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To buy or rent in California?

To buy or rent in California?

Old Aug 4th 2011, 12:15 pm
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Default To buy or rent in California?

Dear forum members,

There is some great advice on here, which I was reading last night... I wanted please to confirm a few ideas from the expat community please...

We are in the process of selling our home in Nottingham - very near completion.

We have a decent deposit to put down on a house in the US, say 40 - 45 % but a lender we are talking to is also saying we need about $200,000.00 'post loan liquidity' also (basically a bag of cash under the mattress in the form of assets which can be used for short to medium term usage).

We are moving because my company is moving me to our Burbank office in California for me to look after out LA clients (I work in film and TV), so work is no problem and L1B visa is also near complete...

The other option is to rent and build up a credit score over there (using some of the fab advice on this forum - thanks!).

Has anyone been lucky enough to find a lender out on the West Coast and can share any experiences please?

Our no.1 priority is, of course school district, so we have been looking at Calabasas, Sherman and Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley...

Thank you so much!
Richard.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Usual advice is to rent first, so you're not tied into an area which you subsequently find to be unappealing for whatever reason.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 1:56 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Thanks Geoff,

All good advice and much appreciated...!
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Originally Posted by richardjb View Post
Thanks Geoff,

All good advice and much appreciated...!
Keep an eye open for Sally Redux she lives in one of the areas you've mentioned.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Aug 4th 2011 at 3:27 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Hi:

I grew up in Sherman Oaks. I currently live in the "Los Feliz" area of Los Angeles. You given no idea of your price range -- a million, two million, what? You don't say. Do you want new modern? Or nicely aged [BTW, what is considered "old" is LA is pretty new elsewhere -- my house was built in 1939].

Sherman Oaks is in Los Angeles Unified. You do not give the ages or interests of your kids. My two went to LAUSD schools -- but we made extensive use of the "magnet" system. Both went to excellent universities and both now have advanced degrees. [Eldest did undergrad and grad work at two schools in the US News & World Report single digit ranking. BTW, absent problems of gang violence, I believe that the most important factor are the parents.

I tend to shudder when you mention work in Burbank and living in Calabasas or Simi. You might want to consider Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater, Tolucca Lake areas. Parts of North Hollywood ["NoHo"] are excellent. I used to live in the "upper" Echo Park area.

You know your needs and desires -- you may want to reconoiter. Also, talk to your clients and find out where they live and what they think about it.

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Old Aug 4th 2011, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Definitely rent for a while until you have had time to look at various areas, their facilities, schools etc.

There are loads of homes on the market so there is still no need to rush into purchasing. Prices are not going to start escalating anytime soon.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Originally Posted by richardjb View Post
Dear forum members,

There is some great advice on here, which I was reading last night... I wanted please to confirm a few ideas from the expat community please...

We are in the process of selling our home in Nottingham - very near completion.

We have a decent deposit to put down on a house in the US, say 40 - 45 % but a lender we are talking to is also saying we need about $200,000.00 'post loan liquidity' also (basically a bag of cash under the mattress in the form of assets which can be used for short to medium term usage).

We are moving because my company is moving me to our Burbank office in California for me to look after out LA clients (I work in film and TV), so work is no problem and L1B visa is also near complete...

The other option is to rent and build up a credit score over there (using some of the fab advice on this forum - thanks!).

Has anyone been lucky enough to find a lender out on the West Coast and can share any experiences please?

Our no.1 priority is, of course school district, so we have been looking at Calabasas, Sherman and Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley...

Thank you so much!
Richard.
It's not always a good idea to buy while you are on an L visa, if you are made redundant, and CA is an at will state so they can let you go at any time for any reason, you then have 10 days to leave the country. Not so easy if you own a house. You say work is no problem, but if your wife is planning on working, you won't be able to go work for another company as you would have to change your visa to a H which doesn't allow the spouse to work.

We recently moved from Woodland Hills, on the Calabasas border and I worked in Westlake Village, so bordering TO. TBH I found everywhere along the 101 corridor rather dull, you go from one place like Sherman Oaks, to the next, Woodland Hills and they are all exactly the same, same shops, same restaurants, same activities... It's also extremely hot in The Valley often over 100 from June-October. TO, Simi are cooler. Your commute from Simi or TO would be around 2 hours each way.

I agree with Folinsky the areas he has mentioned are much more interesting.

I remember there was someone recently who was moving over to Calabasas on a L and said he managed to find a mortgage lender, I'll see if I can find the thread.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Definitely rent for a while until you have had time to look at various areas, their facilities, schools etc.

There are loads of homes on the market so there is still no need to rush into purchasing. Prices are not going to start escalating anytime soon.
I agree with the others about renting first. The only reason to consider buying up front would be if the company you work for offers to pay your closing costs on a new house as part of your move package. That sort of offer usually has a time limit on it. Then it might make sense to buy now.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Found it

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...ight=calabasas
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Welcome Richard, I have answered your PM.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
Hi:

I grew up in Sherman Oaks. I currently live in the "Los Feliz" area of Los Angeles. You given no idea of your price range -- a million, two million, what? You don't say. Do you want new modern? Or nicely aged [BTW, what is considered "old" is LA is pretty new elsewhere -- my house was built in 1939].

Sherman Oaks is in Los Angeles Unified. You do not give the ages or interests of your kids. My two went to LAUSD schools -- but we made extensive use of the "magnet" system. Both went to excellent universities and both now have advanced degrees. [Eldest did undergrad and grad work at two schools in the US News & World Report single digit ranking. BTW, absent problems of gang violence, I believe that the most important factor are the parents.

I tend to shudder when you mention work in Burbank and living in Calabasas or Simi. You might want to consider Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater, Tolucca Lake areas. Parts of North Hollywood ["NoHo"] are excellent. I used to live in the "upper" Echo Park area.

You know your needs and desires -- you may want to reconoiter. Also, talk to your clients and find out where they live and what they think about it.
Thank you for the great tips. We will certainly look into the other areas also. My kids are 8 and 10... Think we will rent for the first year to find our feet. Many thanks, Richard.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Hi N1cky,

Thanks so much for both lots of info. I just read the entire thread on the move to Calabasas, all very useful information indeed.

I'm definitely going to rent to start out with and find my feet - thank to this forum.
Richard.
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Old Aug 4th 2011, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Definitely have a search on the forum, those locations have come up in the past a fair bit.

Also check out city-data.com as it's a good one for finding specifics.

Rent is key though, if nothing else just to figure out the life style over here
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Old Aug 5th 2011, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Aww I miss Nottingham, I'm from Derby.... I would rent first, you can get some gorgeous rentals, and there is n need to rush and buy, take your time and enjoy the freedom of renting. Good luck!
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Old Aug 5th 2011, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: To buy or rent in California?

Originally Posted by B65 View Post
Aww I miss Nottingham, I'm from Derby.... I would rent first, you can get some gorgeous rentals, and there is n need to rush and buy, take your time and enjoy the freedom of renting. Good luck!
Good to hear from another East Midlander! Thanks for the friendly advice
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