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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

We are planning to relocate the whole family from Norfolk to somewhere around the Bavarian border with Austria nd was looking for some advice as to wether it is a good idea.

It would be my husband, our two young children and my parents who would be moving out.

My parents have sold their house ready for the move meaning we have around £300k worth of savings to buy a house etc.

Me and my husband currently work in the banking sector and at the moment don't really have any formal education past GCSE's. My husband is able to speak conversational German but nobody else in the family can.

The plan would be to rent somewhere for the first 6 month whilst we learn German and look for jobs (I hear the average wage is quite high in Bavaria!) and then with my parents savings buy a house and we would pay them a % of our earnings in the way of a mortgage.

I know this is a pretty big gamble but I really want to do this for the sake of our two young children who will have access to extremely high levels of education, plus the standard of living is much higher than in England.

What do you reckon? A gamble that could pay off? How easy will it be for us to find work? Is our savings enough? Will the local community accept us?

Thanks in advance

Linz
 

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I meant to say the area between Austria and Czech border is where we are looking at
beautyful area with much wood around..very nice to live if you 're retired :rolleyes:
After WWII the whole area was marked by the iron curtain and after it 's fall tourism has become important - but it 's hard to live there.
It 's called "Bayrisch Sibirien" Bavarian Sibiria, long winter, lots of snow and an idiom only aliens can understand..but the beer is very good.
 

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Hi everyone

We are planning to relocate the whole family from Norfolk to somewhere around the Bavarian border with Austria nd was looking for some advice as to wether it is a good idea.

It would be my husband, our two young children and my parents who would be moving out.

My parents have sold their house ready for the move meaning we have around £300k worth of savings to buy a house etc.

Me and my husband currently work in the banking sector and at the moment don't really have any formal education past GCSE's. My husband is able to speak conversational German but nobody else in the family can.

The plan would be to rent somewhere for the first 6 month whilst we learn German and look for jobs (I hear the average wage is quite high in Bavaria!) and then with my parents savings buy a house and we would pay them a % of our earnings in the way of a mortgage.

I know this is a pretty big gamble but I really want to do this for the sake of our two young children who will have access to extremely high levels of education, plus the standard of living is much higher than in England.

What do you reckon? A gamble that could pay off? How easy will it be for us to find work? Is our savings enough? Will the local community accept us?

Thanks in advance

Linz
Keep in mind that 6 months might not be sufficient for adults to learn the language. Children are usually fluent within 3 months or so.

Are you planning to all not to work for 6 months? You have to register your residence within 90 days of arrival and from the date you register, you need to be health insured in Germany. Could be expensive if nobody is in work/eligible for unemployment benefits.

Also, salaries in Bavaria might be high but Germany is a country that loves certificates and documentation. Without any formal qualifications beyond GCSE's and with limited German, finding a job in a rural area might not be easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Keep in mind that 6 months might not be sufficient for adults to learn the language. Children are usually fluent within 3 months or so.

Are you planning to all not to work for 6 months? You have to register your residence within 90 days of arrival and from the date you register, you need to be health insured in Germany. Could be expensive if nobody is in work/eligible for unemployment benefits.

Also, salaries in Bavaria might be high but Germany is a country that loves certificates and documentation. Without any formal qualifications beyond GCSE's and with limited German, finding a job in a rural area might not be easy.
How much would health insurance be for the 6 of us? 4 adults and 2 children?
 

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Not to be off-putting but moving to rural Bavaria with limited German and limited formal qualifications does seem a bit nuts. It might turn into a long, expensive, not particularly fun holiday. I wouldn't make the move until I had a very clear sense of my job prospects.
 

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To expand on my somewhat discouraging answer...

Why rural Bavaria? Do you know the area well, have connections there? I have some limited/secondhand experience with places like this. The landscape is beautiful, the people friendly enough to visitors, but for a long-term stay the society can be very insular - if your family hasn't been in the village for at least four generations, you're still referred to as newcomers. Plus they'll likely speak a pretty thick dialect.

Since you'll apparently need to support yourselves, have you done any serious research on what your job prospects might realistically be? Before selling the house and moving the entire extended family, a reconnaissance trip would be a wise investment.

I would also do a little more research into the German education system. Though it can be very good, it's not necessarily the world's best, and quality varies widely between different Bundesländer. There's no guarantee that moving from England to rural Germany is going to automatically improve everyone's lot in life.
 

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How much would health insurance be for the 6 of us? 4 adults and 2 children?
Absolutely no idea. A lot.

Are your parents retired?

If you or your husband could get even a part time job that would automatically into the insurance system. The employer would pay half the cost of insurance and social security contributions and the non-working spouse and children would be insured for free along with the working spouse. This would not work for parents, though.

EDIT: As to the education system, the Bavarian and the Baden-Württemberg systems are said to have the highest standards in Germany. You can still be unlucky with a particular school or happen to get a not-so-great class-teacher.
 

