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Old 01-30-2008, 02:54 PM
6 posts, read 56,353 times
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hi, new to this forum. I am looking for information on living in the UK my husband has been offered a job in England, Manchester-Liverpool area and we are trying to find out if the salary he has been offered is reasonable.

what I am specifically looking for is-

will 89,000 bps be enough to live on for a family of 4?
family income is now 120,000 CFDS

Based on what we have seen or heard it is basically the same to purchase items, and rents, groceries, household items are basically the same dollar amount. Not doing any $ conversion, that would make us go mental knowing a pizza would be 45.00 canadian vs 20 uk.

ie: loaf of bread 2dollars-2 pounds. and so on...am I correct in this?

How much can we expect housing to be?
rental vs purchase?
Is it better to rent for a while vs. buy right away?

What does itmean when I see Offers over----? is purchasing a home always an auction system?

How much can we expect to rent a 4 br home? is it 1300-1500bps a reasonable assesment for a single home? or are we lolo?

Any advice on how to know if you are choosing a good neighbourhood? good schools?

Advice on private or public schools-is there a major difference for a non ntional? I am concerned the kids will be picked on over no accent... or having one depending on where you are from.

We'd love to hear from anyone who has moved there with a young family and what kinds of differences we can expect to find challenging or in general what we can expect to go through... like arriving and immagration what types of time can we expect to spend at the airport uppon arrival?

thanks appriciate any kind of support or advice.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:36 AM
Location: Oxford, England
13,037 posts, read 16,114,053 times
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89,000 is a very good salary indeed and you should do well in Manchester/Liverpool. Manchester has been regenerated in the last few years ( as has Liverpool) and they are now both much nicer places. You will also be close to the beauty of the Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire Dales as well as North Wales so lots of things to see and do for you and the kids. Cheshire is where a lot of Manchester better off professionals people live ( Chester is a lovely Roman/Medieval city, quite smart ) so you could have a look at that

We were in Vancouver and Montreal recently and daily costs seem on the whole quite comparable.

Housing will probably be a shock to you unless you come from Vancouver ( which is still cheaper than the UK) and will be your biggest costs.

The North of England because of its industrial past used to be a lot poorer and cheaper than the south but prices have gone up with the huge investments put into both cities. Million dollars penthouses in the city centre are now common-place.

Personally I would chose some Manchester suburbs or Cheshire as Liverpool is IMO still a bit dodgy.

Try those websites for a better idea of prices etc... :
UpMyStreet - For Where You Live ( will tell you things like house prices, schools etc..)
fish4 homes - property, flats and houses for sale
Your Move Homepage

And those so maybe you can ask expats a bit more about their experiences in the UK.
Expat Canadians, Expat Canadian Meetups, events, clubs and groups near Manchester
London vs. Edinburgh vs. (possibly) Manchester
Expat Focus > > Forums > > North America (including Canada, the USA and the Caribbean) > > Canada > > House purchase
Expat Americans, Expat American Meetups, events, clubs and groups near Manchester
American Expats In The UK - bringing the American community together around the UK

Last edited by Mooseketeer; 01-31-2008 at 06:40 AM..
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:59 AM
3,368 posts, read 7,698,180 times
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A friend of mine recently returned to the UK to live near Manchester after living in the US for 10 years. She is now earning a better salary and has a great standard of living. She lives about 25 miles north west of Manchester in a lovely house in a pretty village, and commutes to central Manchester (by train usually).

Manchester and Liverpool have a huge wealth of history, nightlife, restaurants etc, and the surrounding towns and villages are really pretty. Fabulous walks, great country pubs etc etc. She is a member of the National Trust The National Trust which is a great way to see the countryside and historic stately homes.

She swears by online grocery shopping, uses Sainsbury's online groceries as the delivery is really relaible, but all the major supermarkets in the UK do it (delivery is often free, or max $10). Check out the prices online - organic bread is 75-80p ($1.50) which is cheap I think!

