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Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Old Aug 17th 2010, 4:37 pm
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Default Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Hi All,
6 weeks after arrival on my L1 and thought I would give some Hi and Lo lights so far.
Biggest Frustration : still no SSN. Waited 10 days after arrival but told last week (after chasing regularly) immigration information had not yet updated SSA's system or something so still waiting. No SSN = no credit so yes it is a problem. SSA's office permanently engaged and they never return voicemails, aagghh.
Biggest laugh: Florida driving test, scraped through the theory (15/20) multiple choice but the practical was on a track at the back of the test centre and lasted 5 mins.
Biggest surprise: Costs of utilities (high, very high!). $500 bill for 1 month of electricity arrived today, ok we have a family sized house with a few trimmings but come on!
Biggest relief: Our container finally arrives at home on Thursday after 6 1/2 weeks waiting, hooray. Slow boat from Tilbury.
Start now item: Get any close relation to download skype or do it for them and buy them a decent webcam months before you leave as a present if necessary to get them in the habit. My parents who had never used a computer and are late sixties are regularly skyping my children now, it is free and it bridges the emotional gap to a healthy degree. You can also give guided tours of your house etc!

We have now bought cars and insured them through AIG/Chartis (see previous posts) at little more than it would have cost for broadly similar vehicles in UK with 10 years of no claim discount. Very pleasing. Dont forget to keep your vehicle registration in the car and carry driving license and insurance card showing proving you have at least the minimum Florida cover as you may need to produce it to show the police if stopped.

Hope this updates helps some of you.
best wishes Des
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Old Aug 17th 2010, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Hey Des, if it's any consolation my husband got his SSN yesterday and we've been here just over 5 weeks. Woman in the SS office told him it was his fault for applying too early he asked her to take 9 away from 23 (day we arrived and day he applied) and then asked her if the answer was bigger or smaller than 10...she told him she couldn't help anymore and asked him to leave
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Old Aug 17th 2010, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Desinflorida View Post
Hi All,
6 weeks after arrival on my L1 and thought I would give some Hi and Lo lights so far.
Biggest Frustration : still no SSN. Waited 10 days after arrival but told last week (after chasing regularly) immigration information had not yet updated SSA's system or something so still waiting. No SSN = no credit so yes it is a problem. SSA's office permanently engaged and they never return voicemails, aagghh.
Biggest laugh: Florida driving test, scraped through the theory (15/20) multiple choice but the practical was on a track at the back of the test centre and lasted 5 mins.
Biggest surprise: Costs of utilities (high, very high!). $500 bill for 1 month of electricity arrived today, ok we have a family sized house with a few trimmings but come on!
Biggest relief: Our container finally arrives at home on Thursday after 6 1/2 weeks waiting, hooray. Slow boat from Tilbury.
Start now item: Get any close relation to download skype or do it for them and buy them a decent webcam months before you leave as a present if necessary to get them in the habit. My parents who had never used a computer and are late sixties are regularly skyping my children now, it is free and it bridges the emotional gap to a healthy degree. You can also give guided tours of your house etc!

We have now bought cars and insured them through AIG/Chartis (see previous posts) at little more than it would have cost for broadly similar vehicles in UK with 10 years of no claim discount. Very pleasing. Dont forget to keep your vehicle registration in the car and carry driving license and insurance card showing proving you have at least the minimum Florida cover as you may need to produce it to show the police if stopped.

Hope this updates helps some of you.
best wishes Des
They want to put that up another 15%.
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Old Aug 17th 2010, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Desinflorida View Post
Hi All,
6 weeks after arrival on my L1 and thought I would give some Hi and Lo lights so far.
Biggest Frustration : still no SSN. Waited 10 days after arrival but told last week (after chasing regularly) immigration information had not yet updated SSA's system or something so still waiting. No SSN = no credit so yes it is a problem. SSA's office permanently engaged and they never return voicemails, aagghh.
Biggest laugh: Florida driving test, scraped through the theory (15/20) multiple choice but the practical was on a track at the back of the test centre and lasted 5 mins.
Biggest surprise: Costs of utilities (high, very high!). $500 bill for 1 month of electricity arrived today, ok we have a family sized house with a few trimmings but come on!
Biggest relief: Our container finally arrives at home on Thursday after 6 1/2 weeks waiting, hooray. Slow boat from Tilbury.
Start now item: Get any close relation to download skype or do it for them and buy them a decent webcam months before you leave as a present if necessary to get them in the habit. My parents who had never used a computer and are late sixties are regularly skyping my children now, it is free and it bridges the emotional gap to a healthy degree. You can also give guided tours of your house etc!

We have now bought cars and insured them through AIG/Chartis (see previous posts) at little more than it would have cost for broadly similar vehicles in UK with 10 years of no claim discount. Very pleasing. Dont forget to keep your vehicle registration in the car and carry driving license and insurance card showing proving you have at least the minimum Florida cover as you may need to produce it to show the police if stopped.

