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Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Old Aug 11th 2005, 3:10 pm
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Default Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Well, at long last it looks like our planned relocation to Pennsylvania is (fingers crossed) going to happen by the end of this year.

We have had two years of RIR labor cert, followed by resubmitting under the new PERM regs.....what a nightmare :-(

Anyway, the final part of the PERM application is due to be submitted in the next couple of weeks, and all the advertising didn't produce one single suitable american. My attorney is very confident that we will get approved.

As soon as this happens we will be putting our house on the market and all being well come out with about £110,000 cash.

I will be working in west reading, so we are looking at houses in Berks county (exeter, sinking springs, wyomissing etc, no more than 15-20 miles from west reading zip 19611.

My salary will be around $48,000 gross, what I need information on is how much tax will I be paying? what other expenses should I expect and how much. You know, the standard costs of running a family home kind of thing.

We are a typical family, we have two daughters (16 & 13) will need two vehicles, four mobile phones etc etc.

We have been looking at houses around the $250,000 - $280,000 range, our favourite is the Truman II by Greth homes. Does anyone have experience of these? we will be looking at putting down a deposit of around 25% - 30%.

I have so many questions running around my head that I need answering. It is getting quite scarey now it's looking more likley to happen soon.

Any advise and help would be really appriciated. It is going to be terrifying to come over and not know anyone (apart from a friend in delaware)

Sorry for the long post.

Lots of for the most helpful answers (when we get there of course)

Andrew (deaks)
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Well the good news is you won't be paying much income tax with a family of four and a salary at that level.

Hope the company medical benefits are cheap?
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by fatbrit
Well the good news is you won't be paying much income tax with a family of four and a salary at that level.

Hope the company medical benefits are cheap?
The healthcare for me is paid by my employer, and the rest of the family are covered for about $500 - $600 a month. Does that sound about right??

I cant get my head around the US tax system. My deductions a month in the UK are in excess of £800.

I suppose the things I need average costings on are :-

morgage
property tax (rates in the UK)
utility bills:-
water
sewage
gas
electricity
phone
trash collection
food
car insurance
gas (petrol)
+ anything else I've forgotten :-)

If anyone has an excel spreadsheet with their costings on that they would be prepared to either PM or email me that would be great. I promise that I would only be using it as a guide for me and would NOT under any circumstances post it on the net.

So who else on here is living in PA???

Thanks in advance

Andrew (deaks)
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by deaks
The healthcare for me is paid by my employer, and the rest of the family are covered for about $500 - $600 a month.
:scared: Would expect rest of family to be covered for 0 - $200 month max!

Sure you'll make it -- but it ain't going to be luxurious! Also, the fact that you are not established in the US will cost you more as you'll have no credit score. E.g. there will be no 0% financing on the car, and the cell phone companies, among others, will require a hefty deposit.

Afraid I live in Az, so I'll leave others to make the estimates for you.
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

[QUOTE=deaks]The healthcare for me is paid by my employer, and the rest of the family are covered for about $500 - $600 a month. Does that sound about right??

I cant get my head around the US tax system. My deductions a month in the UK are in excess of £800.

I suppose the things I need average costings on are :-

morgage
property tax (rates in the UK)
utility bills:-
water
sewage
gas
electricity
phone
trash collection
food
car insurance
gas (petrol)
+ anything else I've forgotten :-)

If anyone has an excel spreadsheet with their costings on that they would be prepared to either PM or email me that would be great. I promise that I would only be using it as a guide for me and would NOT under any circumstances post it on the net.

So who else on here is living in PA???

Thanks in advance

Hi Andrew,

Just read your email. We live in PA (Pittsburgh) so can give you a lot of info. I am just on the way out but if you give me a couple of days I can work something out for you and PM the info.

All the best
Debbie
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

[QUOTE=debbie#1]
Originally Posted by deaks
The healthcare for me is paid by my employer, and the rest of the family are covered for about $500 - $600 a month. Does that sound about right??

I cant get my head around the US tax system. My deductions a month in the UK are in excess of £800.

I suppose the things I need average costings on are :-

morgage
property tax (rates in the UK)
utility bills:-
water
sewage
gas
electricity
phone
trash collection
food
car insurance
gas (petrol)
+ anything else I've forgotten :-)

If anyone has an excel spreadsheet with their costings on that they would be prepared to either PM or email me that would be great. I promise that I would only be using it as a guide for me and would NOT under any circumstances post it on the net.

So who else on here is living in PA???

Thanks in advance

Hi Andrew,

Just read your email. We live in PA (Pittsburgh) so can give you a lot of info. I am just on the way out but if you give me a couple of days I can work something out for you and PM the info.

All the best
Debbie
Thanks Debbie, That will be great

Andrew (deaks)
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Andrew we live in Newtown (Lower Bucks county). I have a spreadsheet I put together when we moved and still use it for calculating tax etc.

I'll pm you for your email

cheers
Chris
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by fatbrit
:scared: Would expect rest of family to be covered for 0 - $200 month max!

Sure you'll make it -- but it ain't going to be luxurious! Also, the fact that you are not established in the US will cost you more as you'll have no credit score. E.g. there will be no 0% financing on the car, and the cell phone companies, among others, will require a hefty deposit.

Afraid I live in Az, so I'll leave others to make the estimates for you.
I'm not expecting it to be easy, especially at first...but, it's gotta be a whole lot better than here. At the moment I have to travel 160 miles a day to get to the office, and the salary, I just about get by on. The only good bit about living in the UK is that my house has rocketed in value.

Looking on the web, the average salary in PA is around what I'm gonna be earning so I'm not that worried about it.

