Whether you’re moving to Germany and recently arrived or are moving within Germany, the way the military housing list works is that they give you a housing offer when you come up on the top of the list, and you have 24 hours to accept or decline. If you decline or don’t answer, then they take it away and you get one more. If you decline or don’t answer that one, you get bumped off the list. Although there are three Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) housing areas we could have moved to (Vogelweh, Ramstein, and Landstuhl), by our choice, we were only on the list for Vogelweh. Because our DEROS (date of expected return from overseas) hadn’t been updated with the new orders, we had been told it would be a short wait, and it was.
Our first offer came within a couple of weeks of being put on the list. The pictures the lady from housing had emailed to us looked like they went to a three bedroom apartment while we were offered a two bedroom apartment. My husband emailed to ask a question regarding whether the photos were accurate to what we were offered. The lady never responded, and then we got an email saying they’d taken the offer away. My husband called to complain and asked to speak to a supervisor, and suddenly everything was okay. So we got to keep the offer. We went to check it out and liked what we could see of it from outside.
Unfortunately due to my husband’s job circumstance, he had to wait to move. He’d already talked to the lady and been assured it wasn’t a problem and they’d hold our spot. What they didn’t do was hold that particular apartment. They gave it to someone else. Fortunately, they didn’t count it against our two choices, so when we were closer to our PCS (permanent change of station) date, they gave us two options, both with two bedrooms. One would be a third floor apartment with no balcony and with the washer and dryer in the bathroom. The other would be on the fourth floor with a balcony and a separate utility room for the washer and dryer.
The living room and bedrooms were a little bigger in the third floor one, and my husband wanted to take that because it was one less floor for us to go up daily. However, I pointed out that we’d actually have more room in the bathroom with the other one, and the balcony would be nice to have. Plus if we were the top floor, we would only have people below us, not above, which should help cut down on some of the noise of people in their apartments and walking on the stairs. My logic prevailed. I’m glad it did because it’s really nice to have a balcony to sit on and to be able to air the apartment out better, and I have since been in an apartment that had the washer and dryer in the bathroom and much prefer ours being in a separate utility room. The separate utility room is also an improvement over our apartment in Heidelberg where the washer and dryer were in the kitchen.
I’ll tell you more about the apartment in future posts about moving. In the mean time, you may also be interested in checking out this article in which I answer several questions posed by Germany Ja about living in Vogelweh housing such as the “feel” of the neighborhood, services available nearby, school districts, and some of the advantages and disadvantages to living on a military post.