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UK to Texas - what's it really like?

UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Old Jul 12th 2016, 2:32 pm
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Default UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Hi all
Long story short, there may be an opportunity for us at some point in the future to relocate to the Dallas area as my husband's company has an office there... Bla bla... You get the idea
As we all know, living somewhere permanently is very different from visiting for a few days or weeks at a time so I was wondering what everyone's experiences were...
What surprised you (positively or negatively)?
Do you like it there? Why or why not?
What do you wish you'd known before making the move?
What would you have done differently?
I'm literally looking for any info you can give, even if it's just that shampoo was very expensive out there
Thanks in advance
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

It's hot in the summer like you wouldn't believe, and you will drive further than you'd ever imagine for everyday tasks - 5 miles to buy "a few groceries", 10 miles for lunch, and 30 miles for dinner. It sounds crazy, but driving those distances very quickly becomes normal. That said, outside of rush hour, most of the roads are good enough that you can make very good time.
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

..... and, unfortunately, it appears to be obsessed with guns. One of the few states to have 'open carry' policies.
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by Tanja87 View Post
Hi all
Long story short, there may be an opportunity for us at some point in the future to relocate to the Dallas area as my husband's company has an office there... Bla bla... You get the idea
As we all know, living somewhere permanently is very different from visiting for a few days or weeks at a time so I was wondering what everyone's experiences were...
What surprised you (positively or negatively)?
Do you like it there? Why or why not?
What do you wish you'd known before making the move?
What would you have done differently?
I'm literally looking for any info you can give, even if it's just that shampoo was very expensive out there
Thanks in advance
Biggest difference is that it's hot, really hot from end of May-ish to end of September. This impacts life enormously if you are used to getting out and about in the summer days. I'm south of you in Austin by about 200 miles but temps are about the same. Get a house with a pool or an apartment with a pool and it's better.

Some things are cheaper, others you will pay more for. Healthcare will cost you but there's no state income tax, so that probably evens that out somewhat. Car insurance is ridiculously expensive - budget about $200-$300 a month for that but petrol is about $2 a gallon.

I like Austin. Dallas not so much. They are very different.

Being so far away from family and friends in the UK/EU is a tough one. 6 or 7 hours time difference is a tough one and the cost of returning home means you probably won't go back as often as you really want to. Unless you are v well paid of course.
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

We have lived in Houston, TX for 8 years and lets just say the honeymoon period is over now. Its hot and humid for 9 months out of the year but winter is lovely. Hubby loves the heat and will lie out in it and sweat, The Dude (17) and I hibernate for 9 months emerging into a beautiful winter period.

It's busy - huge freeways and millions of cars, we got used to it pretty quickly though and the 17 year old is now out there driving in it.

It's not as 'cheap' as everyone thinks it is - yes you do get more house for your money and there is no state income tax but property taxes are high for a nice house in a nice area. Renting can be expensive if you want a house with pool etc.

Cars are less expensive - car insurance is really expensive. Gas is cheap but you will rack up miles. Hubby's 6 year old car was traded in with 125K miles.

The gun thing - the media has it in your face 24/7 but in 8 years I have never witnessed a gun incident, nor even heard a gun going off but yes they are there, and recently I've been more bothered by them (my age?, the fact that kiddo is out there?, media coverage? all of the above?, who knows)

Fast internet and cell phone service is expensive.

You can find most British stuff between your local Brit store, the internet and Amazon

Keep in mind that I am comparing to prices in the UK 8 years ago, I am sure things have gone up in price there as well.

We are still happy here and plan to be here for the foreseeable future, The Dude says he never wants to go back to the UK but he was 9 when we left so what does he know

Feel free to PM me (or ask on here) if there is anything specific you can think that you want to know and good luck
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
.... Healthcare will cost you but there's no state income tax, so that probably evens that out somewhat. ....
I think the more interesting comparison is state income tax and properties tax, as they both fund broadly the same things. I compared my property + income tax in NC with another BEer who has a roughly similar house in Texas, and although he pays no income tax, his property tax was about the same as my property + income taxes combined.
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Oh and Healthcare !!

Before you move find out exactly what policies are being offered, make sure you are covered from the minute you step off the plane. Find out exactly how much it will cost.

Really take the time to understand your policy, ask HR, ask colleagues - even though we thought we understood it all, there were things we didn't really appreciate. Luckily we haven't had to use it much but it is better to know up front so you are not shocked.
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I think the more interesting comparison is state income tax and properties tax, as they both fund broadly the same things. I compared my property + income tax in NC with another BEer who has a roughly similar house in Texas, and although he pays no income tax, his property tax was about the same as my property + income taxes combined.
yes, you're right.

