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Offline mrken71

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Moving in June
« on: February 14, 2017, 11:55:40 PM »
Hi, I'll be moving over in June, having accepted a job teaching at a uni just outside of London. (Did I use the lingo right?) I just accepted and have tonnes of questions. (Trying the new spelling on for size.) Real estate, taxes, dependent visas, taxes, what to bring & what to chuck, taxes, did I mention taxes?  Just starting to browse around, but any directed resources welcome.

Offline ksand24

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 12:09:09 AM »
Hi, I'll be moving over in June, having accepted a job teaching at a uni just outside of London. (Did I use the lingo right?)

Welcome to the forum, and congrats on the job :) (and yes, the lingo is right)

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I just accepted and have tonnes of questions. (Trying the new spelling on for size.)

Actually, it's 'tons' in this context (sorry) :).

When you're referring to the unit of measurement (weight), it's 'tonne', but in the context of a large amount of something, it's 'ton'.

Quote
Real estate, taxes, dependent visas, taxes, what to bring & what to chuck, taxes, did I mention taxes?  Just starting to browse around, but any directed resources welcome.

Lol :P.

Just ask all your questions here on the forum - we'll be happy to help :).


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Offline mrken71

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 12:44:56 AM »
Ok, you asked for it.  :P
Is there any way to qualify for a mortgage at a decent rate to buy before I move? I have excellent credit and a decent down payment in the US, but one mortgage banker I talked to in the UK (random HSBC person) said I'd need one month's salary on deposit first from my new job. So I wouldn't be able to buy and move. Couldn't I just get a contract or commitment letter from my new job? Do any of the international banks offer decent rates for expats just arriving?

My wife works from home and is sometimes paid as an employee and is sometimes paid through our S corp set up for that purpose. Can she continue either or both of these practices from the UK, or should she focus on UK work? Should she keep US payments here or move them over there. (Apparently one can move money over pretty easily and cheaply now by going through bitcoin. Has anyone done this?)

My uni is applying for the tier 2 visa for me, but I have to do the dependent part. When do I add them to the application?

My current bank says that they can't process any new buy orders for any securities once I move. Should I just liquidate now? Are there other brokerages I should investigate here, or should I just move all non-retirement account money over there? What should we do with our US retirement accounts? Is the pound going to go further down? (I know that question isn't really fair.)

My car is only two years old. Would it be too dangerous to bring it over and have the steering wheel on the wrong side?

Assuming the doorways are big enough, can I bring the washer dryer or is there just no way (or too expensive) to get the right transformer for appliances that big? I definitely don't want to get stuck doing laundry every day in those UK micro machines - this is the one US amenity I'm trying not to give up, and the uni is paying an additional 15% of my salary for the move.

I know we'll be on NHS but I've heard horror stories about the waits. Is there a best way to navigate that? Are there things I should try to get done before coming (new orthotics, e.g.)? Is it worth it to pay out of pocket for a primary? How does vision and dental work (and should that be maxed out before departure)?

I've heard the most cost effective way to move is to set up the shipping independently of the movers at both ends, how does one go about that?

Other than rightmove and zoopla are there any other real estate resources for renting or buying (or renting to buy)?

Thanks so much. I expect many of these questions already have answers somewhwere, so feel free to just reply with lots of links.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 12:47:07 AM by mrken71 »

Offline margo

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 05:07:19 AM »
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Are there things I should try to get done before coming (new orthotics, e.g.)?

There are a lot of things the NHS doesn't cover. Some things end up being cheaper than the US (like dental), but others can be a lot more than your insurance copay. I'm still in the US but have a chronic condition, so I'll be getting new orthotics, minimum 3-6 month supply of meds, and bringing all of my medical equipment with me. Does your uni offer private insurance? Many use that to supplement what's covered on the NHS, or pay out of pocket if they don't want to wait to see a private dr. It's worth noting that the private insurance usually has no coverage for treatment related to pre-existing conditions.

