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Moving family to New York

Moving family to New York

Old Feb 28th 2011, 7:33 pm
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Default Moving family to New York

Hi,

I'm sorry if this has been done to death, tried using the search facility but didn't get much!

I am a Brit and DH is an Aussie with a right of abode due to his mum being a Brit. We met and lived in London until 2008 when we decided to move to Australia. We have been here three years in August. To be honest I am not happy living here, everything is very expensive we had to move 2 hours out of sydney to buy a home and the cost of living is rising dramatically so we don't have much of a lifestyle even though DH is on a very good wage.
DH's work have been throwing around the idea of sending him abroad for a while now something I am now open to even though we have moved four times the the last three years! So the options are Hong Kong or New York.

What I need to find out is the cost of living in New York or outside of New York like Westchester County, NJ etc..
We have 3 children aged between 4 years and 4 months and two dogs.

I know to get the firm to pay for health care but what else do we need to factor in and what is a decent rental amount ?

Thanks in advance

Christina
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Frankly, it would be on the par with or higher than the cost of living in Sydney.

Nothing in the wiki for this ;-(

Salary will be depending on education, field of expertise and experience.

What visa would you use to get here.

Rental for a three bedroom apt or house in Westchester would be between $2600 to $6000 a month. Buying a house would be from $500,000 to pass $1,000,000.

Last edited by Rete; Feb 28th 2011 at 8:15 pm.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Originally Posted by Cmabbo View Post
Hi,

I'm sorry if this has been done to death, tried using the search facility but didn't get much!

I am a Brit and DH is an Aussie with a right of abode due to his mum being a Brit. We met and lived in London until 2008 when we decided to move to Australia. We have been here three years in August. To be honest I am not happy living here, everything is very expensive we had to move 2 hours out of sydney to buy a home and the cost of living is rising dramatically so we don't have much of a lifestyle even though DH is on a very good wage.
DH's work have been throwing around the idea of sending him abroad for a while now something I am now open to even though we have moved four times the the last three years! So the options are Hong Kong or New York.

What I need to find out is the cost of living in New York or outside of New York like Westchester County, NJ etc..
We have 3 children aged between 4 years and 4 months and two dogs.

I know to get the firm to pay for health care but what else do we need to factor in and what is a decent rental amount ?

Thanks in advance

Christina
We're just about to sign a lease on a 2/3 bed apartment in Tarrytown in Westchester for $2150 pcm. Tarrytown is more expensive than the other Hudson River towns, but as far as we can see is much nicer and with lots more facilities - a thriving Main St with good shops and restaurants and even a small theater!

The biggest problem we had was finding a rental that allowed pets - we have a cat and have to pay an extra security deposit (another half-month rental on top of the standard one month deposit), and our landlady will only accept cats, not dogs.

Commuter rail from Tarrytown to Grand Central Terminal on 42nd St in Midtown is about 35-40 minutes and costs $266 pcm. There are many other commuter towns further out on the Metro-North commuter rail if you're happy to have a longer commute.

We also looked at Ossining and Croton-on-Hudson before settling on Tarrytown. As I've never learnt to drive and my wife hasn't driven since leaving the US ten years ago, we chose Tarrytown for the closeness of facilities and the commuter rail as it'll be a while before we get driving licenses and a car, but if you'll be able to get licenses and a car quickly, the other Westchester towns might work out better for you.

I suspect you might have more chance of finding dog-friendly accommodation in New York City itself. We are currently in a temporary studio apt in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and it seems like half the building have dogs. But it is pricey here - if we wanted to stay in this building a studio like our temporary company-provided one is going to be at least $2400 pcm. Our building is let through Related Rentals who seem to have a lot of stuff around Manhattan. A monthly MetroCard (subway + bus) is $104, peanuts to what we were paying in London!
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Thanks for your replies.

DH would get a relocation package with work which is negociable. He currently is the global IT risk manager for an Australian investment bank. I had a look on efinancialcareers and a similar job was advertised as 300k base salary is that ok ?

At the moment he travels 2 hours each way so a commute of 30-40 minutes would be wonderful.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Originally Posted by Cmabbo View Post
Thanks for your replies.

