Moving to Frankfurt Area

Aug 22nd, 2003, 11:26 AM
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Moving to Frankfurt Area

My husband has accepted a job at the US Embassy in Frankfurt beginning Summer 2004. We have 2 elem school aged children. We are most interested in totally immersing ourselves in the culture and plan to learn German b-4 we go. We'd like to live in a small town, older type area outside of Frankfurt. We can afford up to 2000 Euro dollars a month in rent + 200-300 extra for utilities. Any ideas about locations? We are most thankful for any and all suggestions regarding everything about both the move and our living in Germany.
PMOuzts is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 11:39 AM
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Seligenstadt is a pretty little town with an attracive town center along the Main River south of Hanau with good train connections into Frankfurt.
Russ is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Lucky you !! How about Darmstadt or Eberstadt ? We had the good fortune to live in D'stadt for 3+ wonderful years eons ago. Great location. Good rail connections to Frankfurt. Would go back to live there in a heartback
auntgrapes is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Many thanks Russ and Auntgrapes for your suggestions. We plan to fly over Spring 2004 to "househunt" - will try these areas. We are really quite clueless...
PMOuzts is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 04:59 PM
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That should have been "heartbeat" !
auntgrapes is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2003, 05:14 PM
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Germany is gorgeous. Haven't lived there, myself, but have driven through different areas in Germany. I think you will really enjoy your time there!
BrimhamRocks is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2003, 11:35 AM
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If you are looking for a small town atmosphere close to Frankfurt, I would definitely look in the Taunus Mountains (hills really, but forested)NNE of Frankfurt. There are numerous small villages within 20-30 minutes from downtown Frankfurt via SBahn. You will have much cleaner air than down in the Rhine-Main valley and a mainly rural experience - idyllic! We brought our 3 elementary grade students with us many years ago to a small town outside of Ulm, where I was an exchange professor at the University. Our kids went to the local school, and though not actually "enrolled" they were welcomed by the principal and the teacher. They spent most of their time in the "English class", where they helped their fellow classmates learn English - and obviously picked up German very rapidly. They were even welcomed as members of the soccer and track teams. The kids and you will have a wonderful time! Enjoy!!
CharlieB is offline  
Aug 24th, 2003, 07:58 AM
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There should be help at the Embassy for this information. You might also see if there is any help available from the military over there. I have a college roommate that works at the big air base. He lives in a house (not on base) and sends his kids to a regular German school.
bigtyke is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 05:11 AM
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Many thanks to everyone who has responded with good wishes and advice. I am intrigued with the idea of sending my kids to a german school. They will be ages 8 and 6 at that time. They are in the process of learning German now - but I doubt they will be fully fluent by the time we move. I had intended on finding a private "int'l-type" school - but are finding theme to be very expensive. I would rather not send them to school on one of the bases. Any advice or suggestions?
PMOuzts is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 06:51 AM
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My mom and dad were born and raised in a small town between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. Langen is a decent sized city with excellent connections to Frankfurt.
I have 30 or so relatives still in Langen. I usually go at least once a year. Not a bad choice.

Darmstadt is another excellent choice.

Bad Soden is a small town in the Taunus mountains. My godmother lived there for 25 years. She rented an apartment in the house of the masterbrewer from Binding Beer. Pretty affluent neighborhood. I think you'd fit in very well. Not many Americans since there is limited train access to Bad Soden.

The Odenwald is another area that is pretty close to Frankfurt if you have a car. Not really mountainous, rolling hills and alot of small villages in the Odenwald. This is my relatives favorite get away when they go for a day from Langen.

There are plenty other places within driving distance of Frankfurt. All of the towns along the Rhine including Weisbaden and Mainz are 25 to 35 minutes by train.

I'd be interested to know what 2000 Euros with todays exchange rates actually buys.

Real Estate is pretty expensive in that part of Germany.

Let me know if you have other questions. I'll be happy to help.