For the washer/dryer you really can't bring those, you may be able to buy a larger one in the stores if you have a space in your house large enough for it. You just get used to doing laundry more frequently & hanging it to dry. Closets are also much smaller, and often non-existent, so people tend to have fewer clothes in general!
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Online larrabee

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 06:53:55 AM »
Ok, you asked for it.  :P
Is there any way to qualify for a mortgage at a decent rate to buy before I move? I have excellent credit and a decent down payment in the US, but one mortgage banker I talked to in the UK (random HSBC person) said I'd need one month's salary on deposit first from my new job. So I wouldn't be able to buy and move. Couldn't I just get a contract or commitment letter from my new job? Do any of the international banks offer decent rates for expats just arriving?

My wife works from home and is sometimes paid as an employee and is sometimes paid through our S corp set up for that purpose. Can she continue either or both of these practices from the UK, or should she focus on UK work? Should she keep US payments here or move them over there. (Apparently one can move money over pretty easily and cheaply now by going through bitcoin. Has anyone done this?)

My uni is applying for the tier 2 visa for me, but I have to do the dependent part. When do I add them to the application?

My current bank says that they can't process any new buy orders for any securities once I move. Should I just liquidate now? Are there other brokerages I should investigate here, or should I just move all non-retirement account money over there? What should we do with our US retirement accounts? Is the pound going to go further down? (I know that question isn't really fair.)

My car is only two years old. Would it be too dangerous to bring it over and have the steering wheel on the wrong side?

Assuming the doorways are big enough, can I bring the washer dryer or is there just no way (or too expensive) to get the right transformer for appliances that big? I definitely don't want to get stuck doing laundry every day in those UK micro machines - this is the one US amenity I'm trying not to give up, and the uni is paying an additional 15% of my salary for the move.

I know we'll be on NHS but I've heard horror stories about the waits. Is there a best way to navigate that? Are there things I should try to get done before coming (new orthotics, e.g.)? Is it worth it to pay out of pocket for a primary? How does vision and dental work (and should that be maxed out before departure)?

I've heard the most cost effective way to move is to set up the shipping independently of the movers at both ends, how does one go about that?

Other than rightmove and zoopla are there any other real estate resources for renting or buying (or renting to buy)?

Thanks so much. I expect many of these questions already have answers somewhwere, so feel free to just reply with lots of links.



Hi Mrken! Welcome!

You might do better asking separate questions (especially your tax ones) in our individual forums as not all our experts pop in here.  :)

Taxes- http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=11.0

Visas- http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=17.0

Moving- http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=18.0

Healthcare- http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=9.0

Expat Life- http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?board=6.0
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 KFdancer

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 08:27:55 AM »
I would be shocked if you managed to get a mortgage after only one month in the UK.  Heck, I'll be shocked if you manage to have a bank account after only one month in the UK!  Your US credit will mean zero in the UK, you will be starting over unfortunately.  You'll be able to buy if you are a cash buyer.  But otherwise, I would plan on needing a minimum of one to two years of income and credit in the UK to buy.  I have heard of things like expat mortgages, which *may* be worth looking into but I believe they require high (40%) down payments and high interest rates. 

Also, you may not like it here and might not want to be tied to a house.  The buying process is very different here and it's already February.  If you found a house TODAY, there's a good chance you wouldn't be in by June.

Your wife will need to visit the tax board and find a VERY good UK/US accountant.  Her new tax "home" will be the UK.  She will pay taxes to the UK first, and then take an exemption or credit for US taxes.  She cannot simply continue her current setup.

You submit all the applications together.

I would understand the tax implications of your current retirement accounts, but I wouldn't do anything just yet.  Give it a few years here before you decide this is permanent.  Hopefully you love it!  Some do!  Not everyone does.