DH would get a relocation package with work which is negociable. He currently is the global IT risk manager for an Australian investment bank. I had a look on efinancialcareers and a similar job was advertised as 300k base salary is that ok ?

At the moment he travels 2 hours each way so a commute of 30-40 minutes would be wonderful.
With that kind of salary, you could also widen your net to include Fairfield County, CT, particularly Greenwich, or New Canaan. Straight run into Grand Central on the New Haven line Metro North train during rush hours, nice houses, good schools.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Great. I just don't want to overstretch on the property and not factor in all the other costs. Finding it difficult to find estimates online like taxes utilities. I know DH talked about buying a house at some point. Will have a look at those other areas.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Worth having a search as there's been quite a few recent threads on NY and NJ....but also check out city-data.com for more info.

Also the wiki does cover some info on what to look into for relocation packages.

I'd certainly not expect for the move to make you financially much better off though, or at all and you'd probably find the same CoL issues facing you here.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
With that kind of salary, you could also widen your net to include Fairfield County, CT, particularly Greenwich, or New Canaan. Straight run into Grand Central on the New Haven line Metro North train during rush hours, nice houses, good schools.
The only issue with the New Haven line is that the trains are rather old and keep breaking down! However new ones are due this year. Long Island would be worth considering too. OP should factor in where in Manhattan her DH would be working, as which commuter rail would be most convenient could influence their choice. All the Metro-North lines go into Grand Central Terminal. Currently both New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Railroad go into Penn Station, with some of the LIRR trains moving to GCT in about 5-6 years time.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Originally Posted by Cmabbo View Post
Great. I just don't want to overstretch on the property and not factor in all the other costs. Finding it difficult to find estimates online like taxes utilities. I know DH talked about buying a house at some point. Will have a look at those other areas.
I have a great house in Westchester County if you want it

We want to go back to the UK but even if we weren't heading back we'd be leaving this area because of the cost of living. I don't know what things cost in Sydney but here everything costs more than anywhere else in the US (except the SF area I understand). A nice house in an area with decent schools will be around 600K to $1M+ (you can go way over $1M if you want to be in the towns with the best schools such as Greenwich, Scarsdale, Bronxville etc). For a family house rental, you'll be looking at over $3,000 per month - more for a nice area.

Property taxes (equivalent of council tax) are very very high around NYC. Mine are considered low for the area and they're $16,000 a year, but I think if you're renting, these are usually included (not sure about this).

Home insurance and car insurance cost more here than in other parts of the US and all your health care co-pays tend to be higher because health care costs more here. Finally, utility bills are very costly (the houses in my street are all 1920s houses and we all pay hundreds of dollars a month for utilities).

I don't say all this to put you off but just to say NYC might not be the answer to your CoL issues.

Good luck!

Last edited by sallysimmons; Feb 28th 2011 at 9:25 pm.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Thanks for all the info.

When we were renting on the Upper North Shore in Sydney roughly a 40-45min train journey and you have to drive to the train stations as none of the houses are within walking distance we were paying in rent $990pw when we first moved over then to a cheaper rental of $780 for a damp mouldy hovel I am not exaggerating! The winters are freezing as they don't have heating or double glazing on the windows. In the summer the houses heat up because of bad insulation. The houses are full of cockroaches even after you get pest control in just the way it is in Sydney.

To buy a house you are looking at $780k starting for a dump to millions for something that is no where near pretty as what I have seen on Trulia. Land is a premium here.

To get a mortgage was difficult as there is only four major banks here that don't compete for business. We put down 10% but because we didn'nt have 20% and some of the 10% was from a bonus and deemed not "genuine savings" only one lender would help us for a smaller amount even though DH has a very good salary. So to get on the ladder we had to buy 2 hours north of Sydney. DH leaves the house at 6.30am and doesn't get home until 8.30pm and I have no help or friends. It is very difficult to make friends with people in their own bubble and not used to newcomers. I do attend lots of classes with my kids.

