Author Topic: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..  (Read 716 times)

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Offline rj47

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Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« on: May 12, 2018, 05:58:08 PM »
Hello all,

First timer here. I fell in love with SW England after falling for an English woman quite by accident several years ago. We’ve been crossing the Atlantic about every other month ever since. Colorado has been my home for over twenty years but England feels like a second home. I’d like to maybe retire in about seven years. Keep a home here and one near Barnstaple, Salisbury or Lyme Bay. We planned for her to relocate last fall until family matters caused us to put things on hold. I have considered moving there but know that I could'nt earn anything close to what I do here. Wondering if we should simply marry, live apart, and work on residency in both countries. I’ve been looking at some UK homes but wonder if we could arrange a mortgage unless she’s earning locally and we put down a large amount. Was it not for the cost of commuting we’d have had a massive down payment! The heart wants what the hearts wants. And, for some absence does make the heart grow fonder (but, thank you Skype!).  So, I’m interested in immigration and homeownership challenges. We both have some flexibility for extended visits. I know I can visit the UK for up to six months but don’t want to watch the calendar. Eventually we'll probably spend more time there than here. Any thoughts or recommendations will be most appreciated.

Thanks
RJ

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 06:37:40 PM »
Welcome!

To work towards residency, one of you will have to make the jump.

It is MUCH easier and cheaper to bring someone to the USA than to bring someone to the UK. 

Usually one can only get a mortgage with a local income. And for an immigrant, after several years at a high interest rate.

Just be sure neither of you are working remotely during visits.  It’s illegal and could cause big problems when one of you wants to apply for a visa for either country.

I moved here from Castle Rock!
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 07:25:20 PM by KFdancer »

Offline Aquila

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 06:48:08 PM »
Welcome to UKY!

Unfortunately, someone will have to move.  It's not possible to establish residency in a country you're not living in full time, and you need the correct visa to be able to live in that country.  So ultimately, either you or her will need to make the jump across the pond.

While you can visit the UK for up to 6 months, it's up to the immigration officer and if you're suspected of using a visitor visa to live in the UK through successive visits (which is not permitted), you may find you are only admitted for a few days or weeks - if at all.

In regards to purchasing a home, you should be aware that your US credit history will not transfer over to the UK, and until you've built up sufficient UK credit, you'll be viewed as a very high risk to lenders unless you have an exceptionally large deposit.  Even people who have lived in the UK for years face hurdles with credit and being approved for reasonable rates.

The joys of LDRs.   ;)
Met DH 2004 | Engaged 2009 | Married, got a spouse visa, and moved to UK 2010 | KOL passed 2011 | ILR 2012 | UK citizenship 2015

Offline larrabee

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 07:06:51 PM »
Hi RJ, welcome!  :)
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.

Offline Halbertr

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Re: Colorado &gt; &lt; Devon...what to do..
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 08:09:41 PM »
Hello all,

First timer here. I fell in love with SW England after falling for an English woman quite by accident several years ago. We’ve been crossing the Atlantic about every other month ever since. Colorado has been my home for over twenty years but England feels like a second home. I’d like to maybe retire in about seven years. Keep a home here and one near Barnstaple, Salisbury or Lyme Bay. We planned for her to relocate last fall until family matters caused us to put things on hold. I have considered moving there but know that I could'nt earn anything close to what I do here. Wondering if we should simply marry, live apart, and work on residency in both countries. I’ve been looking at some UK homes but wonder if we could arrange a mortgage unless she’s earning locally and we put down a large amount. Was it not for the cost of commuting we’d have had a massive down payment! The heart wants what the hearts wants. And, for some absence does make the heart grow fonder (but, thank you Skype!).  So, I’m interested in immigration and homeownership challenges. We both have some flexibility for extended visits. I know I can visit the UK for up to six months but don’t want to watch the calendar. Eventually we'll probably spend more time there than here. Any thoughts or recommendations will be most appreciated.

Thanks
RJ

Hi,

Sounds to me like it would be perfect for her to move to CO.  Since you want to retire here in 7 years she’d have enough time to get USA citizenship and then you guys could move to UK with the option of going back to USA whenever since she’d have her citizenship.  Only thing is to move here you need a history of earning a certain amount or a certain amount in the bank for 6 months before applying. Right now I think that amount is $65,000 and it cannot fall under that amount even for one day.  So your wife could open an account and hold that money in it for 6 months before you apply to move over.  I came over for 6 month visit before we were married and got grilled at immigration for 3.5 hours! We didn’t know any thing about the rules at the time but I came very close to being denied entrance. So as someone has already warned you that 6 months is not a free for all and not a right by any means. It’s meant for tourists and tourists only!  Also mortgages, banks and all that stuff seems to operate differently than in USA so don’t assume because it’s done one way in USA it will work the same way here.  I don’t think 30 year mortgages are as common here and houses seem smaller and more expensive for some. Good Luck! We’ve all been there done that! 🤪
24 April 13 - Married
29 April 13 - overnight Spouse Visa app. to NYC

Offline Aquila

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2018, 08:34:50 PM »
Right now I think that amount is $65,000 and it cannot fall under that amount even for one day.