Leave the washer and dryer and buy here.  I have finally found my perfect match of washer and dryer.  I have a Samsung Ecobubble and a White Knight Tumble Dryer (very cheap but works just like a US machine in effectiveness of drying.  Simply has low/high settings and a timer, but trust me, it can't be beat.  I've had a lot of machines here!  I do not live in London but imagine you will need a MASSIVE budget to have a house that has both a washer and a dryer.  The washers live in the kitchen normally (I live a fancy schmancy life and have an actual laundry room).  You'll need to have the dryer live in one of the bedrooms and use it as a side table or piece of furniture. 

Ditch the car.  It will cost a fortune to have made into EU regulations (at least £4,000).  Parts will be impossible to source, labour will be near impossible, and it will have zero resale value.  Cars depreciate extremely quickly here.  Pick one up after you arrive for cash.  Cargiant.co.uk is like Car Max in the US where you don't haggle on price and most of their vehicles are ex company cars.

The NHS is different.  I'm not having a great week with it at the moment (I'm pregnant so needing the system right now).  When it's good it good, when it's bad it's horrid.

How old are your kids?  That'll affect some answers for NHS stuff.

I was fortunate enough to be a paid corporate relo, so can't help on the cost efficiencies of moving.

Real estate is definitely different here.  Use rightmove and zoopla mainly, but then you have to contact individual agents to view places.  Unless the university is providing a relocation consultant?

Offline ksand24

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 09:34:08 AM »
I would be shocked if you managed to get a mortgage after only one month in the UK.  Heck, I'll be shocked if you manage to have a bank account after only one month in the UK!  Your US credit will mean zero in the UK, you will be starting over unfortunately.  You'll be able to buy if you are a cash buyer.  But otherwise, I would plan on needing a minimum of one to two years of income and credit in the UK to buy.

I agree. You will have no credit in the UK, so you'll have to start from scratch to build up credit again. Plus, you'll need to show a steady income into a UK bank account, as well as UK credit card statements (if you have a credit card) and a calculation of your monthly outgoings in the UK (food, clothes, transport, bills, entertainment, social, vacations) so they can determine if you can afford the monthly repayments.

I got a mortgage last year and I had to show my last 4 months of UK payslips, last 4 months of UK bank statements and last 4 months of UK credit card statements.

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Also, you may not like it here and might not want to be tied to a house.  The buying process is very different here and it's already February.  If you found a house TODAY, there's a good chance you wouldn't be in by June.

Another good point. It generally takes at least 3 months from putting an offer in for a house to actually exchanging contracts and getting the keys. And even then, nothing is set in stone until contracts are exchanged, which means anyone could pull out of the sale and the house could still fall through in those 3 months.

When I bought last year, I was a first-time buyer and it was a short chain, so it didn't take as long as I was expecting. I put in an offer on a house in mid-January 2016, telling the mortgage adviser I would like to be in the property by May. After that came arranging the mortgage and insurances, hiring a solicitor and going through the survey/conveyancing. In the end, we exchanged contracts in mid-March, finalised the sale at the end of March and I was living in the property by early April 2016.

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Leave the washer and dryer and buy here.  I have finally found my perfect match of washer and dryer.  I have a Samsung Ecobubble and a White Knight Tumble Dryer (very cheap but works just like a US machine in effectiveness of drying.

I agree - large electronic items aren't worth shipping to the UK and converting the voltage. It'll be more expensive to ship it and get a converter than to just buy a good washer and/or dryer in the UK. Plus, the larger washer/dryer you have, the more it will cost to run, meaning higher household bills.

I have a Samsung Ecobubble as well and I'm very happy with it. I don't have a dryer, but then I've never owned a dryer... I have a) no room for one and b) no desire for one. I just dry my clothes on radiators and clothes airers in my spare room.

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Ditch the car.  It will cost a fortune to have made into EU regulations (at least £4,000).  Parts will be impossible to source, labour will be near impossible, and it will have zero resale value.  Cars depreciate extremely quickly here.  Pick one up after you arrive for cash.  Cargiant.co.uk is like Car Max in the US where you don't haggle on price and most of their vehicles are ex company cars.

Yep, I agree with this as well. For the cost of actually importing the car and getting it UK roadworthy, you could probably by 1 or maybe even 2 good secondhand cars in the UK... which will already be in spec for UK roads, with the steering wheel on the correct side.

