Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA > The Trailer Park
Reload this Page >

Moving to Houston, Texas

Moving to Houston, Texas

Old Feb 11th 2015, 12:52 pm
  #31  
Rootbeeraholic
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 2,280
Bink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Welcome!
I'll just reiterate what others have said; $70k isn't a massive amount but it is doable in the suburbs. Upfront costs can definitely be high, I was cash poor with all the deposits when I first moved here.

As for the O&G market right now, everyone is starting to feel it. We're involved in the installation phase so generally don't get hit straight away as the projects are committed to with substantial CAPEX by the time they're in this phase but we've seen a project pulled that was due to start the installation campaign in less than a month. That's very rare.
Bink is offline  
Old Feb 11th 2015, 1:47 pm
  #32  
Chocoholic !
 
ChocolateBabz's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Houston, TX - Officially Not Shit since 2009
Posts: 2,324
ChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

I think others have addressed your visa and drivers license questions so I'll just add my tuppenceworth re bills. Before we moved we asked these same questions so came armed with a best/worst case scenario for our monthly outgoings, I don't think there were any nasty surprises. One thing to remember is that everyones bills will be different depending on lots of factors - how many people living in the house, adults at work or at home all day, how long is their commute, do they have a pool etc. We are a family of 3 and when we first moved we lived in an apartment before buying our own home 6 months later. In our apartment we were tied to who we could use for tv and water/trash was a fixed fee. Buildings Insurance was included so we only had to pay Renters Insurance for contents. Again though different apartment complexes do this different and if you are renting a private home they might be different too. Yes, furnished is unusual here so you will be looking at renting (we used Cort) or buying. Whether you buy cheap and make do for a while on invest in better quality will depend on how much cash you will be coming over with and whether you plan to stay long term.

Rent - friends of ours just finished paying $1800 per month for a 3 bed apartment in Friendswood, start googling for comparisons, HAR.com is a good place to start.

Gas & Electric - I think you are in the right ballpark so long as you don't have a pool or your a/c running at 68 all summer! We averaged $200 per month last year for gas and electric combined in a 4300 sq ft home which is supposed to be energy efficient. Our heating, water, stove top, tumble dryer and bbq are all gas.

Water & Garbage - this can vary depending on where you live - will you have a sprinkler system or pool, more showers and loads of washing? We averaged $75 a month last year.

Car Insurance - when we first moved we were $220 per month for 2 cars with bad coverage - 6 years later we are $150 per month for 2 cars with great coverage. When you see how they drive in Houston you will appreciate good coverage.

Food - I can spend at least that on just 3 of us!

TV - I am $140 per month for satellite with movie channels and I pay for Netflix - you will probably get a good deal to start with though as a new customer.

Internet - I am $72 per month for AT&T's second top speed - we are a family of x-boxing, netflixing, ipading data hogs though! Home phone is $22.50.

Insurance - for renters insurance that should be OK, but if you plan to buy later on that figure is going to go right up - we are $250 per month for buildings, contents and hurricane insurance (which we must have for our mortgage because we live in Brazoria Co)

Medical Insurance - we are $440 per month but that figure will completely depend on your husbands work plan - could be anything!! and remember that doesn't cover all the costs - you could have deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance - really do your homework on that one.

Other things - Lawn Care $25 per week during summer, Pest Control $100 per quarter, Fuel cheap at the moment but was double this price after Hurricane Ike and we do double the miles we did in UK, Cell Phones @ $50 per month but you can get family plans with data sharing etc. If you buy later on Property Tax is a lot more than Council Tax in UK, this is where Texas gets it's money instead of charging state income tax. Car Registration and Inspection each year, but they are a lot cheaper than UK - my cars's registration is about $65 and inspection is about $35 as long as they don't find anything wrong of course. Road Tolls if you are going to be using the toll roads a lot. My hubby uses the Beltway daily or he would have to deal with 23 sets of lights on the feeder to get to work so we can be $80 per month on tolls.

Be prepared at the beginning of each school year to get a list of supplies for each child, normally you can buy a pack from the school which is cheaper than buying the stuff yourself but will still run you aprox $40 per child (not sure if that's up to date as my cherub wants to go buy it all himself). This year (10th grade) there was a $100 calculator on the list.

Can't think of anything else of the top of my head.
ChocolateBabz is offline  
Old Feb 13th 2015, 4:04 pm
  #33  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 4
Amy1 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Thanks for the detailed response guys, Have a little more information today, hubby's medical insurance is $360 a month for the family an that is the full premium care package which they tell us would normally be around $2000,

We also didn't state we have a share in a small business at home that will pay us $1000 a month so I think with that we can do it comfortably. The OG price is a worry but this position isn't a new one it's to replace somebody who has left the company and it's looking after several huge accounts, my husband has been told with the level of investment to get him over they can't imagine him being considered if things got worse
Amy1 is offline  
Old Feb 13th 2015, 4:32 pm
  #34  
Chocoholic !
 
