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Giving Up With Crap Uk And Buying A House In The Usa


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Just back from the US, I had a look at houses in Michigan while I was over there. Grand Rapids, Lansing kind of area. There, you can get many foreclosed 4 bed detached HUGE (by UK standards) houses for $50K. Of course you would need a visa, the easiest route is going over there on a holiday visa and meet a nice person to marry. Anyway its tempting, or so I thought, but amazingly now I'm back in the UK I actually missed it a little bit and faced with the prospect of giving up my job here and actually doing it its a lot more difficult. The point of this post is that prices in the UK are so insane its making me want to take extreme measures like this.

Healthcare cost in the US are also a drawback, and help from the state is non exsistant should you become ill, or elderly etc..... no sheltered housing etc provided by state.

Anyway has anyone else faancied doing this lately and what have you done/not done about it?

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Just back from the US, I had a look at houses in Michigan while I was over there. Grand Rapids, Lansing kind of area. There, you can get many foreclosed 4 bed detached HUGE (by UK standards) houses for $50K. Of course you would need a visa, the easiest route is going over there on a holiday visa and meet a nice person to marry. Anyway its tempting, or so I thought, but amazingly now I'm back in the UK I actually missed it a little bit and faced with the prospect of giving up my job here and actually doing it its a lot more difficult. The point of this post is that prices in the UK are so insane its making me want to take extreme measures like this.

Healthcare cost in the US are also a drawback, and help from the state is non exsistant should you become ill, or elderly etc..... no sheltered housing etc provided by state.

Anyway has anyone else faancied doing this lately and what have you done/not done about it?

The visa thing is your real show stopper, the marriage route isn't, in reality, a lot easier than any of the others (H1-B for technical work, L1 company transfer etc.) If your primary concern is a cheap house, wouldn't Ireland be an easier alternative?

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My advice is to stay in the uk, carry on earning a living by extending your deposit and watch house prices fall.

I'm still saving up to buy 100% cash, but the problem is that even at £200K what passes for a house in the SE is a poky little box of a terraced or semi. Why should I sink my life savings into an asset thats going down 30% over 15 years or so? And the other problem is it could take 10-15 years to correct and only after inflation has done its work. I can't wait for that before buying, I need a house sooner than that.

Edited by Spoony
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The visa thing is your real show stopper, the marriage route isn't, in reality, a lot easier than any of the others (H1-B for technical work, L1 company transfer etc.) If your primary concern is a cheap house, wouldn't Ireland be an easier alternative?

True. Ireland is a possiblity, but an even worse economy there. Jobs for me would be hard to find, so too in the US. I'd have to get a minimum wage job. There doesn't seem to be many technicians jobs in MI either. Weather in MI very hot in summer, very cold in winter. Ireland is just cold and rainy all the time! Also I suppose unless you did a pre- nuptial the woman would take all your money in divorce in the US!

Edit: I had better say: a woman I met out there actually works in real estate (!) and was explaining how the system all works out there and how to buy a foreclosed house then sell it on. and she wants me to move out there! Shes crazy for my British accent

Edited by Spoony
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The visa thing is your real show stopper, the marriage route isn't, in reality, a lot easier than any of the others (H1-B for technical work, L1 company transfer etc.) If your primary concern is a cheap house, wouldn't Ireland be an easier alternative?

He could try the Genius Visa also.

  • It also highlights the use of so-called genius visas known as O-1s and EB-1s, which have largely escaped political controversy and are now the immigration solution of choice for many entrepreneurs.

article-2166690-13D9E590000005DC-941_306x464.jpg

  • By contrast, no proof of personal wealth or investment in the United States is required for the O-1 or the EB-1.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166690/Should-Playboy-Playmate-received-Genius-Visa-Controversy-girlfriend-Hugh-Hefner-granted-status-extraordinary-ability.html

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Dont want to put you off s good thing but i think you should be careful

Make sure she wanted you to move out there an be in a relationship with her BEFORE she knew about your 220k of stashed cash !

How long have you known her ?

Edited by Crashman Begins
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I'm still saving up to buy 100% cash, but the problem is that even at £200K what passes for a house in the SE is a poky little box of a terraced or semi. Why should I sink my life savings into an asset thats going down 30% over 15 years or so? And the other problem is it could take 10-15 years to correct and only after inflation has done its work. I can't wait for that before buying, I need a house sooner than that.

