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Anybody here live in or make trips to America? I'm trying to get a trip this year, failing that I will make a holiday there next year... I've been looking at jobs over there (much better for engineers, though less holidays!) near Sunnyvale, Dallas and some other spots. The SIZE of the properties you get (for the money, too!) is simply amazing, especially after their slump... is anything thinking of moving over? Anything I should be aware of, such as property taxes etc? I hear a lot of their properties are timber-framed?

A lot of research to do......... check it out if you haven't already, though...

Edited by guitarman001

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Hi GuitarMan,

I'm also in Engineering and have thought several times about moving to the US.

There are lots of bad reports about the US economy however in balance I think know ours in in a much worse shape. Being held to ransom paying Boomers pensions via rent and high house prices is getting me down. I know the time is coming the I must leave to protect myself and my sanity.

I have been looking fairly closely at Southern Ireland, that is looking cheap and seems to have a good selection of Software and Electronic engineering jobs available. Most important factor is it is nearer to the family in the UK.

Have you taken a look at Ireland?

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Anything I should be aware of, such as property taxes etc? I hear a lot of their properties are timber-framed?

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Lots of timber houses over here -- maybe good in an earthquake zone, but watch out for fires and termites (especially down South and out in California).

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Anybody here live in or make trips to America? I'm trying to get a trip this year, failing that I will make a holiday there next year... I've been looking at jobs over there (much better for engineers, though less holidays!) near Sunnyvale, Dallas and some other spots. The SIZE of the properties you get (for the money, too!) is simply amazing, especially after their slump... is anything thinking of moving over? Anything I should be aware of, such as property taxes etc? I hear a lot of their properties are timber-framed?

A lot of research to do......... check it out if you haven't already, though...

I live in Seattle. Most houses are full timber, timber-framed with brick outer skin, or timber-framed with cement siding. In Britain I preferred living in the countryside but here I prefer living in the city. Location, as always is the key. If you want to buy get yourself a very good agent (buyer and seller have one each). Make sure you get the house inspected. It's expensive to sell a property once you've bought, so rent before you buy. If you want to move here check out the climate. Seattle's climate is similar to the south of England. I think the whole west coast is a fairly good climate but once you move inland it can get extreme.

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ALL of the houses are timber frame. If it looks brick or stone it's just a thin veneer on top of plywood or OSB. The houses are basically gigantic plywood sheds.

3/8" gypsum board, 3-1/2" wood stud, 7/16" OSB, some plastic sheeting "house wrap" and vinyl or wood fiber cladding on top. The wall void is filled with fiberglass batt insulation between the studs. That's all it is. Plywood roof deck with asphalt shingles. Plywood floors.

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Have you seen there houses though? Vast modern caverns of nothingness. It's not all about the size.

It's also about how the local hoodlums aren't going to poor out of downtown and shoot the sh1t out of your gaff and rob you for all your food and what's left of your money when the dollar implodes.

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I'd be much more worried about hoodlums in the UK. All my neighbors here are armed and watched Katrina on the news and talk openly about shooting looters if the need ever arose. I have an M4 and 15 loaded magazines in my safe. No gold or silver though.

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Anybody here live in or make trips to America? I'm trying to get a trip this year, failing that I will make a holiday there next year... I've been looking at jobs over there (much better for engineers, though less holidays!) near Sunnyvale, Dallas and some other spots. The SIZE of the properties you get (for the money, too!) is simply amazing, especially after their slump... is anything thinking of moving over? Anything I should be aware of, such as property taxes etc? I hear a lot of their properties are timber-framed?

A lot of research to do......... check it out if you haven't already, though...

I go to the US and have a brother who lives there. I was in Florida for 7 weeks and returned just 4 weeks ago. Not all houses are timber framed, some our concrete or brick. There was an explosion of timber framed building in 80's and 90's. You can have termite guarantees if you have an annual inspection costing a couple of hundred dollars. There are bargains galore out there and in my opinion no sight of a turn around in the house market for at least 18 months, unemployment figures just keeps looking grim. I am not sure the US can get out of the long slide of decline due to it's budget deficit.

