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Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Old Sep 28th 2012, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post
Not familiar at all with the USA unfortunately...
Seems a bit of a gamble.
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

If you want to be near the water in VA, take a look at Williamsburg. I would suggest Fredericksburg or Charlottesville myself. Charlottesville is in/on the edge of the mountains. Fredericksburg is almost near the northern VA/Washington area. Northern VA is very urban/suburban and it is sprawling. Norfolk/VA Beach area has crime, it's a tough area. If culture and water are essential you should look at Charleston, South Carolina or Savannah, Georgia. South Carolina has growing employment.
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Old Sep 28th 2012, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post
We live in Farnham (Surrey) a 10 min drive to Guildford, but can easily reach the coast in 1hr (Portsmouth / Southhampton).
Congrats on the DV win. That's quite unusual as native Brits with no other ancestry don't qualify. I know some Brits with Irish roots that have tried the DV. But you live in Farnham - do you consider you have a good job there? If so, are you absolutely sure that moving to the USA is your best option? It will be an adventure for sure but since you admit to not knowing anything about this place, the adventure will be fraught with pitfalls so be prepared.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 12:35 am
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post
Not familiar at all with the USA unfortunately...
Been there, bought the T-shirt and wrote the book.

It will be tough, it will be scary, it will be bewildering.

Will it be worth it? Hopefully...yes! Just be prepared for lots of ups and downs, frustrations and doubts.

We did it over 23 years ago. It wasn't easy at all to start with and many times we almost gave up but now life is not so bad and I guess we are here to stay

Good luck to you and your family.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 12:56 am
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Ha! I'm from Farnham. Small world.

If you're not familiar with the US, I would take this quiz: http://findyourspot.com/ I think you need to sign up with an email address but that's it. It will ask you a lot of questions, from your preferred climate to the size of the town/city you'd like to live in to your preferred weekend actitives, and it's a great place to start. The US is huge, and there are large portions of the country that have a warm to moderate climate: basically from the Carolinas all the way down the east coast, and all the way across the country to southern California.

Personally I'd look at places other than Fairfax and Arlington unless you love suburbia and traffic. Proximity to the ocean might also be a tough call. It would also rule out some very beautiful parts of the country like the Southwest, or inland parts of Virginia and North Carolina. Also, remember that seaside culture doesn't exist in the US in the same way it exists in the UK. The US is a very different country, and you might have to be willing to let go of some UK comforts like days at the seaside.

Last edited by Rose tea; Sep 29th 2012 at 1:01 am.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 6:36 am
  #21  
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by redarmy990 View Post
why oh why virginia

maryland is much nicer

we live in rockville. were 2 and a half hours from ocean city md and go every other weekend in the summer.

were going for thanksgiving too

15 minutes on the metro from dc and all the sights. too.

been here since end of june and i loveeeeeeeeeeee it
Amen brother!
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

In answer to the various posts:

OH not keen living in Virginia or Washington, so that effectively rules these places out. OH is leaning towards Chicago (then San Francisco, Seattle or Houston).

It is a gamble especially having a toddler, but after weighing up the pros and cons will I be saying 'what if we had gone further down the road?'.
The global economic situation is not helping when you don't have a job waiting for you.

The old chestnut of health insurance - we intend to buy one before we arrive or at least on arrival so will budget for this in the growing list of expenses until hopefully I get a job that may offer health insurance as part of the package.

Is uprooting my family the right decision? Bearing in mind I'm the principal applicant. Yes and No.
As a mum Farnham offers amenities at my doorstep, GP, leisure center, parks, town centre, cycling etc. No need for a car. Just a 10mins walk to the train station. However commute into London is a grind takes anywhere from 1hr 45min to 2hr door to door.

Will our standard & quality of life improve? Hard to say, aside from the financial cost of moving, settling etc if it didn't work out we could always come back home skint and rebuild our lives (and obviously much wiser)!
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 2:15 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Well, I hope it works out well for you, as you say you've got to give these things a go if you get a chance.

However, it's not like picking a holiday destination, which is what some of your post reads like. Is your OH familiar with the USA? If neither of you are, then one of the main pitfalls when coming here is thinking that you are familiar with the place from what you see on tv and films, and then finding it's not what you think at all and really struggling psychologically.

In some ways its better to prepare yourself by thinking you are coming to an exotic and alien country, and then be pleasantly surprised at the parts that you don't have to struggle with.

In your situation I would be tempted to say advise you to prioritise the job first, wherever it is in the country. That will get you feet on the ground, healthcare (hopefully) and a feel for the place. Then after a year-18 months on your CV you can look around for a better fit job in the location you want to be in.

You may have to take baby steps - ie a job with less responsibility and salary than you're used to and maybe even in a job that is completely unrelated to your career to date, renting not buying property, older car etc., while you get orientated with both the job market and the way of living.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post
OH not keen living in Virginia or Washington, so that effectively rules these places out. OH is leaning towards Chicago (then San Francisco, Seattle or Houston).
I would highly recommend visiting the US first and check some of these places out. Is it really absolutely not possible to take a one week break at the least and go out there? The idea of moving to Houston blind just fills me with dread: Houston is as far as possible from the lifestyle you have in Farnham, and NOT in a good way. Have you ever been to a place like Houston in the summer?

