Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where Have all the (Reasonable) Houses Gone?

Hey everyone, it's Mike. Happy New Year!!! We took a couple weeks off from the blog to celebrate the holidays in style - though in this case, the definition of "in style" means: staying put in our temporary quarters here in downtown Landstuhl. It was actually very nice and relaxing. Santa was very generous, leaving us with a few more wonderful distractions to keep us all entertained until we finally get reconnected with the furniture, toys, and other things that we haven't seen since early October, before moving to Germany. I worked most of the week between Christmas and New Years, except for the federally authorized holidays. It was slow and most of my coworkers were off the job, which allowed me some ample time to continue learning what's expected of me at my new post and catching up on some of the work that was waiting for me when I arrived.

New Years in Landstuhl, in a word, is crazy. Back in the States, there are only a few select areas that allow regular customers to buy powerful fireworks, without having to obtain a special permit or go through other legal hoops. At the strike of midnight here, it seemed as though every man, woman and child had their hands on some form of explosive. The fireworks were literally exploding all around us, as far as the eye could see. My pictures give a taste of what we saw, but provide only a limited view. 1000% more insane in real life.

Our search for a more permanent housing situation has continued to be challenging. If Dante Alighieri had written his Divine Comedy in the 21st century, he would have created a 10th circle of suffering called "Searching for Landstuhl Area Housing Outside of PCS Season". There has been very little selection within the school zone we're searching, and those houses that do pop up seem to get snapped by other scavengers before we even get a shot at them. We've started checking the appropriate websites multiple times a day, in hopes that we're the first to find and act on new listings. We've now decided that it might be worth our while to expand our search to include houses within the Ramstein school zone. Ramstein seems to have a lot more availability for families within our demographics (family size, age of kids, pets, etc). This just means that if we find a place outside of Landstuhl, we'll have to request a waiver for Josh to continue attending the school on post where I work. Others have successfully obtained waivers, but it's another hurdle that I was hoping to avoid, as Josh has already been shuffled through more schools than I care to count over his young educational career.

Tomorrow is our first look at a house in the Ramstein school zone since deciding to expand our search. From Google maps and from the property description, we're filled with some hope. Keep your fingers crossed for us!


  1. I think that the most aggravating part for us all is that we REALLY have been trying. I've got realtors that I call just about every day and checking listings every hour or so. It's been incredibly stressful and doesn't create a good introduction professionally for Mike when he's constantly running to look at house without any results. Having 2 children in a cramped apartment gets old very quickly as they need space to run. The Cafe owner/landlord has been gone for the new year. The Cafe has been closed. We have lights going out and mold starting to grow and no one to call. Needless to say we are just plan tired of it.

  2. That is rough and not a great way to start your new life in Germany. Good luck looking in Ramstein.

  3. Fingers crossed you find a perfect spot soon.

  4. Double crossed fingers and prayers.

  5. Oh my goodness. My husband is heading to Landstuhl in one week. The kids and I will follow in February. Not aure what to expect but we are enjoying your blog! Good luck with housing!