Author Topic: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?  (Read 540 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MarsBar

  • US Immigration Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 768
  • Joined: Jan 2004
  • Location: VT, USA
  • Gender: Female
    • Dive Into America
  • Liked: 1
Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« on: January 15, 2017, 09:23:19 PM »
Holy smokes, y'all!

It's been 10 years since I last posted on UK Yankee! Back in 2003-2007 I was very active on the Repatriation board to help out with DCF advice. I also had my own forum going at the same time (Dive Into America) which was exclusively for US/UK DCF applicants. The main DIA forum has since retired because it was too much upkeep for me, but I still help people out with DCF stuff on the DIA Facebook group.

DH and I have been back in the US 12 years. We are both dual citizens now and have a kiddo. Recently we started thinking about maybe moving back to the UK. We are in research mode right now so I knew UK Yankee would be a great place to bring my questions. We have no timeline right now, just trying to work out priorities and which place meets those best.

One of our big factors for considering a move back to the UK is the likely ACA repeal. But we're discovering very quickly that we'd be taking a pay cut of 50% or more in the UK, even with the US insurance vs UK tax differences accounted for (it's crazy). We even did the calculations for moving to the UK while retaining our higher paying US jobs but the math just doesn't work out favorably, not by a long shot. Furthermore, I'm gobsmacked (and completely petrified) that 30 year fixed mortgages don't even seem to be a thing in the UK; and new car interest rates are terrible.

It's really tough to balance all of the emotions and practicalities! I wish there was a clear answer but our priorities really are battling each other on this one. Thanks in advance as we work through this!

Sarah
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 09:25:03 PM by MarsBar »
Moving back to the USA? Visit Dive Into America on Facebook, a support group for DCF applicants by yours truly.

Online larrabee

  • *
  • Posts: 3151
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 786
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 09:32:16 PM »
Hi Sarah!

I'm new since you were last active but welcome back!  ;D

There is lots to think about of course but sometimes it comes down to more than money.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline Leah

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 6067
  • Joined: Jan 2001
  • Location: Wiltshire
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 8
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 10:01:25 PM »
Welcome back, @MarsBar, I'm glad to hear you've been well, it's really good to see you here again. I hope you find the answers that you're looking for. :)

Offline MarsBar

  • US Immigration Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 768
  • Joined: Jan 2004
  • Location: VT, USA
  • Gender: Female
    • Dive Into America
  • Liked: 1
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 10:23:17 PM »
Thank you Leah and Larrabee!

Great to be back. Hoping to see a few familiar faces and meet some new friends.

...sometimes it comes down to more than money.  :)

Ain't that the truth! That's so much of why we're looking at coming back <3
Moving back to the USA? Visit Dive Into America on Facebook, a support group for DCF applicants by yours truly.

Online larrabee

  • *
  • Posts: 3151
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 786
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 10:37:44 PM »

 That's so much of why we're looking at coming back <3


And thankfully you obtained your UKC so you have no visa headaches to worry about.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

conjunctionjunction

  • Guest
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 10:41:37 PM »
I'm gobsmacked (and completely petrified) that 30 year fixed mortgages don't even seem to be a thing in the UK

Back when we were looking to buy a house I was gobsmacked that fixed mortgages weren't a thing full stop, unless you count anything that's not constantly floating around, which I don't. (I know terms longer than the usual 2 to 5 years have been available, but for the most part it's just not done here.) I guess this was about the time long term fixed was becoming far less popular in the States, too. Growing up, the standard was 20 years. Try mentioning that to a "mortgage advisor" over here and they look at you like you're mad.

Online KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 7136
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
  • Liked: 884
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 09:18:00 AM »
Something else to consider is that as you've both been out of the UK for so long, you may have to start over in regards to UK credit.  Meaning it could be about 3 years before you are even able to qualify for a mortgage (as lender's will want to see a strong work history before lending - even to UKC's).

