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Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Old Jan 24th 2024, 2:51 pm
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Default Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

I'm thinking about a possible move back from the US in late 2024/2025. My biggest concerns right now are just the logistics of selling my home in the US, moving the contents to the UK, buying a new house in the UK and getting all my stuff moved in. I'll sell a lot of stuff, but I want to keep a lot of stuff too, rugs, furniture, books etc. So I'm looking for relocation and international movers from US to UK so that I can pay to have someone else do some of the organizing. Does anyone have any recommendations for relocation and moving companies or general advice.
My timeline might be the following:

1) Engage international relocation service
2) Sell my US house
3) get movers to pick up my stuff and put it in a container
4) move to UK and rent for 6 months leaving my stuff in UK storage
5) buy new house
6) move my furniture etc into new home.

Last edited by nunnun; Jan 24th 2024 at 2:54 pm.
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Old Jan 24th 2024, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Welcome to the site.

Your sequence of actions looks pretty good to me. We completed the move from Texas 7 years ago after 29 years in the USA.

We googled for international movers and got 3 quotes before we settled on one. We also sold and donated a lot of stuff but still ended up with a 20’ container to ship over. We also rented for 6 months while doing all this and buying a house in England.

Last edited by durham_lad; Jan 24th 2024 at 10:17 pm.
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

I'm actually a long time member, but Britishexpats seems to have forgotten my account info and so I had to join again. Thanks for the reassurance that my plan is reasonable. Which moving company did you end up using? I'm looking at the big movers in the US like Allied Van Lines and some more boutique relocation specialists like Suddath. Did you just leave your stuff in storage while you rented and looked for a house to buy?
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by nunnun
I'm actually a long time member, but Britishexpats seems to have forgotten my account info and so I had to join again. Thanks for the reassurance that my plan is reasonable. Which moving company did you end up using? I'm looking at the big movers in the US like Allied Van Lines and some more boutique relocation specialists like Suddath. Did you just leave your stuff in storage while you rented and looked for a house to buy?
Is that you Nun? Whose Aunt used to live in Great Ayton or thereabouts?

We did in fact go with Allied Van Lines and were extremely happy with them. This was in 2016/17, goods picked up in Texas in the 1st week of January 2017 and delivered to our house in England the 3rd week in February. We had been renting in England and got the keys to the house we bought end of January 2017 then spent a few weeks getting carpets changed, everywhere decorated etc so we didn’t need to have it in storage at all.

Our son moved from the same place in Texas, shared a part container, also used Allied Van Lines I think. His stuff was picked up last week in September 2017 and he also expected to have it held over here in storage but he moved into his house here a few days before Christmas and the company again delivered direct to his house without need to store it. He stayed with us for about 3 months while house hunting.

Daughter moved from her house in LA into a rented apartment a few miles down the road while she sold her house in LA. I don’t know what company she used but it was another of the big ones and they picked her furniture up in September 2022 and as expected it took a long time to ship. She also planned to hold it in storage and moved in with us end of November. She closed on the purchase of her house about the 3rd week in January and her shipment arrived 2 or 3 weeks later so once again she didn’t need to hold it in storage.
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Yes it's Nun. For some reason BritishExpats didn't recognize my email.

It looks like shipping takes around 6 weeks. Did you leave the US before your house sold?
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by nunnun
Yes it's Nun. For some reason BritishExpats didn't recognize my email.

It looks like shipping takes around 6 weeks. Did you leave the US before your house sold?
Hi there again


We had sold our house before leaving but our daughter had not. Her first sale dropped through at the last minute and although her second sale was progressing well she was back in England for 2 or 3 weeks before it completed. It wasn’t a problem, she managed it all online, no need to turn up and sign anything. No cap gains issue in the UK since it was the sale of her primary home.
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by durham_lad
Hi there again


