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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am currently deputed in Stuttgart for a year. My wife will be deputed to Germany (Bonn) for a year as well.

Can you please suggest which place would be best for both of us to rent a house/ apartment - somewhere midway between Bonn and Stuttgart?

Your advice is greatly appreciated

Dan
 

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Hi,

I am currently deputed in Stuttgart for a year. My wife will be deputed to Germany (Bonn) for a year as well.

Can you please suggest which place would be best for both of us to rent a house/ apartment - somewhere midway between Bonn and Stuttgart?

Your advice is greatly appreciated

Dan
Um, Bonn and Stuttgart are 350 km apart. Do both of you seriously want to commute something like 175 km one way? If so, would you do that by train or car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Um, Bonn and Stuttgart are 350 km apart. Do both of you seriously want to commute something like 175 km one way? If so, would you do that by train or car?
We were planning to commute by the ICE train since thats the fastest mode of commute.
 

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True it's fast but not necessarily cheap. Any advantage in housing costs would be cancelled out by travel costs. I would choose either Bonn and Stuttgart so only one has to travel. But if you want somewhere with easy access to both you should look at the Rhein-Main area, eg. Frankfurt, etc.
 

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We were planning to commute by the ICE train since thats the fastest mode of commute.
At a first glance, I would say Frankfurt am Main or Mainz look like good options.

Just be careful to check the schedules to make sure that there is a train that is going at a time convenient for you. It´s no use if there is a train going after you have to start work or way too early.

Don´t forget to factor in travel time to the train station and from the train station to your work place. Also consider if you have to put in a lot of extra hours that could leave you stranded 200 km away from home late at night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@ ALKB and James3214 - Thank you very much.
Actually my company offers an accomodation allowance of 1200 Euros/month and hence the decision to stay together to take advantage of the same and save on the housing cost. But if the travel is going to be very long and hectic, it is going to be difficult
 

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@ ALKB and James3214 - Thank you very much.
Actually my company offers an accomodation allowance of 1200 Euros/month and hence the decision to stay together to take advantage of the same and save on the housing cost. But if the travel is going to be very long and hectic, it is going to be difficult
It looks like 1.5 hours is the minimum you will have to spend travelling by train to either Bonn or Stuttgart from Mainz, Wiesbaden or Frankfurt/Main.

At a budget of 1200 Euro, it should not be difficultr to find something within walking distance to the train station. (For example: 2 Zimmer Etagenwohnung in Mainz mit 63 qm (ScoutId 64584335) )

I don´t know how far both of your work places are from the train stations in Stuttgart and Bonn, so let´s say another half an hour.

That´s at least 2 hours one way, four hours per day, five days a week.

In the end it comes down to whether saving one rent is worth the stress to both of you.

I am not saying it´s completely unrealistic as I know a few people who have very long commutes (both my husband and I had 1.5 hour commutes within Berlin and my cousin travelled from Berlin to Wolfsburg every day for a long time) and you can use the time on the train to read, sleep, work or relax but it´s not the same as being home quickly and putting your feet up after a long workday.

I´d consider to use your housing allowance to get a nice flat close to your work in Stuttgart, get something affordable for your wife in Bonn and then maybe take turns on the weekend to travel to each other?
 

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You would go insane travelling 4 hours each - every day for 5 days a week... that is a lot of wasted time and what's the point of living together when both of you would have to wake up really early, get on the train under a lot of stress, come back late at night, and be so exhausted that you hardly get to spend time with each other anyway. Why not just rent 2 apartments - one in each city and it would be the same as far as costs go because you would be spending a lot on 4 hours commuting each day by train....look into the cost of commuting such distances - it isn't cheap anywhere in Europe. Better to follow the advice above - get 2 separate apartments and see each other on the weekends until maybe your wife can find a job in the same city as you.
 

