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Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Old Aug 8th 2016, 9:44 am
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Default Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Hi guys,

We're soon to be moving to the US and are currently looking at renting.
We'll be coming over on a family visa

Can anyone advise whether its easy to buy a house rather than rent as it seems much more cost effective to buy, but I imagine theres complications buying when youve only been there 5 mins.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

I assume you meant "Moving from UK" so I fixed your thread title. Let me know if that's not what you meant.

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Old Aug 8th 2016, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by JP1975 View Post
Hi guys,

We're soon to be moving to the US and are currently looking at renting.
We'll be coming over on a family visa

Can anyone advise whether its easy to buy a house rather than rent as it seems much more cost effective to buy, but I imagine theres complications buying when youve only been there 5 mins.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
Family visa? What visa do you have?

Unless you have permanent residence status it is a bad idea to buy a home...as it will only be a temporary visa. If you lose your job you must leave the US within a short time frame. Also selling a house is expensive here...usually realtor fees are approx 6%.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

If you have a job lined up for when you arrive, buying is doable. Whether buying five minutes after you arrive is sensible is an entirely different matter.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
If you have a job lined up for when you arrive, buying is doable. Whether buying five minutes after you arrive is sensible is an entirely different matter.
It's the British way!! We looked at buying a house before we moved...so we would have something to live in right away. Thank goodness we didn't...I wouldn't have been happy living there. Lived in a rental for 2 years then found the perfect house in the perfect area.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
It's the British way!! We looked at buying a house before we moved...so we would have something to live in right away. Thank goodness we didn't...I wouldn't have been happy living there. Lived in a rental for 2 years then found the perfect house in the perfect area.
Likewise. We were desperately trying to buy, and it was only due to stupid delays in selling our house in London that we didn't rush into buying in New York.

We were so thankful in the end, when we decided that New York wasn't for us, that we didn't have a house anchoring is there. An immediate sale would have been a very costly mistake to have made.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Likewise. We were desperately trying to buy, and it was only due to stupid delays in selling our house in London that we didn't rush into buying in New York.

We were so thankful in the end, when we decided that New York wasn't for us, that we didn't have a house anchoring is there. An immediate sale would have been a very costly mistake to have made.
The OP has children...so schools must be a big consideration when looking for somewhere to live...when renting or buying.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 2:08 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Lots of people on here saying don't buy a house unless you have PR status.

For us I disagree and here is why.

1. We want our daughter in a good school and buying gives us the security of knowing which shook she will attend.

2. Renting a place we WANT to live in is expensive. $2000 a month at the moment vs Mortgage, tax and insurance of just over $1000 a month.

3. We had well over 50% as a down payment.

4. We bought in a great area where homes sell the day they are listed.

Yes there is always a risk but it is horse for courses.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
Lots of people on here saying don't buy a house unless you have PR status.

For us I disagree and here is why.

1. We want our daughter in a good school and buying gives us the security of knowing which shook she will attend.

2. Renting a place we WANT to live in is expensive. $2000 a month at the moment vs Mortgage, tax and insurance of just over $1000 a month.

3. We had well over 50% as a down payment.

4. We bought in a great area where homes sell the day they are listed.

Yes there is always a risk but it is horse for courses.
What if you lost your job and had to leave the US within a week or so? Or USCIS cocked the renewal process up when renewing your visa and you ran out of time and had to leave...again within a week or so? Both these scenarios have happened to our members....one is currently going through the former.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Aug 8th 2016 at 2:23 pm.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
.... 2. Renting a place we WANT to live in is expensive. $2000 a month at the moment vs Mortgage, tax and insurance of just over $1,000 a month. .....
$1,000/mth for a year is a modest cost compared to the 10% round-trip cost of buying and selling anything but a very small a house.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
What if you lost your job and had to leave the US within a week or so? Or USCIS cocked the renewal process up when renewing your visa and you ran out of time and had to leave...again within a week or so? Both these scenarios have happened to our members....one is currently going through the former.
We understand the risks and weighed up the pros and cons. The decision was that we wanted to buy. We have a sufficient cash buffer so that we would not be forced to sell immediately. I hope neither of those scenarios happen as its not just your home but your entire life that is messed up!

The fact that the primary employer is a large multinational bank that has transferred dozens of employees with no hiccups in the past was part of our risk assessment.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
We understand the risks and weighed up the pros and cons. The decision was that we wanted to buy. We have a sufficient cash buffer so that we would not be forced to sell immediately. I hope neither of those scenarios happen as its not just your home but your entire life that is messed up!

The fact that the primary employer is a large multinational bank that has transferred dozens of employees with no hiccups in the past was part of our risk assessment.
Large multinational banks are well known for the occasional job culling though.

I share the earlier view, no permanent visa no house buying.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
We understand the risks and weighed up the pros and cons. The decision was that we wanted to buy. We have a sufficient cash buffer so that we would not be forced to sell immediately. I hope neither of those scenarios happen as its not just your home but your entire life that is messed up!

The fact that the primary employer is a large multinational bank that has transferred dozens of employees with no hiccups in the past was part of our risk assessment.
Do you have children? I would rather rent in the school district of my choice...giving me time to assess if the school is the right choice for my child/children.
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

Thanks for all the replies guys.

Me personally, I will be trying to start my small business again and be a stay at home dad, however my partner has a job lined up which is a relocation from her office in the UK and will be working as a Finance Director.
We are coming over on a family visa, an LS-1 or something like that.

Permanent Residency is something we want to get asap, not fully aware of the process, timescales, cost etc at the moment but we will be looking at it once we have settled a bit.

Buying a home after 5 mins of being there was an exaggeration.
It certainly looks cheaper to have a mortgage than it does rent, quite considerably.
We are currently looking at renting at around $2000 per month, whereas a mortgage on the same house is around $1100.

Still a little bit in the dark about whether to buy or not. I understand some have said its a risk, others have said its doable if the job is secure and others are glad they didnt, although these seem to be due to not liking the area as opposed to any complications or problems.

Oh, and yes we have twin boys of 5 years old and yes schools are very important to us. However, thats just down to area, and we wouldnt buy a house in an area we werent sure of.

I think im trying to understand, other than the risks and potential VISA cock ups, a bit more of the process. I probably should have been a bit more specific, so heres a couple of Q's if thats ok....

Is it difficult to do?
Are there many hidden costs involved?
How do people from UK deal with credit checks when in the US?
Is there a minimum down payment?

Thanks again, this forum is so amazingly helpful (Y)
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Old Aug 8th 2016, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving from UK to Atlanta - Buy or Rent a home?

I wonder if you are taking into account all the costs that are included in the rental figure, but which you will be liable for as a house owner, on top of the mortgage?

The cost of ownership goes way beyond a mortgage payment.
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