It's £62,500 at the moment if totally relying on cash savings to meet the financial requirement.  (ETA - roughly $84,600 with the current exchange rate)

That being said, who knows what the requirements (financial and otherwise) will be several years from now.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 08:36:47 PM by Aquila »
Met DH 2004 | Engaged 2009 | Married, got a spouse visa, and moved to UK 2010 | KOL passed 2011 | ILR 2012 | UK citizenship 2015

Offline rj47

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 05:14:40 PM »
It is MUCH easier and cheaper to bring someone to the USA than to bring someone to the UK. 

Usually one can only get a mortgage with a local income. And for an immigrant, after several years at a high interest rate.

Just be sure neither of you are working remotely during visits.  It’s illegal and could cause big problems when one of you wants to apply for a visa for either country.

I moved here from Castle Rock!

Small world...I'm in Castle Rock often. Finished an apartment project on Wolfensberger. Sometimes meet friends and my kids for dinner at Rockyard Brewery now that I'm down  in Co Springs.

We know she'll have to move here first as a practical matter. Stays for a month at a time. She's comfortable here and me in Dorset/Devon. Civil nuptials here, church there with family and friends is the most likely scenario.

You made an interesting comment about work. I've considered that I might have opportunity to live there for extended stretches and manage a business here.

I have considered the possibility of being a co-signer on a mortgage with a friend there that is income qualified. Provide the down payment, treat the home as an investment and put into rental for a few years. Don't want to do anything illegal. Need to spend more time on it.

Thank you so much. Get back for visits? Norwegian Air now makes direct flights to Denver. Cut rate cattle car and not crazy about Gatwick as it adds time to my drive south, but found a $380RT recently.

Thank you again!

Offline rj47

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 05:22:22 PM »
Welcome to UKY!

In regards to purchasing a home, you should be aware that your US credit history will not transfer over to the UK, and until you've built up sufficient UK credit, you'll be viewed as a very high risk to lenders unless you have an exceptionally large deposit.  Even people who have lived in the UK for years face hurdles with credit and being approved for reasonable rates.

The joys of LDRs.   ;)

Thank you. I've been looking at small homes off the beaten path in Ilfracombe and near Axminster. I love Lyme Regis...but housing is very expensive. My challenge is having a 3 car "garage" and garden. We're spoiled here...even 2 might be a challenge. I have more homework to do on ownership possibilities from a distance.

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2018, 05:40:49 PM »
Small world...I'm in Castle Rock often. Finished an apartment project on Wolfensberger. Sometimes meet friends and my kids for dinner at Rockyard Brewery now that I'm down  in Co Springs.

We know she'll have to move here first as a practical matter. Stays for a month at a time. She's comfortable here and me in Dorset/Devon. Civil nuptials here, church there with family and friends is the most likely scenario.

You made an interesting comment about work. I've considered that I might have opportunity to live there for extended stretches and manage a business here.

I have considered the possibility of being a co-signer on a mortgage with a friend there that is income qualified. Provide the down payment, treat the home as an investment and put into rental for a few years. Don't want to do anything illegal. Need to spend more time on it.

Thank you so much. Get back for visits? Norwegian Air now makes direct flights to Denver. Cut rate cattle car and not crazy about Gatwick as it adds time to my drive south, but found a $380RT recently.

Thank you again!

Owning a home in the UK is not illegal.  Just as a foreigner can own in the USA.  But owning doesn’t allow you to live in either country.  They’ll just take your money!   ;D

The mortgages are fine VERY differently here.  To rent a house, you need a Buy To Let mortgage.  BTL’s are interest only (almost always), so you don’t pay down the balance on the home.  Mortgages are usually only given to the age of 65, though some providers will allow the mortgage to extend to age 70. 

So if you are 45, most mortgage companies will only consider a 20 year loan.  If 50, a 15 year loan, etc.  And the rate is only fixed for two years (usually).

Also consider the stamp duty fees, especially if you wanted to buy a house to live in at some point (you can’t stay in your BTL).  And of course, opening yourself up to both the UK and USA tax systems.

Ah, being an expat.  It’s fun!