Hope this updates helps some of you.
best wishes Des
I suspect you had the air conditioner running all the time. In another two months, your bill should be down to $100 per month. Also if you have a swimming pool, that is very expensive to heat but then your bill should even be higher.
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 2:34 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Des,
You obviously didn't need your SSN to take the driving test. Can you tell us more about what documents you had to produce to apply to take the test?
And how long is your license valid for?
Thanks
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 2:36 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Thank you for the update Des, all posts from people newly moving will help at least one person doing the same thing!
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 2:39 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Jack97 View Post
Des,
You obviously didn't need your SSN to take the driving test. Can you tell us more about what documents you had to produce to apply to take the test?
And how long is your license valid for?
Thanks
I don't know whether you're heading to Florida...if not the DMV requirements differ from state to state. So what's required in Florida isn't necessarily the requirements of other states.
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Jerseygirl, yes I'm heading to Florida. Thanks to Des for this thread. It will be very useful, as Englishtart said in a previous post
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Old Aug 18th 2010, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Re Documents required for driving test. I cannot recall exactly but have basically carried around passports (containing visas), copies of rent agreement, utility bills (we had them as we paid for 6 weeks rent before we arrived) and birth certificates (believe these were specifically needed) since we got here to arrange anything from driving tests to getting cable etc. No SSN wasnt an issue. Florida DMV give a temporary paper license immediately and then you get your credit card sized one after around a month.
See some of my previous threads for various other bits of advice which you may find useful including reasonably priced car insurance. Good luck. Oh and the best driving test theory question was a picture of a cross sign saying railroad crossing on it and then being asked what the sign meant (a) bumpy road, (b) t junction (c)... you get the drift!
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Old Aug 19th 2010, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Desinflorida View Post
Biggest surprise: Costs of utilities (high, very high!). $500 bill for 1 month of electricity arrived today, ok we have a family sized house with a few trimmings but come on!
That's huge - are you sure there is not a security deposit hidden in there?
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Old Aug 19th 2010, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by cranston View Post
That's huge - are you sure there is not a security deposit hidden in there?
That's a good point, some utility companies require a deposit, especially from renters, on their first bill. We had never had to pay one up until this last move. I think it was because hubby was still active duty before? We had to pay $150 on our first elec' bill here, we will get it back after we move, or we can apply for it after 12 months if we prefer.
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Old Aug 19th 2010, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I suspect you had the air conditioner running all the time. In another two months, your bill should be down to $100 per month. Also if you have a swimming pool, that is very expensive to heat but then your bill should even be higher.
We live in a 900sq ft apt and our bill is over $130 at the moment. While Des' $500 is extreme I don't think it will drop to $100. Maybe $250-$300 if he has a 2 floor family home...slightly less if one floor.

Des, What do you have your AC set at? You should be looking at 78-80 during the day.
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Old Aug 19th 2010, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I suspect you had the air conditioner running all the time. In another two months, your bill should be down to $100 per month. Also if you have a swimming pool, that is very expensive to heat but then your bill should even be higher.
500 is about the summer norm in FL if you have a 2 story house with 2 AC units
in this heat and humidity you cant turn the AC off even overnight it gets too muggy-I try and keep mine at 78 which is bearable. -75 would be nice but the bill would be astronomical- and dont forget they include state, city and all other little hidden gems in that bill even a "customer charge" whatever that is..
get used to 500 leccy bills from may thru september mate !
welcome to Florida


oh in the winter my bills average 200-275 a month not using AC but its not often
and If I use the heater to heat the pool I have to get a 2nd job...
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Old Aug 20th 2010, 10:37 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

No security deposit in the USD500, just usage! We have 3 a/c units and rapidly got them set at 78F but seemingly everything in our house is designed to burn power! The kitchen is like blackpool illuminations and if i cared to change every bulb which blows it would be a full time job! I am not changing them as it saves money! Callowman's comments fit well with my colleagues comments at work. Welcome to the sunshine state, but if you want to keep cool, reach for your check book! Still no SSN (apparently the immigration are now over their 30 day to respond to SSA limit and they can chase them, I am not holding my breath!).
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Old Aug 20th 2010, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Des in Florida - 6 weeks in

Originally Posted by Desinflorida View Post
No security deposit in the USD500, just usage! We have 3 a/c units and rapidly got them set at 78F but seemingly everything in our house is designed to burn power! The kitchen is like blackpool illuminations and if i cared to change every bulb which blows it would be a full time job! I am not changing them as it saves money! Callowman's comments fit well with my colleagues comments at work. Welcome to the sunshine state, but if you want to keep cool, reach for your check book! Still no SSN (apparently the immigration are now over their 30 day to respond to SSA limit and they can chase them, I am not holding my breath!).
If it's any consolation my leccie bill is a lot higher...so is my gas bill in winter.
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