How do you know it's going to go down 30% in 15 years ?

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Just back from the US, I had a look at houses in Michigan while I was over there. Grand Rapids, Lansing kind of area. There, you can get many foreclosed 4 bed detached HUGE (by UK standards) houses for $50K. Of course you would need a visa, the easiest route is going over there on a holiday visa and meet a nice person to marry. Anyway its tempting, or so I thought, but amazingly now I'm back in the UK I actually missed it a little bit and faced with the prospect of giving up my job here and actually doing it its a lot more difficult. The point of this post is that prices in the UK are so insane its making me want to take extreme measures like this.

Healthcare cost in the US are also a drawback, and help from the state is non exsistant should you become ill, or elderly etc..... no sheltered housing etc provided by state.

Anyway has anyone else faancied doing this lately and what have you done/not done about it?

I see a flaw in your plan:

"Of course you would need a visa, the easiest route is going over there on a holiday visa and meet a nice person to marry"

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I am in the same situation and I really dont want to stay in the UK anymore..

The goverment is doing anything they can to make us pay for everybody else mortgage (who then charge me rent).

The £ surely will go down, the moment the downgrades start and more QE is required for the BoE to buy the goverment debt to cover the deficit..

I have started moving my savings to $ but probably the best plan is to move...

Is USA so difficult to move in? Do they have a skill list?

Out of Canada/Norway/Germany/Austria what would be the best option?

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Im attracted to the idea of moving abroad too. Approaching 40 the window of opportunity for emigration is closing, practically if not legally.

The thought occurs of buying abroad (especially where there's a seasonal/short term letting possibility) and renting in the UK and remaining domicile here. Would take a deal of organising my life around but surely doable.

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He could try the Genius Visa also.

  • It also highlights the use of so-called genius visas known as O-1s and EB-1s, which have largely escaped political controversy and are now the immigration solution of choice for many entrepreneurs.

article-2166690-13D9E590000005DC-941_306x464.jpg

  • By contrast, no proof of personal wealth or investment in the United States is required for the O-1 or the EB-1.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166690/Should-Playboy-Playmate-received-Genius-Visa-Controversy-girlfriend-Hugh-Hefner-granted-status-extraordinary-ability.html

Didn't know about those visas. Although talking to her today she seems to think it is all easy with a good attorney.

Dont want to put you off s good thing but i think you should be carefulMake sure she wanted you to move out there an be in a relationship with her BEFORE she knew about your 220k of stashed cash ! How long have you known her ?

She didn't know and she still doesn't know now. However we've talked aout that kind of thingt and shes happy with a pre-nuptial in place.

How do you know it's going to go down 30% in 15 years ?

Going by the continued government plan of money printing, bribes to banks not to re-posess, payment holidays, expect 0.5% for many more years and mortgage payments paid by the state means prices will not correct as they should. Instead a decade+ of pain.

I see a flaw in your plan:"Of course you would need a visa, the easiest route is going over there on a holiday visa and meet a nice person to marry"

Hmmmm no American girls are nice?

Im attracted to the idea of moving abroad too. Approaching 40 the window of opportunity for emigration is closing, practically if not legally. The thought occurs of buying abroad (especially where there's a seasonal/short term letting possibility) and renting in the UK and remaining domicile here. Would take a deal of organising my life around but surely doable.

Nearly 40 here too

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  • 1 year later...
  • 8 months later...

Thought I'd revive this topic since I am starting to look into this. My plan is to save for the next 2 - 3 years and then possibly move. Right now North Carolina looks very appealing since the weather is not too extreme and the properties appear to be well built and to my taste. You can get some really nice 3 bedroom houses in Greensboro for around the $100K mark. The problem appears to be getting the Visa though. Seems that unless you marry an American citizen you basically have to be transferred there by an employer. Trying to get a job over there without corporate intervention looks pretty damn difficult. I've found something interesting though, apparently you can get a Visa if you buy a 50% stake in a business that employs American Citizens.

I don't have any solid plans at all at this point, just playing around with ideas. One idea I've had though is to save up for the home to buy it outright. If I can then also save some money to invest in something small like a hotdog van business, pretzel cart etc... then this could be a less complicated method of getting the visa. I know quite a few Americans who I have done business with before and I think i could trust to possibly put up the cash and lend a hand with the other half of the business. So they would set up the business first and offer me 50% ownership in exchange for a cash investment. I got in contact with a guy that runs a YouTube channel focused on starting and running small businesses and he owns a hotdog van business himself. According to him his start up costs for that venture were $7500 and the income is modest but steady.

