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Nice places in NY/NJ?

Nice places in NY/NJ?

Old Mar 25th 2007, 9:46 am
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Default Nice places in NY/NJ?

I'm thinking about moving to NY or NJ within the next year or so. What places would you recommend to live in within 45 min commute of downtown Manhattan (NYC)? What are the house prices like (say for a 3-bed detached with a reasonable yard)?

I'm mainly concerned about living somewhere safe to bring up children in (I'm newly married). I don't mind living in an apartment for the first year or two, but eventually want to move to a bigger house.

My reasons for moving to the U.S. are: supposedly better quality of life and lower cost of housing. We currently live in Essex, just outside of London.

I would also welcome comments from anyone who previously worked in London and now works in NYC - how do the two cities (and/or its suburbs) compare in terms of transport, commute, crime, taxation, quality of life, people, weather, etc? I've visited NYC several times but only for two-weeks at a time for work reasons and never really been to the suburbs.

More specifically: Is taxation lower in NJ/NY compared to the UK? Is the NJ Transit / PATH / NY subway really more reliable, efficient or cheaper compared to the London Tube? Do you find your income is lower/higher than it would have been in the UK for an equivalent job? How have you adjusted to the weather? Do you get less vacation time than in the UK?

Lots of questions, sorry - Thanks very much in advance!
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by ma7419 View Post
I'm thinking about moving to NY or NJ within the next year or so. What places would you recommend to live in within 45 min commute of downtown Manhattan (NYC)? What are the house prices like (say for a 3-bed detached with a reasonable yard)?

I'm mainly concerned about living somewhere safe to bring up children in (I'm newly married). I don't mind living in an apartment for the first year or two, but eventually want to move to a bigger house.

My reasons for moving to the U.S. are: supposedly better quality of life and lower cost of housing. We currently live in Essex, just outside of London.

I would also welcome comments from anyone who previously worked in London and now works in NYC - how do the two cities (and/or its suburbs) compare in terms of transport, commute, crime, taxation, quality of life, people, weather, etc? I've visited NYC several times but only for two-weeks at a time for work reasons and never really been to the suburbs.

More specifically: Is taxation lower in NJ/NY compared to the UK? Is the NJ Transit / PATH / NY subway really more reliable, efficient or cheaper compared to the London Tube? Do you find your income is lower/higher than it would have been in the UK for an equivalent job? How have you adjusted to the weather? Do you get less vacation time than in the UK?

Lots of questions, sorry - Thanks very much in advance!
We recently moved to Westchester county - about 30-50 minutes on the train into Grand Central. To get the kind of house you are talking about will be $800k to $1m - but there are cheaper areas too I have no doubt. Difficult to comment on the tax as I am on an expat package but you have to pay NYC tax as well as federal tax.

Cost of living in the states is generally cheaper - although NYC is probably the most expensive in the US (or one of them) but the cost of living is all relevant to your salary over here - so its different for everyone's personal circumstances.

Do you have a job lined up - as you will see from the threads on here thats not always as easy as you might think!
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by ma7419 View Post
I'm thinking about moving to NY or NJ within the next year or so. What places would you recommend to live in within 45 min commute of downtown Manhattan (NYC)? What are the house prices like (say for a 3-bed detached with a reasonable yard)?

I'm mainly concerned about living somewhere safe to bring up children in (I'm newly married). I don't mind living in an apartment for the first year or two, but eventually want to move to a bigger house.

My reasons for moving to the U.S. are: supposedly better quality of life and lower cost of housing. We currently live in Essex, just outside of London.

I would also welcome comments from anyone who previously worked in London and now works in NYC - how do the two cities (and/or its suburbs) compare in terms of transport, commute, crime, taxation, quality of life, people, weather, etc? I've visited NYC several times but only for two-weeks at a time for work reasons and never really been to the suburbs.

More specifically: Is taxation lower in NJ/NY compared to the UK? Is the NJ Transit / PATH / NY subway really more reliable, efficient or cheaper compared to the London Tube? Do you find your income is lower/higher than it would have been in the UK for an equivalent job? How have you adjusted to the weather? Do you get less vacation time than in the UK?

