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Old 11-14-2014, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands
33 posts, read 21,902 times
Reputation: 40

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Hi everyone!

We are dutch and dreaming to move to the USA with our now 4-year old daughter. We entered the Green Card lotery 2016 because that would be a way to get in legally. The chances are small, but what if we win... What area gives us the best oppurtunities to relocate succesfully. My husband is a software architect, specialised in Oracle and business intelligence/data-warehousing. I'm a stay-at-home-mum but used to be working at the equity/derivatives backoffice of a bank. We both have a dutch bachelor degree. We like an area that is affordable in costs of living, have good schools, is not to cold in winter or to humid in summer, is safe and friendly to immigrants and most important; have joboppurtunities for us. We visited and liked the areas of Seattle, San Francisco, L.A., Las Vegas, Denver and Orlando in the past. Will any of them be a match? Or is an other area better. I realise that a holiday is different as living it and that it will be hard to start over. We will have around 50k on the bank to start up and another 10k for movingcosts, tickets, paperwork etc. This is a serious question although the chances are small to live the dream in 2016.

Last edited by annaniem; 11-14-2014 at 01:33 AM.. Reason: Forget what
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:21 AM
 
1,689 posts, read 2,236,164 times
Reputation: 1390
I don't live in the US any more but I did (I am an American), this is the insight I can give you from my personal experience:

1. Your bachelor degrees will need to be converted to be valid in America (that means a year or two of studying to meet American requirements)

2. From what you describe California would be the best place for you, it has a moderate climate like the mediterranean, with plenty of sun, job opportunities, plenty of housing etc.

Las vegas is VERY HOT (Imagine that I left my credit card inside my car parked in the sun for a few hours while visiting las vegas and when I went back to my car in the night the credit card had melted), that's how hot las vegas is! It's desert and its a bit depressing to be honest because you have to get used to the lack of vegetation everywhere, and the lack of water, everything revolves around the casinos, that's it.

Denver has a more varied climate, it's warm in the summer, very cold and lots of snow in the winter, while Seattle is very rainy (like the Benelux)

3. As far as issues with you being immigrants, you're dutch and that's gonna be a novelty to Americans, the prejudice in America is focused mostly on their minorities (sad to say this but they love Europeans and think Europeans are so cool, but the general view towards people of color not as much)
that is one of the things I dislike the most about the US (they cannot let go of race) and race is indeed a big issue there, people care a lot about the fact you're white, black, european, whatever!

4. 50k is good to have a foundation, but you'll have to find jobs quickly because as a family 50k, in california won't last long!

my best advice is try to find some company who can hire you and you can find some work visa of some sort....

5. I don't want to sound like I am overly negative but the US on tourism is amazing, fun, colorful, everything is readily available, affordable etc..... but for living the US can be quite work obsessed and money centered with culture being secondary to work and money. Most people just live to work while Europeans work to live (I say this as an American just so you are aware that America can be VERY different for a tourist from abroad who goes there on holiday from the America of everyday living, working, going home, being stuck in traffic, going to the shopping mall for fun because there is nothing else to do)
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,235 posts, read 1,366,290 times
Reputation: 1534
Where do you live now Irene?

OP: If you don't mind, why do you want to leave the Netherlands (good quality of life there) to come to the U.S.A.?

I agree that California has a lot of what you are looking for. The only catch is the cost of living is very high in the major metro areas (LA, San Diego, San Francisco). Orlando, which you mentioned, is much cheaper. But humidity is terrible in summer.
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:25 AM
 
1,689 posts, read 2,236,164 times
Reputation: 1390
Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetLegal View Post
Where do you live now Irene?

OP: If you don't mind, why do you want to leave the Netherlands (good quality of life there) to come to the U.S.A.?

I agree that California has a lot of what you are looking for. The only catch is the cost of living is very high in the major metro areas (LA, San Diego, San Francisco). Orlando, which you mentioned, is much cheaper. But humidity is terrible in summer.
I actually live very close to the Netherlands (In Belgium)

Also they need to have in mind that health care and a good education in the US are VERY expensive.
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Old 11-14-2014, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands
33 posts, read 21,902 times
Reputation: 40
Thank you for your reply. Traffic is a problem in the Netherlands too. Amsterdam or even Eindhoven in rush hour is not a pleasure. And with work, traffic, housekeeping, child, groceryshopping and sports the week is full. The last time we did something cultural was a visit to Rotterdam last summer to see the harbour. Maybe Americans overrate culture in Europe while on holiday... Living here is getting more and more expensive and harder for the middle incomes and the atmosphere is more and more negative and aggresive. We pamper the poor, making the rich richer and the rest; can pay for it by raised taxes, raised mandatory healthinsurance etc. Nothing is perfect and all has its sides but just a smile while enter a shop or restaurant instead of being ignored or a big mouth would be an improvement.

