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Old 03-28-2007, 03:33 PM
 
20 posts, read 53,608 times
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Hello guys, I posted a topic similar to this one not so long ago in L.A. section but did not find a way to move it to here, so I am making a new one here . Feel free to answer to a single part of my text or to the whole text

As stated in the topic title, I am a Quebecer (French Canadian) of 19 years old actually, almost 20 and Im planning to go live in California once I get my MBA [Master of Business Administration] diploma. I speak French as primary tongue and English as secondary and I am aware that there is still work to do on my english skills before moving. Dont get me wrong here, I am not the kind of person who'd move just because in looks nice on TV show, it is actually a real project and I want to be well informed before moving on

So actually, I have lots of question in my mind, even if I'd go in 5 years or more, I have the bad habit to always prepare those kind of decision in advance, to have a little hint

To begin, is there a place for me in California? Is a MBA diploma, a very good ambition and passion enough to get through the Californian's lifestyle? If someone here could tell me a little bit about the MBA status in general in California, I'd appreciate it alot. Also, how are Quebecers usually seen in your place? Are they hated, liked, neutral? I am well aware that moving from a country to another, become an immigrant must have some effects on how people percept you and all...

Secondly, is California really what I have read and hear about? Is it for me? I am someone who like to be in big cities with lot of tall buildings, it just please me, I am not really the kind of guy who'd enjoy a peaceful life where nothing happens, I like when things are moving. I like the sun, here, in Quebec, we have winter snow, which I hate, so how's the weather in California? Pretty sunny, able to go surf at almost anytime? Another thing I am looking for is to be able to go really far in the whole business field, get a use of all the opportunities that I might come into. I know that California's the capital of cinema, and I REALLY enjoy movies and I'd love to get invited, one day, to some first presentation... I know, it is but a dream, but still, dreams makes us live, no? Also, where in California would be the best for me? Knowing that I am on the business opportunities hunt, want to live not too far of Hollywood/Sea, in a big city if possible and avoid high criminality rate... I was given some ideas, but the more the best, and why these places?

And finally, I have done some research about the house costs and all... And it is quite extraordinary. I have seen normal house of like 500,000$, here in Quebec, I live in a house considered luxurious and it is worth only like 250,000$ so I was wondering, how does it work in California lol? Is is a kind of special payment offered by the bank that allows you to buy such houses or is it only by your pay and how do people offer themselves such house with an income of 100,000$ by year (100,000$ was taken from a "non-official" report about the average salary).

I thank you all in advance for your answers

Last edited by Norin; 03-28-2007 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:06 PM
 
450 posts, read 1,717,681 times
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A few thoughts..

Regarding housing, one advantage of the US over Canada on mortages is that the interest portion of your monthly payment is tax-deductible. But by no means does that come close to the difference in cost. Housing is expensive in SoCal, very expensive. To be honest, it's hard to find anything nice in a good neighborhood at $500,000, you're more likely starting at $750,000. Realistically, a lot of people rent for a longer time here than most cities, but that does not mean there is no hope. And there's always smaller condos, etc., that you would be able to investigate.

As far as Quebecers, no positive or negative impressions by most -- almost all -- people. To be honest, you'd find more tensions in parts of Canada than here. Down here, you'd just be "Canadian", not "Quebecois." Generally, the impression of Canadians is very positive throughout the U.S. -- it actually might help you meet people. California is very diverse, diversity is celebrated here, you would have no issues. And if you have an accent, people will find it charming and intriguing, it's not a drawback at all.

Today is a cool day here, but it's sunny and 60 F (about 15 C). The sun shines most days, you can go surfing almost any day -- with a wet suit. Even in summer, the water temps are cold. But I have been told the surfing here is second to none!

As far as areas... you might enjoy Santa Monica, Pasadena, Glendale, or parts of West L.A. They are more urban than much of SoCal, close to Hollywood, and in reasonable commute from the ocean. Santa Monica is right on the ocean, it's a very nice place.

One other place you might want to check out if you're looking for sun.. parts of Florida are quite a bit cheaper, and there are a lot of Quebecois there. I have even seen job listings requiring people to speak French there because of the amount of French Canadians. Then again, most of them are retired, so they're a little older than you or I!
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:00 PM
 
20 posts, read 53,608 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyFan View Post
Regarding housing, one advantage of the US over Canada on mortages is that the interest portion of your monthly payment is tax-deductible.
Excuse my ignorance, but can you explain me this a bit more? Interest portion of your monthly payment is tax-deductible... What does it mean? In Quebec, we have often our pay each 2 weeks and there is no interest in it
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:27 PM
 
450 posts, read 1,717,681 times
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Basically, when you get a mortgage, you're paying a lot more than you would if you bought the house outright. Let's say your house is $200,000 and you have a 30-year mortgage, and the interest rate is 5%. The mortgage company will add 5% per year to the price of the house, and when you run that over the length of the mortgage, you'll find you're actually paying, say, $425,000 (I didn't do the math, this is just a guess). Of course, it is not as bad as it appears, as $1 today is equivalent to $2 roughly 15-17 years from now due to inflation.

The portion of your mortgage payment that is interest is deductible. Say your monthly payment is $1,500, and $800 of that is interest going to the mortgage company. At the end of the year, you've paid $17,500 in total, of which $9,600 is interest. You will be able to deduct $9,600 from your income taxes -- you won't pay tax on that money. Basically, you are allowed to pay that portion with before-tax money. In that case, it would probably save you about $3-4,000 per year in California, depending on your tax bracket.

Hopefully that makes some sense -- perhaps someone else can explain it better than I can!
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Old 04-01-2007, 06:52 PM
 
20 posts, read 53,608 times
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Hmmm looks like your tax is different from quebec tax... Here, the tax is an amount of money added to each item you buy. [Around 15%, so if you buy something 100$, you'll pay it 115$ [around that ]]

But we have something called "impot" which is more similar to what you are talking about... For exemple, since I am a student, each time I get paid, impot eats some of it, but being student, it give it all back at the end of the year. But for a non-student worker, it can eat up to 60% of your pay lol
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:33 PM
 
148 posts, read 795,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norin View Post
Hmmm looks like your tax is different from quebec tax... Here, the tax is an amount of money added to each item you buy. [Around 15%, so if you buy something 100$, you'll pay it 115$ [around that ]]

But we have something called "impot" which is more similar to what you are talking about... For exemple, since I am a student, each time I get paid, impot eats some of it, but being student, it give it all back at the end of the year. But for a non-student worker, it can eat up to 60% of your pay lol
HAHAHA...
Impot = tax ... simple as that
and what you're talking about is income tax

I live in Canada, speak both french and english, by the way I am in Ottawa Norin
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:55 PM
 
450 posts, read 1,717,681 times
Reputation: 150
Sales taxes still exist -- they vary by city and county, but they're around 7%. It's just the income taxes that are affected in the mortgage situation.
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