ChocolateBabz's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Houston, TX - Officially Not Shit since 2009
Posts: 2,324
ChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond reputeChocolateBabz has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Amy1 View Post
Thanks for the detailed response guys, Have a little more information today, hubby's medical insurance is $360 a month for the family an that is the full premium care package which they tell us would normally be around $2000.
Remember to ask what your deductibles and co-pays are, what about dental/vision coverage if you want them. I think we are around $30 per month for dental and we ddn't bother with vision.

For example we have a high deductible plan. After our premiums we still have to pay an individual deductible of $1500 before the plan pays anything. As a family once we have paid $3,000 it starts paying 80% of our bills. Our maximum annual out of pocket is $10,000 (worst case scenario). This re-sets every January and you start afresh.
ChocolateBabz is offline  
Old Feb 13th 2015, 10:30 pm
  #35  
.
 
Yorkieabroad's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2002
Location: Where bad things rarely happen in movies
Posts: 8,933
Yorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond reputeYorkieabroad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

On the rental, I think you will struggle to get it down to 1500, but you will get close. If you use HAR.com and do a search on rentals in Katy ISD $2000 and below, it currently comes up with over 100 properties. Cheapest start at $1750 (if you want a pool, that narrows the field to 2 houses and an apartment!). You may negotiate a little off some of those, but not a huge amount.

Now I grant you, some of these are going to be in areas you're not going to want to be in, and some are pretty old which may or may not be a problem - houses "age" pretty quickly here and condition of the older ones will be directly related to how well they have been looked after. But even if you narrow it down to only houses built in the last 5 years, there are still over 40 listings, most of them are in reasonable areas.

On a lot of these, the garbage will be included, and even if the landlord won't negotiate on the rent, if you push, you may be able to get them to take on the yard maintenance and/or pest control as they probably don't want to risk hassle with the HOA, nor to sort out a jungle when you leave. As a landlord, I always assume I am going to pay those (as well as pool maintenance if applicable) when I set the rental rate as they are all protecting the value of my asset. If I manage to pass the cost off to the tenant, so much the better
Yorkieabroad is offline  
Old Feb 16th 2015, 1:40 pm
  #36  
Banned
 
Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Lake Nona, FL
Posts: 205
Canveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond reputeCanveydave has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
On the rental, I think you will struggle to get it down to 1500, but you will get close. If you use HAR.com and do a search on rentals in Katy ISD $2000 and below, it currently comes up with over 100 properties. Cheapest start at $1750 (if you want a pool, that narrows the field to 2 houses and an apartment!). You may negotiate a little off some of those, but not a huge amount.

Now I grant you, some of these are going to be in areas you're not going to want to be in, and some are pretty old which may or may not be a problem - houses "age" pretty quickly here and condition of the older ones will be directly related to how well they have been looked after. But even if you narrow it down to only houses built in the last 5 years, there are still over 40 listings, most of them are in reasonable areas.

On a lot of these, the garbage will be included, and even if the landlord won't negotiate on the rent, if you push, you may be able to get them to take on the yard maintenance and/or pest control as they probably don't want to risk hassle with the HOA, nor to sort out a jungle when you leave. As a landlord, I always assume I am going to pay those (as well as pool maintenance if applicable) when I set the rental rate as they are all protecting the value of my asset. If I manage to pass the cost off to the tenant, so much the better
Canveydave is offline  
Old Feb 18th 2015, 4:10 pm
  #37  
Rootbeeraholic
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 2,280
Bink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond reputeBink has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Moving to Houston, Texas

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
On the rental, I think you will struggle to get it down to 1500, but you will get close. If you use HAR.com and do a search on rentals in Katy ISD $2000 and below, it currently comes up with over 100 properties. Cheapest start at $1750 (if you want a pool, that narrows the field to 2 houses and an apartment!). You may negotiate a little off some of those, but not a huge amount.

Now I grant you, some of these are going to be in areas you're not going to want to be in, and some are pretty old which may or may not be a problem - houses "age" pretty quickly here and condition of the older ones will be directly related to how well they have been looked after. But even if you narrow it down to only houses built in the last 5 years, there are still over 40 listings, most of them are in reasonable areas.

On a lot of these, the garbage will be included, and even if the landlord won't negotiate on the rent, if you push, you may be able to get them to take on the yard maintenance and/or pest control as they probably don't want to risk hassle with the HOA, nor to sort out a jungle when you leave. As a landlord, I always assume I am going to pay those (as well as pool maintenance if applicable) when I set the rental rate as they are all protecting the value of my asset. If I manage to pass the cost off to the tenant, so much the better
8227 Summer Reef Dr, Houston, TX 77095 - HAR.com
This is in Cypress but gives you an idea of a decent school area at about $1800ish.
Bink is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.