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EDIT: As to the education system, the Bavarian and the Baden-Württemberg systems are said to have the highest standards in Germany. You can still be unlucky with a particular school or happen to get a not-so-great class-teacher.
As long as you're not frightened by the crucifix in the classroom!
 

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I agree with the above posters that your idea seems somewhat irrational and almost bound to fail.

AREA: It"s one of the least developed (except domestic and Czech tourism) areas in Bavaria with little economic activity (again except tourism) and only few people who speak English or even proper German. But houses are cheap (by Bavarian standards).

JOBS: Very few, due to the low economy (again except in tourism). Without proper education and good German skills, the only jobs you may get (after a long search) are those where you compete with Czech foreign workers and will be paid accordingly (think of minimum wage - if you're lucky).

HEALTH INSURANCE: If you bring the required paperwork from the NHS and thus are admitted into the public insurance scheme, you pay around EUR300/month for every adult as long as you don't work or are entitled to welfare. Minors are included free of charge in their parent's insurance and it is also possible to include your wife in yours if certain requirements are met.
For elders above 55 (possibly your parents) it is more difficult to join the public scheme. You need to consult a local insurance expert here! If they need to join the private insurance scheme, it will be much more expensive (depending on age and pre-existing conditions).
 

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As long as you're not frightened by the crucifix in the classroom!
That might well happen.

Also, rural Bavaria is very traditional and very catholic in general.

Most of the south is. I once went to a boarding school in Baden-Württemberg for a trial period of a few weeks. My Berlin report cards did not mention religious education (if they take it at all, Berlin pupils get a seperate report card for that subject) and I had problems to no end trying to explain this and I swear they still looked at me suspiciously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi guys

thanks for all the info.

We are a fairly catholic family so the religion side of it is ok for us.

If we were to buy a house in the area and we didn't settle after say a year or two would we be able to sell it with ease?

In terms of jobs the plan was to commute to somewhere like Passau, Degendorf or Regensburg. Would this not be possible? What type of jobs are readily available there?
 

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Hi guys

thanks for all the info.

We are a fairly catholic family so the religion side of it is ok for us.

If we were to buy a house in the area and we didn't settle after say a year or two would we be able to sell it with ease?

In terms of jobs the plan was to commute to somewhere like Passau, Degendorf or Regensburg. Would this not be possible? What type of jobs are readily available there?
Hm.

Even if you are not living in it, having a house in Germany might have some tax implications...

Nobody knows what the property market in this area will be like at some point in the future.

In general, the German attitude towards selling property is quite different from the UK. If somebody n the UK says "We have put the house on the market", they will probably get reactions like "How exciting! Have you found something new? Have you had it valued? Will you make a profit?"

When somebody says this in Germany, most people will be concerned - "Are you alright? Are you in financial trouble? Are you ill? Do your children not want to take over the house? (How scandalous!)"

Property development doesn't really work as a cash machine in Germany because there is speculation tax and whatnot to pay.

I don't think there is a translation for the concept of "property ladder".

Everybody in the small villages will be commuting to the next bigger towns. I doubt there are many jobs that are "readily available" to somebody with limited German and no transferable qualification.

Supermarkets, fast food joints, cleaning, kitchen help comes to mind.

Both Regensburg and Passau are fairly touristic, so there might be something in hospitality...

How old are you?

Doing an apprenticeship (much more formal and with a much better reputation than UK apprenticeships) might do the trick. I ave an Australian friend who came to Berlin with her husband - no formal qualification but lots of experience in the insurance sector. Her German is quite good by now and she is in her early 30s. Still, after she got the right to work, she couldn't find a job. Now she is doing an apprenticeship as a plumber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hm.

Even if you are not living in it, having a house in Germany might have some tax implications...

Nobody knows what the property market in this area will be like at some point in the future.

In general, the German attitude towards selling property is quite different from the UK. If somebody n the UK says "We have put the house on the market", they will probably get reactions like "How exciting! Have you found something new? Have you had it valued? Will you make a profit?"

When somebody says this in Germany, most people will be concerned - "Are you alright? Are you in financial trouble? Are you ill? Do your children not want to take over the house? (How scandalous!)"

Property development doesn't really work as a cash machine in Germany because there is speculation tax and whatnot to pay.

I don't think there is a translation for the concept of "property ladder".

Everybody in the small villages will be commuting to the next bigger towns. I doubt there are many jobs that are "readily available" to somebody with limited German and no transferable qualification.

Supermarkets, fast food joints, cleaning, kitchen help comes to mind.

Both Regensburg and Passau are fairly touristic, so there might be something in hospitality...

How old are you?

Doing an apprenticeship (much more formal and with a much better reputation than UK apprenticeships) might do the trick. I ave an Australian friend who came to Berlin with her husband - no formal qualification but lots of experience in the insurance sector. Her German is quite good by now and she is in her early 30s. Still, after she got the right to work, she couldn't find a job. Now she is doing an apprenticeship as a plumber.
No banking jobs in those areas once we learn German?

How long do apprenticeships take to complete and how much do they cost?

