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Moving to Houston, Texas

Moving to Houston, Texas

Old Feb 10th 2015, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

In Katy at the moment that would get you one of the fancy apartment complexes in a prime neighbourhood or a smallish (by Texas standards!) 3 bed house.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Your advice isn't much help when the OP's after tax income isn't going to be much more than about $4,500/mth. ...... Given his income his budget is in line with the general guidance in the US to spend about 1/3 of your income on housing. Do you have any suggestions as to what he can do with a housing budget of $1,500-$2,000?
Fair enough, but Houston is a funny animal in terms of housing. $1500 a month puts the OP far south or east. I cannot suggest going simply to where that kind of budget can suffice. They want nice schools, so with all the desired pieces, an uptick in budget is required OR a compromise for schooling, area, commute and house needs a downward ajust ent.

I think the OP is clever enough to think through that an apartment is possible for that range ... However a family of five in an apartment is a tough decision to want to be in Houston that badly.

Weeze is spot on in his assessment.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Bomjeito View Post
Regarding the costs...double pretty much everything. Decent housing in good school districts start at $3k. Research each school, not the entire district for a rating. Katy ISD has hundreds of schools, and building more....so some addresses will be redistricted later. Anyhow, research each individual school for the home you desire. KISD has some marginal ones out there! As does Cypress ISD.

$70 k isn't a lot after taxes are accounted for.

As one poster mentioned, your upfront costs are large. Furniture is cheap by way of IKEA, and a lot of moving expats always have listings on FB, Shell Outpost, etc. But those require waiting and hoping. You can rent furniture...Cort does whole 4 bedroom houses for about $600 a month.

Car insurance...too low...if a corporate car, isn't it covered anyhow? If not, there is a year upcharge premium as you'll be considered a new driver here...and since you have no credit, credit scores come into play for rate decisions.
I don't see this as accurate at all. I pay $2000 a month in Katy, walking distance to highly ranked Nottingham Country Elementary school, for a 4 bed 2.5 bath with a pool. Where you get $3,000 from I have no idea.
Every expat we have met live in Katy ISD, be it in our area (near Fry and Mason) or near La Centerra and other than those living in 6 bed houses, nobody pays $3k a month

And who is insuring your car?! I drive a Hummer here, I have been here a month, I don't even have a social security number and my insurance for my wife and I comes to the princely sum of $94 a month. I got quoted on a brand new 2015 Mustang soft top as well, $120 a month.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Even if the company covered the car and insurance for the OH, you'd need one too and you'd need to budget $2K a year for the insurance.

Petrol costs seem a bit low too, considering how much you end up driving, going no where over here, in general.

How young are the kids? Pre-school usually isn't cheap. Childcare, certainly isn't. Neither are school activities and summer camp type things are very expensive.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Canveydave View Post

And who is insuring your car?! I drive a Hummer here, I have been here a month, I don't even have a social security number and my insurance for my wife and I comes to the princely sum of $94 a month. I got quoted on a brand new 2015 Mustang soft top as well, $120 a month.
$1K per 6 months is a pretty safe bet for most people to budget towards, if they want a decentish new car and want decent coverage.

Getting state minimum coverage, which would be shit, everywhere, and you could pay peanuts. Wouldn't be advised though, unless you're driving a beater and have no assets at all.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 9:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
$1K per 6 months is a pretty safe bet for most people to budget towards, if they want a decentish new car and want decent coverage.

Getting state minimum coverage, which would be shit, everywhere, and you could pay peanuts. Wouldn't be advised though, unless you're driving a beater and have no assets at all.
AIG Inbound is the key, I have very high coverage for the money I pay. Far in excess of state minimums.

It is a very good package, well worth the upfront fee.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Glad you liked them! (It was us that referred them). Saved us a fortune in that first year.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Glad you liked them! (It was us that referred them). Saved us a fortune in that first year.
Thank you!

It was an absolute no brainer and they are so helpful
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Has anyone rented recently in Katy? As I typed the post, my friend and realtor showed me listings for Kelliwood at $4k a month for a 4 bed/3 bath with pool. I still think $3k for a big house with pool in a desirable school situation isn't so ridiculous for Katy.

I may be wrong, and the OP has full promise to look onto har.com for their price range and locations.

We pay $120 a month for two cars insurance too. HOWEVER, newly arrived folks DO get the upcharges if they have not verifiable driver record in the USA. A decent broker or simply doing research will again, help the OP.

Sheesh. My husband relocates a dozen or more folk from all over the world and he consistently gets folk thinking cheap and plenty. Especially the last year - prices for accommodation have increased. Since we moved here in 2010, its a large difference. And the OP hasn't mentioned where her husband works, so that is a whole other discussion when we hear, "works in Pearland, want to move to the Woodlands" post.

