Been offered relocation from UK to Dallas and have some questions (Houston: for sale, real estate)
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Been offered relocation from UK to Dallas and have some questions
Hi, The company I work for has multiple offices worldwide, and has offered me the chance to relocate from the UK to Dallas. They will take care of the immigration and legal stuff, but I am about to start negotiating a contract and would like to know some typical expenses. I realise this is almost impossible to do, but what is the tax burden in Dallas? What would the typical utility bills be for a single man living in a 2 bedroom house or flat? Does anybody have an up to date comparison with the UK?
I have loads of other questions about types and areas of accommodation, but lets start somewhere!
Texas does not have a state income tax. Homeowners pay a fairly high property tax in Texas so if you do not purchase property the taxes you will pay are Federal income tax and local sales tax (approx. 8.25% for most non-food items including restaurant meals).
Utilities I pay for a 2 bedroom condo about 1100 square feet vary by season and are quite reasonable. We pay approx. $140 to $200 per month (last month was $190 and it was hot so A/c was on all the time).
Thank you replying. Having just looked at the Federal income tax rules I think I'll get the finance folks at work to figure that out! The utility bills seem quite reasonable, although over here the winter bills are the high ones due to the cold.
Is 1100 square feet a typical size? I am not sure if I would be looking for somewhere near a lake, trees, nature and outdoor activities or a more urban city apartment close to some night life as I'm single and a young mid 40s. I will encourage my employer to offer a period of renting as part of the relocation to be able to try before I buy.
for what it is worth--my daughter has very good friend from high school who lived in Houston and met/married a young man whose parents are Brits but he lived in US since he was a child--
they lived in Houston for while but thought it would be better to raise their child in England/London to be precise--
they moved there for about a year and half -- lived in his parents home at first and then found place to rent--he was working for same company that he did in Houston--he charts ocean currents for off-shore rigs--and he would travel quite a bit to distant locations--like the Indian Ocean--
she tried to get work teaching in local school but her college degree was only a batchelor's so she did not get very good job---they could not afford to buy a home in their area--felt too stressed and moved back to Houston--where they were closer to his/her families
bought a house and she went back to teaching--but they are starting to get unhappy again
they really loved the walkability/public transport life they had in England--they liked the seasons -- which you don't get in this part of TX--especially in Houston--and Houston is just a very busy town--their money is not going as far as they thought it would and owning a home also brings problems with maintenance that they were not responsible for in England when they rented...
so--come but be aware that a lot depends on your ability to adjust to the variances of life here
temps get HOT--and are very humid--much of Dallas is definitely a driving culture--not one using public transportation or walking--partly because of the heat and partly because of our history as rural country for years and years...
there is no VAT--people pay sales tax on most of their purchases whether it is restaurant meals, clothing, gasoline (which is still way cheaper than in Europe), your cell phone bill--pretty much everything...
IF you are only going to be here for short time--3 yrs or less--probably not good idea to buy property with idea that you can sell for profit--
our housing market has been stronger than most areas but it is still a buyer's market--
depending on where your office is located if is in Downtown area or close to--then you might consider living close to DART rail/bus line and a walkable environment...
this article is about Boston and its environs but the info/attitude applies to Dallas or other residential areas...people are coming to see that car-driving-suburban living is not such a good idea for lifestyle or the enviroment/eco system 'Walkability' growing as a real estate plus - The Boston Globe
Dallas has several areas that are more walkable than others--most are semi-expensive and inside the loop near downtown or close to it in other enclaves...
there are usually apartments or condos if not rental homes
UK2Dallas, congrats on the opportunity to take an adventure, especially with someone else taking care of the immigration hassles. First, take no note of recent immigration issues within the U.S. as they are aimed at illegal practices. Brits, and others with legal immigration are highly welcome in the U.S. and the workplace. But you know that.