Quote
The NHS is different.  I'm not having a great week with it at the moment (I'm pregnant so needing the system right now).  When it's good it good, when it's bad it's horrid.

I've been happy with my experience of the NHS (I'm British), but everyone has different experiences. The long waiting times are usually only for things like non-urgent procedures and tests - and you can use private insurance (or pay out of pocket) to skip the lines if you wish (all that usually does is skip the lines though - you may still be seen/treated by the same NHS doctors).

For everyday use, such as simple doctor's appointments and getting prescriptions, it's pretty good. I've never had to wait more than a few days to get an appointment and haven't spent more than about 30 minutes at the GP's office when I've attended the appointment.

In comparison, my aunt lives in the US, and when she goes to see the doctor, she's in there for about 3 hours each time and it's the most slow, time-consuming ordeal I've ever seen. One day she went in for a blood test and came out 6 hours later, having been admitted, then shunted between two different hospitals, before finally being released. When I last went for a blood test in the UK, I was in and out in 10 minutes and the results came in a week later.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 09:43:35 AM »
Totally agree with ksand's assessment of general GP queries, tests, and prescriptions.  Easy peasy.  I was in the US a couple of weeks ago and saw a dermatologist (long story... basically was the only way I was going to see one).  I was DREADING the wait.  Luckily I was in and out in exactly one hour.  But appointments tend to run to time in the UK - which is AWESOME!  Yesterday I had an appointment at 2:20.  Got called back... at 2:20.  SCORE!

Offline jimbocz

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Moving in June
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 10:44:55 AM »
Where is the university?  If it's far enough outside London you might get a house big enough for a dryer.

One more opinion that bringing any large appliances is unwise, as well as most small ones.  Bringing cars is insanity.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 10:47:45 AM by jimbocz »

Offline writeshawnna

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 11:28:00 AM »
Also, keep in mind that most houses in the UK aren't vented for dryers, so you may have to get a condenser dryer, which basically has a container that collects the water that is sucked out of the wet clothes. I was surprised at how well this works (although it does take forEVER).

I agree with the car advice. Don't bring a car. I had NO idea how quickly cars depreciated here and I wish I had. We bought a year old car for £16k and I wish we had bought a 3-5 year old car instead. it would have cost us 25-50% less and we could have paid cash instead of putting half down and getting a loan for the rest. We're 2 years into a 5 year payoff and I'm exploring selling it and just buying a used car with cash to get out of the £200/mo payment.
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Offline Albatross

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2017, 12:23:38 PM »
Also, keep in mind that most houses in the UK aren't vented for dryers, so you may have to get a condenser dryer, which basically has a container that collects the water that is sucked out of the wet clothes.

Or put the vent hose out of a window...

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2017, 04:35:45 PM »
I use a bosch combination washer/dryer and it's fabulous. I don't need to waste space on two units.  The dryer actually works.  Well not fluffy like American dryers, wrinkly because it condenses, but the clothes are actually dry.
When you're renting, you will probably not have a choice of whatever washer you may end up with though. 

You'd have a hard go on a mortgage I think, as others have said.  Mortgage brokers are probably your best bet. 
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Offline mrken71

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2017, 06:03:10 PM »
I get the idea about washer dryers, but my primary worry is capacity.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2017, 06:40:17 PM »
I get the idea about washer dryers, but my primary worry is capacity.

Depends on what you buy.   ;D

I would say a full load in my machine is about half a load in my moms (she has a top loader with NO agitator).  I did not buy the largest capacity available though.  I believe mine is an 8kg capacity.

I can shove my American king size duvet in though!  A few good punches and in it goes.   ;)

Offline mrken71

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Re: Moving in June
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2017, 06:54:45 PM »
I'm just worried about those tiny under the sink models you see everywhere. We were doing laundry every day when we visited b/c they were so tiny. Here I do my own stuff maybe once every two weeks or so.