Lots of questions, sorry - Thanks very much in advance!
There have been many threads on this very subject...try using search option at the top of the page...then come back to us with any questions you may have.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Thanks for the info Big D. As far a job goes, there's a good chance I can get a transfer through my company, and will not move unless that happens.

Jerseygirl, I did search and read through many of the threads, but wanted some more specific info. I'll search again though, thanks.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 6:39 pm
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Exclamation Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

I disagree that the taxes and cost of living in the US are "generally cheaper".

Federal tax = 28%
State tax (CA) = nearly 10% (I think)

Then there's:

Medicare
Social security
Health care premiums, co-pays' deductibles, things that aren't covered (and dentists charge WAY more than in the UK - and if you have kids they will need braces... all kids in the US "need" braces...)
Property taxes
Sales tax (not usually included in prices)

Have I left anything out?

(Other than the cost of trips back home - which can add a significant sum to the household budget, particularly for people with school-age kids who can only travel in the summer or at Christmas.)

And all this is before you factor in the fact that most people only get 2-3 weeks "leave" a year, sick days are limited or nonexistent, and many women do not get maternity pay (and unpaid maternity leave is typically less than 3 months...).

Other than that it's the land of milk and honey...

Last edited by Elvira; Mar 25th 2007 at 7:06 pm. Reason: MILK!!! (low-fat, of course) + nuts and flakes for those in CA... :)
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

worry about how you can get here first, if you can't get the visa, no point in bothering thinking about it....if you can get the L1, lovely.

As for NY/NJ....do a search, plenty of threads recently about locations, so that'll be a good start.

Cost of living though, it ain't any lower compared to london....taxes are high, might be indirect such as medical insurance, but for all intense purposes, it's another tax.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I disagree that the taxes and cost of living in the US are "generally cheaper".
Federal tax = 28%
................is before you factor in the fact that most people only get 2-3 weeks "leave" a year, sick days are limited or nonexistent, and many women do not get maternity pay (and unpaid maternity leave is typically less than 3 months...).
Other than that it's the land of mild and honey...
Yeah, what she said.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 7:06 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by Lycanthrop View Post
Yeah, what she said.
Wise beyond my years - right?
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
worry about how you can get here first, if you can't get the visa, no point in bothering thinking about it....if you can get the L1, lovely.

As for NY/NJ....do a search, plenty of threads recently about locations, so that'll be a good start.

Cost of living though, it ain't any lower compared to london....taxes are high, might be indirect such as medical insurance, but for all intense purposes, it's another tax.
Thanks Elvira.

Bob, I work for a large American financial services company based in London. and as I said before, they are likely to be able to transfer me to NYC, and therefore sort out the visa. Right now I'm more curious about whether it will be the right move for me.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by ma7419 View Post
Thanks Elvira.

Bob, I work for a large American financial services company based in London. and as I said before, they are likely to be able to transfer me to NYC, and therefore sort out the visa. Right now I'm more curious about whether it will be the right move for me.
NY metropolitan area...which is NY/NJ/Con...is expensive. Although obviously you can find cheaper areas...depends what you want really. We live about 30 miles from NYC...1 hr on the train...45 mins by the car on a good day.

If you work in NYC you will also have to pay NYC tax as well as state tax and federal tax...no matter what state you live in. NJ has the highest property taxes in the country.

As Elvira said the cost of living is not necessarily cheaper here than the UK. We found it much more expensive but we moved here from Chester...if you're in the London area you will probably find it comparable...apart from the healthcare costs.

Search through Englishmum's posts over the last 12 mths...she's provided useful links to services, schools etc.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Wise beyond my years - right?
Just done a bit.......can I have that semi now please?
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Agree with other posters on cost of living.

We are no better off by the time you pay for the stuff thats paid covered in the UK.

Clothes are cheaper but thats about it and thats if you can actually find a whole wardrobe full here!

