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    Thread: Moving to Brooklyn


    1. #1

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      Moving to Brooklyn

      Hi,

      Newbie here:

      Am looking for some advice about moving to Brooklyn from the UK. My husband may be accepting a job working in Brooklyn (DUMBO) and we need to some information before we decide whether the move will be worth it.

      About Us

      We're in our late thirties, parents of 2 young children (2 and 6) and currently live in a fairly middle class suburb in the North of England. We live in a modest 3 bedroomed semi in a family friendly neighbourhood with good schools and access to nice countryside. We're not really urban/city people although we do enjoy trips to museums/galleries and enjoy films, restaurants occasionally and grow our own veg!

      Questions


      1. What is a realistic salary that we should expect to need to live in Brooklyn vs. suburbs. We're hoping for something in the region of $90,000 per year - would this be enough to live a good lifestyle with rent of approx $1,500-2,200 per month?

      2. Which areas do people recommend that's commutable (1hr max) from DUMBO, Brooklyn which fit best with our current lifestyle in the UK (ie good schools, safe neighbourhoods, family friendly, nice parks, good facilities)

      3. Which is the best mode of transport from commuting into the city from the suburbs?

      4. Is it correct that we'd need to live in the US for min. 2 years before we can buy a property? Is the buying process similar to the UK?

      5. We've looked into US tax and levels seem similar to the UK - are there any hidden costs we may not have considered apart from health insurance which we think will be paid by my husbands employer.

      6. In the UK children over the age of 3 are provided with 15 hrs free childcare a week by the Government, is there anything similar in the US or does childcare/kindergarten need to be figured into our costs?

      Thanks for any help :)

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    3. #2

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      Can't help with Brooklyn but wanted to say hi and welcome to the forum.

    4. #3

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      Quote Originally Posted by Yellowmoon View Post
      Hi,

      Newbie here:

      Am looking for some advice about moving to Brooklyn from the UK. My husband may be accepting a job working in Brooklyn (DUMBO) and we need to some information before we decide whether the move will be worth it.

      About Us

      We're in our late thirties, parents of 2 young children (2 and 6) and currently live in a fairly middle class suburb in the North of England. We live in a modest 3 bedroomed semi in a family friendly neighbourhood with good schools and access to nice countryside. We're not really urban/city people although we do enjoy trips to museums/galleries and enjoy films, restaurants occasionally and grow our own veg!

      Questions


      1. What is a realistic salary that we should expect to need to live in Brooklyn vs. suburbs. We're hoping for something in the region of $90,000 per year - would this be enough to live a good lifestyle with rent of approx $1,500-2,200 per month?

      2. Which areas do people recommend that's commutable (1hr max) from DUMBO, Brooklyn which fit best with our current lifestyle in the UK (ie good schools, safe neighbourhoods, family friendly, nice parks, good facilities)

      3. Which is the best mode of transport from commuting into the city from the suburbs?

      4. Is it correct that we'd need to live in the US for min. 2 years before we can buy a property? Is the buying process similar to the UK?

      5. We've looked into US tax and levels seem similar to the UK - are there any hidden costs we may not have considered apart from health insurance which we think will be paid by my husbands employer.

      6. In the UK children over the age of 3 are provided with 15 hrs free childcare a week by the Government, is there anything similar in the US or does childcare/kindergarten need to be figured into our costs?

      Thanks for any help :)
      Hi,

      I don't know much about Brooklyn but I did do quite a bit of research into commutable areas to Manhattan as hubby started a job there last October so I can help maybe a little...

      Where abouts are you from? We are from York :) although had a flat in London too.

      I hope you are sat down as commutable areas to NYC with good schools cost a small fortune, a 3-4 bedroom house in a good area will cost around $4000+ a month!!! It's probably the most expensive area in the US to live! A friend pays $4500 rent a month for a 4 bed within an hour's commute with decent schools!! You can obviously get cheaper homes but then you sacrifice schools/area etc. Shocking isn't it! We ended up moving to Florida, but we could have moved anywhere as hubby travels about and covers the entire east side of the US!! We do however rent a room in a house in Queens for when hubby is in NYC but I wouldn't want to bring children up there!

      Realistic salary, that would depend on what your husband does, google will become your friend for this ;) Also is this a job transfer or a new job? that could make a difference. Rent, as above, you won't be able to get anywhere decent for that, try doubling it! It makes London look cheap!!

      Transport, train and subway! The Northern Line has good links into Manhattan, not sure about Brooklyn?! The subway is good, although trains aren't as often as the London Underground (drives hubby insane as he is used to London and not used to waiting! lol).

      You could buy somewhere straight away if you have the money! But it's not recommended to buy anywhere until you have your green card, if your hubby were to loose his job you only get 10 days to leave the country so not much time to sell a house! You won't have ANY credit history over here so you have to build it from the beginning, to get a decent mortgage you need 2yrs of good credit history :) If you need info on how to build up a credit history just ask (currently in the process of this ;) ) I believe the process of buying is simpler than the UK from what I have read from others. Also before buying look into property tax (equiv. to council tax), it's A LOT higher than in the UK!! I know of expats who are paying $20K a year!!! For the house we live in it's $5000 a year (obviously built into the rent we pay).

      Tax, make sure you look into the state taxes not just the US as a whole, each state varies!!! NY for example have income tax at around 10% on top of the other deductions from pay.