So all in all I think I could probably go over with around $105K to buy the property and invest in a small business. On top of that I'm thinking an extra $10K probably to cover living expenses and to have as a rainy day pot in case my first 6 months or so are rough. I would most likely get a minimum wage job too on the side until I find my feet (if the visa allows). the challenge after all of this would be getting the Green Card, which apparently is not too difficult if you have investments and existing income over there.

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Good on you for thinking outside of the box. However, having worked closely with a lot of Americans over the years, don;t underestimate the taxation system that exists to make your life difficult. It's much the same as the UK in many ways, bleeding the middle classes dry whilst the poor and very rich pay little if anything. Examples for you to think about are property taxes (annual tax on your land and house, vary sharply from state to state), global taxation right (any income you have back in the UK may be double taxed), etc etc.

Not saying don't do it, by any means, just research the sums carefully.

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Oh yeah, I've done a fair amount of reading on state and federal taxes. It sounds like a pain in the **** but I doubt it is all too different to what I am currently having to do over here since I am self employed. Self assessment can be a nightmare here too.

I just don't want to spend the majority of my life paying for a property that I "settled" for due to lack of funds. That is the way I see it panning out if I remain here, having to live in a flat or small house in a part of town that I currently avoid if I can.

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  • 1 year later...

Anyway has anyone else faancied doing this lately and what have you done/not done about it?

My advice is choose the place you want to live based on how happy you will be there, of course property prices come into this but should be a factor and not the deciding one.

Other deciding factors, what are the people like there? How's your ability to integrate into other cultures? What job opportunities are available in your field?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mortgaged here in the Uk, work in IT, 44, 190k equity, married to a US woman, 4yr old kid too. Looking to move from Cambridge / London to Texas / Oklahoma as she misses her family (racist, shallow, tolerable at best). Problem is she has a multitude of illnesses (asthma, obesity (naturally...), sleeping disorder), and I think the healthcare costs would be prohibitive. Looking for an idea of the potential monthly healthcare spend, and thoughts on the whole concept... Ta G

Edited by garybug
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Mortgaged here in the Uk, work in IT, 44, 190k equity, married to a US woman, 4yr old kid too. Looking to move from Cambridge / London to Texas / Oklahoma as she misses her family (racist, shallow, tolerable at best). Problem is she has a multitude of illnesses (asthma, obesity (naturally...), sleeping disorder), and I think the healthcare costs would be prohibitive. Looking for an idea of the potential monthly healthcare spend, and thoughts on the whole concept... Ta G

The US probably does look like a bed of roses on the basis of house prices, but it is only a small part of the cost of living. For the cost of US health care you could probably rent something in this country....so the cost of health and housing in the UK taken care of for the cost of health alone in the US.

Arguments about the cost of living generally are bogus too. US citizens spend more on living than in any other country, the stuff might be cheaper but they need a hell of a lot more of it. Perhaps living in a plastic environment means you have to spend to survive. Not got millions of miles of footpaths and an interesting historic environment that changes every few miles. You have to drive miles just to get a change of scene.

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I looked online yesterday, and Bronze cover for f, 42, n/s was $350 / month. So for a family of 3, say $1000/m for basic cover. Bump that to Gold cover and lob in my Mrs long list of ailments and my sons asthma, that's easily $1500 a month. So my £1k a month uk mortgage becomes a £1k a month meds bill..., plus deductible, plus GP fee.. I read also that for the first 5 years there are restrictions regarding plans. Its a total minefield

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Swapping a mortgage for health care payments doesn't make sense unless there are other benefits to moving which outweigh the healthcare costs. Would any of the conditions be improved by living somewhere not so damp with sunshine?

I was born in Canada to UK parents who had just got permanence which makes me a natural born citizen despite not having lived there since I was a young child. Been over a bit recently with a view towards moving. Paperwork all checked, I can go any time. Not sure, now that I know I can go, if I will or not. It's a huge decision and that's before having to address health, tax, housing, work etc.

I do think that for many, moving out of the UK and in particular NI could be a positive move, just one that takes a lot of research and preparation. Good luck.

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