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Thread: Baumholder, Germany!

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    #1

    Baumholder, Germany!

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    My husband got orders to report to Germany! We are super excited, as this will be our (both my boys and I) first time out of the country! We were supposed to have a year and some months to plan this all out but found out two days ago that it's been bumped up to just some months! Still excited but now just really nervous! I have some questions and thought maybe some of you ladies could chime in and answer!

    1. Are you allowed to have fish tanks in on-post housing? If so, is there a weight/size limit?
    2. If you live on post, they take your BAH away correct? What utilities are included when you live on post? (We've never lived on post so wanted to make sure I had the correct info).
    3. Would our current cell phones work over there? We have T-Mobile right now. If not, what does everyone use?
    4. What is this COLA my husband keeps mentioning?
    5. If you arrive at Baumholder and there isn't housing available, where do you stay? Are there TLF's that you can stay in? Do you still get the 10 days when you get there to find housing?
    6. Both my husband and I were told that we just needed the clearance from our PCM (who is a civilian doctor b/c the husband is on recruiting duty right now and we are not near any post) and that we did not need anything regarding dental. Anyone know if there is any truth to this? (He is Army if that matters)
    7. We have a lab mix who has allergies and takes medication for her allergies (in the form of a pill). She does cough sometimes. I was reading that when the pets arrive at the airport in Germany, if they show ANY signs of illness, they will be quarantined?

    Any other info you would like to throw at me would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks everyone!
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    OUr Germany experience, which is drawing to a close, has been the highlight of DH's career in many ways. I'm at Stuttgart, but I'll answer what I can.

    1. Are you allowed to have fish tanks in on-post housing? If so, is there a weight/size limit? No idea, though I doubt they are forbidden.

    2. If you live on post, they take your BAH away correct? What utilities are included when you live on post? (We've never lived on post so wanted to make sure I had the correct info). Yes, they take BAH. Basic utilities (electric, water, etc.) are included. You have to pay for extras like cable and internet.

    3. Would our current cell phones work over there? We have T-Mobile right now. If not, what does everyone use? They should work, as long as they take Sim cards. You can get plans here. Since you have phones, I *highly recommend pay as you go plans, and not even setting up an auto pay. Canceling German contracts and services is a nightmare, so whenever possible, don't get a contract for anything. If your base is like ours, you can buy top up minutes on base as you need them. We use Vodaphone.

    4. What is this COLA my husband keeps mentioning? Cost Of Living Allowance. It is money to make up for things being more expensive here. You can google how much it will be for your base.

    5. If you arrive at Baumholder and there isn't housing available, where do you stay? Are there TLF's that you can stay in? Do you still get the 10 days when you get there to find housing? Again, if it is like Stuttgart, call *now* to book the TLF if you have even approximate dates. You can always change it as needed. For our base, if they aren't going to have housing for you in 60 days, you have to move off base, but that pretty much never happens. But you'll live in the hotel when you arrive for anywhere from about a week to several weeks. Even if they have a place open, it is going to take time to do paperwork and all that.

    6. Both my husband and I were told that we just needed the clearance from our PCM (who is a civilian doctor b/c the husband is on recruiting duty right now and we are not near any post) and that we did not need anything regarding dental. Anyone know if there is any truth to this? (He is Army if that matters)
    My DH is Navy, so the process is probably different. But I had to have a military doctor review my medical records and all the forms in order to actually pass the screen. I could have the required procedures (pap smear, current on all vaccinations, HIV and TB test) done by a civilian, but then I needed copies of my medical records to take to the military doctor at the screen appointment. Same with the dentist. (You probably can't have any major dental issues, so get them fixed if you have them. And there's a form your dentist fills out for you.)

    7. We have a lab mix who has allergies and takes medication for her allergies (in the form of a pill). She does cough sometimes. I was reading that when the pets arrive at the airport in Germany, if they show ANY signs of illness, they will be quarantined? We have no pets.

    If you don't already have them and you have time, apply ASAP for your tourist passports. They aren't required and you have to pay for them, but you and your DH both need them in order to travel outside of Germany. Which of course you want to do as travel is the best part of all this!
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    I wish we could tag users in posts

    Jenjamin is at Baumholder! I will try to get her attention on fb, but she is on a little vacation right now so I dunno how long it might take. I am at Buechel and thus my info is useless as it's the strangest assignment in Germany
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    #4
    Short responding because we are away and our service here is shitty! Vill answered everything pretty much!

    You can have fish tanks. Are you planning on bringing one? Because don't. Waste of space.

    Housing will not be full. Ever.

    Your dog will be fine! We didn't even have a vet check our dog when we got here.

    And definitely have a tourist passport! We have been here a year and a half and have had the best adventures!

    If you have any more questions about baumholder, please ask! we love it here.


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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    OUr Germany experience, which is drawing to a close, has been the highlight of DH's career in many ways. I'm at Stuttgart, but I'll answer what I can.

    1. Are you allowed to have fish tanks in on-post housing? If so, is there a weight/size limit? No idea, though I doubt they are forbidden.

    2. If you live on post, they take your BAH away correct? What utilities are included when you live on post? (We've never lived on post so wanted to make sure I had the correct info). Yes, they take BAH. Basic utilities (electric, water, etc.) are included. You have to pay for extras like cable and internet.

    3. Would our current cell phones work over there? We have T-Mobile right now. If not, what does everyone use? They should work, as long as they take Sim cards. You can get plans here. Since you have phones, I *highly recommend pay as you go plans, and not even setting up an auto pay. Canceling German contracts and services is a nightmare, so whenever possible, don't get a contract for anything. If your base is like ours, you can buy top up minutes on base as you need them. We use Vodaphone.