We had sold our house before leaving but our daughter had not. Her first sale dropped through at the last minute and although her second sale was progressing well she was back in England for 2 or 3 weeks before it completed. It wasn’t a problem, she managed it all online, no need to turn up and sign anything. No cap gains issue in the UK since it was the sale of her primary home.
My home is a duplex so capital gains will be an issue and I don't want to have the tax hassle of selling a US home while I'm resident in the UK, so I will sell before I set foot in the UK "permanently".
You said that "We also rented for 6 months while doing all this and buying a house in England." and I don't quite understand your time line. Ideally I'd like to sell in the US, have my stuff picked up and in the time between that and it arriving in the UK buy a home. I think that's a bit optimistic so I'll either find an unfurnished rental for 6 months or a year and have my stuff delivered there and then set about finding a home to buy or just leave my stuff in storage while I look for a house. I sort of fancy the idea of staying in a hotel for a few months like some old guy in one of those genteel retirement type hotels in Agatha Christie novels.
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by nunnun
I'm thinking about a possible move back from the US in late 2024/2025. My biggest concerns right now are just the logistics of selling my home in the US, moving the contents to the UK, buying a new house in the UK and getting all my stuff moved in. I'll sell a lot of stuff, but I want to keep a lot of stuff too, rugs, furniture, books etc. So I'm looking for relocation and international movers from US to UK so that I can pay to have someone else do some of the organizing. Does anyone have any recommendations for relocation and moving companies or general advice.
My timeline might be the following:

1) Engage international relocation service
2) Sell my US house
3) get movers to pick up my stuff and put it in a container
4) move to UK and rent for 6 months leaving my stuff in UK storage
5) buy new house
6) move my furniture etc into new home.
Hello, Nun! You've helped me a lot in the past with finances, tax, IRS, 401k, and all that other painful stuff.

Not sure how much help I can be, but one company worth looking into is Rinkens. If you have enough stuff, they deliver a shipping container to your street and either you fill it, or you pay someone to fill it. Might depend on what level of insurance you want.

Also, think carefully about bringing any big items of US furniture, as UK houses might not be big enough, or so tight that you have to remove a window to get your sofa into the living room. ;-)

Although renting can be a pain, I think you are very smart to rent while you look for houses and decide where you want to live.

Good to have you back. I actually searched for your posts the other day to see if you were still on here. Good luck wiith the decision-making. If I think of any other useful advice, will post later.
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by dunroving
Hello, Nun! You've helped me a lot in the past with finances, tax, IRS, 401k, and all that other painful stuff.

Not sure how much help I can be, but one company worth looking into is Rinkens. If you have enough stuff, they deliver a shipping container to your street and either you fill it, or you pay someone to fill it. Might depend on what level of insurance you want.

Also, think carefully about bringing any big items of US furniture, as UK houses might not be big enough, or so tight that you have to remove a window to get your sofa into the living room. ;-)

Although renting can be a pain, I think you are very smart to rent while you look for houses and decide where you want to live.

Good to have you back. I actually searched for your posts the other day to see if you were still on here. Good luck with the decision-making. If I think of any other useful advice, will post later.
Thanks,
Yes I've not been vey active on here for a couple of years.
I've thought about the size of furniture issues and that will have to be factored in. I don't have any big over stuffed sofas, but most of the furniture is heavy oak or cherry so weight is usually more of an issue. Obviously no electrical stuff will be coming with me apart from my laptop and my phone, but the furniture and rugs have sentimental value and would be very expensive to replace so as long as someone else is moving them it's worth doing. I'm budgeting between $10k and $20k to get things door to door.
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Old Jan 25th 2024, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by nunnun
My home is a duplex so capital gains will be an issue and I don't want to have the tax hassle of selling a US home while I'm resident in the UK, so I will sell before I set foot in the UK "permanently".
You said that "We also rented for 6 months while doing all this and buying a house in England." and I don't quite understand your time line. Ideally I'd like to sell in the US, have my stuff picked up and in the time between that and it arriving in the UK buy a home. I think that's a bit optimistic so I'll either find an unfurnished rental for 6 months or a year and have my stuff delivered there and then set about finding a home to buy or just leave my stuff in storage while I look for a house. I sort of fancy the idea of staying in a hotel for a few months like some old guy in one of those genteel retirement type hotels in Agatha Christie novels.
We sold our house in the USA long before we moved back, moved into an apartment complex so we could “lock and leave” and spent several years traveling after retiring, leaving the apartment empty for months at a time. In 2016 we rented an unfurnished house in England while we looked around to find exactly where we wanted to live and to buy a house there. This actually took 9 months from starting the rental to moving out. The landlord was very good about it and rented out the house before we had even moved out so although we had a 12 month lease we only paid for 9 months.
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Old Jan 26th 2024, 3:57 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by durham_lad
We sold our house in the USA long before we moved back, moved into an apartment complex so we could “lock and leave” and spent several years traveling after retiring, leaving the apartment empty for months at a time. In 2016 we rented an unfurnished house in England while we looked around to find exactly where we wanted to live and to buy a house there. This actually took 9 months from starting the rental to moving out. The landlord was very good about it and rented out the house before we had even moved out so although we had a 12 month lease we only paid for 9 months.
OK, so your transatlantic furniture etc. move was from one rental to another rental?
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Old Jan 26th 2024, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by nunnun
OK, so your transatlantic furniture etc. move was from one rental to another rental?
Yes, we moved from a 2 bed rental apartment to a small 3 bed rental house but the furniture from our US rental went straight to our new house. The rental in the UK was much smaller than the house we bought so we didn’t need to dispose of any furniture after it arrived. We didn’t bring our beds from the USA or appliances so those items we bought new for the UK rental house and transferred them to our new house when we moved in.

