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Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Old May 15th 2018, 2:41 pm
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Smile Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Hi all, first thread so hope I'm in the right place - apologies if not and for any other forum-based fouls yet to be committed!

I have been offered a role in New York on an E2 visa. My remuneration will be good (over $100k) so I'm just trying to work out cost of living etc and where we should be looking to live. I'll be coming with spouse and child (under 1) and we'll be looking to live outside of Manhattan - I would think somewhere like Westchester based on nothing more than some research on BE and a few other forums and internet searches etc, maybe Chappaqua...

So I think the monthly commute is c. $311 on the train. Are the trains reliable or do they cancel every other one like Southern Rail in England? Presumably in New York they're more prepared for snow (event the wrong type of snow - anyone remember that line from Southern Rail?!) so a certain amount more reliable?

My proposed company will pay for basic health cover but I would think I will want to 'boost' that to a good level of cover for my family. Is that something that can be done? I have a figure of $1,500 pm in my mind. Is that reasonable?

I would think our weekly shop in London costs £75 - £90, so I guess today that would roughly equivalent to $100 - $122. Is this comparable to what we could expect to spend in Westchester?

For rent I've budgeted about $4000 - $5000 pm. Looking on Zillow this looks about right but please correct me if I'm someway off.

How much does something as mundane as car insurance cost in comparison to UK? I pay £600 a year here for a 4X4.

I've seen a few threads referencing fuel costs so I think I have a good idea on that aspect.

With regard to location advice I'll be working on Park Ave but spouse does not want to be in city or Brooklyn so we're looking north to places like Westchester etc. I'd love some input on other areas you might recommend. Ideally a village-family friendly feel. Perhaps I'm hoping for too much?!

Thanks in advance - I'm sure I've left some things out but I'll add in more if required.
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Old May 15th 2018, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

How much do you think you will be taking home monthly after federal and NYS taxes, social security, medicare/Medicaid deductions, workman's compensation? Taxes can be lowered by contributing to a 401K plan and to a health savings account or a flex spending account for your healthcare out of pocket costs.

Trains are extremely reliable. The time there is a disturbance is because of weather and that is so infrequent it might only happen once every two or three years, i.e. hurricanes, flooding, blizzard.

Car insurance should be about $1,200 every six months. No annual policies available. Cable television would be from $120 to $200 a month; cost will depend on the package you chose and the options you want, i.e. landline, wireless, tv programs, sports packages, etc.. Choices would be Cablevision of Westchester and if the area is wired with fiber optics, Verizon Cable and the treaded Direct TV. Electric will vary monthly depending on electronics, appliances and the need to run the A/C. That could run you for a large house of 3 to 4 bedrooms up to $350 a month. Then there is the matter of heat? Is it oil? Gas? Electric? For a family of 3 $100-$200 a week is fair. Depends on your preferences but you will find that during the summer months you might be shopping at the local vegetable and fruit stands and many here prefer Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, which I found more expensive than a the local market, but they offer British/Irish and other foreign foods.

Last edited by Rete; May 15th 2018 at 3:32 pm.
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Old May 15th 2018, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

People here think I'm crazy when I go one about how great Metro-North is, compared to my experiences commuting on Southeastern to and from London. There's maybe one or two major MNR disruptions a year. On Southeastern it would be one or two a month.

I'm less familiar with the Harlem line, which is the line Chappaqua is on, but the Hudson line which I use is super reliable.
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Old May 15th 2018, 3:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Car insurance should be about $1,200 every six months. No annual policies available.
Huh, we pay about $450 twice a year for our little Subaru Impreza. Are we getting an absurdly good deal?

Cable television would be from $120 to $200 a month; cost will depend on the package you chose and the options you want, i.e. landline, wireless, tv programs, sports packages, etc.. Choices would be Cablevision of Westchester and if the area is wired with fiber optics, Verizon Cable and the treaded Direct TV.
Cable TV / Internet is outrageously expensive compared to the UK. We got a "deal" to stay with Verizon Fios which still costs us about $130 a month, when all taxes and fees (not shown in the sticker price) are factored in. Cellphones are more expensive too; we pay about $100 a month for two lines plus 4GB data, although we often need to go to 8MB data which puts the cost up to $120. (Verizon).

Electric will vary monthly depending on electronics, appliances and the need to run the A/C. That could run you for a large house of 3 to 4 bedrooms up to $350 a month. Then there is the matter of heat? Is it oil? Gas? Electric? For a family of 3 $100-$200 a week is fair.
We pay about $400 a month for gas & electric and about $130 a quarter for water: two people in a 3 bed house. That $400 doesn't much change as it's more gas for heating in the winter, more leccy for a/c in the summer. Our ConEd bills seem to have gone up a lot since they "upgraded" our meters. Hmmm.

