Memphis???

Old Jun 30th 2005, 7:39 pm
  #1  
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Default Memphis???

Hi,

I maybe be relocating from the UK to Memphis TN.
Can anyone tell me what kinda living costs I am gonna expect to pay?
I am gonna need to get a car, anyone got any great ideas??
I have children as well, what schooling costs am I looking to pay?

Basically, I am starting to research everything, as I have been offered a very nice job and I am seriously considering taking it.

Any help that anyone can kindly give me will be extremely helpful.

Kind regards
Col
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Old Jun 30th 2005, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by cokey
Hi,

I maybe be relocating from the UK to Memphis TN.


I am gonna need to get a car, anyone got any great ideas??
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 12:08 am
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by cokey
Hi,

I maybe be relocating from the UK to Memphis TN.
Can anyone tell me what kinda living costs I am gonna expect to pay?
I am gonna need to get a car, anyone got any great ideas??
I have children as well, what schooling costs am I looking to pay?

Basically, I am starting to research everything, as I have been offered a very nice job and I am seriously considering taking it.

Any help that anyone can kindly give me will be extremely helpful.

Kind regards
Col
Housing a lot cheaper
petrol a lot cheaper
beer a lot cheaper
Home insurance a lot higher (memphis crime is very bad)
Groceries for crap food = cheaper
Groceries comparable to the UK = more expensive
schooling costs I have no idea about

Depending on your income level I would buy a BMW X5 3.0 litre 2002 or something like a toyota highlander as a less costly alternative. try and avoid fuel and depreciation disasters i.e. most US domestic vee-hic-els
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 2:19 am
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by cokey
I maybe be relocating from the UK to Memphis TN. .....
You'll have no credit, and no access to credit for some time after you arrive (several months at least) and there are plenty of people here who will tell you ho much fun that is going to be.

Unless you have $25,000 cash to buy a car, you should seriously consider getting a car through International Autosource. They enable you to buy a US brand car (US domestic Ford, GM, or Chrysler brands only - not Volvo, Saab, or Mercedes for example), on standard US credit terms.

This is not some dodgy deal, or fly-by-night operation but a totally legit business that mainly sells to US service men and women. I bought a Ford from them (20% down, 36 months, 0% interest on the balance - but 60 months 0% is the current norm), and even the credit was from Ford's in-house credit provider (and this will enable you to start building a credit history right away - the importance of which can't be under estimated. The importance/ convenience of having a car waiting for you can't be underestimated - you'll have plenty to worry about when you arrive - finding a home, school, etc without having to deal with the sutotrade, which are generally as reputable as in the the UK!

And contrary to some advice, US domestic built cars have made significant leaps forward in quality in recent years. The Focus, here in the US, is dirt cheap, if a little on the small side, but even the early ones are still looking pretty solid on the road - unlike Escorts which tended to look like bits were going to fall off after six months on the road.

I've bought a couple of Fords, driven them 60,000 miles, and had not a single problem of any consequence. OK, the engine warning light came on once on my truck, and I had to take it back for the dealer to reset the computer, but that is about it.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 1st 2005 at 2:21 am.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 2:32 am
  #5  
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Default Re: Memphis???

electrical bill will be a bit high as well I'd imagine down there, with the AC on all the time and humidity...
utility bills in general are a bit steep, as are local taxes because you tend to get stumped for everything like garbage, sewage etc in seperate bills...
property tax tends to be a bit higher here, but then that really does depend on the state, so wouldn't have a clue for TN.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 3:22 am
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by cokey
Hi,

I maybe be relocating from the UK to Memphis TN.
Can anyone tell me what kinda living costs I am gonna expect to pay?
I am gonna need to get a car, anyone got any great ideas??
I have children as well, what schooling costs am I looking to pay?

Basically, I am starting to research everything, as I have been offered a very nice job and I am seriously considering taking it.

Any help that anyone can kindly give me will be extremely helpful.

Kind regards
Col
Hi, I live about 15 miles east of downtown Memphis and love it here. However, there are several parts of Memphis that you DONT want to live. There are several wonderful areas on the outskirts of the city, larger ones being Germantown and Cordova, smaller decent towns being Covington, Arlington and Lakeland. All very nice areas.

