House #1- the garden house!
Rob thinks I was a little disingenuous with the info that I posted on the two houses, or more people would have chosen the first house. I suppose that is true, but I wanted to make it look like it was a contest of some sort. The truth is, we made appointments to visit three houses. We went to visit the first one and FELL IN LOVE with it. The garden is something I have been wanting for a long time, but didn't think would be possible in Germany, or as renters for that matter. The house gives us more space than we imagined we could afford, with two rooms and a bathroom set aside for visitors (start making your reservations now!) The town is one I am familiar with as our dear friends used to live here and it is an easy walk to a large park and petting zoo. The owner is an older German gentleman who carries dog biscuits in his pocket and was happy to hear we have four children... I know that sounds crazy, but we had such a fantastic landlord last time we were in Germany, and have heard so many horror stories from others, that feeling good about the landlord is important.
The second house we visited was TINY! I don't know how they calculated that square footage! I could stand in the kitchen and touch every cupboard and appliance without moving my feet. Seriously, the one bedroom apartment I was in as a single person had a larger kitchen. The dining room wasn't big enough to seat four, let alone six. The yard and sunroom were lovely, but the interior just could not compete. And as a bonus, house #2 sits on the flight path to Frankfurt and while we were there no less than 10 planes flew overhead- low and loud. It was awful. We got in the car and called the owner of the first house and that was that! We didn't even go visit the third house on our list.
We have since been back to visit the house once more now that it is empty and we feel really good about our decision. This house will promote the lifestyle we like to live in Germany- more time riding bikes, walking, gardening, and playing outdoors. It will allow the kids to each have their own room. The bus ride is long, and that is unfortunate, but from what I hear from other parents, unless you live on base, you have a long bus ride. We'll see just how bad it is next month. I'll post more photos when we are eventually settled in, for a virtual tour.