No, I haven’t been back to CO since moving here.  I was there for work and on my precious annual trip home, I use it to see family.  I have young kids though.  As they get older, we will start to see the USA more and more.  Just not much point in going all over when they are little more than animated sacks of potatoes!   ;D

Offline rj47

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Re: Colorado &gt; &lt; Devon...what to do..
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2018, 05:49:21 PM »
Hi,

Sounds to me like it would be perfect for her to move to CO.  Since you want to retire here in 7 years she’d have enough time to get USA citizenship and then you guys could move to UK with the option of going back to USA whenever since she’d have her citizenship.  Only thing is to move here you need a history of earning a certain amount or a certain amount in the bank for 6 months before applying. Right now I think that amount is $65,000 and it cannot fall under that amount even for one day.  So your wife could open an account and hold that money in it for 6 months before you apply to move over.  I came over for 6 month visit before we were married and got grilled at immigration for 3.5 hours! We didn’t know any thing about the rules at the time but I came very close to being denied entrance. So as someone has already warned you that 6 months is not a free for all and not a right by any means. It’s meant for tourists and tourists only!  Also mortgages, banks and all that stuff seems to operate differently than in USA so don’t assume because it’s done one way in USA it will work the same way here.  I don’t think 30 year mortgages are as common here and houses seem smaller and more expensive for some. Good Luck! We’ve all been there done that! 🤪

Retirement is a daunting prospect as I'm 60 and still fairly passionate about life, work and health. Mostly its about choices and backing off a little with the daily grind. But yes, we've figured out that its best she comes here...wants to have flexibility to go back as needed (large and close family). We've been doing the commute long enough that 4,800 miles doesn't seem so far. I wasn't aware of the cash deposit requirement though we should be able to handle it in another year or two. My visits 3-4 times year are generally 5-10 days at a time. We push to the 3 month limit on her Visa. Our goal is to begin to establish roots together there in about three years. Does a gradual move make sense? The best world for us would be part time there, part time here. Best time of the year in SW Devon right now and through summer...came home 2-1/2 weeks ago just as the bluebells were blooming. Generally hot and dry here now and over the summer, but Colorado winters are quite comfortable. The houses there are definitely smaller. After 20-years in so called "McMansions" raising a family, I'm now comfortably working my way towards a smaller home.

Thanks much.

Offline rj47

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2018, 06:13:43 PM »
The mortgages are fine VERY differently here.  To rent a house, you need a Buy To Let mortgage.  BTL’s are interest only (almost always), so you don’t pay down the balance on the home.  Mortgages are usually only given to the age of 65, though some providers will allow the mortgage to extend to age 70.

So if you are 45, most mortgage companies will only consider a 20 year loan.  If 50, a 15 year loan, etc.  And the rate is only fixed for two years (usually).
Quote

I've heard that...seems terribly discriminatory. She's in her late 40's and will be beneficiary to a large life policy so maybe its best I drop dead early. We've considered that we'll need to pay cash.

Also consider the stamp duty fees, especially if you wanted to buy a house to live in at some point (you can’t stay in your BTL).  And of course, opening yourself up to both the UK and USA tax systems.

Ah, being an expat.  It’s fun!
Quote

I'm learning. I'm in construction and walk new builds there whenever I can. "What are property taxes? Ohhh...you mean the council tax". 

Just not much point in going all over when they are little more than animated sacks of potatoes!   ;D
Quote
Don't I know it...carting them up the hill to ski when they were young. Why did I invite the chaos, madness and back aches? None of them ski/board anymore!

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 06:54:16 PM »
Also consider the stamp duty fees, especially if you wanted to buy a house to live in at some point (you can’t stay in your BTL).  And of course, opening yourself up to both the UK and USA tax systems.

Ah, being an expat.  It’s fun!
Just not much point in going all over when they are little more than animated sacks of potatoes!   ;D

Stamp duty is a whole different animal to council tax!  Cash required in tax up front.  And it goes up if a second home!

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/stamp-duty

It’s not labelled “rip off Britain” for nothing!   ;D
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 06:55:39 PM by KFdancer »

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2018, 09:14:20 AM »
Welcome to UKY :)

Offline noneatall

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2018, 01:14:46 PM »
Please take a hard look at the US Income tax implications before getting married.  I believe that in some instances her UK income might be subject to US income tax.  At a minimum, your tax filing status will change.

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Colorado > < Devon...what to do..
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2018, 01:21:38 PM »
Please take a hard look at the US Income tax implications before getting married.  I believe that in some instances her UK income might be subject to US income tax.  At a minimum, your tax filing status will change.

Believe they would be fine as could file "married, separate". I don't believe her UK income would have any bearing on US taxes if she remains living in the UK and doesn't own property etc. in the US. I could be wrong and I'm sure others will come along shortly to correct me if I am. Her income would only become a problem if she were to move to the US and contribute over there, as I understand it.