    4. What is this COLA my husband keeps mentioning? Cost Of Living Allowance. It is money to make up for things being more expensive here. You can google how much it will be for your base.

    5. If you arrive at Baumholder and there isn't housing available, where do you stay? Are there TLF's that you can stay in? Do you still get the 10 days when you get there to find housing? Again, if it is like Stuttgart, call *now* to book the TLF if you have even approximate dates. You can always change it as needed. For our base, if they aren't going to have housing for you in 60 days, you have to move off base, but that pretty much never happens. But you'll live in the hotel when you arrive for anywhere from about a week to several weeks. Even if they have a place open, it is going to take time to do paperwork and all that.

    6. Both my husband and I were told that we just needed the clearance from our PCM (who is a civilian doctor b/c the husband is on recruiting duty right now and we are not near any post) and that we did not need anything regarding dental. Anyone know if there is any truth to this? (He is Army if that matters)
    My DH is Navy, so the process is probably different. But I had to have a military doctor review my medical records and all the forms in order to actually pass the screen. I could have the required procedures (pap smear, current on all vaccinations, HIV and TB test) done by a civilian, but then I needed copies of my medical records to take to the military doctor at the screen appointment. Same with the dentist. (You probably can't have any major dental issues, so get them fixed if you have them. And there's a form your dentist fills out for you.)

    7. We have a lab mix who has allergies and takes medication for her allergies (in the form of a pill). She does cough sometimes. I was reading that when the pets arrive at the airport in Germany, if they show ANY signs of illness, they will be quarantined? We have no pets.

    If you don't already have them and you have time, apply ASAP for your tourist passports. They aren't required and you have to pay for them, but you and your DH both need them in order to travel outside of Germany. Which of course you want to do as travel is the best part of all this!
    Baumholder is about 40 min from Ramstein. You are going to be part of little america.
    2. As for Fish, I don't think they are banned from housing.
    3. If your phone has a SIMs slot, you just get a sims card and whatever service you want. There is TKS which is T-Mobile, Vodaphone, O, and whatever. We refused to have a contract and did the same as V.
    5. You should be planing on living on the economy. You'll do as you are here in the states, start looking for a house. You'll need to get your TLF now like V said. They book up far in advance; but, you may be out of PCS season and could be good.
    6. You'll need dental for Air Force. You'll have to make sure that everything is good to go before going. Get a cleaning and stuff now. Makes it easier then on the other end.
    7. Yes. Also, you will have to pay a fee for the dr check up. Be prepared for that. Have all the VET records ready to go. Don't forget all the USDA certificates and stuff that is needed. You need to do that about 30ish days out. Also, Microchip with an International chip.

    LOVED Germany and would go back anytime. Just be prepared for a culture shock coming and going. We are still adjusting to the states. Don't forget to study for your German License! You'll need that to drive and then get an international license too. You CAN'T get a AAA temp one under SOFA. You must apply there.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    #6
    Can someone explain OHA to me? We've been told that we have the option of living off post once we are there. I know that they give you a maximum amount for rent and that if rent is lower than that, then they just pay that amount. Then, they give you some set amount for utilities and maintenance? Is that right?
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    Yes, that's correct. You can do a google search for an OHA calculator. Once you enter the info (location, rank, etc.), it will tell you your OHA maximum. You are correct that you only get your rent amount, up to the max and you don't keep extra if your rent is less. The calculator will also show the utilities allowance, which you get paid in full every month regardless of what you spend. It will probably seem like a very large number, but electricity in Germany is expensive, and if you have heating oil, that can be a large expense, too, though in my experience it isn't nearly as bad as people make it out to be. (Our entire heating oil bill for 2.5 years in our house was about 1100E. We did make an effort not to be wasteful and to wear wool sock in winter rather than turning the radiators up, and things like that. We are a 2 person family, not kids. I heard of some people paying that much or more per year. So it depends on your house--old houses use more because they aren't well insulated-- and your use and ability to conserve.)
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #8
    We figured for our family of 4 it was €150 for Electric, €120 Water €50 Garbage, €300 heating and €20 for Chimney.

    We were fugal; but, our house was not energy efficient at all. Our oil was about 3000 a year.
    "Obstinacy is a fault of temperament. Stubbornness and Intolerance of contradiction result from a special kind of Egotism, which elevates above everything else the pleasure of its own autonomous intellect, to which others must bow.: Carl von Clausewitz
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    Quote Originally Posted by DakotaCowgirl View Post
    We figured for our family of 4 it was €150 for Electric, €120 Water €50 Garbage, €300 heating and €20 for Chimney.

    We were fugal; but, our house was not energy efficient at all. Our oil was about 3000 a year.
    Holy cow! We never even filled up our tank in the 2.5 years we were there. We had to leave it full, but it was only down to about 20%. Of course, the size of tanks varies as well. DH made fun of me for wearing a hat and fleece (sometimes doubled up) in the house during the day, but it sounds like it saved us a ton of money! Most days I didn't turn any radiators or at all during the day, and in the evening we turned one on to about 2.5, adding a second one only if it was really chilly. And we never heated our bedroom at all--just added more blankets and sometimes a hot water bottle.

    Our house was older. Our neighbor had lived there for 50 years, so it was at least that old. But it had been updated and had newer double pane windows

    Our electric was 95Eu per month and everything else (other than oil, which averaged would be about 34Eu/mo) was covered in our Nebenkosten to our landlord. We paid 150.mo but got most of that back every year when he did the audit. It ended up being about 60/mo. That was water, trash, chimney, and everything else.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Thanks you guys! That helps me to understand how it works! I did the OHA calculator and for us the utility allowance was 773 a month! Someone that I was talking to over there said that she only gets $50 a month, if that, so I was totally confused for a minute!
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