She asked for opinions, I gave it. Others can too.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Bomjeito, CamveyDave only moved here a few months back. I seem to remember it being around Halloween. Oh, and I'm still female.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

With the price of oil, and related lay-offs in the news, the rental market may soften quite quickly in the Houston area. Private landlords likely can't afford to have property sitting vacant for months, so there may even be room to negotiate with some of them.
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Bomjeito View Post
Has anyone rented recently in Katy? As I typed the post, my friend and realtor showed me listings for Kelliwood at $4k a month for a 4 bed/3 bath with pool. I still think $3k for a big house with pool in a desirable school situation isn't so ridiculous for Katy.

I may be wrong, and the OP has full promise to look onto har.com for their price range and locations.

We pay $120 a month for two cars insurance too. HOWEVER, newly arrived folks DO get the upcharges if they have not verifiable driver record in the USA. A decent broker or simply doing research will again, help the OP.

Sheesh. My husband relocates a dozen or more folk from all over the world and he consistently gets folk thinking cheap and plenty. Especially the last year - prices for accommodation have increased. Since we moved here in 2010, its a large difference. And the OP hasn't mentioned where her husband works, so that is a whole other discussion when we hear, "works in Pearland, want to move to the Woodlands" post.

She asked for opinions, I gave it. Others can too.
I actually moved to Katy on the 6th January, I was freezing. I had everything in place before Christmas though.

We may well have got lucky on our house, but I don't think so, we looked at lots of places in December. We live in Nottingham Country, not far from Kelliwood. If you want to live in a 5000sq ft house then you will need to pay for it.

Like I said previously, the 2500 sq ft house with 4 bedrooms and a pool for $2k a month is fine with us.

If you earn $70k you aren't going to be looking at houses paying $3000 or $4000 a month. There are (or were last month) plenty of properties in the 1800 - 2200 bracket perfect for a young family
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Old Feb 10th 2015, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Amy1 View Post
Hi

Looking for some advice about me and my family moving to the US. My husband has been offered a job in Houston Texas and we are close to agreeing to move.

VISA

The job he has been offered is with the same company so we are thinking we may get a L1 visa, we can't get a L1A visa because he is only halfway through a degree so looking like a L1b is the only option, His skills are very specific to engineering so this should be an issue.

SALARY

Can anybody who lives in Texas give us any rough idea of take home pay per month if he earns 70,000 US dollars per year. I have read the tax is different in Texas to most other places. We have 3 children under 10 years old.

DRIVING LICENCE

Can you confirm we can drive in the US on our UK licence for 1 year before taking the US test

BILLS

Also is there any costs that are way off the mark below or and costs you pay in the US we haven't thought of

Rent 1500
Gas and electric 300
Water and garbage 50
Car insurance. 150
Food 800
TV 80
Internet 40
Fuel 100
Insurance home 40
Medical insurance 300

HOME

We are looking to live in the KATY or Cypress area in TX for the good schooling etc has anybody got any thoughts or information regarding shipping furniture v buying all new, almost all of the rented homes I've seen are unfurnished.

Thanks for your help
Definitely double your water and fuel figures, we pay $70 per month for water for 3-5 of us (husband's boys 2 nights a week) so that could easily get to $100 for 5 of you. Although fuel is cheap you'll drive everywhere so figure on $200 for that.

Your food budget looks doable and tv/Internet looks about right (we pay $90 per month for both from AT&T but the tv package is rubbish). I'd double check your medical insurance, we pay $300 per pay check too for relatively average coverage.

HTH.
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Old Feb 11th 2015, 5:59 am
  #29  
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
OK.

He may get a company car and phone, but you personally will still need both to do almost anything.

I don't know if a machining specialist would qualify for L1-B. Hopefully his company is making the offer with knowledge that he would be likely to qualify. If he has yet to actually talk to them about it, it's even possible the US office have just assumed he has work authorisation. He needs to ask for clarification.

Almost every company in oil and gas is hurting right now. Without knowing where his company is located in the supply chain, it is difficult to give specific advice. However, if I were to make a guess, I'd say his company is still recruiting because they still have signed contracts with the oil companies to supply components for major projects that mean they have work for, say, 6 months or a year. If the oil price doesn't go back up before those contracts are fulfilled, he could easily be out of work and you would all have to immediately return to the UK. Bear in mind that Texas is an employment-at-will state, and there are very few employee protections.
Refiners are doing well.
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Old Feb 11th 2015, 6:05 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

I can't help much in regards to housing prices, as we moved before christmas but we're living in the inner loop and pay just shy of 2k a month for a one bedroom apartment 😳 luckily we love living here and the area so it's worth it for us.

My biggest piece of advice like a few others have said is be prepared for how much you will spend in the first month or two. We were not prepared, had no where near the ideal amount of savings we would like but we made it work. Lack of credit history means all utilities etc will want deposits (for example AT&T wanted $450 deposit for tv!) it was scary how quickly everything adds up and we blew through our savings!
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