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Advice/help with US move

Advice/help with US move

Old Jun 7th 2012, 5:24 pm
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Default Advice/help with US move

Hi,
I was wondering if any of you could help/give some advice on a potential move that I will be making with my family.

I am currently in the process of negotiating a work transfer to Stamford and am looking at places to live for me and my family. I have three children aged between 4.5 years and 10 months.

So this is where the advice/help would be welcome:
[LIST=1]Places to live - we are currently searhing the net and would like to live in Fairfield, however the houses don't look that appealing for the money.

Schools/nurseries are a must as I am presuming the children start school there at 5, therefore good scholls/nurseries are key.

The cost of living is also quite important as I would only move if I could get an equal quality of life to what I have in London but from what I have read it looks as though the cost of living is higher through property taxes/bills/car costs.

I thinks that's my first lot of questions - thanks for any help you can give.
Just trying to get a full picture of my options before I decide whether to move.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Welcome! Connecticut I presume. Not a cheap area, especially around the railways to New York. Somebody might know cheaper areas but they'll be cheap for a reason usually.

You also want to know what visa you'll be getting as it'll affect what your other half will get. If you get H1B then (s)he'll get an H4 which means not allowed to work.

You should rent first to find an area you're happy with.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Welcome! If you search you will find a number of threads about Fairfield County. There are some nice districts in Stamford, but they are not cheap -- I'm afraid not many parts of FC are! Be prepared to pay for good houses in good school districts. Other very nice towns for families that are within commuting distance of Stamford include Ridgefield, Redding, and Wilton -- all of which have excellent school districts. Check to see if your company offers the services of a "relo" (relocation) person, most around here do. They will help you with good districts and what's worth the money and what's not, especially as the school your child will attend is tied to the address at which you live.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by SL100 View Post
Hi,
I was wondering if any of you could help/give some advice on a potential move that I will be making with my family.

I am currently in the process of negotiating a work transfer to Stamford and am looking at places to live for me and my family. I have three children aged between 4.5 years and 10 months.

So this is where the advice/help would be welcome:
[LIST=1]Places to live - we are currently searhing the net and would like to live in Fairfield, however the houses don't look that appealing for the money.

Schools/nurseries are a must as I am presuming the children start school there at 5, therefore good scholls/nurseries are key.

The cost of living is also quite important as I would only move if I could get an equal quality of life to what I have in London but from what I have read it looks as though the cost of living is higher through property taxes/bills/car costs.

I thinks that's my first lot of questions - thanks for any help you can give.
Just trying to get a full picture of my options before I decide whether to move.
Welcome to BE.

Most places in the NY Met area (NY/NJ/Con) are expensive. There are also lots of hidden costs or things that are more expensive than the UK ie car insurance/cell phones/cable. Of course healthcare is one of the major costs...you need to find out exactly what type of cover the company are offering. Take a look at the BE Wiki...loads of relevant info in there. There is also a section on what sort of things to ask for in the relo package.

Around here children start school when they are 6...pre school is expensive and there may be a waiting list for good ones.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

At a guess, you're talking CT, but you never know...

There's a few threads about towns in that area, one that's pretty recent, that might be a good starting point, if you search it out.

city-data.com is also probably a good resource on towns too.

There's also been a few recent threads on childcare, which as your kids won't be in school, will be expensive. Once they are in school the school will depend on which street in the town you live in.

As for QoL, that all depends on what you expect from life. You don't say if you like going out to eat every night or not, like museums, theatre, out door sports etc.

It won't be a cheap place to live though and CoL will be very similar. It boils down to what visa you get. As a transfer, the OH will be able to get a EAD and at least be allowed to work if wanted, so that should help, but really a lot still depends on how healthy you are and what kind of medical insurance package they offer as those costs, especially with kids can add up very quickly.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

All,

Thanks for all the posts - much appreciated.

Sorry for not being clearer in my original post, so here are a few more details:

Stamford CT is where work will be based and I have been told that Fairfield is nice and an easy commute.

I'll search the forums on Fairfield.

I think the visa would be E2.

As for medical cover, I'll ask the question to work what kind of cover will be offered.

As for quality of life, we are looking to have a bigger home (4 bedroom house) with a more outdoors based life. That is what we are hoping for as well as being financially either on par or better than we are over here.

So the general cost of living is quite an important factor to us, especially nursery fees, taxes on cars, cost of supermarket shopping and general day to day expenses etc.

Thanks
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by SL100 View Post
All,

Thanks for all the posts - much appreciated.

Sorry for not being clearer in my original post, so here are a few more details:

Stamford CT is where work will be based and I have been told that Fairfield is nice and an easy commute.

I'll search the forums on Fairfield.

I think the visa would be E2.

As for medical cover, I'll ask the question to work what kind of cover will be offered.

As for quality of life, we are looking to have a bigger home (4 bedroom house) with a more outdoors based life. That is what we are hoping for as well as being financially either on par or better than we are over here.

So the general cost of living is quite an important factor to us, especially nursery fees, taxes on cars, cost of supermarket shopping and general day to day expenses etc.

Thanks

You said that you would be transferred in your initial post. Have you worked for the company for a year? If so, an L-1 (someone will correct me if I have the designation wrong!) is a far preferable visa for you than the E-2 manager's visa.