I feel the biggest issue when contemplating living in the US is the health system, it 'sucks' if you can not afford health insurance or become ill for a prolonged length of time. The government is proposing forcing insurance companies to offer insurance for any one with preexisting conditions, but they will charge what they like for this service. A broken leg can cost $50,000 and there is no such think as free health care out there, if you have assets, they will want paying! You can lose everything if you become very ill, take that into account because we all are getting older. Once your in the system you are obliged to pay US tax no matter where you are living in the world.

You quite rightly recognize holidays are ridiculously short, maybe just one week in the first year or two building up to two weeks for many. There is far less security for employees, A friend of mine was knocked off his motor bike, he was in hospital for many, many weeks, he was sacked from Sears after 40 years of employment with zero compensation! America is a hard country, if you run into hard times it's hard to survive. Money is everything out there, I have know guys bemoaning they can't find dates as they do not have a good job i.e. earn big bucks. All these are of course sweeping statements, but I gave my green card back 30 years ago preferring the UK. My brother who has lived there for over 30 years would come back if he could afford to. he is a photographer in Chicago, he has no work at all and can't afford to see his doctor. President Bush changed the unemployment rules, you can only claim unemployment benefit for a total of 5 years in your entire life, after that, your on your own.

For me the crime rate made the UK's look insignificant, 28,000 died from gun shot wounds in just one particular year. Yes you can live in a nice area, but you subject any wife and kids to nightly TV news of these going ons.

Above are the issues you should be aware of, but there are obviously upsides to living in the US, the weather being the biggest one alongside cheaper housing and cheaper housing is a big draw. Having a British accent will do you a few favors if your single, it's very much the in thing to have a foreign boyfriend or British girlfriend. The US is a wonderful place to holiday in, as a country they have so much and on such a grand scale.

On a final note I do not blame anyone for seeking a life abroad, the UK has gone to the dogs with no change forcomming or indeed possible, the young should find a better life elsewhere.

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Not much time to reply - but thanks for the responses! Pretty grim to think about the few holidays you get... and the gun crime!!!! I've heard SO many horror stories about health insurance... I will come back to this thread at a later date hopefully having read more about it. The main factors for moving are: much higher pay, much lower housing costs, generally better weather.

I'll try to revisit the thread later - feel free to add more!

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Not much time to reply - but thanks for the responses! Pretty grim to think about the few holidays you get... and the gun crime!!!! I've heard SO many horror stories about health insurance... I will come back to this thread at a later date hopefully having read more about it. The main factors for moving are: much higher pay, much lower housing costs, generally better weather.

I'll try to revisit the thread later - feel free to add more!

There might well be a lot of crime but I've never seen it! I find Britain far worse. Just be careful where you move to. The police in Seattle wouldn't tolerate the thugs you get back in Britain. They are not afraid of keeping the peace. Most houses are detached, even in the city limits, so you don't get so much hassle from neighbours. The people are far more polite in my experience.

Take a good look at the cities down the west coast, especially Seattle. If you get sponsored you will normally get health and dental with your job. Don't let other people put you off. You can find negatives about every country on the planet, if you try hard enough. My money goes a lot further. Petrol is half price. My gym membership is a quarter of the price. Cars are generally much cheaper. Food is generally cheaper, especially meat.

Unfortunately the pound is in retreat, so you're not going to get a great deal at the moment.

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Is the health care really that bad ? Does a broken leg really cost $50k ? What sort of cost is decent health insurance to cover you for this sort of thing ? And considering how much you may pay in the UK for quite often a frankly horrendous service (And have no choice about) is it that bad ? No idea - just wondering from anyone who lives there and has experience of the above.

I liked when I worked in the US. Although not sure about moving there full time.

San Diego and Chicago are class places to live.

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What sort of cost is decent health insurance to cover you for this sort of thing ?

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I know a software contractor (self employed) who was paying $12K/yr for health insurance back in 2001-2004 for a family of 5. In my case I don't pay anything (as long as I can keep my job and don't retire).

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Is the health care really that bad ? Does a broken leg really cost $50k ? What sort of cost is decent health insurance to cover you for this sort of thing ? And considering how much you may pay in the UK for quite often a frankly horrendous service (And have no choice about) is it that bad ? No idea - just wondering from anyone who lives there and has experience of the above.