      Very few employers pay 100% medical insurance!!! Make sure you fully understand the cover they offer, when it kicks in (most you have to have worked for the employer 3-6mths, holiday ins doesn't cover the gap!), how much you will have to pay each month (we pay $850 a month for the top package (this is the subsidised rate!) for medical and dental cover), how much 'co-pays' are (excess for each visit to docs, you will also have to pay for each item separately such as x-rays, medication, etc etc) and how much max deductibles are (how much the max a year you will have to pay, sadly this is also split into each area - doc visits, x-rays etc). My husband got the person in his HR to go through the medical cover in depth with him as it was all so new and 'strange'!!! Once of course he picked himself up off the floor LOL

      There is no free childcare in the US. Some states have a VPK programme (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten), but that is equivalent to Reception in the UK and not all states offer it, I know NJ don't offer it as my friend just discovered! Btw Kindergarten isn't nursery here, it's equivalent to Year 1 ;) Another thing to bare in mind is school supplies, the parents have to buy these, it has cost us about $400 so far for 3 children (5th, 3rd and VPK) since October and that's for the bare minimum!

      Groceries are a lot more expensive over here too! Especially if you want decent stuff. Our grocery bill has gone from 50 a week to around $200!!!

      Make sure you have lots of money to bring over with you as due to not having any credit history you have to pay large deposits for everything.... we had to pay 3 months rent deposit for the house, $400 deposit per mobile phone, $120 for electricity, $41 for water.... we arranged a lease car before we came over through an ex-pat company so got a good deal on that. If you want to buy a car expect to have to pay for it in full or pay a really high interest rate and deposit if you haven't arranged it beforehand.

      I hope I haven't sounded really negative, I didn't mean too, I just wanted you to be aware that it costs a lot more than people think!!

      If there is anything else I can help with let me know :)

      Vicki

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      Hi Vicki,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reply at length, it's really appreciated. I think I didn't realise how expensive life in NY would be and would perhaps be unrealistic for us in our current situation with young children etc. Unfortunately, my husband heard yesterday that he hasn't got the job in the end much to our disappointment so for now the move isn't on the cards. I'm sure the information you provided will be of great use for anyone considering a similar move to the US - I certainly learnt a lot from your reply :)'

      I hope you continue to enjoy your new life in Florida,

      Best wishes
      Sarah (from Sheffield)

    6. #5

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      Hi Sarah,

      Sorry to hear your husband didn't get the job :( Don't give up though!! Sadly the majority of companies won't sponsor someone for a visa due to the hassle and cost, but if your husband qualifies for a visa it's definitely worth pursuing :) What field does your husband specialise in?

      Vicki x

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      Hi Vicki,

      Thanks for your encouraging message :)
      My husband works in IT/Web design as a user experience designer/consultant. It's a specialised role with most of the jobs based in London but we don't want to move there so we're a bit unsure of what to do next. He's seen another job in Texas(!) and applied for another in Sweden so we'll have to see what happens. His current job is under threat at the moment but we have about 6 months before things get critical.
      We hadn't considered applying for a visa first before applying for a job - is it possible to do that?

      Many thanks for your time,
      Sarah x

    8. #7

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      I know what you mean Sarah, my husband works in IT too, he spent most of his time in London when we were in the UK. His 'official' title is an Altiris Architect....sounds posh lol I am assuming your husband is on LinkedIn, networking on there is probably the easiest way to get contacts in the US, that is what hubby did. Also a website called Dice is good, it's a bit like jobserve but for the US.

      Sadly you cannot apply for a visa first, the visa has to be applied for by the company as they are 'sponsoring' the person...which is good in a way as they have to pay for it too ;)

      If I can be of any more help let me know :) I have plenty of time on my hands as I am not allowed to work on my visa :( something to bare in mind for yourself!

    9. #8

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      Quote Originally Posted by Yellowmoon View Post
      Hi Vicki,

      Thanks for your encouraging message :)
      My husband works in IT/Web design as a user experience designer/consultant. It's a specialised role with most of the jobs based in London but we don't want to move there so we're a bit unsure of what to do next. He's seen another job in Texas(!) and applied for another in Sweden so we'll have to see what happens. His current job is under threat at the moment but we have about 6 months before things get critical.
      We hadn't considered applying for a visa first before applying for a job - is it possible to do that?

      Many thanks for your time,
      Sarah x
      Hi Sarah.

      I may be able to help you folks out. I am an IT Recruitment Manager with a large multi-national recruitment agency and may have openings in the New Jersey/New York area in July. If you are interested in moving over to the USA still I am more than happy to have the conversations with you and your husband about moving over and finding a client that is willing to sponsor for the right applicant.

      Drop me a PM any time with any questions you may have, I am sure I will have the answers.

      Also, I can help with the move, as I am also a real estate agent here in New Jersey.

    10. #9

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      Quote Originally Posted by njmackem View Post
      Hi Sarah.

      I may be able to help you folks out. I am an IT Recruitment Manager with a large multi-national recruitment agency and may have openings in the New Jersey/New York area in July. If you are interested in moving over to the USA still I am more than happy to have the conversations with you and your husband about moving over and finding a client that is willing to sponsor for the right applicant.

      Drop me a PM any time with any questions you may have, I am sure I will have the answers.

      Also, I can help with the move, as I am also a real estate agent here in New Jersey.
      I think you should do some research into the immigration process, even if you do have 'openings...in July' the earliest someone from the UK could start (assuming the company was willing to pay out $1000's and they qualified for a visa) would be October 2013!!!

     

     
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