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Moving to Houston

Moving to Houston

Old Jun 18th 2010, 8:12 am
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Smile Moving to Houston

Firstly Hello! I'm new.

We are moving to Houston from Scotland in Sept due to my husband's (OH) work. This is the first time I will have lived abroad and thankfully OH work is organising most of it for us. We will be staying in a serviced apartment for the first 70 days while our belongings are shipped over.

My first issue, which I know probably sounds stupid, is what should we airfreight and what should we seafreight as we get a big shipping allowance and an additional airfreight? We are travelling with our 18month old and our dog. I was thinking some clothes and some toys for the little one.

Is there anything you desperatly found you needed in the first few months and it was stuck on a container ship?

I had the shipping company around a few days ago for a looksie at our stuff, and when they asked what I wanted shipped in what way, I really had no idea!

Thank you for any help, it is much appreciated. Oh, and please don't shout at me. When I was looking for info on moving to Houston on here I found quite a frightening thread where the lady got shouted at for 3 pages. Thanks.
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Firstly Hello! I'm new.

We are moving to Houston from Scotland in Sept due to my husband's (OH) work. This is the first time I will have lived abroad and thankfully OH work is organising most of it for us. We will be staying in a serviced apartment for the first 70 days while our belongings are shipped over.

My first issue, which I know probably sounds stupid, is what should we airfreight and what should we seafreight as we get a big shipping allowance and an additional airfreight? We are travelling with our 18month old and our dog. I was thinking some clothes and some toys for the little one.

Is there anything you desperatly found you needed in the first few months and it was stuck on a container ship?

I had the shipping company around a few days ago for a looksie at our stuff, and when they asked what I wanted shipped in what way, I really had no idea!

Thank you for any help, it is much appreciated. Oh, and please don't shout at me. When I was looking for info on moving to Houston on here I found quite a frightening thread where the lady got shouted at for 3 pages. Thanks.
Hi - firstly good luck with your move to the U.S!

Not sure about your shipping questions really, but I'm sure someone else will be along soon to help.

Sorry to hear about your exposure to the nasty shouty thread - there are some funny buggers here on BE that's for sure. If you want a nice, objective thread discussing the relative merits of Houston in a calm, rational and non-shouty way then look no further than here.
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Good luck with your move to Houston. Don't listen to a lot of the nay-sayers. I am a firm believer in life is what you make it and even though like every large city Houston has its bad points, it also has its good. If you go with an open mind you will be fine. Enjoy the wonderful Tex Mex food!

I would take as much personal stuff airfreight as you are allowed. If the company is paying for it, why not.
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 11:06 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Thank you sprouty (he-he, love the tag-line!). Woohoo, not shit, get in! Did you have Eurovision style televoting as well? Have they now been awarded an official plaque that I can view, perhaps in a state building?

1chumly, thanks. I think we get a big chair sized box for airfreight as well as our normal baggage allowance, so I was planning on ramming it full! Definitely looking forward to trying the new food and seeing a new bit of the world.
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Weeze, I sent you a PM
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
Hi - firstly good luck with your move to the U.S!

Not sure about your shipping questions really, but I'm sure someone else will be along soon to help.

Sorry to hear about your exposure to the nasty shouty thread - there are some funny buggers here on BE that's for sure. If you want a nice, objective thread discussing the relative merits of Houston in a calm, rational and non-shouty way then look no further than here.




You are a bad sprout-boy!!!
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 2:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Originally Posted by Weeze View Post
Firstly Hello! I'm new.

We are moving to Houston from Scotland in Sept due to my husband's (OH) work. This is the first time I will have lived abroad and thankfully OH work is organising most of it for us. We will be staying in a serviced apartment for the first 70 days while our belongings are shipped over.

My first issue, which I know probably sounds stupid, is what should we airfreight and what should we seafreight as we get a big shipping allowance and an additional airfreight? We are travelling with our 18month old and our dog. I was thinking some clothes and some toys for the little one.

Is there anything you desperatly found you needed in the first few months and it was stuck on a container ship?

I had the shipping company around a few days ago for a looksie at our stuff, and when they asked what I wanted shipped in what way, I really had no idea!

Thank you for any help, it is much appreciated. Oh, and please don't shout at me. When I was looking for info on moving to Houston on here I found quite a frightening thread where the lady got shouted at for 3 pages. Thanks.


Hi and welcome to Houston. I'm quite partial to Houston and the surrounding area's. It is an interesting city. Glad to see you will be renting to start with, it will give you a good chance to see where you want to settle. There are lots of great areas outside the city to live but still close enough to commute in and out.


Can't help with shipping as we've been here for 21 years and only brought two bags each!


September is still going to be very hot and often the time of tropical storms and hurricanes, it's a very humid heat here but come Nov/Dec time it can be perfect!


Good luck!
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post


You are a bad sprout-boy!!!
Well, that poll is a BE modern classic, even if I do say so myself.
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Old Jun 18th 2010, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Thanks Sugarmooma. OH did warn me it would still be hot in Sept but I guess I'll have to get used to it!
I get to go out for a week in July and they have arranged for a realitor to show us some of the different areas then. I've been looking on the internet at houses, but it is difficult to know until you've seen some of the areas yourself I think.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 3:05 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Hi Weeze,

We took all the clothes we thought we would need immediately in our luggage and used the airfreight for the rest of our clothes and our son's toys etc. The airfreight arrived about 2 weeks after we did so that worked out well.