'Offers over' is not common in normal house sales (except in Scotland), but sellers can request it. I think it is used when a house is hard to price, or when prices are rising fast - not happening right now! I prefer the UK system - no realtors! You deal with the estate agent who is selling the house; they represent both sides in the sale. Only the seller pays commission. The agent knows the house, the area, the seller, the local schools etc, and knows who else is interested too - so a more healthy situation all-round.

Everyone I know who has moved to the UK with or without kids has found it an easy transition. Kids at school find the accent charming and slightly exotic/cool! Parents are friendly and - as most people walk with their kids to school - it is easy to meet people via the school. UK schools welcome classroom helpers, and there are lots of easy ways to be involved with the schools. Schools vary area to area like anywhere else, so do your homework on that. The one problem can be getting a school place without an address, as you can't apply until you have one. Then, once you have an address, there is no guarantee of getting a place at the local school if it is full - tricky! But I would call the schools and speak to the head teacher in advance and ask for advice.

For house prices (rent and buy) I'd recommend Properties for sale, homes to rent, overseas property, retirement properties and new homes on rightmove.co.uk. Im sure you'll find a 4 bed house in this area for the price range you mentioned - such as UK Estate agents with homes, houses & property for sale on rightmove.co.uk

Last edited by southdown; 01-31-2008 at 07:17 AM..
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:13 AM
Location: San Antonio
1,222 posts, read 3,260,034 times
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Online grocery shopping - how I miss that !!!
Go on line and look at Tesco , Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Iceland - all grocery shops.
Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Next, Mothercare(if you have kids) will give you an idea of prices.
You must be used to the cold weather so you will be ok.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:16 AM
6 posts, read 56,353 times
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Wow, thanks to you all for such great information and web links. I have used them all and they are full of all kinds of information! Wonderful! We are very excited about going.

I suspect we will rent for the first year, so I am hopeful we will find suitable accommodation while there. We are used to - 30 weather so cold for us is not a problem.

Groceries on line! wow... that is a treat. lol

Over all I think it should be a relatively painless move I am greatful for all the help!
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:34 AM
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
3,806 posts, read 4,669,072 times
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89k is a very good salary. The average houshold income in the UK is around 30k.

Don't even consider buying at the moment. HSBC, Deloitte, PWC etc all forecasting 20%+ drops in the housing market throughout 2008, and 2009.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:45 AM
Location: San Antonio
1,222 posts, read 3,260,034 times
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Also do a search for local newspapers to where you are moving too - great source of information.
I am from England but live in the US so we use Vonage for our telephone $30 per month local long distance and to UK Germany and loads of other places. You can use Vonage in the Uk too you will need those cheap phone calls home !!!
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:36 PM
6 posts, read 56,353 times
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anyone know hew local paper n Chester & area???

Also what "area" is it considered? (for doing a property search) thanks again for everyones help.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:56 PM
Location: San Antonio
1,222 posts, read 3,260,034 times
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just type in newspapers Chester then you will get a list. Most places have a local evening paper and a weekly one too.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:02 PM
3,368 posts, read 7,698,180 times
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Chester - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chester's newspapers are the daily Chester Evening Leader : News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, Entertainments & More, and the weekly Cheshire Chronicle icCheshireOnline - The main site for Cheshire news, sport and listings and jobs and homes.

It also has various free publications: the free newspapers Chester Mail and Chester Standard. Dee 106.3 is the city's own radio station, with Wrexham's Marcher Sound and BBC Radio Merseyside also broadcasting locally. Chester is the city where Channel 4's soap-opera Hollyoaks is set (although most filming takes place around Liverpool).

A city centre postcode for Chester is CH1 1NZ, so you can search for that on Google Earth, or put it into Rightmove for example Properties for sale, homes to rent, overseas property, retirement properties and new homes on rightmove.co.uk
(add 5 miles around etc for raduis from centre)

UpMyStreet - For Where You Live (http://www.upmystreet.com/l/Chester.html - broken link)
Useful directory

Cheshire County Council - Homes For Sale (http://www.cheshire.gov.uk/housing/Forsale.htm - broken link)
Local govt websites are always a good help
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