no US military presence in Braunschweig.
The men I know in / near FAM and surrounds get their hair cut for 5 Euros - and that price includes a top notch coffee (or two if I'm there as well ) - or max 10 if they are really unlucky.

That's the market you are in.
The men I know in / near FAM and surrounds get their hair cut for 5 Euros
Even the inexpensive (and excellent) Turkish barbers around the main station cost 15 plus tip.
You may be able to get a job cutting hair for AAFES. May not pay much but it's a place to start. I'd also recommend Stuttgart instead of Frankfurt, there are more Military personnel there and a bigger market.
Thanks for all your time and the replies...What do you think of Kaiserslautern???
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