Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Moving to Southern California/Florida

Moving to Southern California/Florida

Old Feb 4th 2020, 6:18 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 8
emfram is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Moving to Southern California/Florida

Hello,
My Husband, 17yr, 15yr, 5yr old and I are planning on re-locating to Southern California in the next few months.
We were looking at Santa Monica, Malibu areas, but they are very expensive! So we have now been looking at the Orange county.
My husbands salary will be around $200,000 before tax. We were hoping to live on the coast- are we being realistic? I have also been looking at Irvine, Mission Viejo and Santa Margarita.
We would ideally like to be close to L.A as my son boxes and the clubs there are very good. Obviously looking to next to good schools to.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

P.s I have seen we will have to re-take our driving tests!! What is this like??
emfram is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 6:28 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 245
GeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond reputeGeneralPowerpoint has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

To get it out of the way, you'll probably want to specify on what visa you plan to relocate before getting any further.
GeneralPowerpoint is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 6:34 pm
  #3  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 8
emfram is an unknown quantity at this point
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

I guess my husband will have one through his company so he can work, where as I will not be able to work.
To be honest I am not really sure- I think his company will sort that all out?
emfram is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 6:59 pm
  #4  
Deep in the woods of CT
 
Nutmegger's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,031
Nutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond reputeNutmegger has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

Originally Posted by emfram View Post
I guess my husband will have one through his company so he can work, where as I will not be able to work.
To be honest I am not really sure- I think his company will sort that all out?
Welcome to BE! Is your husband being transferred by his current employer? You might want to say where his office is actually located, so that the good folks in SoCal can take into consideration commuting times when they suggest suitable places to you.
Nutmegger is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 7:19 pm
  #5  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 8
emfram is an unknown quantity at this point
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

He is, but he is not office based, so we just need to be near an airport.
his office is actually in Palo Alto, but he will only be there on the rare occasion.

Thank you
emfram is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 7:22 pm
  #6  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Boiler's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 33,360
Boiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

How long are you going for?
Boiler is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 7:35 pm
  #7  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 8
emfram is an unknown quantity at this point
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

Who knows?! Depends how we get on over there.
I have been looking loads and it seems Huntington beach has affordable houses to rent and good schools.
It is so hard to choose areas to visit from a computer!
We felt down near L.A was a better climate and beaches than the Bay area in San Fran?
emfram is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 7:44 pm
  #8  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Boiler's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 33,360
Boiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond reputeBoiler has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

Well with a 17 year old and ageing out could be an issue, many on here have commented on moving temporarily with children especially of that age and its impact on their education.

Is the company paying for a visit? You are mentioning quite a wide geographical spread and the traffic there is horrendous.

Last edited by Boiler; Feb 4th 2020 at 7:46 pm.
Boiler is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 8:10 pm
  #9  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 935
sherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

The biggest issue with LA and surrounds is the traffic: constant gridlock! Although if you don't have to commute to an office then things shouldn't be too bad.

200k pre tax is really not an awful lot to live on for a family of five in coastal California (the cost of EVERYTHING except petrol is much higher than the UK, plus you have to factor in health insurance and associated costs for five) and with the age your kids are, you are going to be looking at needed four cars.

Also note that in the US your address dictates which school your kids can go to. The better the school the higher the house prices. And you really, really don't want to send your kids to a 'bad' school.

Have you considered San Diego as an alternative? It's not cheaper than LA but a slightly more laid back, safer lifestyle.

Regarding the driving test, it's super easy, much much easier than in the UK. Just find a video on youtube 'driving test in XX town, California' and you'll get an idea of what you need to do (I literally drove around for 5 minutes, reversed backwards until the instructor said stop and that was it).
sherbert is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 8:36 pm
  #10  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 8
emfram is an unknown quantity at this point
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

The health insurance is included.
4 cars??
How many miles should we be looking at between house and schools?
When I have been looking through different websites, it shows people moving to these areas with less money?? How much should we be asking for???

The areas that I have seen houses are Torrance, Huntington beach and Irvine. All say they have good schools and low crime rates.
emfram is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 8:44 pm
  #11  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 58,194
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

The premium for health insurance might be covered (in part or in full) by the employer, but you will still have out of pocket co pays and deductibles.

