Housing in and around Patch Barracks - Germany

Accommodation advice for U.S. military families

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Stinabrat
Hello,

We are headed to Stuttgart, Patch Baracks the first week of August. I have read many of the posts on places to live and such and this is a great site.

I was wondering if anyone knew what the current wait for housing is? We really want to rent out in town rather than be on base.

Does anyone know what the "exceptions to policy" are for not living on post if it is available? If it helps hubby is an O3 & Navy and will be at DISA/EUCOM. I believe its on Patch, but of course not sure at all.

What are some good areas that are on the bus routes? I look at the maps, but its all very confusing for me when I try to enter a town/area into the search places.

Also can anyone recommend the best way to avoid the realtor fees, as in a place to look for homes being rented by owner and such.

I have read military pays more than germans for housing. We will have about 1800 Euro's for a place and don't mind living a bit farther out. What areas would essentially be considered farther out or against the traffic. We are looking for at least a 3 bedroom, no pets, preferably a house or duplex not an apartment.

Thanks in advance for all the help as I can't seem to get housing to respond to my emails!

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Stinabrat
Also places to locate work for me? I have previously been a retail store manager, (Gymboree) and I don't want to be a cashier. It wouldn't be worth the pay for daycare for my son. Any ideas other than the cpol site?
Nicole
This thread may help
Stinabrat
Thanks for the link, I have been reading on here for months and have seen most the threads about moving here. It doesn't answer my questions though which is why I started a new thread.
Nicole
Generally most Officers aren't forced to live on base, so your chances of living off base are pretty good. If you use the listings at housing office then you will only have to pay one or two months rent as a returnable deposit. In some cases they will also pay for the cost of a Realtor so you should check with them if they are still doing that. (they were doing this because of a severe shortage of available housing, not sure if they still are). For 1800 Eur you should be able to find something quite decent however the closer to the base the more the prices rise.

It's impossible to say where you should live because it all depends on what is available when you arrive and bearing in mind that you are coming in at the busiest time of the year. We live West of Patch and it is a 25-30 min commute if there is no traffic ('usually' there isn't too much). The commuter traffic can be a bit of a nightmare depending on where you choose to live, although my husband reckons it takes almost as long to get onto base in the morning as it does to drive to work. Some nice areas to live that I know, are Schonaich, Holzgerlingen, Leinfelden, Weil der Stadt, all are on the bus route and have their own plus points. Herrenberg is very popular with Americans and has a largish town with smaller villages surrounding it. I'm sure others have their own opinions on what constitutes a nice place to live but again it is really down to availability when you arrive. If you decide to go with a Realtor who specializes in Military rentals, (and the housing office will certainly recommend those to you) you will probably be shown a better quality of house straight away rather than having to visit a few and weed them out for yourself.

As for work, really the only retail is AAFES, the few stores surrounding the BX and the commissary. None of whom offer great salaries or working conditions.
Stinabrat
Thanks Nicole! I am sure my husband will have to commute regardless, so its nice to know where might be a good area to look. i.e. west of patch. It will help to have some of the names also, looking at the maps don't help me at all.

We don't mind living a little further out (but still on the bus route) to get more for the money. Its making me crazy since I really can't do anything till I get there and for a planner its a bit nerve racking.

Here is another question for you all. Is it better to buy a BMW here and do the german delievery (where we pick it up there so avoid shipping costs on a second vehicle) or is it better/cheaper to wait and buy from the BMW lot there as I have seen mentioned. How much on average would the savings be? Doing it the first option we can get exactly the car, color, options we want but if its a huge price difference we can sacrifice on the options and such.
KyleXX
Where you choose to live in and around the bases is dependent on many factors. Many of the previous posts provide sound advice based on real experience. If I may suggest for those moving to Germany, do not think of the accommodations situation like that of what exists in the states. You'll run the risk of raising your expectations to high and probably become frustrated. The some key factors I think should be considered are: housing allowance, time willing to commute (does not necessarily equate to distance), School bus lines, how fast you want/need to move in, can you read and speak German (not that big a factor if renting).

German landlords who target Americans know our housing needs is a cash cow for them. There are good landlords and bad, just keep in mind that your represent profit or an investment to them and you represent the USA. I recommend to any GS/GG civilian to buy a home versus renting. Instead of paying that money to a landlord, consider the mortgage as an investment towards your retirement. When you rotate and sell or keep the house the equity is yours. Someone might question the ethics, but why give it to a landlord with no return of the funds to America, when an American will eventually in most cases) take the money back to the states.

My advice for renters or buyers is for the wife to pick five gotta haves and the husband to pick five gotta haves. Then determine an acceptance threshold (i.e. we will take this place because it meets our acceptance threshold of six out of ten gotta haves). This may help reduce frustration when seeing the houses that are currently available. When renting seek advice from someone who likes and enjoy their living accommodations. They typically have more useful and positive advice. However, do not discount the horror stories that seem factual and not anecdotal. I avoided older homes that had not undergone any type of renovation in the last 5 years.

