Thursday, March 24, 2011

International house hunting adventure

When we first found out we were moving abroad (July 2010) my biggest fear was finding a suitable home for my family. Being military you get BAH (stateside) which is an amount to OFF SET housing costs, NOT pay for the ENTIRE house like some people think. Overseas you get OHA which is the same basic concept except its for over seas. You also get a utility allowance overseas because everything is more expensive in general and you also get COLA (cost of living allowance) to help with the cost of normal expenses. Being that our post is small, there isn't military housing so to speak. There is a little gated community for military to live in but there is no way it can accommodate everyone stationed here. If you were to live in the 'housing community' they take all your OHA and you dont ever have to worry about bills other then the bills you create. (ie. internet, cell, car note, etc). The also have government leases (which also take all OHA and you don't worry about anything). Well, personally I did not want to live in the housing community because I wanted to have my own house. However if a house is available for your family you have to take it. Lucky for us, there wasn't one big enough. Nor was there a big enough government lease.

So we began house hunting on the economy! Since I am not a huge fan of the area there was certain things I personally required in a house to be happy for the next X amount of years. I wanted a NICE house. A bit larger then our old house. A window in my kitchen.

I found some house, listed them in order of preference. I had 5. Just incase my first or second choice was taken I had something to fall back on. Also, in italy they have to pay taxes on how many bedrooms there are, so they may list a bedroom as a study room or maids quarters. The house that was my first choice was a '3 bedroom' with a study and maids quarter and the 2nd was a 4 bedroom. I got to look at these on monday.

We went to the first one. I loved it. Went to the second one. I loved it.

#1- 5 floors (4 main floors and heated attic), 5 miles from post, beautiful, everything I wanted.

#2- 2 floors, all marble. was actually 3 bedrooms with a maids quarter outside. Wouldn't really work for us.

We were allowed to look at 5 houses total with the military paying for it. Well, i took pictures of both, showed dan. And we decided... House number 1 will be our NEW HOME!

The bottom floor has a huge livingroom/den with a bathroom, second floor has eat in kitchen and livingroom (that could be a dining room), third floor is 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, fourth floor is 2 bedrooms and a bath, and the fifth floor is maids qaurters/ bedroom and fully heated attic/ new playroom/ office.

I could really see myself enjoying the house. The garage/carport could easily fit 4 cars. So much room to enjoy ourselves. I am really happy with our choice.

Also rent for houses & apts abroad is a bit high. Our rent is 1200Euro which is just about $1700 US dollars. At least the military covers it for us. We are very fortunate. We do our pre negotiation tomorrow and should know when we will move it. Since our house is pretty modern and we dont require much (screens and a lock on one door) we should be in by next week.

I'd like to welcome you to our new home!

Leading to the 4th floor

Standing in the upstairs living room looking towards 3rd floor.

And............. The view from our new home... The ALPS!

If you are pcsing overseas and need any help on housing, it doesn't need to be as stressful as you think. Let me know if you need any advice :)

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