Winnepeg is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 06:54 AM
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Check out for info about moving overseas.
allovereurope is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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Some good suggestions here, let me add my 2 cents worth.
Hanua is nasty. Big nuke plant in the middle of town.
Darmstadt is a nice but not great place. It is a city, and a modern city at that. However it lacks any real charm. The positive point to Darmstadt is its location. Directly between Frankfurt to the North and Heidelberg and the Odenwald to the South.
I would either head East to say Bad Orb or north 30 minutes to Giessen or better yet Wetzlar.
I think traffic from the North would be the least of the 3 directions, with the West & South being the heaviest.
If you are interested in a town in Germany it's very easy to find info on the web. Try or just type in the name of the town and add .de instead of .com For instance or and you will find lots of info on the towns.
Go the the "contact" sight and write in English that you are thinking of moving there and would like info on the town and surronding area and they will mail you tons of information on the area.
Let us know what you decide on.
asbachnate is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 03:59 PM
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Frankfurt International School:

ISF Internationale Schule Frankfurt - Rhein-Main:

French school in Frankfurt (Lycee Francfort):

Links to websites for expats and foreign service employees/families:

BrimhamRocks is offline  
Aug 25th, 2003, 04:38 PM
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You have a lot of advice on cities to live in, my two cents, the smaller towns are usually less expensive to live in, but make sure it does have easy access to train transportation since your husband will be traveling back and forth. Even with a car the traffic can sometimes really slow you down. I lived in the Heidelberg area for 1600 Euros a month and an additional 400 for utilities that included cable. This was for a 3 Br duplex approx 2000 Sq feet, but I caution this is not the norm! Trying to find a place to live will be your most difficult task. It is expensive and apartments are not as available as the U.S. Deposits are usually three months rent, so that would be 6000 Euros. The Embassy should be able to guide you for house hunting. If not to use an apartment finder will cost you $$$, but the plus is you find (usually) nicer and less expensive places. Germany was great and I loved every min. of the 10 years I lived there! Enjoy!

Clea is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 10:09 AM
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I would second CharlieB's advice- quite knowledgable as always!-
Try Kronberg or Bad Homburg (in this order)- lovely small towns in the Taunus mountains (hills) just a short drive from Frankfurt Westend, where the U.S. embassy is located!
hsv is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 10:11 AM
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just thought of an alternative, if these places should not work out: Try the Rheingau villages close to the River Rhine in the direction of Wiesbaden- quite lovely there, too!
hsv is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 11:23 AM
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asbachnate- unless the nuclear plant has generated legs (perhaps some terrible nuclear accident) and walked to the marktplatz over night, it is most definitely NOT in the middle of town! While I would not choose to live in Hanau and wouldn't recommend it I cannot let your misinformation go unchallenged.
gottatravel_europe is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 12:12 AM
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Living in germany I can tell you that 2000 euros will be plenty for a house in germany. True, it is a fairly expensive area but I don't think you'll have any problems finding housing in the area. Use this webpage for information about german cities and villages

It's in german but's pretty easy to figure out. It's got pictures in it and has even most small villages included in it.
Jack31 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 12:43 AM
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When does your 5 year old turn 6? The reason I ask is because there are lots of 6 year olds in my son's German Kindergarten and several won't be starting first grade until they're 7. In the kindergarten system here they don't learn any academics at all; that is all saved for later. Most of the kids in my son's class don't know the alphabet or write their names at 5 and 6. If you can get your kids a little ahead on the academics, they won't be so worried about keeping up when they integrate into a totally German school and can relax and just learn the language for a bit. I'll try to find out the cut-off dates later today.

BTW, I just figured out our utilities, and for a family of 3 in a large house we pay 400 euros/month. That includes all electricity, oil, water, garbage and telephone (lots of calls to the States) with unlimited DSL access. I also like to keep it nice and toasty warm in the winter.
sardog10 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 04:22 AM
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I have to say, this site and message board has been extremely helpful. I had no idea! This is the first message board I've ever used. Anyway,we have settled on the Taunus Mtn area. GottaTravel - you are a funny person - love your comment about the walking nuke plant! My husband and I have not been able to sleep for 2 wks we are so excited about this move. We know Germany will be the time of our lives for both us and our children. Sardog, Taylor will be 6 this Dec and will be ready for 1st grade. They are really picking up the language fast. Brimhamrocks - many thanks for the school links and such - very helpful. Expensive schools - $12K per year - eeeoww -but not ruling it out! Thanks so much to all!
PMOuzts is offline  

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