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Old 06-26-2010, 06:21 AM
 
12 posts, read 34,960 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi all

I'm hoping for a job offer in Aliso Viejo and me, my wife and 4 months old daughter are seriously thinking about making the move. I'm trying to get some advice on cost of living and places to live.

The salary is 80,000 USD which taking into account the current exchange rate is about the same as I earn in Birmingham, UK. How far will the 80,000 USD get me? Renting a house seems much more expensive than the UK, how does the rest of cost of living compare? I'm worried that we will be much worse off financially and I need to renegotiate the salary.

Also, would I be right in saying that Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Hills are nice places for a young family to live? Are there are better options? I'm concerned about a long commute.

One last thing, as a ballpark figure how much should I budget to relocate?

Thanks for your time

Last edited by peckerwood101; 06-26-2010 at 06:42 AM..
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,342 posts, read 89,699,624 times
Reputation: 17740
Renegotiate the salary anyway - it can't hurt and your employer expects you to do that. (There are plenty of threads on the Work and Employment forum which go into techniques and strategies.)

Use these to get a picture of rents in the area:

HousingMaps
MapsKrieg - CraigsList Apartment Listings Mashed With Google Maps

The consensus on these forums is Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Irvine, and Rancho Santa Margarita are very good places for families.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Declezville, CA
16,801 posts, read 37,473,859 times
Reputation: 17523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post

The consensus on these forums is Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Irvine, and Rancho Santa Margarita are very good places for families.
As is Laguna Hills, as long as one stays away from the mandated HUD housing areas. But even MV has those.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:45 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 5,167,696 times
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South OC is a nice area to raise kids in from an infrastructure and opportunity standpoint. Many people, yours truly included, have concerns about the youth culture in OC, but that is a few years away for you.

My question is will your wife be able to work to generate additional income? For a family with kid/s a $80K household income is a bit tight in OC. If your coming out to the expat thing for a few years then go home, you can probably defer saving and scrape by for a time and enjoy the area for a while. But if you are planning to stay or even expand your family while here, you'll want more HH income as a foundation to build on. How Much? Not sure, but I'd say to live reasonably well in South OC you'll need at least $90k annually.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Cayucos, CA
215 posts, read 939,220 times
Reputation: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by peckerwood101 View Post
Hi all

I'm hoping for a job offer in Aliso Viejo and me, my wife and 4 months old daughter are seriously thinking about making the move. I'm trying to get some advice on cost of living and places to live.

The salary is 80,000 USD which taking into account the current exchange rate is about the same as I earn in Birmingham, UK. How far will the 80,000 USD get me? Renting a house seems much more expensive than the UK, how does the rest of cost of living compare? I'm worried that we will be much worse off financially and I need to renegotiate the salary.

Also, would I be right in saying that Aliso Viejo, and Laguna Hills are nice places for a young family to live? Are there are better options? I'm concerned about a long commute.

One last thing, as a ballpark figure how much should I budget to relocate?

Thanks for your time
Do you have your VISA in place?
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:11 AM
 
12 posts, read 34,960 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks for all your replies so far.

Sounds like I need to try and negoiate for a little higher salary. Is there anyone from the UK who with similar experiences who can help me compare UK salaries to Southern Calfornia?

The company that I'm hoping to get the offer from have agreed to sponsor me for a visa, which leads me to another question, I'm presuming my wife will not be able to work if its just me that gets the working visa?
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:23 AM
 
Location: Malibu/Miami Beach
1,069 posts, read 3,138,827 times
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Read these pages thoroughly its not just about being sponsored by an employer.
The type of Visa you get will materially effect your lifestyle in the US.
My advice would be to go down the route of permanent residence (green card).
Just to work here is only viable if the money is right.
Embassy of the United States London, UK - Visas

As for the salary comparison that's a difficult question especially at this time.
But generally if you have a Masters degree and at least ten years experience and a good reference I would say that you will be substantially better off here.
I was born in Shropshire, so yes there is a big difference between Birmingham and So Cal.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:00 PM
 
12 posts, read 34,960 times
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So good news is I got the job and the salary offer is 90k USD, but now it gets scary because I need to decide whether to move my family from the UK to South California.

I know OC Investor2 kindly offered advice that 90k would be just enough, but just enough doesn't sound great. What would a professional in his mid 30s with a wife and kid reasonably expect to earn to look after his family comfortably? We aren't big spenders but we do enjoy going out for dinner occasionally and I'm sure there will be a lot in So Cal will we want to do.

What do people reckon?

Thanks
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:01 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,623 times
Reputation: 11
Default Salary in OC

I've lived and worked in Orange County a long time. It sounds like this company is a good one if they gave you an offer at $90,000. That money is very good, and one can live comfortably on that money here. Especially with the economy like it is, this is a good offer. I have used this website for cost of living estimates in the past (when I was moving) and it is pretty accurate. [url=http://www.payscale.com/cost-of-living-calculator/California-Orange-County/-/Security-Engineer]PayScale - Orange County Relocation Costs[/url] I used a general amount to convert to dollars to start, but you would convert your current salary to dollar and use it.

Find out what visa you need, I would guess it is the H1B, which gets you sponsored and in a few years you can apply for residency or even naturalization. They should be using a law firm to do this, so you might want to ask to talk to their lawyer about your spouse and child rights and working and school. Think about leasing or renting for a time to decide where you live. Traffic can be tricky from some area of the county, but there are good places everywhere.

Good luck with your decision. Let us know how you do.

Samar
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:24 PM
 
12 posts, read 34,960 times
Reputation: 16
Thanks Samar.

Could I ask why you posted a link for a Security Engineer job?

PayScale - Orange County Relocation Costs
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