Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Wish I brought a snow shovel, gardening stuff- (rakes, edger, lawn mower) and more plug adapters.
Wish I left behind all the winter boots, gloves and clothes we haven't used.
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
We were fortunate that we had a professional transition specialist who spoke many languages. I still call her to order oil or to help out when I have trouble. Try to learn a little French before you come. The Luxembourgers are very polite. Always say merci, au revoir when you leave any place, including the grocery store. Say bon jour or bon soir whenever entering an establishment and make eye contact. A little of that and some apologetic English and everyone will try to help you out! Most of the expats I know are all at the same level as my husband. We all have access to these transition people which makes life easier all around. They are helpful when moving in and especially when we need to update our Visas and when paperwork has to be filed at the commune. I can't read the forms, nevermind fill them in. Ensure you ask for a neighborhood or at least town where more expats or school attendees go. The school can tell you where most of the students come from. I have 2 high schoolers so being local to their friends is key!
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We live in a single family 4 bedroom 2.5 bath brick house painted white. The whole neighborhood has painted white brick single family homes. It is European looking from the outside, but modern design on the inside. Most expats that I know in this small country live in similiar homes. Most of the homes here are duplexes with one mutual wall. In the city there are apartments of various sizes and row house style homes.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We have been here nearly 2 years. When my husband got the job offer to come over here, it was late August. The company flew us over in early September to look at housing. There was only one house in this town. After looking at houses that were 30 minutes from the school, we chose the first one. It's all about location, location, location. Our town has many expat families, so the carpooling opportunities are numerous. Besides, it is not our house, it is someone elses. Our time here is temporary. You don't want to spend weekends (Saturdays only as Sundays you can't use any power equipment!) worrying about the house. It's closer to school and a bit older, but conveniently
located and serves the purpose!
Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Our rental is higher than our mortgage. The euro is about 1.5 times the dollar. The average similiar sized home rents for between 3500 and 4200 euro per month. We get paid in US dollars with a subsidy to equalize the cost of living here. Our home is rented in the US, so we contribute to our rent payment here. Then get an adjustment to cover the increased cost of fuel, electricity, food etc.