Just as a very rough guide... you can rent an apartment in a pretty upscale complex (3 bed about $800 per month where I am ... www.reserveatdexterlake.com).. my utilities on a 2 bed apt right now with it on 24/7 is about $80 per month. That is for gas, light and water all with one company.

I work for a real estate attorney, and believe me farther down the line you can get a very nice house in a great area for $150K upwards.

Overall, I would recommend it. The culture shock being "down South" is a little strange at first but I have found people on the whole to be very friendly and kind.

There is lots to do - during the summer there are festivals and concerts going on left right and center. About 1.5 hours away is Savannah, TN with a huge lake (Pickwick) that is very pretty and tons to do there too!

I know little about schools other than what I hear from friends - there are a couple of good middle schools (non private) that most people seem to have a preference for. Most people say that the County Schools are superior to the city ones.

You can have a pretty good standard of living here, at a fairly low cost. Germantown and Cordova seem to be the favored areas right now - all within a short commute of downtown Memphis (if you were working there).

Regarding a car, I bought one initially from a small dealership that gave me credit even although I had no history - there are such places but you are not going to get the best deal or car. However, for $200 I got a secured credit card that did the trick after only 4 months I was able to get an auto loan from State Farm at an excellent interest rate. I bought a year old Saturn ION (medium sized car) for $12K - and I love it. $240 a month, and $120 for comprehensive insurance.

I hope this is helpful - there is much more I can tell you if you want to PM me I will be happy to help.

Good luck!!! BTW.... I assume you already have visa etc all in place???
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 9:23 am
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Default Re: Memphis???

Hey,

Thanks for everyones help.
I am sure that I won't be living in Memphis, but rather the outskirts.
I have found a few nice houses for rent in Cordova.

I have been asked what kinda salary I want!
What a difficult question that is gonna be to answer.
According to monster salary checker 65-75k is about the market rate at the moment in the Memphis area.

Do you think that I could live a comfortable lifestyle and have a 4+ bedroom house. I aint after a fancy lifestyle, just a comfortable one for myself and my family.

What is the income tax like in TN, and taxes in general?
You gonna have to forgive my basic questions, I just on the start of researching all this stuf, and I know that you guys are usually a reliable source of info.

Thanks again

Col
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Memphis???

Lesley - You got that right about culture in the South. It takes some getting used to but the people are great. Once you get past the hugging you feel fine. lololol

Whether it be a car loan, mortgage, car insurance or anything else of that nature you will hit stumbling blocks. Some companies won't be interested and some will but you will pay slightly higher for the first six months or so. When we bought our cars there was only one company that would finance us. We actually had the cash to buy the cars but were told to get finance to establish our credit. They suggested we make the instalments for a year then pay it off.

I don't know about household bills but imagine utilities would be expensive. When we rented our apartment we opted to have the utilities included in the rent which cost us an extra $50.00 a month but with it being Summer the AC was on almost 24/7.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by cokey
I have been asked what kinda salary I want!
What a difficult question that is gonna be to answer.
According to monster salary checker 65-75k is about the market rate at the moment in the Memphis area.

Do you think that I could live a comfortable lifestyle and have a 4+ bedroom house. I aint after a fancy lifestyle, just a comfortable one for myself and my family.

What is the income tax like in TN, and taxes in general?
the equiv of council tax will be about 2000 a year (if you own the house)
no state income tax in TN, but you obviously have federal to pay

you will take home around $4-4.5k a month on the income you described

I'm not sure how much a 4 bed house in Cordova is to rent but I would estimate $1200 a month + utilities probably about $400 a month average (water, elec, cable, gas, telephone)

I personally would not feel that comfortable if I had kids and I was the only wage earner. Both me and my wife work and although right now finances are fine, if 3 sprogs came along we would have to make changes to our lifestyle

how is your employer looking to get you over here?
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by Pulaski
You'll have no credit, and no access to credit for some time after you arrive (several months at least) and there are plenty of people here who will tell you ho much fun that is going to be.

Unless you have $25,000 cash to buy a car, you should seriously consider getting a car through International Autosource. They enable you to buy a US brand car (US domestic Ford, GM, or Chrysler brands only - not Volvo, Saab, or Mercedes for example), on standard US credit terms.