My husband actually works for an American company but because of shortcuts and a merger they don't support transfers from Europe to the USA based on a work-visa. Headquarters is in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area for now. Maybe they can do something jobwise when they don't have to face the costs and issues of a visa. Besides that a work-visa is only valid if the contract is ongoing. When my husband should loose his job, we are obligated to leave immediately. So we are hoping for the lotery to keep things in our own hands.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,436 posts, read 2,135,627 times
Reputation: 2262
What would you consider affordable? Los Angeles and San Francisco aren't cheap cities to live in.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
1,423 posts, read 1,286,778 times
Reputation: 1702
Quote:
Originally Posted by annaniem View Post
Hi everyone!

We are dutch and dreaming to move to the USA with our now 4-year old daughter. We entered the Green Card lotery 2016 because that would be a way to get in legally. The chances are small, but what if we win... What area gives us the best oppurtunities to relocate succesfully. My husband is a software architect, specialised in Oracle and business intelligence/data-warehousing. I'm a stay-at-home-mum but used to be working at the equity/derivatives backoffice of a bank. We both have a dutch bachelor degree. We like an area that is affordable in costs of living, have good schools, is not to cold in winter or to humid in summer, is safe and friendly to immigrants and most important; have joboppurtunities for us. We visited and liked the areas of Seattle, San Francisco, L.A., Las Vegas, Denver and Orlando in the past. Will any of them be a match? Or is an other area better. I realise that a holiday is different as living it and that it will be hard to start over. We will have around 50k on the bank to start up and another 10k for movingcosts, tickets, paperwork etc. This is a serious question although the chances are small to live the dream in 2016.
Hi There!

I can at least give you more insight to Las Vegas since I live in LV.

First of all, when you think of living in Las Vegas I want you to block out visions of the strip. I want you to picture lots of new homes... stucco with tile roofs... and mountains surrounding your view. That is what living in Las Vegas is really like.

Las Vegas gets a REALLY bad rap from outsiders because they think it is nothing but CasinoLand... it's not. Just like the city of New Orleans isn't just a bunch of Bourbon Streets and New York isn't all Times Squares.

As far as Cost of Living goes, Las Vegas is very tough to beat. There is no state income tax in Nevada and property tax here is extremely low.
Cities With Highest (and Lowest) Taxes - 24/7 Wall St.
You'll see that Las Vegas ranks as second best as far as tax burden.

Many of the communities in Las Vegas were built just before our Recession in 2008... No city in the United States was growing faster... but when the collapse happened, Vegas got hit the hardest. So in turn... you have a TON of like-new homes out there that are insanely affordable. Combine that with the low taxes and you can make a VERY good living here.

Las Vegas doesn't get very cold... last year, I think I saw it get down to 0 degrees C maybe once or twice overnight. During the day, the Sun is almost always shining and it helps during our "winter" to make it feel warmer than it really is.
June, July and August are hot... no doubt about it. But again, so much of that is the Sunlight... if you get yourself into some shade, it really isn't that bad at all.
Vegas has constant breezes as well that help during the Summer months.
Basically... you will be able to enjoy lots and lots of outdoor time here.

We are surrounded by mountains here... and they are very close by. The most popular is Mt. Charleston which is home to one of our state parks. It only takes a quick 40-minute drive to get up to the park and you lose 25-30 degrees F when you get up there... which is a blessing when you want to get outside in the Summer and it is hot in the Valley. There are tons of picnic areas and trails that are popular for families.

Clark County School District is pretty unique in the US in that the entire county is just one school district. Most major cities are all divided up into many districts. If you decide to relocate within the Vegas Valley, it is extremely easy for your child to transfer schools... this isn't always the case in other cities.
We have some great "Magnet Schools" here where students actually have to apply to get into them... they offer additional courses on things not normally offered at regular schools... things like Aeronautics for example.

Las Vegas is definitely a transplant city... in that most of us who live here came from somewhere else. In a way, it is a really good thing since people are choosing to come here, the overall mood is pretty happy. There are MANY retirees who move here, which keeps the neighborhoods pretty quiet and predictable. There has also been a huge surge in young families coming here who have taken advantage of the housing opportunities that Vegas presents.

Along with it being a transplant city, it is also very ethnically balanced... there are figures right off of City Data for the City of Las Vegas...
White alone - 284,834 (47.8%)
Hispanic - 195,792 (32.8%)
Black alone - 60,176 (10.1%)
Asian alone - 35,358 (5.9%)

Hope this helps! Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands
33 posts, read 21,902 times
Reputation: 40
Thanks! Vegas is not out! Like the Netherlands is not all windmills and canals. Kinderdijk and Amsterdam is a 2 hour drive from my home. I thought, because we both speak Dutch, German and English working in tourism, hotel reception desk or so, would be an idea for me to get a job. And ICT is everywhere, I saw openings for my husband on some jobsites. I already visit Valley of Fire and Red Rock sp. And don't forget Lake Mead. But that was in May and although hot, it was dry enough.
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