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You would go insane travelling 4 hours each - every day for 5 days a week... that is a lot of wasted time and what's the point of living together when both of you would have to wake up really early, get on the train under a lot of stress, come back late at night, and be so exhausted that you hardly get to spend time with each other anyway. Why not just rent 2 apartments - one in each city and it would be the same as far as costs go because you would be spending a lot on 4 hours commuting each day by train....look into the cost of commuting such distances - it isn't cheap anywhere in Europe. Better to follow the advice above - get 2 separate apartments and see each other on the weekends until maybe your wife can find a job in the same city as you.
All very good points.

I think the OP and his wife would both need a BahnCard 100, which costs nearly 4000 Euro (2nd class) per person, per year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did take that into consideration..
So living in the same city - midway - would cost around 8000 Eur (add stress to that) and the housing cost will be taken care of by my company..

Living in different cities.. 800 Eur (housing) + 1000 Eur (for commute durng the weekends)..

But I think I missed out one vital information from my original mail.. I have a 2 year old son who will be joining me with my wife.. so looking at daycare options too.. I know its just become a way lot complicated now..
 

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I did take that into consideration..
So living in the same city - midway - would cost around 8000 Eur (add stress to that) and the housing cost will be taken care of by my company..

Living in different cities.. 800 Eur (housing) + 1000 Eur (for commute durng the weekends)..

But I think I missed out one vital information from my original mail.. I have a 2 year old son who will be joining me with my wife.. so looking at daycare options too.. I know its just become a way lot complicated now..
I am sorry to say that it is unlikely to find day care that will be available for at least 12 hours per day. Not to mention that it would also be very pricey. I think there are a few state Kindergartens in Berlin that offer long opening hours and a few private ones as well. But 12 hours would pretty much take every single minute a 'Spätkindergarten' (Kindergarten that is open late aka after 6 pm) and expect trouble if you are late, which is completely in the realm of possibility when commuting nearly 200 km.

Actually, you would probably need 13 or 14 hours since you need to drop off your child (it does take longer than five minutes, believe you me!) then get to the train station, commute, work, commute, get back to the day care. I think it will be pretty much impossible, not to mention cruel toward your son.

A 'Tagesmutter' (a person who takes care of several children during the day at her own house) is more flexible than a Kindergarten (opening hours vary from facility to facility and also Bundesland, town...)

Then there is the fact that there is no legal right to a day care place for a child under the age of three, so finding a place no matter the opening hours might be a challenge in the first place. The west of Germany is notoriously bad at providing day care places for children under three.

This is of course your personal decision but there is absolutely no way that I would subject my children to something like this. You will not see your child awake during the week at all.

Let´s say you miraculously find a day care that is open all hours of the day - what happens if your child gets ill?

Children who start day care get ill all the time because their immune system has to adjust to the stress and the exposure to so many people. How will you quickly get there to pick him up when you are so far away?

You have quite the challenge before you - relocating to a totally different country, working in two different cities and doing all that with a small child.

Do you live in a joint family system right now? If yes, the difference will be staggering.

Whatever you decide, it will not be easy. I feel for your wife. Being a single parent during the week and working full time will be quite the feat.

You could of course commute, get a bigger apartment and get an au pair girl (or rather two because they are not allowed to work 12 hours per day) but the au pair girl(s) will need their own bedroom(s).

Good luck with all that, you have some hard decisions to make.
 

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I can´t stop thinking about your poor little one...

I checked day care in Mainz and the state Kindergartens all seem to be open something like 7:00/7:30 am to at the most 5:30 pm. I didn´t check every single one but there is a distinct pattern.

Here:

Frankfurt am Main: Kita-Wegweiser

you can check on Kindergartens in Frankfurt am Main. Normal opening hours are also 7:30 am to 5:30 pm (6:30 if they offer 'late' opening hours). 'Full day' means 9,5 hours (clearly, 8 hours of work plus commuting a short distance) and it seems as if they do not even accept children for longer than 9.5 hours per day.