There are many towns and villages to choose from that are south of Boeblingen, however Autobahn 831 is prone to traffic jams. West and North of Stuttgart are also great areas again prone to traffic jams, however there are alternate ways to work. East and South of Stuttgart is where I think is the best for commuting however these areas are limited in concentration of housing that Americans typically go for.

This is not a solicitation, so please no spears. I may be downsizing my living accommodations this fall and will have a place available around the end of Sept if things go as I plan. I live in Aichtal which is south of the airport off B27. The house is a Duplex with a carport and partially fence yard. The only detractor is it only has a single full bath. It is in the Boeblingen school zone with busline service.
Time2kayak
We had a friend at SOCEUR who is a Major and had to move on Patch and leave his off post housing. Alot has to do with your arrival date. As far as waiting list for on post housing is any where from 1-60 days. I say that because, if you have your husband's sponsor hook him up things can work out better for you. Not sure who is military persons verse contractor families, but like anywhere it helps to know people. Rank doesn't have a play in the deal if quarters are available. I know this to be true it's in your timing of arrival.

If you come after school starts, less quarters will be available, because families PCS in the summer due to schools starting and getting their kids there on the first day. So living off post could be a bit easier. I am only speaking from experience. We are on our way there for the 3rd and final time. We are already on a list just incase we can't find housing off post that works for us.
MqE
My husband, cat, dog and I are PCS'ing to Stuttgart in 2 weeks. Husband (O5 in the Army) will work on Kelley Barracks (AFRICOM). His previous assignment ~10 yrs ago allowed him to live off post. We've heard (and I'm seeing here) mixed reports about housing policies and a current requirment to live in govt housing. We would really prefer to live on the economy. Can anyone offer advice on how to work that?

Thanks!
MqE
Also, do the same rules apply for temporary housing? Do you need a statement of unavailability before you can stay at an off post hotel while you wait for permanent housing? Thanks!
Nicole
Things change all the time depending on occupancy rates and the busy PCS season. Your best bet is to ask the housing office what the current policy is. They can also answer your hotel related questions too.

Their E mail address is housing@6asg.army.mil.

Customer Service Supervisor
DSN: 431-2230, Civ. From the US call 011 49 7031-15-2230 (Mon through Friday 7.30 am-4.30pm European time)
Panzer Kaserne, building 2913, 2nd floor
MqE
Thanks for the info. I'll try emailing since I'm on Mountain time - 8 hrs behind.
bluebell16
You also may want to try calling early on Monday morning. The housing office is notoriously bad at answering e-mails. Any either I or my hubby have sent had to be followed-up by a phone call.
joey.carbonet
Try this website! USAG Stuttgart Housing Office (Aspen Consulting?)

It's apparently from the new OFF POST HOUSING CONTRACTOR the USAG Stuttgart has hired to run their off-post community housing relocation and referral service (commonly known as CHRRS pronounced 'chaaars!' like a pirate would say)

Why hasn't anyone told me about (posted) this dang website sooner?!!! Hmmm... all I can say is that not being referred to this website is on par with my experience so far with finding military / government housing in Stuttgart and I just don't know why.

So I've spent a lot of time looking on my own and found that these sites are a must view!

Immobilienscout24 self explanatory
Frau Gaissert she's a bit of an eccentric (or maybe just a plain nut, but she has a lot of beautiful properties - you've got to see the pics on her site to truly see what I mean. really worth a visit even if you've already found a place.
Kai van Husen especially if you have pets.. almost all his stuff was pet friendly! I'm probably taking this place with a sweet pond in the yard, but... ehh.. just getting here so want to keep my options open
and lastly these guys seem to have everything
Stuttgart Realtor Kings! just kidding on the name, they are Stuttgarter-Immobilien and were very professional to work with but seemed to concentrate on downtown.
• oh.. yeah and lastly there's this company that had a lot of neat stuff downtown, but I don't know there website. They're called VEMA look em up and ask for Walter and oh yeah there was this Leich character housing referred me too.. lol. well let me not go on-and-on, but realtors in Stuttgart seem to be an interesting bunch ;) and herr Leich was a fun guy to spend an afternoon with.

As far as fees go, most of the guys above have "Provision Frei" or NO FEE properties and they seem to deal with the housing office a lot. They knew more about what was going on that people I reached on the phone in housing.

Also, housing is so short in Stuttgart that most military and many civilians are getting exceptions to policy to get any realtor fees paid for by the government is what I heard from my buddy.. woo hoo! now i can find what i really want (hopefully:).

And it doesn't hurt to know what you're getting before you get here so you can start shopping around.

http://perdiem.hqda.pentagon.mil/perdiem/ohaform.html

PM me if anyone finds something closer to Patch that will take dogs and is LARGE (at least 1,800 sq ft).

Joey

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sandi
What is a general move in rate? I keep hearing diffrent things? 4- 8 thousand dollars? were looking for 2-3 bedrooms between 1500-2000 euros .
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