- BIK - Built in kitchen. In Germany real estate taxes are based on the number of rooms in a house. The government considers built in cabinets as rooms. That is why very few of the older homes have BIK and no closets. The custom is to have Schranks or wardrobe cabinets, living room wall units and movable kitchen cabinets not affixed to the wall as the norm. (Think no counter space).
- Heated floors - most homes have marble floors. They get really cold in the winter.
- Propane heat - Oil heat is really, really, really expensive. Propane is much less expensive. It is also useful for heating the home if heated floors are not an option.
- Not living right on top of the neighbors - Germany is a small country. About the size of Pennsylvania prior to the reunification. Haven't checked for a comparison recently since East and West joined. Germany also has a lot of people. Lot size is usually postal stamp, small strip of land in the front and back. We don't want to have a fiefdom like I have here, just a place to sit outside without sitting on the neighbors lap.
- A yard - see above. Maybe have a garden. Tomatoes do really yucky in Germany.
- A view - Nice but not totally required. We can dream can't we?
- 4 bedrooms and two baths. The messy, messy boys will not be living with us at this point, but we want to have space for them when the do visit and so far 50 people want to come live with us on an extended basis. That's a lot of people to share 2 guest rooms. They will have to figure it out. Also, we would like a room for dedicated office space. I want two baths cause when you gotta go you gotta go and I am too old to stand outside of the bathroom while Spousal Unit flosses his teeth.
Tonight's Updates on the Trip:
Hey, Good Looking!
I saw former secretary and friend today. She looks pretty much the way she did before. We caught up on all the news, and she is looking forward to seeing you when you arrive. She said something about how mistreated you are - having to raise 2 boys. She thinks that she will drop off her daughters to let you raise girls. She said that the 14 year-old and the 6 year-old are just like her --- wonderful. The 4 year-old is the hellion. I told her that she should expect that because the 4 year-old is the "second child".
It was another full day of meetings (more tomorrow), but I did drive by 3 houses. One possible in Huetschenhausen, but it isn't perfect. I called Friend of a Friend today, and he suggested that I forget the listings at the housing office. They require the landlords to rent to anyone who applies. The landlords want to be more selective so they don't list with the housing office. I am reverting to the KA (Local English Newspaper) listing, and will see if Spousal Unit's employer will pay the realtor's fee. According to Friend of a Friend , many have reduced or eliminated their fees to get business moving again. When you get home, you will see Spousal Unit's home e-mail that I asked for pictures of a house in Eulenbis/Weilerbach. Big boss, also gave me an address, and he will get a phone number, for a friend's house. I will drive by in the morning.
I met Boss's wife tonight, and she was really enthusiastic about the town where they live. She said that they have their own electric and water company, and their rates are the lowest around. She also said that landlords may not want to commit now to a rental in June. I told her that I don't have to come home with a lease. She said that the selection might be better in April/May as we get closer to the PCS (moving) season. I told her that you charged me to find the perfect house - ah, I mean the house that is worthy of your presence, so I will keep looking until I find it. Again, I may end up with an apartment for a month or two, but that's okay.
Speaking of Boss's wife, she can be reached @ Another secret, secret. Feel free to contact her (nice lady).
I am getting along well with the bosses here. I have demonstrated that I can think and deliver coherent messages so that is a good thing. (Who woulda thunk?) I meet the incoming Big, big boss tomorrow. I have already struck a rapport with some of the key folks, and I think that we will have a good working relationship. I met with the computer geek boss today, and, after a bit of discussion, he said that we needed to work closely together. Boss said afterwards that I had scored a major victory because the computer geek boss showed a new spirit with me. That meeting alone was probably worth the trip.
Well. that's all the news that's fit to print. I've got to go circle ads.
Love You Bunches,
Below is a link to a house that Spousal Unit wants to view tomorrow, if possible. This one looks like a keeper. The only drawback is oil heat. Can you see me breaking out in song? The hills are alive.... with the sound of music.* UPDATE
Sorry I had to remove the Link. Spousal Unit didn't jump on this house quick enough and it is already rented.