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RAF Menwith Hill or Harrogate?

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MommyPenguin:
Can anybody tell me anything about the base, or the area around it?  My husband might possibly end up being transferred there after his current assignment (U.S. military), and while the idea of being stationed in England is pretty exciting, it's also a bit unnerving (nothing about the UK, just it being another country, you know).  My impression is that European houses tend to be smaller... what are the local houses like?  We have 4 kids and could possibly have 5 by the time we move.  So we need enough space, not just to live in but also to store clothes between kids, toys, and since we homeschool, a ton of books and supplies.  We're currently living in a house that is 4 bedrooms and about 1800 sq. ft., but we're planning to rent out the basement so we have maybe 1200 that we're living in, plus a garage and shed.  It's on about 1/4 acre with woods and a playground behind it.

We're not really the type to go out a whole lot, as we barely even make it to a movie or two a year.  So as for "what's around" I'm more interested in things like libraries and playgrounds.  We homeschool, so the school system doesn't matter.

I guess I'm mostly wondering about what the area is like, what the cost of living might be, etc.  Can we get a house that we'll fit in without breaking the bank?  Etc.  I know gas is a lot more expensive... anybody know how other utilities compare?

camlan:
How exciting! The Army sent my family to Germany and South Korea when I was little. I had to make it to England on my own.

There will be plenty of assistance to help you get settled and find a place to live, so don't worry too much. Although I can't blame you for wanting to do some research. 

This link has some good info to start with: http://newpreview.afnews.af.mil/501csw/newcomerstips/index.asp

There are seven kids in my family and they managed to find quarters for us in South Korea where we would all fit. The life of a military brat--living in a literal mansion with 8 bedrooms and a music room and a sun porch and servants' quarters in Philadelphia, then moving to a cinder block quonset hut in Pusan with rat poison containers dotted around outside, both military quarters.

My brother was stationed in Istanbul where there really isn't a US base, but there was someone at the US consulate who assisted newcomers with the military and State Department in finding places to live. There's usually an office that has a list of landlords who have a proven track record--sometimes the same house just keeps getting rented by new US service personnel coming in.

MommyPenguin:
You're right, Camlan!  I'm sure they will help if we do end up stationed there.  The reason I'm wondering, really, is because it's entirely optional whether he goes there or not.  In fact, it will probably mean cutting our current tour short, meaning I won't actually get to live in one place for a whole glorious four years (which I was looking forward to... we've been averaging 10 months).  So I wanted to get an idea of whether this was something we'd *want* to do.  While, as he pointed out, I've always said I'd love to go to England, I was thinking for a vacation.  Two years is a different story (especially cutting into my precious four years of staying in one place, one place that happens to be near both sets of grandparents and free babysitting/grandparent love).   That's why I'm thinking, you know, what would it mean.  What kind of house opportunities, etc.  Since I homeschool, we're in the house all day and so the house is really important to me.  Yes, of course, if the military tells us that we *must* move somewhere or other, off I go to pack and no complaining (or, I will try not to).  But since this is purely an opportunity, I wanted to get an idea of what it would mean.

veryfluffy:
If you look on one of the property websites, eg www.rightmove.co.uk or www.zoopla.co.uk, you can get an idea of properties available (I'm guessing you want to rent, not buy).

For instance, around Harrogate it seems you can get an ordinary 4 bed semi-detached (we don't measure properties in sq feet, but count the bedrooms and reception rooms instead) for around 1000 per month. Four-bedroom detached houses with gardens seem to start at around 1400 per month, eg http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-38844523.html.

MommyPenguin:
Thanks so much!  That really does help me see what options there are!  There is *some* base housing but not a lot, and it sounds like most people are off base.  I'm still not sure if I *want* to or not, particularly about cutting short our current tour, but my husband just told me not to spend too much time on it as it's a "long shot."  I'd actually had the impression that it was like, if he asked for it he'd be pretty likely to get it, so that definitely changes things.  This definitely gives me something to go on, though.  Thanks!

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