Oh but of course fuel and cost of cars too.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

I see you have children. Expensive areas tend to be extremely safe...due to high property taxes which pay for an excellent police force. Good schools are also in the expensive areas again due to property taxes.

There are many hidden costs associated with life in the US...as previously mentioned property taxes are one of them...another is charitable donations. You are expected to donate to your local police, fire, ambulance, hospital, school annually. If you are working for a large company you will probably be hounded to the point of embarrassment by them to make a hefty donation to a large charity of their choice each year. Car insurance and utilities are also very expensive.

Eating at McD's and filling your car with petrol is much less than in the UK.

Religion plays a large part in many Americans' lives...nothing wrong with that...it's just not what most Brits are used to. If you are not a member of your local church you may find it difficult to get into the local scene or make many friends.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Mar 25th 2007 at 9:52 pm.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

I previously worked in the city for 4 yrs and now I work in Midtown having made the move 2.5 yrs ago. Before I begin, I should say at the outset hat all references to New York = Manhattan. I am aware that there are four other boroughs out there, but you will rarely find me in them.

Cost of living, as mentioned above it depends very much on an individual’s salary and where one draws a line between needs and wants. In my opinion, life in New York is cheaper than life in London with the notable exception of housing. Taxi’s are plentiful and cheap, the subway runs 24hrs and is less than a pound for a ride anywhere (no inhibiting zone system!), eating out is cheap and generally very good. Sales tax is 10% less than VAT. The list goes on and on.

As for tax itself, you pay federal, state and city. On top of that medical insurance is in essence a private tax, but there are also lots of tax credits there for the taking. I would say the two countries stack up pretty equally on this front in terms of the actual overall percentage of your wage you see each month. When I moved tax was not a consideration and it still isn’t today. I try not to think about how governments see more of ‘my’ money than I do.

Back to housing, I live on the Upper East Side where a one bed in a doorman building will cost about $2,500+ a month. Two beds start at a fraction under $4,000 but these are for full service buildings. Live in a walk up, move to the East Village etc and you can pay considerably less but make no bones about it, it is expensive. On the flip side, so is London and the comparable districts would be places like Mayfair, Belgravia, Sloane Sq etc.

Crime, I have had to encounter any problems or even witness a crime. There is less of a drinking culture and the bars are open way into the night so there is no sudden rush of idiots all hitting the streets together at 11pm. Instead there is a constant ebb and flow of humanity at all hours and that makes it feel very safe. It is extremely rare, at whatever the time, to be the only person walking down any of the main avenues. Safer than London? I don’t know what the statistics say but often ‘safe’ is a matter of perception and I have felt threaten far more often in London than I ever have out here.
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Old Mar 25th 2007, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Nice places in NY/NJ?

Originally Posted by ma7419 View Post
Thanks Elvira.

Bob, I work for a large American financial services company based in London. and as I said before, they are likely to be able to transfer me to NYC, and therefore sort out the visa. Right now I'm more curious about whether it will be the right move for me.
You'll be in for the L1...that's good, as there's no quota on it like the H1...and your spouse could get an L2 and then apply for an EAD, to allow work...any kids wouldn't be allowed to work.

As for holiday time, your transferring, get your UK allowance, because if not, it's utterly crap here...seriously. Many people would be lucky to get 7 days holiday after a years employment, including sick days....so getting 21 days would be fantastic, anything over that is icing on the cake...oh, do make sure that public holidays aren't included in your holiday allowance.

Other things to look out for, further out in the burbs you go, well you'll need a car anyway, especially in the burbs, but insurance will be a killer, it'll be higher if your working in any city, nevermind NYC, running a car ain't cheap...and having no credit history means your first year will be more expensive for many things, ranging from getting that car insurance, having deposits on many of your utilities, getting a mobile phone, credit cards, decent rates on loans etc....It might not be a deal breaker, but it's certainly something to consider when your totting up your initial spending budget, because you'll have far less money than you thought you might.
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