I always pay cash for cars.  It's just easier.  Plus whoever buys the car the first time around pays VAT, so the instant you drive off the lot, the value has crashed by 20%.  Cars depreciate shockingly quick here - which has worked out for me because I have owned some seriously fun cars here that I could have never afforded in the US!   :P

Offline MarsBar

  • US Immigration Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 768
  • Joined: Jan 2004
  • Location: VT, USA
  • Gender: Female
    • Dive Into America
  • Liked: 1
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 07:22:17 PM »
And thankfully you obtained your UKC so you have no visa headaches to worry about.  :)

Yes! And we just finished DH's USC as well, so we're free and clear of visa and citizenship paperwork. So happy!

Back when we were looking to buy a house I was gobsmacked that fixed mortgages weren't a thing full stop, unless you count anything that's not constantly floating around, which I don't. (I know terms longer than the usual 2 to 5 years have been available, but for the most part it's just not done here.) I guess this was about the time long term fixed was becoming far less popular in the States, too. Growing up, the standard was 20 years. Try mentioning that to a "mortgage advisor" over here and they look at you like you're mad.

I just found out there's also age caps on UK mortgage eligibility! Apparently a 46 year old cant get a 30 year mortgage because they'd be over 75 at term. That's age discrimination! We don't get many laws right in the US, but the Equal Credit Opportunities Act at least covers this one.

And Interest Only mortgages! They're still a thing in the UK! In fact, they seem to be a core part of the standard residential mortgage line-up. We've almost completely done away with those in the USA because they were such a huge part of the mortgage and housing crisis back in 08/09, which we're still reeling from. Totally irresponsible lending practice. My mind boggles.

It's totally bizarre to see how the definition of "acceptable risk" differs between countries.

Something else to consider is that as you've both been out of the UK for so long, you may have to start over in regards to UK credit.  Meaning it could be about 3 years before you are even able to qualify for a mortgage (as lender's will want to see a strong work history before lending - even to UKC's).

I always pay cash for cars.  It's just easier.  Plus whoever buys the car the first time around pays VAT, so the instant you drive off the lot, the value has crashed by 20%.  Cars depreciate shockingly quick here - which has worked out for me because I have owned some seriously fun cars here that I could have never afforded in the US!   :P

Thanks for the tips about the cars and credit file. We've been back so long that our credit files been totally decimated (6 years). Looks like we'll probably qualify for an Expat mortgage though - they don't factor UK credit history if there isn't one. Competitive terms too. Thats a new concept to me - just happened to find it when I was trying to find US mortgages that would lend on foreign property (FWIW, I didn't find one!)
Moving back to the USA? Visit Dive Into America on Facebook, a support group for DCF applicants by yours truly.

Online KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 7136
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
  • Liked: 884
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 07:34:09 PM »
Looks like you are doing all the right research.   :)

Yes mortgages are a very foreign concept to me here.  I can't believe you can't lock in your interest rate for 30 years!

And we have a rental property with a small mortgage on it.  Interest only is essentially the only option for rentals.  And I think it's weird that you have to have a certain type of mortgage for a rental!

Offline MarsBar

  • US Immigration Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 768
  • Joined: Jan 2004
  • Location: VT, USA
  • Gender: Female
    • Dive Into America
  • Liked: 1
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 07:45:59 PM »
Interest only is essentially the only option for rentals.  And I think it's weird that you have to have a certain type of mortgage for a rental!

Wow, another surprise! I noticed Buy-to-Let mortgages are a big offering in the Expat mortgages market but the websites don't really go into details. Just that they're good for Expats wanting to get into (or back into) the UK property market sooner rather than later, then move into the property after a few years of renting it out. Had no idea they'd probably be interest only mortgages. That might change our thoughts about maybe buying to let a couple of years before we move.

Thanks for sharing your experiences! Really helpful!
Moving back to the USA? Visit Dive Into America on Facebook, a support group for DCF applicants by yours truly.

