An overarching point to bear in mind is that in many American companies operating in the service sector tend to only see black and white not shades of grey, and they like forms, lots of them – you do need a good mortgage advisor aware of the differences between American and British mortgages to advise you.
Here in the South East we are blessed with hot steamy summers and mild winters, which could account for the mass exodus of Americans living in the north who are now making the move south. The latest census shows the population growth in the south fast outpacing that in the north. Consequently the need for housing in the south is growing and apartment complexes seem to sprout up in the middle of the night.
How US banks work
Your first task on arrival is to open a bank account. My advice is to choose one of the big boys such as Bank of America or Bank One, not the ‘mom & pop [GB: small]’ ones or the credit unions. For the first 90 days your account will be ‘red-flagged’ — there’s nothing you can do about this but wait it through. The bank is waiting to see whether you’re just trying to cash a forged cheque [US: check] and run. This means that everything will take a lot longer to clear. The banks run a ‘bad boy/girl’ list called ChexSystems. At all costs make sure you keep yourself off this little horror, otherwise you’ll find it almost impossible to open an account anywhere.