I liked when I worked in the US. Although not sure about moving there full time.

San Diego and Chicago are class places to live.

Arnold Schwarzenegger broke a leg skiing in 2007, his bill was over $50,000 and that was not even everything! I am sure you can google that. My brother lives in Chicago, he trained as a doctor and he tells me the medical costs! Just 3 days in intensive care is $15,000. The problem with insurance for health care is the companies are there to make a profit, they do not like paying claims and will drop you given any reason. If your obese; you might even get insurance, that is what happened to my brothers partner. They obviously will not want to insure pre-existing conditions. My brothers former partners father had a stroke, he was covered by insurance for precisely a year, then the insurance finished and he lost his house! He needed to be in a care home. If you have seen Michael Moore Sicko http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicko in that film a spray for asthma cost $200 and in Cuba 5 cents, I guess you can buy it anywhere else for $10 or so. I use a GTN spray, when I was in the Caribbean it costs $8.75 in the BVI's and in the next island in the USVI's it cost $187.50 I kid you not. In a US hospital you get charged for everything, a box of tissues will not be cheap, my friend who was knocked of his bike showed me his hospital bill, he got charged $175 for a Dr popping his head around the door and asking "How are you today" listening to "OK" and then replying "Good"! I think and I am not 100% sure of this an ambulance ride is at least $1,500.

As for the UK health system, well I have had both heart attacks and two strokes, I can tell you I have no complaints at all. I had a triple by-pass within 4 days of needing one. I fully accept if you have cancer there are many examples where delays are utterly unacceptable, having said that you can have insurance here. For what it's worth we have a system worth defending here.

Chicago is a wonderful place but check out winter temperatures, it can go below -20 when tyres can come of their rims and it's not called the windy city for nothing.

I lived abroad for 7 years and will live abroad again because it's too cold here for me with my failing heart, as I stated before I encourage the young to investigate living abroad, the UK quite frankly has many issues that have ruined this country, add the @rap weather and it's not the best place to live anymore. America is not on the top of my list to live in, but that's just my opinion and I have lived there, we all look for different things. I do not mean to be negative about America, I simply wish to make a few important points known. The states is certainly cheaper for many items including food, eating out etc. The top city to live in as voted year after year is Vancouver! I just love Canada.

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I know a software contractor (self employed) who was paying $12K/yr for health insurance back in 2001-2004 for a family of 5. In my case I don't pay anything (as long as I can keep my job and don't retire).

When looking at insurance costs you must look at the deductibles (how much you pay per claim). I know one family who said the insurance cost for the whole family was only $8,000 per annum, however he had to pay the first $20,000 of each and every claim! Basically, the lower the premium, the higher the deductible. You may easily find you pay a high deductible to see your GP. When you look into the fine print of health insurance there are loads of shocks.

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Jesus.... the healthcare really does scare me. A lot. It's no wonder America's top paying jobs are in healthcare:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/20/top-ten-highest-paid-jobs_n_864907.html#s281490&title=6_Internists

I know a few guys over in the States - one is a systems engineer - straight in after graduation on $78k. Another chap I know is an intern at Texas Instruments... an intern gets $69k!! Not bad starting salaries considering the average wage over there is something like $40k (I read that somewhere...). Mind you the systems engineer is out by the 'valley' and real estate costs a bomb out there he says. But I wouldn't look at moving to that part. And another downside is their employment law, fired at the drop of a hat etc.

Who knows, it's all in the air. I need to read more. And I hope I get a trip out there this year.

EDIT: Check out number 6 on this list lol:

http://www.engineersalary.com/overpaid.asp

Also for the engineers here...:

http://www.eetimes.com/design/microcontroller-mcu/4023204/Salary-Survey-They-re-not-rock-stars-but-EEs-earn-satisfaction

Edited by guitarman001

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Jesus.... the healthcare really does scare me. A lot. It's no wonder America's top paying jobs are in healthcare:

http://www.huffingto...le=6_Internists

I know a few guys over in the States - one is a systems engineer - straight in after graduation on $78k. Another chap I know is an intern at Texas Instruments... an intern gets $69k!! Not bad starting salaries considering the average wage over there is something like $40k (I read that somewhere...). Mind you the systems engineer is out by the 'valley' and real estate costs a bomb out there he says. But I wouldn't look at moving to that part. And another downside is their employment law, fired at the drop of a hat etc.