In the areas i'm talking about how long will it take to get up to scratch with learning the language?
 

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If we were to buy a house in the area and we didn't settle after say a year or two would we be able to sell it with ease?
Selling a house requires you to find a willing buyer. This, and the subsequent formalities, usually takes several months to a year in urban areas. It can be much longer in rural ones. You also lose around 10% of the property value in taxes and fees.

No banking jobs in those areas once we learn German?
No banking jobs without completed apprenticeships, and they increasingly require university degrees even for counter staff. Also, fluent German is required for all customer-facing roles.

How long do apprenticeships take to complete and how much do they cost?
An apprenticeship usually takes three years and costs nothing - you even get a small stipend while doing it.

In the areas i'm talking about how long will it take to get up to scratch with learning the language?
This depends on your language skills and abilities (not the area), between one and three years for basic skills, more to become fluent: My wife (who is a good learner) is currently starting to take on customer-facing roles after 6 years of working here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Starting to get concerned about what sort of jobs we will able to get when working out there. How strict are they on qualifications? Do qualifications outweigh experience?
 

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Starting to get concerned about what sort of jobs we will able to get when working out there. How strict are they on qualifications? Do qualifications outweigh experience?
Absolutely.

For a qualified position you need a formal qualification to start with.

I am curious - why this area? Why such a rural, remote region?

Have you actually been there to visit?

Have you had a look at job search sites/newspaper ads to research jobs in the area?

It is true, you get a whole lot of house for your money there but there are reasons for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Absolutely.

For a qualified position you need a formal qualification to start with.

I am curious - why this area? Why such a rural, remote region?

Have you actually been there to visit?

Have you had a look at job search sites/newspaper ads to research jobs in the area?

It is true, you get a whole lot of house for your money there but there are reasons for that.
Yes visited it and it was beautiful, we want to be away from the hustle and bustle but be able to commute to a fair sized city to work. When we were there I didn't think it seemed that remote, 40min drive and you are in a large city.

The house us the other draw, we can get a huge detached house with a bit of land for around E120,000, in the UK a similar house would probably cost about £300k at least.

The main reason for the move though is our kids, I think the way of life in Germany coupled with the brilliant education system will give them a better start in life compared to the UK.
 

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Yes visited it and it was beautiful, we want to be away from the hustle and bustle but be able to commute to a fair sized city to work. When we were there I didn't think it seemed that remote, 40min drive and you are in a large city.

The house us the other draw, we can get a huge detached house with a bit of land for around E120,000, in the UK a similar house would probably cost about £300k at least.

The main reason for the move though is our kids, I think the way of life in Germany coupled with the brilliant education system will give them a better start in life compared to the UK.
Fair enough :)

To be very honest, I think the first few years will be tough, as tehy usually are when relocating to another country, although you are in quite a good position, being able to buy a house outright.

You really might want to look into at least one of you doing an apprenticeship (it's just not good at all to live in Germany long term and not have a formal profession) - it's basically a job that is paid at a lower rate because you receive training. You would be on a rotation through different departments for 2-3 years, and usually you do 4 days work 1 day vocational school per week or something like 9 months full time work, 3 months full time school. It ends with exams before the chamber of commerce and other industry representatives. Chances to get a professional job with the same company after completing your training are quite good right now. It would also take care of the health insurance problem.

The other partner might have to do a not-so-nice job meanwhile if you don't want to dig into your savings for living expenses.

You could also try to get TEFL or better even CELTA qualifications before moving and teach English either self-employed or at a language school. Unfortunately this seems to be what everybody is doing and there might or might not be enough demand for this to make a living.

What about your parents? Are they retired? Are they planning on working in Germany?

BTW, the region gets a lot of snow, so a 40 minute commute might be wishful thinking in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Fair enough :)

To be very honest, I think the first few years will be tough, as tehy usually are when relocating to another country, although you are in quite a good position, being able to buy a house outright.

You really might want to look into at least one of you doing an apprenticeship (it's just not good at all to live in Germany long term and not have a formal profession) - it's basically a job that is paid at a lower rate because you receive training. You would be on a rotation through different departments for 2-3 years, and usually you do 4 days work 1 day vocational school per week or something like 9 months full time work, 3 months full time school. It ends with exams before the chamber of commerce and other industry representatives. Chances to get a professional job with the same company after completing your training are quite good right now. It would also take care of the health insurance problem.

The other partner might have to do a not-so-nice job meanwhile if you don't want to dig into your savings for living expenses.

You could also try to get TEFL or better even CELTA qualifications before moving and teach English either self-employed or at a language school. Unfortunately this seems to be what everybody is doing and there might or might not be enough demand for this to make a living.

What about your parents? Are they retired? Are they planning on working in Germany?

BTW, the region gets a lot of snow, so a 40 minute commute might be wishful thinking in winter.
To take up one of these apprenticeships would you need to be fluent in German or would conversational to moderate German be enough?

What sort of money would I be looking at as a wage after successfully completing an apprenticeship?

Parents are retired and have their savings to live off
 
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