Plans for the move have been humming along, and we felt like we were on top of things. We had renters for our place, CTF III’s microchip ID snafu is all good, and we had just about closed the deal on a lovely flat in Vienna.

Then, last Thursday, the owner sent a message saying that she could not rent to us and listed several odd reasons for the void, including that the building did not allow dogs!  Really?  Practically every communication between us included some mention of our pet–his name, his breed, his size, and even a photo, yet she waits until the lease is almost signed to say, “Nein, danke.” The whole escapade just seemed like a sign that we shouldn’t rent the flat.

Nonetheless, as much of the weekend as we could carve out was spent trolling the housing lists and the weekend classifieds on Der Standard.  We cast a wider net.  Why limit ourselves to the “Little America” of the 19th District or its neighbor, the very green 18th Wahring District?  I imagined us living right in the heart of the 1st, hearing the bells of Stephansdom toll the hour, or renting a funky Euro-modern loft in the 8th or 10th near the Universities. Many, many messages were sent, and it felt like Christmas every time a response would land in the Inbox!

So back to house hunting we go.  If nothing else, my German is improving dramatically.

House 1.  Well-designed space with a private garden and garage. A little far from one of the many “Hundezone mit Einzäunung (fenced dog park),” however, so the email exchange went something like this:
Dear Family!

In the moment this would be a good possibility for your family.But we can not make an appointment!!

mit freundlichen Grüßen’


Dear (Agent),

Thank you for the information about the apartment. The garden is very pretty. I am afraid, however, that because our dog needs to exercise off leash almost every day in a controlled area, the apartment is out of manageable walking range of a “Hundezone mit Einzäunung” and so we are not interested to see it.

Best regards,


Dear family!
My family don`t live on Werfelstraße. We come to Schafberg by car because we have a big  dog. The dog enjoyes this district!
Did you see the big area round this house.
You can not find a better place for the dog.
Let us know about your future.
best regards


If anyone out there can translate this conversation, please do so and share it with me.
House 2. Notice anything missing in this gorgeous, very spacious, renovated loft in an ideal location? Like, perhaps a refrigerator? Or a dishwasher? Or counters and cabinets?

Dear Victoria!

Dog is okay. I can offer you an apointment this week on monday 14:00 or tuesday 16:00.

Dear (Agent),

That is good to read about the dog.  I am afraid that I can not yet see the apartment, as we are still in the United States. We have friends living in Vienna who can view the apartment on our behalf, however.

In viewing the photos I must ask if there is a refrigerator in the apartment?
Best regards,

Dear Mrs. Victoria.

There is no refrigerator and washer dryer in the apartment. You can buy it on your own, if you want some.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen / Best Regards
Sure, why not? As soon as we collect our bags and CTF III and clear immigration, we’ll point the rental car right to IKEA for kitchen appliances.  That’s a bit much even for me.
House 4.  A bright spot!  Daughter and I fell in love with it–who could blame us?  A Biedermeier construction dating to 1840 with freshly renovated flats and a garden.  That could only mean 14′ ceilings and maybe even secret passageways (if we were lucky!) We just didn’t know where it was.
The floor plan did not reveal any possible secret passageways, alas, but the renovation reconfigured the “servant suite” so as to serve as a perfect library/office nook overlooking the terrace, and the location is very, very, manageable. Now we’re just awaiting confirmation that 30kg American Foxhounds are welcome.
House 5.  And speaking of dogs…

Dear Ms. Victoria
I learned that Strassergasse is a semi-detached house and on the adjoining property lives a male dog.
A dog is allowed but it´s only depending on your dog´s sex.
Well, CTF III has been known to do this with Fitz at the dog park, so I’m not sure how to respond to the Agent’s question.

House 6. A bright spot worthy of imposing on our friends to ask to visit.  A dopplehaushafte in a beautiful area of the 19th, near to the AIS bus, a Hundezone hit Einzaunung, incredible public transportation, and two grocery markets, including “Mrs. Spar,” the gourmet version of the Spar grocery store. 

Stay tuned.