Thursday, May 3, 2012

House Hunters International

Lori's first Post!

Yesterday was a productive day.  We went to a class that gave us a lot of information about being here in Germany, and all of the benefits that we can take advantage of on post.  I'm extra excited about the Zumba, Yoga, and cooking classes.  We also got more information about housing, which hopefully we'll have figured out by tomorrow.

After our meetings, we went out with a realtor to look at a couple of houses.  He was a great guy.  He's Italian-German and had a great sense of humor.  He gave us a lot of good tips on restaurants in the area and showed us an Italian market where we can get great produce, cheese, pasta, and olive oil straight from Italy.  

So here are our options:

House #1:   Now we already had this house lined up before we got here.  A colleague of Kyle's is moving out of this house.  She and her family loved it and wanted to hand it off to other Americans.  It was built in the 1920s, so it has traditional German character.  It's in a small village, about 20 minutes away from Kyle's work.  It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, built in storage and overhead lighting (both a luxury in Europe!).  It has a cherry tree in the yard that actually produces a lot of cherries!  There's a 1 car garage with some storage.  It comes with a lawn mower and a grill. It is right across the street from a park with hiking and biking trails, which can be taken to the town center where there's a farmer's market every Saturday. The down side to this house is that it needs some updating that we've already started negotiating.  Also, like most European homes, the kitchen is pretty small.

Side yard with cherry tree.  More space is around the back.

 View of front.  Hard to see because there are
 a lot of trees.

 House #2:  This house is also in a small village, in a good location about 15 minutes from Kyle's work.  It is a bungalow style house in a very quiet, peaceful area. It's newer, so it doesn't have quite as much character and it's a bit smaller than #1. You have to walk through a little courtyard to reach it.  It has been recently updated, so it is clean and fresh.  There are a lot of windows that flood the house with light. It also has 4 bedrooms and two baths.  The kitchen is a good size and has a decent amount of counter space.  (Good for all of the cooking I'll be doing!)  The yard is much smaller, and is not fenced in, although the landlords are willing to fence it in.  (The landlord reminds me of Captain Von Trapp.)  The best thing about this house is the gorgeous view looking over the green, rollings hills. 

View from living room window.  Doesn't do it justice!
Kitchen.  Believe it or not, this is a large kitchen!
 House #3:  This house was also built in the 1920s, and it definitely has the most character with a lot of wooden beams and accents throughout.  It is a bit further away from work than the other 2 houses, but it's in a nice village and is very close to the main street.  It is 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It has a very large fenced in backyard, where you can see the neighbor's chickens and the other neighbor's homing pigeons.  The bedrooms are an ok size, but have weird blue carpet.  The bathroom is nice and updated.  The kitchen has the least amount of counter space, but it's the most open.  This house has a really cool basement/cold room that feels like an old vault under a church.

Nice backyard
Front of house
So which house do you think it will be?

After our house hunting excursion, we took a trail through the woods to a little German restaurant called Weldheim.  We had a great meal and great local beer.

Our walk through the woods to dinner.
A good Hefeweizen and Radler.  The hops for this beer are grown near house #1.
Chicken and Spatzle.  Guess who ate this?
Maultaschen.  Like German ravioli.  Delish!
Chocolate and strawberry mousse
 Today is the big driving test.  Did you know that it's illegal to run out of gas in Germany?  Yes, you can get fined for being stupid here!  Wish us luck!


  1. tough choices! i like the location of the first, but big kitchen *is* important...

    1. It is very tough! There's stuff we like about each one. Too bad we can't combine them into one!

  2. Beautiful view on house #2. Maybe you should ask Gizmo which backyard he likes best :) -kimmie

    1. Gizmo likes #3 because he's a big fan of poultry.

  3. Love some cheese spatzle!
    You guys are going to have so much more space than our flat in London. I'm kinda jealous!

    1. Kyle has already been hitting up the cheese spatzle big time!

  4. The first one is definitely Gizmo friendly! Also, the previous renters filled an extra freezer with the frozen cherries from that tree. It does appear that they may make some improvements we asked for. At any rate, three wonderful houses to choose from!

  5. I'm too fixated on the Maultaschen to care about the houses! Excellent choice! I especially love them served with caramelized onions...

    1. Agreed! Its already one of our favorite German foods!