If he is transferring with his current company, it's most likely an L visa, which allows you (but not the kids) to apply for work authorization.

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 9:29 pm
  #12  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 935
sherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond reputesherbert has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

Originally Posted by emfram View Post
The health insurance is included.
4 cars??
How many miles should we be looking at between house and schools?
When I have been looking through different websites, it shows people moving to these areas with less money?? How much should we be asking for???

The areas that I have seen houses are Torrance, Huntington beach and Irvine. All say they have good schools and low crime rates.
I forgot that you husband won't be commuting: there's not much public transport in suburbia. In California car is king. Distances are huge and walking/cycling is often not an option. That's not to say you can't get out on your bikes - you can, there are bike lanes, but not having a car is not an option. The kids learn to drive at 16 here and so I assume your kids will need their own cars to have any kind of independent life. You'll need two cars at least. And insurance is INSANELY high.

I don't know how big the catchment areas for the schools are but I suggest that when you have decided on where you are going, you look up which schools have the best ratings and try to find housing in that area.

It's unlikely that your health insurance will be 100% covered by the company. Often, when adding on family members, the employee will pay extra. For example, if I was not on my OH's insurance, he would bay $7 (yes 7) a month. With me on it, he pays $650 a month (!!!!!!) for two of us. Also, in addition to the monthly payments, you will likely have to pay a portion of your visits to the doctor and any medication or procedures you have (co-pays). So, you will need to factor this into your budget.

Unless your husband is coming on a H1-B or an O-1, you should be able to work (if you wanted to). I honestly think that the salary is low. State and Federal taxes are the highest in the country and you pay a premium for living anywhere coastal (and you really, really don't want to go inland).

I don't mean to sound discouraging but want to caution about the costs. There are many threads on here about living and moving to SoCal so you can see what others have said/experience.

All those areas are fine. I'd probably go for Huntington Beach. Torrance is also OK but Irvine is possibly the most boring place in the entire area.
sherbert is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 9:30 pm
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2017
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 357
TexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

Originally Posted by emfram View Post
The health insurance is included.
That doesn't really mean anything without knowing what insurer, what level of coverage, what proportion of the premium the employer is covering (100% is very rare), what level of deductible you will have ($0 is very rare) and what sort of co-pays you will expect.

You NEED to ask the employer all off the above, as most employers will "include health insurance" but will countless variations when it comes to cost and coverage.
TexanScot is offline  
Old Feb 4th 2020, 9:32 pm
  #14  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2017
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 357
TexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond reputeTexanScot has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
I honestly think that the salary is low. State and Federal taxes are the highest in the country and you pay a premium for living anywhere coastal (and you really, really don't want to go inland).

I don't mean to sound discouraging but want to caution about the costs.
It's amazing how I used to think that $200k was an incredible amount of money and in many ways it still is, but it really isn't as much as people think when it comes to supporting an entire family in Southern California.
TexanScot is offline  
Old Feb 5th 2020, 2:14 am
  #15  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 193
Alan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond reputeAlan17 has a reputation beyond repute
Default re: Moving to Southern California/Florida

If you’re looking to move to OC bear in mind that going to LA for a boxing club could involve a 2 hour each way drive if you’re going up in an evening through the week, easily.

The color you are to the beach the more it costs and the less you get. If you need to be near an airport, and John Wayne airport will get you where you need, you may want to look at some areas a little more inland, like Tustin, Lake Forest, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Aliso Viejo. Basically west of the Santa Ana mountains so you’re the right side of summer heat. Take a look at Greatschools.com together an idea of school districts. Catchment areas are a little odd so you can’t say a distance, but most realtor websites like Zillow will link to school sites to tell you the quality. Bear in mind that given some of the large ethnic areas some of the good schools have large percentages of certain ethnicities - google TigerMoms in Irvine (and I’ll leave it at that). Get a local realtor to help you look for a lease or take a good look yourselves if you visit.

You may not need 4 cars (or 3) but public transport here is pretty non existent. I wouldn’t worry about the complexity of the driving test, a blind monkey could pass it.
Alan17 is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.