Who knows, it's all in the air. I need to read more. And I hope I get a trip out there this year.

EDIT: Check out number 6 on this list lol:

http://www.engineers...om/overpaid.asp

Also for the engineers here...:

http://www.eetimes.c...rn-satisfaction

I have given correct and genuine actual examples more as warning on what to look out for, not to put you off. Yes I found the medical side of America it's worst fault. Maybe it affects me more as I do not have good health, but we are all getting older and you may settle there. It's always best to rent before you buy if you go. There is of course those benefits of very cheap housing, potential bigger pay packets and lower outgoings and as I said, the weather! They speak English (in the main) which is also a bonus and when you arrive with a work permit you are accepted as one of them unlike so many countries. Do not treat too lightly the unemployment situation, it's pretty grim out there and in my opinion getting worse, but then again it's not exactly great here! I will reiterate, if I were young I would not live in the UK, not now, we lost what was great about being British. I spent the last 7 years abroad mostly in the Caribbean wearing shorts and t-shirts.......I loved it.

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My sister in law is living in the States at the moment. She came back for a visit the other day and was telling us about the healthcare system and how it really has put her off staying there.

Her fiancee has a really good job and gets top of the range healthcare through it however even with this the costs are frightening. She had a mild illness that required some basic medication. Even with the insurance she ended up having to pay £200 out of pocket expenses for a 10 minute appointment and some pills.

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I reckon healthcare is the next bubble, after higher education. The biggest houses in my town are all owned by doctors. I know this because the county let's you look up the tax appraisal, owner, sale price history information on their website. It's a somewhat stalkerish hobby of mine to look up really nice houses to see what the owner does for a living. Google the owners name and it's nearly always a doctor of some type or management associated with that.

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Part of the reason it is so expensive is all the easy government medicaid and medicaire money flowing in and inflating the prices. Can't last for ever.

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Ok well seems the healthcare is pretty mental :o

Which begs the question. In the land of the free and opportunities.............. Surely there is one MASSIVE MEGA business opportunity here ? Why cannot someone open up healthcare options in the US that are still expensive and make a hefty profit - but look mega cheap compared to everything else ? What is stopping this ? Or is there a basic monopoly in place to prevent this ?

PS - Tim - Lived in Vancouver as well and whilst nice found it just lacking a bit of something. An edge. Not sure how to put my finger on it. Yes heard about Chicago in winter - only stayed there in the summer so I only got the good bits. San Diego is just class.

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Ok well seems the healthcare is pretty mental :o

Which begs the question. In the land of the free and opportunities.............. Surely there is one MASSIVE MEGA business opportunity here ? Why cannot someone open up healthcare options in the US that are still expensive and make a hefty profit - but look mega cheap compared to everything else ? What is stopping this ? Or is there a basic monopoly in place to prevent this ?

PS - Tim - Lived in Vancouver as well and whilst nice found it just lacking a bit of something. An edge. Not sure how to put my finger on it. Yes heard about Chicago in winter - only stayed there in the summer so I only got the good bits. San Diego is just class.

They already have something like this with small walk-in clinics. If you have the flu or cut yourself you can walk in, pay $60 cash and see a doctor immediately who will stitch you up or write you a prescription.

Like this place for example http://piedmont-minor.com/

Hospitals actually only get paid about 1/3 of the time from what insiders tell me. So they jack the prices accordingly for those who DO pay. You can often bargain the price down to 30-50% usually, then pay $50/month for 30 years or whatever (no interest charged). Of course the government programs just pays whatever they are billed.