Also, you've not mentioned any of the more moderately priced cities close to the areas you've mentioned like Portland, Oakland, Omaha, Dallas, Lafayette...the list goes on. These kinds of places provide excellent quality of life for 1/3 to 1/4 of the cost of some of the places you've mentioned. Please consider some of these as well.

Bear in mind as well that the is US can be extremely different culturally from the UK, as well as from other parts of the US. The kinds of people and lifestyles you'll encounter in Houston are very different from those in, say, Boston, which is different again from Anchorage or Salt Lake.

Last edited by Rose tea; Sep 29th 2012 at 9:36 pm.
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Old Sep 29th 2012, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post
OH not keen living in Virginia or Washington, so that effectively rules these places out. OH is leaning towards Chicago (then San Francisco, Seattle or Houston).
Why Chicago? It's OK but also a bit isolated which means there are not many options for things to do outside of the city. Washington, DC is much more interesting in that it's close to mountains, ocean, and other interesting cities.

Why anyone would want to move to Houston is beyond me.but to each their own.

I like San Francisco but it's expensive to live there. I also like Seattle but it gets a lot of rain.
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Old Sep 30th 2012, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Why Chicago? It's OK but also a bit isolated which means there are not many options for things to do outside of the city. Washington, DC is much more interesting in that it's close to mountains, ocean, and other interesting cities.

Why anyone would want to move to Houston is beyond me.but to each their own.

I like San Francisco but it's expensive to live there. I also like Seattle but it gets a lot of rain.
I just don't understand all the Houston bashing, especially from people that have never lived here or even visited before.

It's a big city, and like all big cities it has problems but it is well spread out and there are lots of safe and very nice places to live. Indeed the weather takes some getting used to but you can say that about alot of the states in the US.

There are some excellent school districts in the Houston area and Texas has some great Universities. The medical center in Houston is one of the best in the country, with MD Anderson Cancer Center well known for its treatment.
skills.

Also the cost of living is cheaper than most states and we have no state income tax. Add to the equation that Houston has a wonderful theater district, Opera Society and the great Cynthia Woods Pavillon where all the top names perform along with all the great sport from the Texans football team, Dynamos soccer and the Houston Astros (although pretty pitiful this year), and of course the Museum District with the constant new exhibits in the HFAM. NASA and just down the highway Galveston Island and very importantly an international airport..... what more would anyone need!
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Old Sep 30th 2012, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
I just don't understand all the Houston bashing, especially from people that have never lived here or even visited before.
I agree that Houston gets a bit of an unfair bashing. The arts and museum culture in Houston is fab, and the people are really friendly. I personally wouldn't live there because my lifestyle isn't very well represented there and I hate humidity, but it's a fun place to visit.

I do think, though, that for someone moving from a small town like Farnham where everything is in walking distance and the climate is very mild, it would be a huge culture shock. The OP doesn't seem to know what she wants (beach access and warm weather, then suddenly a large city in the chilly midwest), and I would argue that Houston is an acquired taste. It's got all the things that Brits who haven't been here much aren't used to: sprawl, heat, car culture, and large suburbs. But it's certainly not unique in that sense.
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Old Sep 30th 2012, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
I just don't understand all the Houston bashing, especially from people that have never lived here or even visited before.

It's a big city, and like all big cities it has problems but it is well spread out and there are lots of safe and very nice places to live. Indeed the weather takes some getting used to but you can say that about alot of the states in the US.

There are some excellent school districts in the Houston area and Texas has some great Universities. The medical center in Houston is one of the best in the country, with MD Anderson Cancer Center well known for its treatment.
skills.

Also the cost of living is cheaper than most states and we have no state income tax. Add to the equation that Houston has a wonderful theater district, Opera Society and the great Cynthia Woods Pavillon where all the top names perform along with all the great sport from the Texans football team, Dynamos soccer and the Houston Astros (although pretty pitiful this year), and of course the Museum District with the constant new exhibits in the HFAM. NASA and just down the highway Galveston Island and very importantly an international airport..... what more would anyone need!
Sorry but this is a bit like someone who finds themselves living in Bradford, Middlesbrough or Hull trying to sell their city to someone moving from the US to the UK. Glad you like Houston but, given the chance to move anywhere in the US, Houston wouldn't be on the list for most people. Would be interested in knowing why it's on the OP's list. Personally I think Houston is a sh*t hole - pardon my French.
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Old Sep 30th 2012, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Sorry but this is a bit like someone who finds themselves living in Bradford, Middlesbrough or Hull trying to sell their city to someone moving from the US to the UK. Glad you like Houston but, given the chance to move anywhere in the US, Houston wouldn't be on the list for most people. Would be interested in knowing why it's on the OP's list. Personally I think Houston is a sh*t hole - pardon my French.
And this conclusion is based from when you lived in Houston/Texas/Gulf Coast?
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Old Sep 30th 2012, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Virginia in February 2013

San Francisco, it's a very "European" city, very walkable (you don't *need* to own a car), near the water (but v cold) and with a climate close to the UK. It's expensive but worth it. There is even a health program there called Healthy San Francisco, you have to prove residence but that should only take a few months. Rent is raising exponentially due to Dot Com 2.0 but there are some affordable areas left, like the outer sunset or outer richmond.

I'm California born and raised and it is absolutely the best state. I've been to them all.
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