This is not some dodgy deal, or fly-by-night operation but a totally legit business that mainly sells to US service men and women. I bought a Ford from them (20% down, 36 months, 0% interest on the balance - but 60 months 0% is the current norm), and even the credit was from Ford's in-house credit provider (and this will enable you to start building a credit history right away - the importance of which can't be under estimated. The importance/ convenience of having a car waiting for you can't be underestimated - you'll have plenty to worry about when you arrive - finding a home, school, etc without having to deal with the sutotrade, which are generally as reputable as in the the UK!

And contrary to some advice, US domestic built cars have made significant leaps forward in quality in recent years. The Focus, here in the US, is dirt cheap, if a little on the small side, but even the early ones are still looking pretty solid on the road - unlike Escorts which tended to look like bits were going to fall off after six months on the road.

I've bought a couple of Fords, driven them 60,000 miles, and had not a single problem of any consequence. OK, the engine warning light came on once on my truck, and I had to take it back for the dealer to reset the computer, but that is about it.
just to add to this, we bought both our cars, a Ford Expedition and a Chrysler Crossfire from International Autosource and they were excellent, they did tell us though that they can get cars from European or Japanese manufacturers but not at any substantial discount and you may have to wait a while longer to get them, still worth it though if you want this kind of car as you will have trouble getting credit once you leave the UK.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Memphis???

I had a little bit of bother with IA :

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...ght=autosource

but with hindsight I'd still recomend them as the best way to get a car and credit rating before you arrive here. In the end they played fair with me when they screwed up, took the blame and reimbursed me, so I can't really complain hat much about them
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Memphis???

Originally Posted by cokey
Hey,

Thanks for everyones help.
I am sure that I won't be living in Memphis, but rather the outskirts.
I have found a few nice houses for rent in Cordova.

I have been asked what kinda salary I want!
What a difficult question that is gonna be to answer.
According to monster salary checker 65-75k is about the market rate at the moment in the Memphis area.

Do you think that I could live a comfortable lifestyle and have a 4+ bedroom house. I aint after a fancy lifestyle, just a comfortable one for myself and my family.

What is the income tax like in TN, and taxes in general?
You gonna have to forgive my basic questions, I just on the start of researching all this stuf, and I know that you guys are usually a reliable source of info.

Thanks again

Col
Hello again One thing to note about Cordova - there are parts that are on the rise and parts that are declining. Some people are saying that in 5-10 years Cordova will be the next Hickory Hill. That was once a very affluent area, and as an example of the racial issues still abound around here, when black people started moving in - white people started moving out. Even the mall closed down because of the crime etc. However, I think that is a bit of an exageration. Only parts of Cordova are annexed with Memphis right now (where I am, is). This affects taxes etc if you buy. If you do buy a house I would NOT recommend Cordova for this reason. Memphis City taxes are a joke and they just went up again thanks to our wonderful Mayor.

I would only consider buying in Germantown, Arlington, Lakeland, Millington, Covington or Bartlett (another area worth considering).

The heat may or may not be an issue depending on how much you guys like the sun/heat. It gets incredibly humid.. Yesterday was 102 but the heat index was 113. There is tons to do in the summer if you can stand it! I do a lot more outdoor things now than I ever did. For instance this weekend I am going to an all day concert (unrelated to the 4th), fireworks and cookout SUnday and baseball on Monday!! I love it

All that aside - you say you have a job offer. Do you and your family have visas in place? You can't come over until this is all organized - I dont want to insult you if you know this already - but it is not clear from your posts, and since this is not something that can happen overnight thought we better check!!! What do you do?

If you are serious about this and have your visas etc in order - let me know of any properties you are interested in and I will go check them out for you. I am already in Cordova anyways so its no trouble

I think overall its a great place to live. Oh and if you like churches and rock bands singing Christian music you will be in heaven

Negatives. Supermarkets suck. Cheap cheap but crap crap. Bring lots of choccie with you if you come and I will pay you in gold bars!!! LOL.

Better get used to drinking cold tea now hee hee. That was one thing I could not get used to - sweet iced tea - now I can't get enough of it!!
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Old Jul 27th 2005, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Memphis???

I may be too late in replying but I used autosource as well and was extremely happy with my prices and financing. The cars were a bit late but they made it worth my while.
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