You'll get a large number of living arrangement and as SouthernBelleInUtah say, you'll need to know you job location first. Dallas is not necessarily designed for ease of getting around and is somewhat segmentalized. Plan on a leasing or purchasing a car, requiring drivers license and insurance. Probably leasing or renting would be a good start, especially with a foreign driver's license, assuming.
I'll provide here a couple of my preferred links for condo living. As a single man you might want to forego the requirements of home and yard maintenance, especially considering the heat.
Downtown is not necessarily a hive of activity after hours or on weekends but could be of interest.
Uptown is near to downtown, an older part of Dallas but recently refurbished with new construction. Uptown can be located on your google map by searching > 75219. The number is a zip code - a postal desgination, local to Oak Lawn and Uptown. Uptown runs along a street called McKinney, just to the west of US 75, a large freeway (highway). There is a hike/bike/blade trail that runs from near downtown to Knox, parallel to McKinney for your nature needs.
Between Uptown and downtown is an area called State/Thomas, two streets. one called State, the other Thomas. I was about to say that you shouldn't expect to find anything Londonish in Dallas but State/Thomas tends to have rows of townhomes and condos, maybe remotely Hyde Park style.
At the north end of Uptown is an area called Knox/Henderson. The entire McKinney strip may be of interest where many successful mid-aged professionals live. You'll find apartments, condos, townhomes and a pub called The Ginger Man
with a large selection of excellent beers.
Having said all that, if you'll be working in Legacy Park then all good ideas are off. There'll be some realtors offer additional suggestions of rentals and sizes and costs. Wherever you live you will pay your own electricity. Most places will be all electric, frequently there is no charge for water but you will have your own hot water heater.
Thank you all for the posts. The office is on Ambassador Row near where Stemmons freeway joins John W Carpenter freeway. Looking at Google, this does not seem far from the Uptown area tofurkey mentions.
I have visited the Dallas office for a week at a time over a dozen times in the last few years so am fairly familiar with the way Dallas is, but it is very different contemplating living full time rather than staying at the Hilton on Stemmons. I would expect to have a car, and have no problem driving to interesting places, but would like to live somewhere near things to do in the evening.
I have been to The Ginger Man several times - it seems to be a must do for Brits visiting the office! I'll check out the links and probably come back with more questions.
I have had a few friends who moved here from the UK. They were all shocked about 3 things, not necessarily in this order:
1. how cheap it is to live here
2. all the guns everywhere
3. how hot and dry the weather is
You mentioned something about scenery and I had to laugh. Dallas does not have scenery. There are many beautiful places in the US, but Dallas is not one of them....that's why it's so cheap! It's not horrible. There are worse places. My question is why would you want to move somewhere in which you will possibly never make enough money to actually afford medical care when you need it, coming from somewhere in which it is provided? I'd be gone in a heartbeat to France if I could for that reason alone. Every time you get sick (or even worse, maybe one day your KIDS) and cannot go to the doctor, just keep telling yourself " it's cheap and it's sunny"
I moved downtown after living in London for 2 years. I was looking for an area where I wouldn't need a vehicle right away (using public transport) and was walkable to shops and restaurants. Uptown would be a good area as well with all the nightlife. Living somewhere central makes it convenient to parks, shops, museums, etc and keeps you out of the bland suburbs. As far as money goes, I now live in a spacious loft centrally located in Dallas for less rent than my mouldy flat 4 zones outside of the city in London.
actually I think if his company has office here and there are Americans working there, I assume THEY have health care--
why would HE not be offered the same opportunity to get on the office health plan
the fact that he is Brit national is neither here nor there as long as he is an EMPLOYEE of the company...
my friend whose husband is a Brit--lives in Houston--and has health insurance through his company when he works out of the Houston office
when he was living/working out of the London office I guess he was on Brit Health Plan...
and if you investigated the subject I believe that if you are a legal resident of France that you have the option to buy into the French system...
and think that visitors can even receive emergency care for nominal costs...
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