I think it will either have to be a small flock of au pair girls living with you or forget about living midway and look for a day care and an apartment as close as possible to your wife´s work.

What type of job are you both doing? When is your wife supposed to start working in Bonn? Is her employer contributing toward childcare or are your salaries in a range where it does not matter how much you pay?

Does your wife get the services of a relocation company? If yes, what have they said about childcare? If you have a relocation company included in your contracts, get them to work on the child care issue, I think it will be much more difficult to solve than any commuting or housing adventures.

Example:

Private Kindergarten in Bonn, bilingual English/German (YAY!)

Services and Prices - Max and Mary

Closes at 6 pm and children under the age of three are only accepted until 2 pm. You see the problem?


I strongly advise you to decide on where your son will live ASAP. I started looking for a day care place for my older daughter six months before she was supposed to start, which was a struggle then and a lot of mothers I have met now (I am on maternity leave right now) are struggling to find a place at all for their under-three-year-old.

Good luck and please keep us up to date on how you get on with everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
ALKB - Thanks for the suggestions.

I was looking at more option too. My wife's mom currently lives with us and also takes care of our little one (we also have a nanny) when we are off to work

Once my wife travels to Germany, I was planning on getting my mother-in-law to Germany too. But I have been informed that I can only get her on a visit visa and that she would have to return after 3 months.

Is there any work around for this? Like an extension, renewal of the visit visa. Kindly let me know.

Is there any other way by which the visit visa could be extended or renewed so that i can prolong her stay here
 

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ALKB - Thanks for the suggestions.

I was looking at more option too. My wife's mom currently lives with us and also takes care of our little one (we also have a nanny) when we are off to work

Once my wife travels to Germany, I was planning on getting my mother-in-law to Germany too. But I have been informed that I can only get her on a visit visa and that she would have to return after 3 months.

Is there any work around for this? Like an extension, renewal of the visit visa. Kindly let me know.

Is there any other way by which the visit visa could be extended or renewed so that i can prolong her stay here

Not as far as I know - she can only stay 3 out of every 6 months.

A fully fledged live-in nanny will be quite expensive where her salary is concerned. Not to mention that her work day would also be only 8 hours per day.

Most families opt for an au pair girl. Only, usually, au pair girls coming to Germany do so to live with a German-speaking family in order to learn German. I don´t know how difficult it would be to find an au pair in your case.

I think there are two realistic ways for you to go about this situation:

A) You decide to commute, get a large apartment close to the train station, get an au pair girl as well as a place at a day care for your son and have the au pair girl drop him off there, pick him up, fix his dinner, bring him to bed.

Au pair girls are entitled to a room of her own and board. Her salary would be something along the line of 250 - 300 Euro per month and time off to attend a language course. They can only work part time, I am not sure how many hours but I think it was around 20-25 hours per week. I could be wrong, though.

Downside: You will only see your son on the weekends because with a commute like you are thinking about, you will leave before he wakes up and come home after he goes to sleep. As your son is in the middle of a cruscial time for language developement, he might forget your native language due to lack of exposure. It was similar for my daughter, she went from being tri-lingual to German only after starting day care.

B) You stay in Stuttgart, your wife and son stay in Bonn and she either tries to tackle life of a single working mother (exhausting! My husband and I lived in different countries for a while due to work requirements and it was no walk in the park.), which might not thrill her employer. Provided you do find a full-time day care place for him somewhere nearby and your wife can fit all the travelling to and fro within Bonn into the 9.5/10 hours of maximum day care time.

Or: You have an au pair girl stay with your wife in Bonn to ease the strain.

As I said, availability of day care for under-three-year-olds varies tremendously from region to region in Germany and I know a number of mothers who have been forced to work part time, change their jobs or take loss of money and wait out the maximum amount of maternity leave of three years (at which point they have a legal right to a day care place) before they went back to work.
 
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