I compare my property tax to what I was paying in France and it's about the same. But inFrance I paid income tax and social charges on top. So, we are better off even with property taxes that people regard as high.
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Old Jul 12th 2016, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
.... I compare my property tax to what I was paying in France and it's about the same. But inFrance I paid income tax and social charges on top. So, we are better off even with property taxes that people regard as high.
I pay about the same property tax for 2775 sqft, four bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms, a large double garage, and 1½ acres, as I did for a 700sqft terraced house on 0.03acres in London.
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Old Jul 13th 2016, 1:20 am
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Wow! Thank you for all your replies! I wasn't really after any specific kind of information, just anything you guys could tell me, really...
I've heard about the property taxes being high (I'm guessing that's kind of like council tax over here?) but the car insurance... Wow! That's steep!
Hot weather is fine by me - I love it! A bit tough while the kids are still small I guess (they're 3 and 1 now) but I'm sure with time everyone would get used to it - thank goodness for air con Ideally somewhere down the line we'd like to get a house with a pool and some land (that's IF we were to go over, of course) - @Pulaski, your home sounds amazing!!
Does anyone have any experiences with the school system or childcare options out there? Obviously leaving family ("babysitters") behind means we'd rely on that sort of thing probably more than being here...
And yeah, anything else you could tell me really - I love reading all you replies, getting proper insights into what it's all about out there
Thank you all!
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Old Jul 13th 2016, 2:24 am
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by Tanja87 View Post
Wow! Thank you for all your replies! I wasn't really after any specific kind of information, just anything you guys could tell me, really...
I've heard about the property taxes being high (I'm guessing that's kind of like council tax over here?) but the car insurance... Wow! That's steep!
Hot weather is fine by me - I love it! A bit tough while the kids are still small I guess (they're 3 and 1 now) but I'm sure with time everyone would get used to it - thank goodness for air con
Thank you all!
No, you really don't get used to it. It's not just the heat but the humidity that goes with it.
You may think you love hot weather but believe me living with it all the time it soon becomes very old very quickly.

We have been in Texas since 1989 and I think the summers are lasting longer and are becoming hotter each year!

But otherwise, yeah, Texas is great
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Old Jul 13th 2016, 2:43 am
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
No, you really don't get used to it. It's not just the heat but the humidity that goes with it.
You may think you love hot weather but believe me living with it all the time it soon becomes very old very quickly.

We have been in Texas since 1989 and I think the summers are lasting longer and are becoming hotter each year!

But otherwise, yeah, Texas is great
I was going to say that. People think that the summer in Australia must be great because it's hot. Well, when you can't go outside because of the heat and extreme UV it's not so great. 35° sounds wonderful if you're in the middle of a cold winter but believe me, it gets old fast. Our electric bill in February (summer here) was $597 to keep the house cool enough to sleep.
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Old Jul 13th 2016, 2:53 am
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

It's been 38C for weeks and weeks now. I never thought I would do this but I've been enjoying getting up at 5.30 to start my day whilst it's still cool enough to go outside, take the dog for a run, do some gardening and I've started rowing on the lake too. By 9.30 it's too hot to do anything outside.

I've just encouraged my daughter to take Vit D tablets because she literally hasn't been outside in the day for weeks.

I've learned to sleep at 76F with a fan going. The a/c bills were crippling otherwise.

Is anyone going to mention mosquitos????????
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Old Jul 13th 2016, 3:04 am
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
No, you really don't get used to it. It's not just the heat but the humidity that goes with it.
You may think you love hot weather but believe me living with it all the time it soon becomes very old very quickly.

We have been in Texas since 1989 and I think the summers are lasting longer and are becoming hotter each year! .....
I think you get it worse in Texas than I do in NC, at least for a longer part of the year, but at the moment if I walk down my driveway to fetch the mail, by the time I have got back to the house I have damp spots appearing on my shirt. If I am outside in the sun for 10-15 minutes my shirt will be stuck to me, and if I have been doing mowing, raking, pruning, sawing or other yard work, within half an hour my shirt will so soggy-wet that I can literally take it off and wring water out of it! .... After a couple of hours so much sweat will have run down my back and shirt that my shorts are also soaking wet too.

I wouldn't say I have got used to it, but I have developed a tolerance for doing yard work in wet clothes. It is tough to keep drinking enough water to keep up with the rate at which I sweat it out.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 13th 2016 at 3:07 am.
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Old Jul 13th 2016, 3:10 am
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Default Re: UK to Texas - what's it really like?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Is anyone going to mention mosquitos????????
ssshhh, they'll hear you
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