I now see that you were referring to the town of Fairfield, rather than Fairfield County in total! Fairfield is not one of the better towns in the county, though there are probably some decent areas. The places that I mentioned earlier, Ridgefield, Wilton, Redding, are far better residential areas with far superior schools. The commute isn't bad from these places -- a great many Stamford executives live in these towns.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
You said that you would be transferred in your initial post. Have you worked for the company for a year? If so, an L-1 (someone will correct me if I have the designation wrong!) is a far preferable visa for you than the E-2 manager's visa.
Not much in it, really. E2 is fine for this purpose.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
Not much in it, really. E2 is fine for this purpose.
Thank you. Does it offer the same possibility of adjusting in order to remain here if the OP desires it?
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
Not much in it, really. E2 is fine for this purpose.
But what about long term plans and greencards?

Anyway....to the OP. What's your budget for a house rental? They generally aren't cheap, especially in areas with good schools, that'll be your biggest expense, then probably childcare and cars, needing two of them.

Grocery shop can be cheap if you eat crap from Walmart, or if you're into healthy organic stuff, really expensive at Wholefoods etc. There have been threads on this a few weeks back, but decent groceries aren't cheap, especially stuff for kids if you need to get formula etc.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Thank you. Does it offer the same possibility of adjusting in order to remain here if the OP desires it?
Yep -- but some attorneys seem to recommend you stay landlocked while the processing is going through.

Not to be confused with the E2 of the investor type.
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Old Jun 8th 2012, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Hi SL, my husband & I are also thinking of settling somewhere in coastal CT. We're an older couple with kids all grown up--so a different stage of life from you--but here are some of my thoughts on lower Fairfield County.

Are you looking to rent or buy? Fairfield County definitely has some of the most expensive real estate in the country, especially the eastern part of the county on the train line to NYC. Since you *won't* be needing to train it to NYC, Fairfield (town) might be a good place to look, especially if you need to take the train to work. . . but as others say it's not the only town that could fit your bill. If you plan to drive to work, then the picture gets a little easier but more complicated, as traffic congestion is ALSO high (at certain times of the day, in certain directions) in Ffld County.

Originally Posted by SL100 View Post
I am currently in the process of negotiating a work transfer to Stamford and am looking at places to live for me and my family. I have three children aged between 4.5 years and 10 months.[LIST=1]Places to live - we are currently searhing the net and would like to live in Fairfield, however the houses don't look that appealing for the money.
Fairfield town has a fair variety of housing & decent schools. How long are you planning to stay? Your kids are young enough to be in primary school & the primary (elementary) schools in Fairfield are very good. If you stay on 10 years,you'll find the two high schools are good too, though not quite as highly rated as nearby (& much more expensive) Westport.

Schools/nurseries are a must as I am presuming the children start school there at 5, therefore good scholls/nurseries are key.
Most children can enroll in state/public school kindergarten at age 5.

The cost of living is also quite important as I would only move if I could get an equal quality of life to what I have in London but from what I have read it looks as though the cost of living is higher through property taxes/bills/car costs.
Property taxes can be high here, depending on the size & value of your house. When the husband & I compare what we'd pay in property taxes here to our council tax bills back in England, we could be paying 3-4X the amount. Not sure what more we'd get in return for such a big whack of money, either, though I must say I see lots more police driving around in my CT town than I ever saw in my village back home . . . .

Car costs can be huge! You pay lots for gasoline (even though the price is lower than back home) because you have to drive so much. You'll have a yearly car tax, too. We haven't been here long enough to see what ours is. Then there's the licence fee (b/c you'll need a CT licence within 3 months if you or your wife drives).

Utilities are expensive, especially oil heating fuel in the winter. Look for gas if you buy, or even if you rent--much cheaper.

As for quality of life, we are looking to have a bigger home (4 bedroom house) with a more outdoors based life. That is what we are hoping for as well as being financially either on par or better than we are over here.
Maybe this is why Fairfield town was suggested to you? The larger Fairfield houses can be larger for a more reasonable price than further east. Ridgefield, Weston, Wilton, Redding houses are more expensive if you need a larger house, even though they're not coastal towns (which usually have generally higher housing costs).

Last edited by WEBlue; Jun 8th 2012 at 11:17 am.
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Old Jun 8th 2012, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Here's a thread on working in Stamford & looking for houses from not too long ago, November last year. Lots of good details on it.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...irfield+County
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Old Jun 9th 2012, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: Advice/help with US move

Originally Posted by WEBlue View Post
Fairfield County definitely has some of the most expensive real estate in the country, especially the western part of the county on the train line to NYC. Since you *won't* be needing to train it to NYC, Fairfield (town) might be a good place to look, especially if you need to take the train to work. . . but as others say it's not the only town that could fit your bill. If you plan to drive to work, then the picture gets a little easier but more complicated, as traffic congestion is ALSO high (at certain times of the day, in certain directions) in Ffld County. . . .

. . . The larger Fairfield houses can be larger for a more reasonable price than further west. Ridgefield, Weston, Wilton, Redding houses are more expensive if you need a larger house, even though they're not coastal towns (which usually have generally higher housing costs).
Muddled up my bl$$dy geography in the previous post (#12) & now it's too late to edit it! Corrected the mistakes above.

In some way I'm still thinking I'm in TX, where heading towards NYC was always heading east. . . .
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