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I live in the USA and hold a green card: here is my perspective

  1. if you move to the USA you need to understand there are two economies here: the upper and middle class, who all earn +$60k and live in the nicer / safer areas; and the lower class who earn less and live in anything from marginal circumstances to third-world conditions.
  2. the lower class are mostly black, mexican or uneducated whites in poor areas. These people live in homes that would have the bleeding hearts in the Uk crying outside parliament. In comparison, council housing in the UK provides a baseline.
  3. There were about 400 murders in Houston in 2008 compared with 600 in the whole of the UK. Thats ~4mln people vs 60mln! Add in the petty crime and the picture is clear - this is a very dangerous place.
  4. Healthcare is make or break. That said most employers have company health plans so ensure you have one, or be prepared to pay +$8,000 if you are in good health and under 45. The premiums increase as you get older and don't come if you have pre-conditions. Frankly, the system here is barbaric, unfair and administrated by the god squad boards who set some very odd rules. We were forced out of health plans because we had a child via IVF - the god squad board deem IVF as un-natual and punish the Parents by excluding them from coverage (this is a fact if can testify to)
  5. If you are in engineering now is the time to come..... just the average senior engineer is earning +100k. Most PhDs like me earn a LOT more.
  6. Remember life is surprisingly expensive. While houses and cars are cheaper by the time you have paid for insurance, rent or mortgage, health care, and just general living you swill have spent +60k to live life like a professional. The only way of doing it cheaply is to shop at Walmart and live in the burbs with rednecks having flagpoles on the front lawn (i am being serious!).
  7. Key point: if you are single and half good looking you will have no problem finding a gorgeous, smart, degree qualified girlfriend..... I had to agree with an American co-worker on a business trip a few years ago that the women in Scotland were totally 'fugly' and spoke like fishermen. Houston and Dallas is full of lovely looking women: there are Halle Berries and Jennifer Lopez's everywhere.
  8. The work environment here is very different - better in truth. No snobbery, no prats with posh accents who think they were born to run companies, very little prejudice against your family class. Communication and interactions in the workplace are very different too and some might struggle to adjust. Again its better so take the time to learn and adjust.
  9. If you do come, ensure you build a social life quickly, it can be oddly disorienting here and you could end up depressed. If you are a church goer you will find it easy to make friends; if like me your favorite journalist is Christopher Hitchens you might be in trouble - Dallas is BIble Belt and the film Jesus Camp is real!
  10. Ensure you come under the right visa..... an L or H1B - not B.
  11. Negotiate hard. If they are prepared to pay an Attorney $10k to get you a visa they need your skills. Ask for +10% on Base wage. Studies show American engineers earn around 20% more than the expat equivalent.
  12. Remember if you come. You are likely to never return. Life here is good for most expats providing they have a job.
  13. Finally, it pays to keep paying your min NI contributions so that you can return to the UK for treatment in the event you have a chronic illness.
  14. Good luck and leave the UK ......... the boomers have scammed the young and bled the country to death.

BTW - the comment about UK being violent... there is an element of truth. Yobs pervade Britain, there is a filth class in Britain that deserves to be isolated and beaten (metaphorically). In the USA these people would end up in a jail cell full of black hoodies and mexican gangers. There is a strong incentive to stay civil as Rodney Kink knows. If you step out of line here you are in deep trouble. For example, you will be instantly jailed for drunk driving and could spends days in goal - you leave with a larger ring than when you entered.

Edited by bpw

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Which begs the question. In the land of the free and opportunities.............. Surely there is one MASSIVE MEGA business opportunity here ? Why cannot someone open up healthcare options in the US that are still expensive and make a hefty profit - but look mega cheap compared to everything else ? What is stopping this ?

Massive regulation that prevents cheap competition combined with perverse incentives due to preferential tax treatment for company-provided healthcare?