Our daughter in 2022 moved from house to house but first moved out of her house to a fully furnished rental and shipped her house furniture while the house was “staged” and sold. I think the staging is an LA or California thing where the agent puts in some temporary furniture, pictures etc before showing prospective buyers.

Last edited by durham_lad; Jan 26th 2024 at 8:09 am.
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Old Jan 26th 2024, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by durham_lad
Yes, we moved from a 2 bed rental apartment to a small 3 bed rental house but the furniture from our US rental went straight to our new house. The rental in the UK was much smaller than the house we bought so we didn’t need to dispose of any furniture after it arrived. We didn’t bring our beds from the USA or appliances so those items we bought new for the UK rental house and transferred them to our new house when we moved in.

Our daughter in 2022 moved from house to house but first moved out of her house to a fully furnished rental and shipped her house furniture while the house was “staged” and sold. I think the staging is an LA or California thing where the agent puts in some temporary furniture, pictures etc before showing prospective buyers.
You said you were in the UK rental for 9 months so you must have been renting in the UK and the US at the same time.
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Old Jan 26th 2024, 3:01 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by nunnun
You said you were in the UK rental for 9 months so you must have been renting in the UK and the US at the same time.
Since retiring in 2010 from Louisiana to Texas it was fairly common that we had multiple rentals under way during our extended travels. In 2012 we had our rented apartment in Texas while renting a condo in Friday Harbor for a month and then staying in a hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island. At one point in 2016 we rented a house in Ypres for 2 weeks with my wife’s brother and his wife plus one of her sister’s and her husband. At the weekend of that stay we went to Liege with her brother and his wife for 3 nights to go to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. We commented then that we were staying in a hotel in Liege, while renting a house in Ypres, while renting a house in England while renting an apartment in Texas.

Life has settled down quite a bit since then.
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Old Jan 26th 2024, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK after 35 years in USA.

Originally Posted by durham_lad
Since retiring in 2010 from Louisiana to Texas it was fairly common that we had multiple rentals under way during our extended travels. In 2012 we had our rented apartment in Texas while renting a condo in Friday Harbor for a month and then staying in a hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island. At one point in 2016 we rented a house in Ypres for 2 weeks with my wife’s brother and his wife plus one of her sister’s and her husband. At the weekend of that stay we went to Liege with her brother and his wife for 3 nights to go to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. We commented then that we were staying in a hotel in Liege, while renting a house in Ypres, while renting a house in England while renting an apartment in Texas.

Life has settled down quite a bit since then.
OK. So I can see myself scoping out UK rentals and making contact with some RE agents a few months before my house sells. I think it will be a quick sale given how fast another house on my street recently sold. I imagine I'll have around 6 weeks from my stuff being picked up in the US until it arrives in the UK and I should be able to find an unfurnished rental by then. Then I can take my time finding a permanent home.
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