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Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Old Apr 1st 2019, 1:06 pm
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Default Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Dear all,

I am a new member here. Hubby has got a very good offer (at least in my opinion) from a big corp in SD. Now it's the time to make decision. We now live in suburb of Oxford, kids are both in a very lovely school. We have a small but nice circle friends, both kids all settle with their activities and friends. Life is comfortable but still a stretch at times, also pay rise is very slow and opportunities very limited in hubby's field here.

I always have been fond of California. We have been there for family holiday. It would be a great experience to live there.

I would love to hear opinions from those of you who have jumped the pond:
  • what's your experience of your teen/near teen kids settle in new school in US?
My kids are 12 and 10, they both are doing very well in school and are top of the class, also have very strong activities going on.

How big is the average class size in SD schools? Are the more abled kids get challenged enough?I have read that US high school can be very stressful, and school starts 7:30 am (WTH?)
And that extra curriculums are all expensive that parents have to 'donate'? What's the choice like? My kids both play football(soccer).

How is bullying in SD schools? My kids are not weird or anything, but would they be picked being new ? My son is a bit shy and it takes some time for him to get comfortable with new friends. I worry that the US teens are all very mature and extrovert?
  • Cost of living in SD
Although hubby's new offer comes with a nice salary, but SD is so expensive. After our initial research, I feel that we will have not much left after the monthly mortgage for a house in a good school area. And I have a feeling our calculation is on the optimistic side, things could cost way more than we realize.
We reckon if I get a job then our finance situation there would be improved. But it will take time for me to get the work visa,etc. And not sure how easy for me to nail job there. I worked in startup and small companies as project managers.
So if I don't work, I feel like we are going to be tight. And I will doubt the value to move to SD if our finance is tight. Has anyone had experience of a more budget beginning then later on improved?
  • Culture fit
    How easy is it to make friends for adults and teenagers in SD? I don't want to limit to stay home mums and only gossip about other mums, I would like to have a positive and meaningful connection with friends. I have read that SD people are friendly but hard to go further? How is the expat group in SD? We have many European friends here in UK, I would love to continue this.
Sorry about the long post. Any answers/advices would be much appreicated !

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Old Apr 1st 2019, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by park99 View Post
Dear all,

I am a new member here. Hubby has got a very good offer (at least in my opinion) from a big corp in SD. Now it's the time to make decision. We now live in suburb of Oxford, kids are both in a very lovely school. We have a small but nice circle friends, both kids all settle with their activities and friends. Life is comfortable but still a stretch at times, also pay rise is very slow and opportunities very limited in hubby's field here.

I always have been fond of California. We have been there for family holiday. It would be a great experience to live there.

I would love to hear opinions from those of you who have jumped the pond:
  • what's your experience of your teen/near teen kids settle in new school in US?
My kids are 12 and 10, they both are doing very well in school and are top of the class, also have very strong activities going on.

How big is the average class size in SD schools? Are the more abled kids get challenged enough?I have read that US high school can be very stressful, and school starts 7:30 am (WTH?)
And that extra curriculums are all expensive that parents have to 'donate'? What's the choice like? My kids both play football(soccer).

How is bullying in SD schools? My kids are not weird or anything, but would they be picked being new ? My son is a bit shy and it takes some time for him to get comfortable with new friends. I worry that the US teens are all very mature and extrovert?
  • Cost of living in SD
Although hubby's new offer comes with a nice salary, but SD is so expensive. After our initial research, I feel that we will have not much left after the monthly mortgage for a house in a good school area. And I have a feeling our calculation is on the optimistic side, things could cost way more than we realize.
We reckon if I get a job then our finance situation there would be improved. But it will take time for me to get the work visa,etc. And not sure how easy for me to nail job there. I worked in startup and small companies as project managers.
So if I don't work, I feel like we are going to be tight. And I will doubt the value to move to SD if our finance is tight. Has anyone had experience of a more budget beginning then later on improved?
  • Culture fit
    How easy is it to make friends for adults and teenagers in SD? I don't want to limit to stay home mums and only gossip about other mums, I would like to have a positive and meaningful connection with friends. I have read that SD people are friendly but hard to go further? How is the expat group in SD? We have many European friends here in UK, I would love to continue this.
Sorry about the long post. Any answers/advices would be much appreicated !
Welcome to BE. It looks as if this is a position with a new company, not a transfer, which means that the employer is probably looking at the H-1 visa. That would mean an H-4 for you, which would also mean that you cannot work and thus are looking at living on one salary. Can you let the good folks of BE know which visa the employer plans to apply for? That way they can advise you more appropriately.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

San Diego plays soccer, and in general SoCal has some of the best teams on the West Coast.
It is a lovely place to live, work, and play. It is expensive, but no more expensive then Seattle and certainly cheaper than Silicon Valley.
It is a very diverse place, a melting pot of cultures. I was always amazed at my kids school that it was so diverse, and saw that as a good thing.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Nice place to move to. Mediterranean weather. Fantastic restaurants. beach, culture.
Hopefully your husband will have 150K+ salary to get by.
Unless mega salary housing will probably be to the East. Escondido, Poway for example.

