nomorethanfour asked this question 9 years, 10 months ago:

Question about off post housing

We are moving in a few months and I was wondering about the process of living off post. Is there anything we can do on our end prior to leaving? Do landlords need a copy of our credit report or some sort of credit reference? Can you get approved before coming over to speed things up? TIA!



9 years, 10 months ago

You might want to call Doris Dreslow, one of our site sponsors. She is well versed with finding people homes. Her banner can be found at the top and/or bottom of most every page. But, if you don't see it, it is 06371-5940059. From the U.S. you would call 011-496371-5940059.

But, to answer your question the best I can, there is not an approval process. I have not ever heard of anyone being asked for a credit report or application. We just started looking at homes, found the one we wanted, and signed a lease. Pretty cut and dry.

The problem comes with actually finding a home. That is where Doris comes in. It is very easy to get frustrated trying to find a home here. The housing office is not exactly full of good info in that regard. You will need approval to use a realtor in order to be reimbursed for it, but it is well worth it. I am very happy that we used a realtor because housing had us on a wild goose chase for over three weeks. Once we got a realtor, we found a house in two days.

9 years, 10 months ago

This may have worked for JOFTAA, but it didn't for us. We used three different realtors, can't remember their names, but they showed us one property each and expected us to take it. We wanted to look at more but they acted like they were too busy to show us anything. They kept asking us if we liked the place and pushed us to get it.

The fee associated with a realtor is usually one months rent. Some will negotiate with you and you can even make payments if need be. Housing usually won't reimburse you for it, then again the Eagles did get back together. We felt that one months rent was a bit excessive for showing us one property and doing nothing more.

Now this was just our experience and JOFTAA probably had a much better one than us. You can search on www.ahrn.com and the Kaiserslautern American for homes, I'm sure there is a thread somewhere on here for this information. Anytime you see the word immobilien, this means realtor.

One more thing. Ads for homes over here are pretty basic. I laughed when I saw an ad that said "Nice landlord, call xxxxxxx". It can be pretty frustrating finding a place, you'll just need a lot of patience!

Good luck!

9 years, 10 months ago

This may have worked for JOFTAA, but it didn't for us. We used three different realtors, can't remember their names, but they showed us one property each and expected us to take it. We wanted to look at more but they acted like they were too busy to show us anything. They kept asking us if we liked the place and pushed us to get it.


I wish you could remember the names of the Realtors you used. It would be great to let people know who to avoid. Doris is very good, though, and is VERY helpful. I don't say that just because she is a site sponsor either. If she were not a good Realtor, she would not have been allowed to advertise on this site. We are proud of being picky about who advertises here.

I am sorry you had such a bad experience. It is kind of stupid for the Realtors you had to push you. Especially since in Germany the person looking for the home is the one paying for the Realtor. The Realtor should understand who is paying for his/her service. Our Realtor took us to several homes a day, until we found what we wanted.

And, our Realtor fee was reimbursed to us. Housing cannot stop you, from what I understand, from using a Realtor. They may discourage it for obvious reasons, but if housing can't find you something, they need to assist you in another way such as a Realtor.

The AHRN site was ridiculous. Most of the listings I looked at were not up to date, and not available. I spent a lot of time calling people who were no longer looking for a renter.

For more info on housing, look HERE.

By the way, the Realtor fee is only reimbursable if you get approval, in writing, in advance of using the Realtor.

From the frustration point of view, we would have used a Realtor regardless of being reimbursed or not.

9 years, 10 months ago

We used the housing list, AHRN (where we did find out house), and the newspaper.

If you are moving during PCS season, if you find something...grab it. They will not hold it for you. Not the way they do things here. We moved in March and had good luck finding a nice place.

We looked for place for our kids, animals, ect. We also wanted to live out of town. Not much you can do either until you get here.

9 years, 4 months ago

Can anyone tell me anything about GEZ and what their letter means? I think it is telling me that I need to register any broadcasting appliances with them and pay a toll or tariff or something. It says that if I do not respond that I can be fined up to 1,000 Euro. It is from the Gebuhreneinzugszentrale.

9 years, 4 months ago

Quote by dbivand:
Can anyone tell me anything about GEZ and what their letter means? I think it is telling me that I need to register any broadcasting appliances with them and pay a toll or tariff or something. It says that if I do not respond that I can be fined up to 1,000 Euro. It is from the Gebuhreneinzugszentrale.


Just call them and tell them you are here with the U.S. military. They will mark your address with your DEROS and not send another letter until after that.

Check this out. Sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

Can you scan the letter and post it here? You can block out any personal info. I can ask a friend to translate it. I've never heard of registering broadcast equipment such as cordless phones, etc, but Germany does some really strange sh!t when it comes to taxing people.

Also, here is a link to a their website, translated by Google.

When you get to the site, click on the tab marked FEES.

9 years, 4 months ago

Under the SOFA agreement, we don't have to pay the GEZ tax. There is a sample of a letter you can send them here.

Would you like to contribute? Add your reply to this topic