1. What’s the name of the city/village where you reside?
Bad Windsheim, Germany
Note: Caitlyn also showed us around Bad Windsheim. Click here to see more about the town.
2. What is the nearest military installation to your home and what is the approximate driving time to that installation/gate?
Illesheim (Storck Barracks US Army Installation), a sub community of USAG Ansbach. It is a quick 10 minute drive to base.
3. What DoDDS school district is your home zoned for? Is there a school bus system available?
Elementary: Illesheim Elementary School Bus service available
Middle/High: Ansbach Middle/High School Bus service available
4. What is the nearest highway or main road to your home?
B470, and A7
5. Please describe the “feel” of your neighborhood (i.e. pet-friendly, child-friendly, safety, spaciousness, predominantly “German” or “American”, urban, rural, etc.).
Our neighborhood on Raiffeisenstraße is quiet in a residential neighborhood. The buildings are pet-friendly, and there is a small yard for children to play in. The homes are on a small dead end off the main street, so it is mostly safe for children to play as long as they don’t go up to the main road. The area is well spaced out. There are 9 apartments in each building, and ours has 3 apartments occupied by Germans. The other off-post housing neighborhoods in Bad Windsheim are similar, but there are more buildings in the other neighborhood.
6. Are there places of service in your neighborhood within walking distance such as restaurants, convenience stores, laundromats, bakeries, coffee shops, parks, etc.?
Three small supermarkets are within walking distance of the apartments. There is also a liquor store very close by. It is only a 10-15 minute walk into town, where there is a train station, restaurants, drug stores, coffee shops, etc. To walk across town is only about 20 minutes, and there is a Kaufland (larger grocery store). There is a park in town about 10 minutes away, as well as the Franken Therme spa.
7. Please describe the style of your home (i.e. Westernized, traditional German, detached family home, townhome, etc.) What voltage is available in the outlets (110/220)?
The building is traditional German style, but the rooms are all a very good size. It has 3 floors, and 9 apartments within the building. There is only 220 voltage – european outlets available.
8. Please provide general information about your home such as the rent, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, special amenities, etc.).
There are 2 bedrooms (one larger), a well sized bathroom, a storage closet, a nice sized kitchen, a large dining room/living room space, and a balcony. The apartment also features a washing machine in the bathroom, and a dryer in the basement within our own personal well-sized storage room.
9. Are there any special accommodations or tasks that you’ve had to complete to make your home useful such as purchasing transformers, appliances, etc.?
Transformers are necessary for any appliances that are not dual voltage. Some of our electronics work on both 110 and 220, so all that is needed is plug adapters. There was only one closet, which needed shelving, and we had to purchase a cabinet to use as a linen closet/bathroom storage because there was neither.
10. What costs are there associated with living off a military installation and how do you pay for those costs?
The apartment is government leased military housing, so we do not pay rent or utilities. Phone and internet service was purchased through TKS. They could not offer us cable because it is off-post, so we have to buy a AFN Decoder and Satellite.
11. How is parking provided for your home?
Each apartment is given one marked space (some are covered), and there are empty spaces available for extra cars.
12. Are there any outdoor spaces or yards provided for your home?
Aside from the balcony, there is a small yard in between the two buildings. It is not fenced in.
13. How did you find your home (i.e. AHRN, agency, classifieds, word of mouth, etc)?
Our home was offered to us by the Housing Office on base. There were two apartments to choose from. There was also temporary furniture in our home to use until our HHG arrived.
14. Are you satisfied with the maintenance services that are provided for your home?
Yes. Our maintenance request was fulfilled within a day or two.
15. Finally, what advantages and disadvantages do you feel has been your experience living off-post here in Germany?
Even though it is government leased housing, we feel like we are more integrated into German culture than we would have been living on base. Since we only have one car, it is helpful that I can walk anywhere in town, especially to the train station. It is much easier to walk into town for dinner, whereas that would not be an option if we were living on base. Since we still have some American neighbors, we don’t feel completely isolated, but the opportunity to get to know our German neighbors is a benefit. Bad Windsheim is a typical charming and beautiful German town with historical sites to explore. The only disadvantage is that it is harder for me to get on base and meet people. There is, however, a train to the town that borders the base, so it is always available to get to base.