Depends on your preferences but you will find that during the summer months you might be shopping at the local vegetable and fruit stands and many here prefer Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, which I found more expensive than a the local market, but they offer British/Irish and other foreign foods.
We feel the quality of food in the supermarkets is not as good as in the UK. My wife, who admittedly has high standards as she's from a New England fishing village, won't buy fish from any of the supermarkets but we have found a good supplier at one of the local farmers' markets. You don't have to go to TJ's or WF to get British/Irish stuff: our local Stop'n'Shop in Tarrytown has a small British/Irish section, and our C-Town in Tarrytown has random selections of British tea, biscuits and chocolates mixed in with their regular selection. Plus there are the British shops in the West Village: Myers and Tea and Sympathy. There are also Irish shops in Woodlawn.
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Old May 15th 2018, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by David_101 View Post

With regard to location advice I'll be working on Park Ave but spouse does not want to be in city or Brooklyn so we're looking north to places like Westchester etc. I'd love some input on other areas you might recommend. Ideally a village-family friendly feel. Perhaps I'm hoping for too much?!

Thanks in advance - I'm sure I've left some things out but I'll add in more if required.
Welcome to BE! Look at the Metro North train timetable for the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven lines. Those are the commuter lines into the city, with the first two serving Westchester County, NY, and the third serving Fairfield County, CT. The good folks on here have suggested some NY possibilities, you also can't go wrong with Greenwich, Stamford, South Norwalk, and Westport on the New Haven line. Nice towns with good school systems -- but however village-y a town center may be around here, a car is essential to get around as the best residential areas are not in the commercial districts. Although this is down the road for you, note that the precise street address governs which school your child will attend -- as the saying goes on the forum, one side of the street may funnel to one school, the other to another!
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Old May 15th 2018, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by David_101 View Post
My proposed company will pay for basic health cover but I would think I will want to 'boost' that to a good level of cover for my family. Is that something that can be done? I have a figure of $1,500 pm in my mind. Is that reasonable?
Ask the company exactly what plans they offer. Sometimes companies will offer a choice of plans balancing higher monthly premiums with higher "deductibles" (the minimum amount you have to pay out of pocket in a year, maybe several thousand dollars before the insurance kicks in). Also be aware of what the insurance covers in- and out- of "network". I pay extra to have "out-of-network" coverage: without that I'd be on the hook for the full cost if I used an "out-of-network" provider. The size of the "network" can vary dramatically between insurer and plan.

I would think our weekly shop in London costs £75 - £90, so I guess today that would roughly equivalent to $100 - $122. Is this comparable to what we could expect to spend in Westchester?
We usually spend about $200 a week for two people. Maybe more during the farmers market season.

For rent I've budgeted about $4000 - $5000 pm. Looking on Zillow this looks about right but please correct me if I'm someway off.
Many parts of Westchester you can get a really nice, large, detached house for that. Chappaqua is very expensive though (it has very good public schools which might be a consideration if you have or are planning children) so you might be able to find equally nice properties for less elsewhere, e.g. the river towns along the Hudson.
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Old May 15th 2018, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Thanks all for the feedback, really useful
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Old May 15th 2018, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
however village-y a town center may be around here, a car is essential to get around as the best residential areas are not in the commercial districts.
The one exception to that is Tarrytown, with decent housing within easy walking distance to the Main St / N Broadway shops and restos, the Music Hall, the library and the C-town supermarket.
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Old May 15th 2018, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
Huh, we pay about $450 twice a year for our little Subaru Impreza. Are we getting an absurdly good deal?
Yes you are. In Yonkers I was paying $1,200 every six months for a Hyundai elentra without tickets or accidents.



Cable TV / Internet is outrageously expensive compared to the UK. We got a "deal" to stay with Verizon Fios which still costs us about $130 a month, when all taxes and fees (not shown in the sticker price) are factored in. Cellphones are more expensive too; we pay about $100 a month for two lines plus 4GB data, although we often need to go to 8MB data which puts the cost up to $120. (Verizon).
My Verizon Fios was $135 a month with landline, no premium channels, and wireless (no cell phone).