Use zilllow to get an idea of rentals/buys
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
Nice place to move to. Mediterranean weather. Fantastic restaurants. beach, culture.
Hopefully your husband will have 150K+ salary to get by.
Unless mega salary housing will probably be to the East. Escondido, Poway for example. ...
From what I have heard, a household income of less that $200k might lead to significant budget restrictions on how much of the American dream you can actually afford, and from what I have heard I would be looking for a minimum of $300k if someone offered me a job there, given how much of the American dream I can currently afford in a much lower cost area.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Yup...it's no fun just 'getting by' in America.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
Yup...it's no fun just 'getting by' in America.
Another thing I would bear in mind is the fact that you can be ‘let go at will’. Unless you have a GC or citizenship you and your family will have to uproot and leave the US pretty quickly.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

'and there is no comparable city in the US lower 48 really'

Apart from everything south of Long Beach...
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Seriously man?
Dana Point, Laguna Beach, San Clemente?

Paradise...

(Not arguing..San Diego has the bay, La Jolla, Solano, Del Mar, all nice...however I don't feel it's any more 'wow' than the places I mentioned. And I do feel that Laguna Beach and Dana Point are far superior.)

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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Hi park99,

The very first hurdle is the work visa. If this is not an intercompany transfer, the potential employer must submit a petition for an H1-B visa today, and with any luck he gets chosen when it goes to the lottery phase (because its always over subscribed).

So before worrying about life in San Diego, first please share what visa his potential employer will be petitioning him for. A job offer means nothing without visa sponsorship.

Thanks!
Rene
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by park99 View Post
Dear all,

I am a new member here. Hubby has got a very good offer (at least in my opinion) from a big corp in SD. Now it's the time to make decision. We now live in suburb of Oxford, kids are both in a very lovely school. We have a small but nice circle friends, both kids all settle with their activities and friends. Life is comfortable but still a stretch at times, also pay rise is very slow and opportunities very limited in hubby's field here.

I always have been fond of California. We have been there for family holiday. It would be a great experience to live there.

I would love to hear opinions from those of you who have jumped the pond:
  • what's your experience of your teen/near teen kids settle in new school in US?
My kids are 12 and 10, they both are doing very well in school and are top of the class, also have very strong activities going on.

How big is the average class size in SD schools? Are the more abled kids get challenged enough?I have read that US high school can be very stressful, and school starts 7:30 am (WTH?)
And that extra curriculums are all expensive that parents have to 'donate'? What's the choice like? My kids both play football(soccer).

How is bullying in SD schools? My kids are not weird or anything, but would they be picked being new ? My son is a bit shy and it takes some time for him to get comfortable with new friends. I worry that the US teens are all very mature and extrovert?
  • Cost of living in SD
Although hubby's new offer comes with a nice salary, but SD is so expensive. After our initial research, I feel that we will have not much left after the monthly mortgage for a house in a good school area. And I have a feeling our calculation is on the optimistic side, things could cost way more than we realize.
We reckon if I get a job then our finance situation there would be improved. But it will take time for me to get the work visa,etc. And not sure how easy for me to nail job there. I worked in startup and small companies as project managers.
So if I don't work, I feel like we are going to be tight. And I will doubt the value to move to SD if our finance is tight. Has anyone had experience of a more budget beginning then later on improved?
  • Culture fit
    How easy is it to make friends for adults and teenagers in SD? I don't want to limit to stay home mums and only gossip about other mums, I would like to have a positive and meaningful connection with friends. I have read that SD people are friendly but hard to go further? How is the expat group in SD? We have many European friends here in UK, I would love to continue this.
Sorry about the long post. Any answers/advices would be much appreicated !
You mention a mortgage, aside from waiting to see if you like it, I would be surprised if you would get a mortgage in the US with no credit history here. I was able to get one within a couple of years of gettting my Green Card by putting 25% down as the deposit. Most people rent when they first come here, this may also factor in to which SD you are in / can get in to.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Ok
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

San Diego is probably the best place to be in CA (yes, I've lived there, yes I've lived elsewhere in CA). Prices are high in comparison to the UK for just about everything (except petrol) but this is true for all of CA and your OH should be looking at a150-200k minimum to support a family of four. You will be spending much more than you initially budget for so keep that in mind.

I can't comment on schools but SD is a very multicultural area (many military bases, universities and multinationals make it so) so I assume that your kids won't be the local freak show. What you mention re: parental contributions and extra curricular activities is accurate. Schools are very sports focused so if your kids are already playing soccer they will at least have something in common with the locals. Based on things I've heard other parents say about US high school is that the level of education is far lower than in the UK.

SD has a perfect climate (sunny and warm pretty much all year round) and is relatively safe. There are loads of excellent family-centric areas that you can look into but you should base yourself near-ish to your husband's office because of the commute.

As others have mentioned, you need to find out what visa your husband is getting. If it's a H-1b it's not guaranteed (he will need to go through a lottery, win it (one in 4 chance), and will have a start date of October 2020, so plenty of time to research further. Also, you will not be able to work - ever).
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
From what I have heard, a household income of less that $200k might lead to significant budget restrictions on how much of the American dream you can actually afford, and from what I have heard I would be looking for a minimum of $300k if someone offered me a job there, given how much of the American dream I can currently afford in a much lower cost area.
I managed a family of 4 with $150k and also lived in a very nice house, It is substantially cheaper than Silicon Valley. Best years of my life so far,
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Move to San Diego - yes or no?

Thanks everyone for your kind advice and tips, really helpful!

So about visa, my husband's US employer will apply O1 for him. I understand once he is there then Green Card.
Does anyone know in this case, how long it takes to get the GC?

It feels frustrating that US government want to attract great brains to come to work but at the same time decide their spouses are not fit for purpose. I hope this process to GC won't be too long as I would love to work.

Last edited by park99; Apr 1st 2019 at 7:43 pm.
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