Author Topic: Preparing for a secondary home  (Read 740 times)

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Offline Bryan Jamison

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Preparing for a secondary home
« on: April 24, 2017, 12:35:45 AM »
Hi all,

I am not currently in the UK but I am planning on purchasing a property in either Dover or Brighton somewhat soon and splitting my time between Southern California (home) and my soon to be home in the UK. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions about how difficult it is to have/maintain a secondary home. Dover has much lower property values and is near the channel so I could go down to France and Belgium without much issue which is one of my goals. But Brighton seems amazing....though property values are about double. Any suggestions from anyone else here who splits time between US and UK?
Bryan Jamison

Offline lyonaria

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 12:56:00 AM »
Sorry. Can't say I have any advice but I know whoever can give down advice will ask you this question.

Do you have a UK passport or a visa that allows you to live in the UK?

Cheers
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.

Offline Bryan Jamison

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 01:58:29 AM »
My plan is to live there seasonally between 4-5 months out of the year to avoid the higher taxes. Thus my primary home would still be here in Southern California. I am still researching on what type of visa or residency I would need to accomplish this, if any. Where I live in So cal (Near Palm Springs) it is a very popular seasonal home spot for people primarily from Canada though I also have several clients from the UK who have a home here and stay for a few months out of the year. I don't believe they have a VISA or residency permit and I can't seem to find a concrete answer as to what the rules are in the Uk regarding this.
Bryan Jamison

Online KFdancer

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2017, 08:58:02 AM »
The rules in the UK are rather simple.

While here on a visitor (tourist visa), you cannot:

Work (either paid or unpaid, so no volunteer work either).  This also means you cannot work remotely for a US company while in the UK.
Use the NHS
Study
Live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent travel
Marry

If a border agent found out you own a home here, you would have a very very hard time convincing them you are a genuine tourist.

What is it you do for work?  Would you be able to find sponsored work?  Are you able to invest ¬£1 million into a UK business?  Those are options.

People who hold Canadian citizenship have an easier time qualifying for visas as they are part of the commonwealth and can take advantage of ancestry visas.  It's also possible they obtained their visas and residency prior to a big rule switch in 2012 which used to have a "retired by independent means" visa.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 09:00:45 AM by KFdancer »

Online larrabee

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2017, 09:46:18 AM »
"retired by independent means"

Retired person of independent means.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Online KFdancer

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2017, 09:49:02 AM »
Retired person of independent means.  :)

Touch√©.  Does have a whole different meaning, doesn't it?   ;)

Offline jimbocz

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Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2017, 01:37:21 PM »
Do you want to take the train to Europe or drive?  If you want to take the train, Ashford is a lovely town that's got super good connections to the Eurostar.  For driving, Brighton is nice and has a ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe.  That puts you on the western side of France. 

I'd also consider Hastings, which is a lot closer to the tunnel than Brighton but more small town vibe.  It's prettier then Brighton as well.   

I wouldn't plan to move to Dover without seeing it first.  Hastings is way nicer.

You could also consider Sevenoaks in Kent.  Paul  McCartney has a house there as well as the CEO of BP.  It's close to the coast as well.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 01:40:24 PM by jimbocz »

Online larrabee

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2017, 02:39:41 PM »
  Does have a whole different meaning, doesn't it?   ;)

Ha! Yes, it does!  :)
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 Bryan Jamison

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 05:41:14 AM »
I am currently building up passive income through investments, my intent would not be to work while staying in the UK. Only to enjoy the summer and indulge my personal obsession with my ancestry. Not to mention my love of British food and ale ;P I will check out those other towns jimbocz, thank you for the suggestions. I am trying to find a good balance with housing prices, proximity to London and the channel for ease of access to France and Belgium; while also being happy with the town I am in. Not as easy as I'd hoped.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 05:47:37 AM by Bryan Jamison »
Bryan Jamison

Offline Bryan Jamison

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2017, 05:59:24 AM »
Wow, Hastings does look really nice! I am going to add to this list of possible destinations.
Bryan Jamison

Offline ksand24

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2017, 06:28:35 AM »
The thing is that without a residency visa or UK passport, you would be subject to visitor visa rules in the UK - and that means that every single time you go over to France or Belgium, you will have to 'reapply' for visitor visa entry back into the UK again... and if the immigration officers think you are spending too much time in the UK and are essentially trying to live here for several months per year, they can refuse you entry. Each time, you would need proof of a return ticket back to the US, enough money to support your visit in the UK without working, and evidence of your job and home back in the US to show you are not trying to live in the UK as a visitor.

Also, as a meteorologist, I can tell you that the summer weather in the UK isn't much to write home about. Most Brits leave the country and head for places like SoCal in order to actually see some sunshine and feel some warm temperatures! UK summer temperatures are more like Palm Springs December temperatures and it rains maybe 1 in 4 days (about 2 inches per month).

Average summer highs are 68-70 degrees and we only get maybe 5-10 days per year of temperatures over 75. If we're really lucky we might get 2 or 3 days over temperatures over 80 in a year. There's definitely a reason why your clients have holiday homes in California - it's most likely so they can escape the crappy UK 'summer'.


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Offline Bryan Jamison

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2017, 06:36:11 AM »
Hi Ksand, I live near palm springs and all of them come to where I am for the winter specifically, they all leave during summer because it's hell on earth. I own my home here in the US and have a decent amount of assets (I am not rich, but do alright) so proving residency in the US as my primary home would be an easy task. My question is do I actually need a VISA to spend 3-4 months traveling betwen the UK and France/Belgium if I have my US passport. How long am I allowed to stay in my home without causing any issues with immigration? I still can't find clear cut answers, I am certainly not sure that I even need a VISA for what I am planning (plotting?)
Bryan Jamison

Offline MPI

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2017, 10:45:59 AM »
Have you been to Dover?

It's an interesting place to visit, but I would definitely visit it.  Dover has seen some better days, unless you're desperate to be near the ferries.

There are other really nice towns on the Kent coast though.  My husband and I don't live on the coast but when we buy someday we are thinking of Broadstairs or Ramsgate.  The beaches there are more beachy than Dover, and the towns are cleaner/more residential.  Whitstable is also lovely, and I would expect it to be cheaper than Brighton.

I've never been to CA but coming from extreme humidity in New York, Kent summers are very agreeable in my opinion: they do get warm, you can sit in the beer gardens at pubs in the evening, but they don't get oppressively hot and I do NOT miss air conditioning at all.
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Offline jimbocz

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 11:06:27 AM »
The only issue I see is that if you are living way down in the SouthEastern corner, any trips you take within the UK will be less convenient. 

Also check out Rye and Dungeness.  Those would be where I want to live on the South Coast. 

Brighton will be very accessible to London an quite city like.  All the other towns we mentioned will be small, kind of backwards and full of Brexit voters.  In fact, when choosing a place you should look at the percentage of people that voted Brexit to know what the neighbours will be like.

Offline jimbocz

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Re: Preparing for a secondary home
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2017, 11:07:46 AM »
By the way, Ksand is undoubtedly the smartest person in the room.  Pay attention to what she says about Visas and weather.