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Old 03-05-2010, 01:10 PM
 
8 posts, read 28,672 times
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Hi everyone

I've been lurking and making much use of the search function for the past few days and have already amassed a wealth of information, however, there's still some stuff I'd like to ask.

My wife has been offered a temporary move (2-3 years) to Wall St. so we'd be looking at moving the whole family from London to somewhere within easy commute (1hr door to door) - but that's not my question.

As we'd be renting, I'm assuming the owner pays the property tax and incorporates that into the rent. What I'd like to know is what other costs we need to consider and how much they are likely to be - and do they vary across Westchester?

Specifically,

Utilities - gas, electricity, water
TV/internet/phone - what company's website should I look at?
garbage?
House insurance
Car insurance

We're looking to get a 4-bed house and probably something like a Dodge Journey or Caravan on a lease.

Our bank assures us our credit history will be transferred (a new service they offer) but what sort of % increase in prices should we expect if we arrive with zero credit rating?

Sorry for all the questions but if you're nice I'll invite you to the housewarming
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:25 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 36,294,643 times
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For the cable/internet/phone, check Verizon and Optimum. I think those are the main suppliers. Generally, if you rent, you don't pay insurance on the house, but you will want renter's insurance. I have no idea how much that costs. For car insurance, it does depend on the car - your company should have a relocation person to help you with this. Trash collection depends on the area. Some larger municipalities (like White Plains) have regular trash pick-up. Other areas (Bedford, for example) you have to get trash picked up, about $100/month - maybe a bit more.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:34 PM
 
374 posts, read 971,247 times
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Get free quotes on the insurances online. I recommend Geico for car. And state farm for renters. Free quotes don't require a social security #, btu when you buy a policy they do. So I'm not sure how everything will work out for you guys without a social security number. Everything will probably have to be done through the relocation company. Otherwise I don't think they would do business with you, but I may be wrong. There are a lot of users who have transferred from abroad, might want to PM them if they don't reply.

Other than that I'd say if rent is under 50% of salary you should be okay.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:41 PM
 
8 posts, read 28,672 times
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Thanks guys - there will be a relocation person assigned once we actually agree terms. My wife has to sit down with her employers next week and try to negotiate the best deal she can - hence the need to try and come up with some figures.

Absurdly it seems they won't give us any rental allowance but are happy to pay $36k for private school fees?! We'd rather they give us the $36k so we can rent next to a good public school (I'm assuming if my wife is paying US income taxes we'd be entitled to schooling?)
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:55 PM
 
3 posts, read 25,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdcity View Post
Get free quotes on the insurances online. I recommend Geico for car. And state farm for renters. Free quotes don't require a social security #, btu when you buy a policy they do. So I'm not sure how everything will work out for you guys without a social security number. Everything will probably have to be done through the relocation company. Otherwise I don't think they would do business with you, but I may be wrong. There are a lot of users who have transferred from abroad, might want to PM them if they don't reply.

Other than that I'd say if rent is under 50% of salary you should be okay.
so you are saying that a monthly gross salary (before taxes) should be approximately twice your house rental ?
... i am thinking of relocating to westchester from south america - so this info would be helpful.

thanks
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Scarsdale
13 posts, read 39,189 times
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I know many of my clients who have moved from Europe are a bit amazed at the rental prices for housing... you can look at various broker sites to get some ideas and there are many different areas with many different prices.... you may have to pay a gardener for lawn and in winter may have to pay for snow removal if you have a big driveway... figure 100/200 per month insurance on a home similiar number.....garbage is usually free by the town you live in.... water has gone up a lot the past few years... heat/electric can run you several hundred per month.... cable/phone/computer line about 100 per month good luck in your move
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:24 AM
 
375 posts, read 1,452,908 times
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Originally Posted by sdcity View Post
Other than that I'd say if rent is under 50% of salary you should be okay.
What? So if you're making $100K a year, you're ok paying $50K a year in rent? $50K over 12 months is approx $4160 per month.

Perhaps what you mean is $100K annual salary after tax, so say, $150K pre tax. But even still, that's too much for rent.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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Funnily enough, we could be living on $150k gross salary - and the areas we're looking at are $4-5k per month for a decent sized property. We're trying to get a "rent allowance" from my wife's employer but worst case we'd be living on $3-4k per month after rent - is that do-able?
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:08 AM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,148,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruffalogill View Post
Funnily enough, we could be living on $150k gross salary - and the areas we're looking at are $4-5k per month for a decent sized property. We're trying to get a "rent allowance" from my wife's employer but worst case we'd be living on $3-4k per month after rent - is that do-able?
That gross salary would be OK for a house payment (including taxes and insurance) but could be tight for a rental.

But I don't know where you fit in with the US tax system but normally that $150k is around $85k after taxes, health insurance, 401k, etc -- IF your pay structure and benefits cost is similar to ours.

Remember, you get a tax break when you own a house -- a good portion of the mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible. So you could see up to 1/3 of that back. On the other hand, when you rent you don't have to lay out money for driveway repair, shrub trimming, etc.

There are numerous other costs:

Depending on how big the house is, I'd expect to pay up to $200 a month for electric and up to $600 a month to heat in the two or three cold winter months. Water up to $100 a month. Car insurance figure up to $200 a month for two cars. You wouldn't need to insure the structure of the house -- the owner has to do that to get a mortgage -- but insuring your possessions is probably pretty cheap, like $100 a year. Train commute (I hope you're sitting down) is over $300 for a monthly and the subway. TV Internet, phone could be between $100 and $200 depending on how slicked up yoru TV service is.

Leasing a caravan will probably run you at least $300 a month. It's not like those cars have great residuals.

So you're left with about $1300 a month for all savings, unanticipated expenses and leisure spending.
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Old 03-11-2010, 11:17 AM
 
375 posts, read 1,452,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruffalogill View Post
Funnily enough, we could be living on $150k gross salary - and the areas we're looking at are $4-5k per month for a decent sized property. We're trying to get a "rent allowance" from my wife's employer but worst case we'd be living on $3-4k per month after rent - is that do-able?
Conventional wisdom is to keep your rent under 25% of your gross salary. 25% of $150K is about $37500 or $3125 per month. By that standard, you are over the budget, but I think if you have little debt obligation, then $3 to $4k is probably ok to live on after paying your rent.

A house that rents for $4 to $5K a month in a decent district within 45 min commute to midtown is not small, but it's also not that big... say 2300sqft? I would say on a house like this, the yearly expenses are

Electricity: $250 x 12 = $3000
Heating during winter: $600 x 3 = $1800 (if you rent a house, you pay for heat in most instances, where as if you rent an apt, heat would be included)
Yard, Snow Removal: $150 X 12 = $1800

I can't think of anything else related to the house so if you add up the above, you get $6600.

Estimate also about $400 per month on car lease and insurance, perhaps upto $500 if you need a big car. And gas also, say, $250 per month(?)... say $8000 a year.

So that's about $15000 a year on home and car expenses.

If you have $3K a month after rent, then that's $36000 a year, which means you have $21000 for food, entertainment, and whatever else. So, I guess, it pencils out... (without any other debt obligations and your savings expectation.)
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