Andrew (deaks)
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by deaks
I'm not expecting it to be easy, especially at first...but, it's gotta be a whole lot better than here. At the moment I have to travel 160 miles a day to get to the office, and the salary, I just about get by on. The only good bit about living in the UK is that my house has rocketed in value.

Looking on the web, the average salary in PA is around what I'm gonna be earning so I'm not that worried about it.

Andrew (deaks)

Hi Andrew,
I'm not so far from you in State College, PA. I've been living here for just over a year. One of our biggest expenses is runnning the car, fuel will be cheaper than the UK yes but over here a 3 hour drive is considered standard and you pretty much have to get in your car to go anywhere.
Also expect to pay more for your groceries, especially if you want to eat healthy. Twinkies and doughnuts are cheap but fruit and veg are ridiculously expensive. Pennsylvania is a pretty conservative state too so no buying alcohol from the supermarket or buying wine in the same store as your beer, you have to go to different stores for both. Absolutely crazy. Good luck in coming over!
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by deaks
I'm not expecting it to be easy, especially at first...but, it's gotta be a whole lot better than here. At the moment I have to travel 160 miles a day to get to the office, and the salary, I just about get by on. The only good bit about living in the UK is that my house has rocketed in value.

Looking on the web, the average salary in PA is around what I'm gonna be earning so I'm not that worried about it.

Andrew (deaks)
You'll make it! One problem that you have that the average USC doesn't is that your spouse presumably can't earn. This is going to make a big difference -- in most families with average income, the spouse works, too, as this is the only way to make ends meet!
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by deaks
I'm not expecting it to be easy, especially at first...but, it's gotta be a whole lot better than here.

Andrew (deaks)
Why? I always wonder why Brits have this attitude...most of them get a rude awakening, mind you, but the majority of Brits assume that everything is better in the US.

PA was our first home when we moved over nearly 14 yrs ago with our 3 kids- hubby was on $65,000 then ( I wasn't allowed to work at that time) and we lived comfortably but only because he and I had company cars , gas cards, all health insurance paid. We weren't expecting to take a jump in our standard of living (apart from a bigger garden and a lovely view of the mountains) but even we were surprised at how much more expensive it was compared to Britain.
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Hi Deaks,

I hate to rain on your parade but I think you are setting your sights too high in your choice of real estate. Your income doesn't match what you are looking at. The people who buy those places have family incomes in six figures or run up debts. I think, at your income you should be looking at row houses in older districts. It is easy to move up if you find that you can afford it, but much harder to move down if you have already got into trouble, missed a mortgage payment etc., you would then have to rent because your credit rating would be shot.

I used to commute to West Reading, but I don't know the area well but there are some places that you would be better to avoid. You could use some local advice there. Is there anyone in your employers HR that could help?

Besides Federal income tax there is a state income tax of about 3% although with your family you may be able to exclude $32,000 from your income.

The equivalent of rates will vary from municipality to municipality. Growing areas need new schools so their school taxes tend to be high.

Your Federal income tax; I just did a simple estimate of $3,200. You might be able to reduce that a couple of ways. I based the $3,200 on your $48000 and four people. Remember this is just a crude estimate.
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Originally Posted by paddingtongreen
Hi Deaks,

I hate to rain on your parade but I think you are setting your sights too high in your choice of real estate. Your income doesn't match what you are looking at. The people who buy those places have family incomes in six figures or run up debts. I think, at your income you should be looking at row houses in older districts. It is easy to move up if you find that you can afford it, but much harder to move down if you have already got into trouble, missed a mortgage payment etc., you would then have to rent because your credit rating would be shot.

I used to commute to West Reading, but I don't know the area well but there are some places that you would be better to avoid. You could use some local advice there. Is there anyone in your employers HR that could help?

Besides Federal income tax there is a state income tax of about 3% although with your family you may be able to exclude $32,000 from your income.

The equivalent of rates will vary from municipality to municipality. Growing areas need new schools so their school taxes tend to be high.

Your Federal income tax; I just did a simple estimate of $3,200. You might be able to reduce that a couple of ways. I based the $3,200 on your $48000 and four people. Remember this is just a crude estimate.
Hmmm, This is why I asked for an idea of what other costs I should expect in addition to the mortgage payment.

It seems that the actual income tax bit is not that much, but property tax is fairly high, is school tax seperate, or included in property tax?

It's one thing being told by a mortgage broker that he can prequalify me for upto $350k. What I want is to be able to have 'disposable income' and not be strapped up with a huge mortgage repayment each month.

if I put down $60k on a house costing $240k the rough repayment is approx $1100 per month, I know there is property tax on top of that of around $4k per year so that works out at $350 per month. That doesn't seem to bad, but of course at the moment I don't know what other bills aI can expect each month.

Hopefully, with some help I will have a much clearer picture of what we can do.

But before any of this can happen, we need to get out there !!!!!!

Thanks for all you help/advise so far, keep it coming

Andrew (deaks)
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Old Aug 11th 2005, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

Would it be feasible for you to get a rental property initially, then you can work out yourself how much things cost according to your lifestyle.

I agree its much easier when you are out here to sort things out.

Just an idea!!
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Old Aug 12th 2005, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Monthly expenditure in PA to live....???

I really agree with broma25, the best bet is to rent first. Even if you find someone who knows more about the area and they recommend their idea of the perfect spot, you may hate it but be stuck with a house. In any case, there is usually a time lag from offer to settlement. It would give you time to decide on a place with a good school district, they are not uniform.

Be careful of mortgage offers, be sure that you understand the way they work because there are different types and the wrong one can bite.

School taxes are normally considered as real estate taxes and would be included in your average.

I am a retired widower so my heating cooling and lighting costs would not be typical.
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