Visions of steep roofed timbered houses are usually associated with homes in Germany.
While those homes do exist, they often house more than one family.
Apartments and duplexes are very popular in Germany.
Single family, freestanding homes are available though they are more expensive and difficult to come by.
The following housing information will give you information necessary to start planning and looking for your home in Germany even before you arrive.
If you are assigned to the Kaiserslautern Military Community
(KMC), there is only one housing office taking care of all military personnel assigned to the area.
The office is located in Building 1001 at Vogelweh Housing Complex. Customer Service hours are Monday - Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., and Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The office's telephone numbers are DSN 489-6672/6671/7311 and their
website (.mil or .gov only) also contains some
Further housing information can be obtained by visiting the Army's
Europe site or the Air Force's
HQ Europe site.
Upon arriving in Germany, you MUST report to housing within 2 days to have a Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) briefing.
If you are unable to attend one of the daily 0900 briefings, they are also conducted on walk-in basis.
The number of days of TLA varies for each individual based on the availability of housing at the time of arrival and whether or not you are on accompanied orders.
Most military members will find a home within 20 days of arrival.
However, keep in mind that the summer months are the high PCS season and many people will be looking for homes.
While looking for housing, TLA partially reimburses the expenses of meals and billeting or hotel.
TLA claims must be filed at the housing office every 10 days and payments are paid in 10-day increments.
TLA is only payable if there is no housing available and stops if the member refuses suitable economy or government housing.
Even if you plan on residing off base, if you refuse government quarters TLA will only continue for a limited time after your refusal of the housing.
If you cannot find suitable housing within that time period, all expenses incurred at billeting or at a hotel are your responsibility and will not be reimbursed.
Single or unaccompanied military members in grades E-1 through E-4 are not authorized to live off base and therefore are not eligible for TLA.
Because Germany's electricity is 220 volts, it is important to know what items to leave in storage in the U.S.
Do not ship major appliances like your refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, and microwave,
as they will be provided. Often German homes do not have built in closets, bathroom cabinets, kitchen cabinets and kitchen appliances.
The Furniture Management Office (FMO) will provide you with major appliances such as a washer, dryer, refrigerator, stove, and microwave along with clothing wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, and transformers for the duration of the tour.
The sponsor is authorized 2 wardrobes while each family member will receive 1 wardrobe.
Usually this does not provide adequate closet and storage space.
Plan on purchasing extra wardrobes and shelving units.
FMO will provide loaner furniture items such as beds, dining room tables, living room furniture and lamps until your household goods arrive.
Sheets, towels, blankets, kitchen utensils and pots and pans are available from the loan locker.
Unfortunately, their inventory is limited and during the high PCS season they often run out of loaner items.
Your best bet is to bring a few items with you or borrow some of the necessary items from your sponsor.
Because Germany is an overseas tour, there are additional allowances along with the normal BAQ.
You can obtain housing rate information for Germany at
Per Diem site.
BAQ and OHA (Overseas Housing Allowance) are usually sufficient to cover the rent and a portion of the utilities.
Lower ranking service members with a family size requiring 3 - 4 bedrooms will have a more difficult time finding a house on the economy within their price range.
If you choose to accept government housing you can submit an application once you receive your orders.
Submit a DD Form 1746 and a copy of your orders assigning you to Germany to your local housing office and they will forward it to the KMC Housing Office.
Government housing locations are at Ramstein AB, Sembach Annex, Landstuhl, Vogelweh and Kaiserslautern (Flieger/Blutacker).
In base or post clusters, it is common for a person to receive housing on a different base than
the one where they work. Most bases in the KMC are within 10 to 25 minutes of each other.
Much of the Air Force government housing was built in the 1950s as apartment
buildings, and each building houses either 18 or 24 families.
Over half of the units have never been renovated.
Again, single or unaccompanied military members in grades E-1 through E-4 must live in the dormitories.
Housing on the economy varies from small apartments to massive freestanding homes.
The average move-in costs run from $1,000 to $3,000, which is offset by MIHA (Move In Housing Allowance).
Move in costs include first month's rent and security and utility deposits.
If these costs are too high, check with finance to see if a housing allowance advance is available.
Also, when placing a security deposit on your rental,
and the deposit is equal to $1,000 or more, finance will pay the deposit directly to your landlord.
Once you move out, the landlord will return the deposit to finance without you ever having to go out-of-pocket.
In the KMC individual single-family homes are expensive with most rentals being, multi-family apartments or duplexes.
However, cheaper rentals can be found further from the bases.
Currently, there is a shortage of four or five bedroom housing units on the economy.
One- and two-bedroom homes are easier to find. Furnished apartments are also available.
The housing office has a database of apartments and homes available.
Just enter your requirements and a list of possible choices will be printed.
Be aware, often German homes have two adjoining rooms with only one access to both rooms.
In these situations, the rooms are only considered one room.
Also important to note is that some finished basements cannot be considered as bedrooms on the housing listings.
For example, my home was listed as a 2 bedroom with basement when in fact it is 3 bedrooms (2 rooms attached) and a finished basement that we now use as a guest bedroom.
One of the best places to check out the types of housing available is in the classified ads of the Kaiserslautern American (KA) KMC military newspaper.
With a little planning ahead and good communication with your sponsor, you should be able to find suitable housing quickly upon arriving in Germany.