The interest rates here are 7.83% and rising back up to near 8/9% this year. Supermarkets are horrendous, fruit and veg not fresh but expensive you are looking at over $400per week for a family of four and that does not include alcohol. Utilities are high and getting higher due to double soon with the new carbon tax.

I can appreciate it is similar CoL but you seem to get more for your money when it comes to food and clothes, toys etc...
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 11:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Originally Posted by Cmabbo View Post
Thanks for all the info.

When we were renting on the Upper North Shore in Sydney roughly a 40-45min train journey and you have to drive to the train stations as none of the houses are within walking distance we were paying in rent $990pw when we first moved over then to a cheaper rental of $780 for a damp mouldy hovel I am not exaggerating! The winters are freezing as they don't have heating or double glazing on the windows. In the summer the houses heat up because of bad insulation. The houses are full of cockroaches even after you get pest control in just the way it is in Sydney.

To buy a house you are looking at $780k starting for a dump to millions for something that is no where near pretty as what I have seen on Trulia. Land is a premium here.

To get a mortgage was difficult as there is only four major banks here that don't compete for business. We put down 10% but because we didn'nt have 20% and some of the 10% was from a bonus and deemed not "genuine savings" only one lender would help us for a smaller amount even though DH has a very good salary. So to get on the ladder we had to buy 2 hours north of Sydney. DH leaves the house at 6.30am and doesn't get home until 8.30pm and I have no help or friends. It is very difficult to make friends with people in their own bubble and not used to newcomers. I do attend lots of classes with my kids.

The interest rates here are 7.83% and rising back up to near 8/9% this year. Supermarkets are horrendous, fruit and veg not fresh but expensive you are looking at over $400per week for a family of four and that does not include alcohol. Utilities are high and getting higher due to double soon with the new carbon tax.

I can appreciate it is similar CoL but you seem to get more for your money when it comes to food and clothes, toys etc...
You'll find it's not much different.

Okay, houses have heat, but again, not that well insulated or glazed so can be pricey to keep hot/cold. You'll have no credit history so face the same issues of requiring a large deposit, realistically 20+ %.

The incidentals like food, clothing etc aren't really cheap, sure they can be but if you want anything half decent and we're not talking poncey brands, they aren't really that cheap.

I think personally, if you're looking for the move here because it'll be a good career opportunity, or you really fancy the idea and opportunity of giving the US a shot, you'll probably enjoy it a lot more.

If you're looking to move here because you think you'll be ahead financially or because you consider where you are is a dump, you'll probably be more disappointed with things.

That's generally how it goes. The grass is/isn't greener thing.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Thanks Bob, ideally I would like to head back to London but our only options are Hong Kong or New York so out of the two my husband thinks New York would be better with 3 kids and two large dogs and he is very tall so clothes would be more availble. Thanks again for the advice though a lot to mull over.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 11:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Also found this website
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...com%2F&h=c8f60
and Sydney is currently 12% more expensice than New York City...
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

If clothing is the only reason to prefer one over the other, I hear they have good tailors in Hong Kong.
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Old Feb 28th 2011, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving family to New York

Originally Posted by Cmabbo View Post
Also found this website
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http...com%2F&h=c8f60
and Sydney is currently 12% more expensice than New York City...
It's a bit hard to really take much notice of these though because you've got things that affect it so much, so many hidden costs that you don't see overtly...also you've got areas where it costs a fortune to live in and then other areas where you've got 10 immigrants living in the same room to sway the figures.

The best you can do is look at what you'd have for cold hard cash, what you'll have as company benefits, what the cost of medical will be to you for there to be any valid comparisons.

Have you visited HK? What kind of offer could he get going there? From friends from HK and others that moved out that way, they love it, really different, quite large ex-pat community. Worry about buying clothes has never been a consideration.

One of my mates that moved that way also lived in Sydney for a while, he's now out near Shanghai after doing a stint in HK, tall bloke, never had a problem.

He was just living the single life style though, I don't know families out there so can't comment on that, or how the visa situation would come into play for the family, nor living with pets....but large dogs will often hinder your rental opportunities in the US too.

If you've got the options, you should seriously consider having a recce trip to both locations for a good couple of weeks each, if it's a company transfer they really should be offering that anyway.
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