Offline jessmed3

  • *
  • Posts: 185
  • Joined: Jul 2012
  • Liked: 71
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 08:48:06 PM »
Hello! Just logging in after many years away myself. I never did too much on the site--just an American married to a Scot and have dreams of living there someday. We may actually be doing it this year (nothing definite yet) as he is in final stages of interviewing for a job...same thing as you mentioned with salary. We have 3 kids under 10 and 2 dogs over 10 and just feeling completely overwhelmed.   :-\\\\

we probably won't really know where to live (is there a message board about good suburbs/towns around Glasgow to live with a young family)/good schools?
Application: April 5
Biometrics: April 13
Received: April 19
Decision email: June 6
Decision: June 8 -- APPROVED! 😊

Offline MarsBar

  • US Immigration Guru
  • *
  • Posts: 768
  • Joined: Jan 2004
  • Location: VT, USA
  • Gender: Female
    • Dive Into America
  • Liked: 1
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 01:11:36 AM »
Welcome back to you as well jessmed3

Good luck to your husband on his interview. Is he interviewing with a US company that will allow him to work in Scotland or a UK-based company?

I was going to point you towards the Housing board for your neighborhood questions, but I see you've already found it!

Almost all the jobs for our industry are in Edinburgh with smaller clusters in Glasgow and Aberdeen, but we don't want to commute into a city. We just spent years desperately trying to get away from the city! We like being remote. We're looking at the lesser populated areas on Skye or around Inverness area. I told DH I found a house I liked on Shetland... not *that* remote, he said! ;)
Moving back to the USA? Visit Dive Into America on Facebook, a support group for DCF applicants by yours truly.

Online KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 7136
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
  • Liked: 884
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 09:24:38 AM »
Wow, another surprise! I noticed Buy-to-Let mortgages are a big offering in the Expat mortgages market but the websites don't really go into details. Just that they're good for Expats wanting to get into (or back into) the UK property market sooner rather than later, then move into the property after a few years of renting it out. Had no idea they'd probably be interest only mortgages. That might change our thoughts about maybe buying to let a couple of years before we move.

Thanks for sharing your experiences! Really helpful!

Definitely do your research.  The government is trying to reduce the number of rentals on the market by making Buy to Lets very unattractive.  Increasing taxes, elimination of deductibles, and stamp duty even if you already own the home.  Not necessarily something to put you off, but definitely things to be mindful of and research.

Offline Finch

  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Jan 2017
  • Location: NYC
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 2
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2017, 10:51:58 PM »
My husband and I are in a similar boat! He's a British citizen and with the political climate in the US the way it is we started talking about moving to the UK, (NHS and paid maternity/paternity policies as well as being closer to family are big pluses to us). Then we realized we'd be taking huge pay cuts, both are companies have London offices and we could transfer but our salaries would not be the same as they are in NYC. And with brexit we feel like there's a lot of economic uncertainty in UK right now. We're both feeling really confused about what's right for our family for the long term.

The funny thing is I'm the American, and I'm actually more keen to move to UK so we have help with future children (MIL close by) and better maternity leave. My husband is really worried about the salary cuts

Offline sillybadger

  • *
  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Location: North Carolina USA
  • Gender: Female
  • US citizen & UK citizen partner of 12 yrs
    • Hedgehogs Stole My Beer
  • Liked: 16
Re: Old Timer: Checking In! US to UK to US to... UK?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2017, 09:11:20 PM »

Looks like we'll probably qualify for an Expat mortgage though - they don't factor UK credit history if there isn't one. Competitive terms too.

Thanx muchly for mentioning that; will look into it. We're planning on using the cash we get from the sale of our very upgraded house here to be able to put £20-25k or so down on a place, but we're both over 46 so I'll dig into how that'll work for us. I'm planning on starting a bank account quite a few months before we move. We bought our current house as an affordable DIY project-for-profit; it wouldn't bother me to do the same over there if it makes getting a place more feasible.
"Human" is a noun. "Black", "White", "Asian", "Latino", "Indigenous", "Male", "Female", "GLBT", "Straight", "Christian", "Jewish", "Muslim", "Buddhist", "Hindu", "Pagan", "Conservative", "Liberal", are all adjectives.