We feel the quality of food in the supermarkets is not as good as in the UK. My wife, who admittedly has high standards as she's from a New England fishing village, won't buy fish from any of the supermarkets but we have found a good supplier at one of the local farmers' markets. You don't have to go to TJ's or WF to get British/Irish stuff: our local Stop'n'Shop in Tarrytown has a small British/Irish section, and our C-Town in Tarrytown has random selections of British tea, biscuits and chocolates mixed in with their regular selection. Plus there are the British shops in the West Village: Myers and Tea and Sympathy. There are also Irish shops in Woodlawn.
I mentioned Trader Joe's and Whole Foods primarily because that seems to be the norm for most Brit posts I read on here. Yes, many British foods are sold in the supermarkets in Westchester. I'm an unpaid advertiser for the shops in Woodlawn as that was my neighborhood for 40 years and you can't beat the steak and kidney pies, bangers, sausage rolls, etc. from the Butcher's Fancy. Every chocolate you can name that you miss from home, i.e. Roses, Double Deckers, Mars, Cadbury assortments, is available. So are crisps (Tatos?) are available in a large assortment of flavors. Bird's custard, Heinz beans, curry sauces, salad creams, etc.

Last edited by Rete; May 15th 2018 at 5:58 pm.
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Old May 15th 2018, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
The one exception to that is Tarrytown, with decent housing within easy walking distance to the Main St / N Broadway shops and restos, the Music Hall, the library and the C-town supermarket.
The other exception is Bronxville, at least IMO
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Old May 16th 2018, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Of course, after writing about how Metro-North hardly ever has major disruption, today huge thunderstorms and string winds caused a suspension of service in the evening peak! That said, I wasn't more than half an hour late home once service resumed.
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Old May 16th 2018, 1:13 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
Of course, after writing about how Metro-North hardly ever has major disruption, today huge thunderstorms and string winds caused a suspension of service in the evening peak! That said, I wasn't more than half an hour late home once service resumed.
LOL, i was thinking about this thread and the trains as I sit here in the dark wondering when the power will be restored. Which looks as if it isn’t going to be any time soon.
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Old May 16th 2018, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

In case this helps... we are in southern Maine in a 3000 square foot house so it's colder here in winter but less hot in summer...
Gas central heating approx $150-200 per month - it went up quite a lot recently - used to go down to $50 a month in summer
Electricity approx $150 per month - we run window AC units in summer
Insurance for 3 vehicles $1200 a year with a $500 deductible (that includes insuring a 16 year old new driver which put it up a couple of hundred per year)
Internet $65 per month - fast enough for me to work from home and we watch all our TV over the internet
Don't have cable but we do have SmartDNS for $5 a month, Hulu for $7 (?) a month, Netflix for $15 a month, Amazon Prime at whatever it is a year now
Cellphones outrageously expensive as we have 3 kids who go through data like water - something like $220 a month for unlimited data for 6 lines
Water about $30 a month, no sewer here (we have a septic tank)
Vonage including a UK phone number $45 a month I think

Bear in mind your health insurance premiums come out of pre-tax income, and if you have a high deductible account you can put up to $6500-ish per year pre-tax income into a health savings account to cover out-of-pocket costs - this rolls over each year.

I'm sure someone will tell me I'm wrong on this, but my experience is that new cars are cheaper than they would be in the UK, but secondhand cars are more expensive.

We don't shop in Wholefoods - we have Hannafords which are excellent. I do get some stuff in Trader Joes occasionally.

Last edited by kins; May 16th 2018 at 2:49 am.
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Old May 17th 2018, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Hey OP,

So, exciting times - i’ve just made this move and it’s hard work, but worth it. A couple of hopefully useful thoughts.

In the city (Manhattan) landlords have a pretty hard rule that you need to be earning 40x your annual rent. So, if that rules applies in the areaa you’re looking at (I have no idea if it does) then you’d be limited to about $2,500 a month based on a $100k gross salary. I was asked to provide evidence of income at every stage of the process.

Also, and i’m sure others have said this, as you won’t have any credit history here you’ll have to put down extra security. Generally this is two months rent, we had to put down three. Worth asking your employer if they will loan you that - it’s very common.

Finally, tax, tax, tax. It’s hard to know what you will *actually* earn until you sit down with a tax advisor - as a guide from me, my take home is 64% of my gross salary, and I probably have less taken out than you (way less for healthcare for example, I don’t have kids and have a good company plan, so it’s only $300 per month). So please ask your company if they will pay for tax advice for you *now*.

Enjoy! It’s hard work making this move, but also amazing fun.
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Old May 17th 2018, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Moving to New York with job offer and visa

Thanks Arathe, that's really useful. That 40X salary stuff is the first time I've heard of anything like that - that's crazy! Hopefully if not in Manhattan up in Westchester they won't be insisting on this, anyone know? My actual salary is way lower than stated - heavily reliant on commission but should end up quite a bit over $100k.

Is Zillow the best/only place to be looking for rentals?

Re tax I had a look on the website smartasset.com and it looks pretty much in-line with what you're saying - around 60 - 65% take home.
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