The only thing we had in the container that we needed was additional paperwork for our mortgage application. If you are going down the mortgage route take 2 - 3 years of all bills, statements, bank accounts etc. that you can lay your hands on.

We have been here 2 years now (can't quite believe that) and love it so far - best of luck with the move. Where in Bonny Scotland are you? - we moved from Stonehaven, just south of Aberdeen.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

we took the babies cot (packed flat in pieces - dont forget to pack any tools you need to put it together again ) in the air freight and just used a travel cot until it arrived.

we also took clothes, toys, towels, few basic bits of cookware/cutlery, documentation we might need early on, computers (took laptop on plane with us bit packed up our 2 desktops),
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Thanks Chocolatebabz & MsElui.
Oh, I hadn't thought of the cot, I like that idea. It is a cotbed so I wonder if it will be too long? If not that is a brilliant idea so my little one feels more at home when her real cot arrives. I might ask the packers about that.
The company are going to be renting a property for us so thankfully we don't have to think about mortgages yet!
Thanks everyone for your responses.
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Old Jul 5th 2010, 8:47 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Welcome here and to Houston! We are in the midst of our packout to Houston (just set dates for the removals folks to pack up the house) and will land in August.

We too are coming from Scotland.

We were able to get there last month on a scouting trip and have a fabulous realtor who helped us find out dream home - mostly helped us find out what neighborhood/area we wanted to live and then finding a house to buy was easy. There are lots to choose from at all price points. I'd be more than happy to tell you her name and email - Private Message me. Your realtor will make or break your house hunting, as we found out very quickly. (And bear in mind its a whole different way to buy a house in USA versus in Scotland.)

We just had an offer accepted!

http://www.city-data.com/forum/houston/ is a lovely forum with lots of Brits lurking there, too.

Now for things to take - My husband is Scottish and I'm American. First off, you can get everything you want or need in Houston. Rumor has it that Branston's is a hard find though, but everything else is available.

One thing I did learn from my pack out - is no food can go with you. Its a Homeland Security rule.

From our scouting trip and house hunting, we found out that 2/3s of our furniture will not go in a modern house. So we've sold it here in Scotland. Plus, in USA the furniture is better quality and easily 1/2 the price of Scotland.

Clothes - very cheap in USA. Even the better quality lines are still a fraction of John Lewis (for example) due to the seasonal sales in the USA. One little thing though - if your husband is tall and on the more lean side, know that men's clothes are made more full in the trousers. If he has particular things he likes to wear, then get them here. We did a full run on trousers for my husband at M&S.

Ditch all electronics except any dual voltage computer stuff. Its useless in the USA. Electronics are cheaper in the USA anyhow, and cut prices between Oct - Dec for the Christmas season.

I'm happy to help you out on anything - just did the whole process over the past 6 months.

You'll LOVE Houston. The USA is a huge place and I'm not originally from Texas. I was not pleased to move to USA's 4th largest city, but its really lovely. Its so spread out that its a metro area, not a compact city. Lots of trees and you'll get lots of house for less money than Scotland. And just like the whole of USA, its a car culture. You must have a car to get around anywhere, even just for food shopping.

Last edited by Bomjeito; Jul 5th 2010 at 9:16 am. Reason: clarity
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Old Jul 5th 2010, 9:27 am
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

A few things to also remember.

1. Corporate housing - just ask for cot or crib. That is their job - to place furniture that you need, and remove what you don't need. As well all dishes, etc. are provided.

2. When corporate housing ends, get a good local realtor. Don't always go with who your husband's company suggests. We did that and that agent wanted only to place us right next to other internationals. Meaning, how would we integrate into our community if all folks from husband's company were steered to one neighborhood?

3. We fell into a great mortgage situation. Wells Fargo has a 'relo' program. Its their Relocation Program, which works with folks who have no US credit history. It was reasonable all around, and we were approved quite quickly.

4. Don't worry to airlift toiletries. You can get all that for cheap at Walmart in Houston. Use that weight to ship things you cannot live ever without. Documents, photos, sentimental things. Better, hand carry these in your suitcases and airlift the clothing and shoes that you'll need until your shipment arrives. Clothes are cheap and plentiful in USA. Shoes are something easier to airlift that worry to get when you arrive. The airlift space can also be used for items to combat the change of place syndrome - bring baby's toys, some books you will want, your teabags of choice, a few reminders of home to help transition. And get the movers to weight it at packout. The first time I did this, they were too lazy and I was shorted 50 pounds, which means like a whole suitcase short of things I could have shipped fast. Now I pile up stuff that must go air, then they whittle it down until the poundage is met and the rest goes by sea, as that goes by volume, not weight.
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Old Jul 5th 2010, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Houston

Originally Posted by Bomjeito View Post
Rumor has it that Branston's is a hard find though, but everything else is available.
DON'T PANIC!!! - it's on the international shelf at H.E.B. - it was about $4.00 though
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