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I live in the USA and hold a green card: here is my perspective

  1. if you move to the USA you need to understand there are two economies here: the upper and middle class, who all earn +$60k and live in the nicer / safer areas; and the lower class who earn less and live in anything from marginal circumstances to third-world conditions.
  2. the lower class are mostly black, mexican or uneducated whites in poor areas. These people live in homes that would have the bleeding hearts in the Uk crying outside parliament. In comparison, council housing in the UK provides a baseline.
  3. There were about 400 murders in Houston in 2008 compared with 600 in the whole of the UK. Thats ~4mln people vs 60mln! Add in the petty crime and the picture is clear - this is a very dangerous place.
  4. Healthcare is make or break. That said most employers have company health plans so ensure you have one, or be prepared to pay +$8,000 if you are in good health and under 45. The premiums increase as you get older and don't come if you have pre-conditions. Frankly, the system here is barbaric, unfair and administrated by the god squad boards who set some very odd rules. We were forced out of health plans because we had a child via IVF - the god squad board deem IVF as un-natual and punish the Parents by excluding them from coverage (this is a fact if can testify to)
  5. If you are in engineering now is the time to come..... just the average senior engineer is earning +100k. Most PhDs like me earn a LOT more.
  6. Remember life is surprisingly expensive. While houses and cars are cheaper by the time you have paid for insurance, rent or mortgage, health care, and just general living you swill have spent +60k to live life like a professional. The only way of doing it cheaply is to shop at Walmart and live in the burbs with rednecks having flagpoles on the front lawn (i am being serious!).
  7. Key point: if you are single and half good looking you will have no problem finding a gorgeous, smart, degree qualified girlfriend..... I had to agree with an American co-worker on a business trip a few years ago that the women in Scotland were totally 'fugly' and spoke like fishermen. Houston and Dallas is full of lovely looking women: there are Halle Berries and Jennifer Lopez's everywhere.
  8. The work environment here is very different - better in truth. No snobbery, no prats with posh accents who think they were born to run companies, very little prejudice against your family class. Communication and interactions in the workplace are very different too and some might struggle to adjust. Again its better so take the time to learn and adjust.
  9. If you do come, ensure you build a social life quickly, it can be oddly disorienting here and you could end up depressed. If you are a church goer you will find it easy to make friends; if like me your favorite journalist is Christopher Hitchens you might be in trouble - Dallas is BIble Belt and the film Jesus Camp is real!
  10. Ensure you come under the right visa..... an L or H1B - not B.
  11. Negotiate hard. If they are prepared to pay an Attorney $10k to get you a visa they need your skills. Ask for +10% on Base wage. Studies show American engineers earn around 20% more than the expat equivalent.
  12. Remember if you come. You are likely to never return. Life here is good for most expats providing they have a job.
  13. Finally, it pays to keep paying your min NI contributions so that you can return to the UK for treatment in the event you have a chronic illness.
  14. Good luck and leave the UK ......... the boomers have scammed the young and bled the country to death.

BTW - the comment about UK being violent... there is an element of truth. Yobs pervade Britain, there is a filth class in Britain that deserves to be isolated and beaten (metaphorically). In the USA these people would end up in a jail cell full of black hoodies and mexican gangers. There is a strong incentive to stay civil as Rodney Kink knows. If you step out of line here you are in deep trouble. For example, you will be instantly jailed for drunk driving and could spends days in goal - you leave with a larger ring than when you entered.

Very well written especially about stepping out of line!

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Anybody here live in or make trips to America? I'm trying to get a trip this year, failing that I will make a holiday there next year... I've been looking at jobs over there (much better for engineers, though less holidays!) near Sunnyvale, Dallas and some other spots. The SIZE of the properties you get (for the money, too!) is simply amazing, especially after their slump... is anything thinking of moving over? Anything I should be aware of, such as property taxes etc? I hear a lot of their properties are timber-framed?

A lot of research to do......... check it out if you haven't already, though...

I went to the US for work in the 90's, good for a single guy but I wouldn't want to take my family over there now. If I was single, I would be back out there asap. Visas were easy enough to get but I dont know the system now.

Property taxes are paid by the owner. Personal taxes can be high if you don't have many deductibles (mostly loans/mortgage). You will end up paying into the equivalent National Insurance scheme (FICA) but will only see the money back if you do 10+ years there (so get a green card).

You get less holidays, typically 10 but get more bank holidays ~12 rather than our 8. The company I worked for went up to 20 days after 4 years so was better than the UK.

I liked the big, timber frame houses, cheap cars and cheap petrol. Back in '94, you could rent a 5-bed with pool for £600pcm near Dallas.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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