Need Help - Job Offer in NJ, USA

(23 Posts)
livinginthehills5 Tue 11-Jan-11 18:34:25

DH has had a job offer after a few months of maybes, and I now need to get a hold on the financials ie. cost of living here( we live in the south of england) versus america. Kids are currently in private school here and will be over there but more interested in things like meals out, running houses, just a feel for comparisons. Also what would you of asked for or wish you had known before you signed on the dotted line ? Any advice will be greatly received..... slightly freaked out.....

OP’s posts: |
redflipflops Tue 11-Jan-11 21:01:47

It varies SO much from state to state it would be hard to say! (I'm not in NJ)

IME meals out are better value but grocery shopping, Cable/Internet and Car Insurance is more expensive (even once you've taken your US license).

House rentals are on

good luck grin

xAshx Tue 11-Jan-11 21:19:59

We lived in Ridgewood, Bergen County NJ for almost 4 years. Do you know where you'd be based? We loved it there and had a great time. Lots of the state schools are v good in NJ, so maybe worth consideration. We rented a 4 bed house for 3200 usd/mth and this was a nice house in lovely street in a great town. Grocery shopping was about the same and really can't remember what our utilities were in the UK to compare. Eating out is easy and cheaper. I miss it... It is hard to get credit straight out, so expect problems with mobile phones, leasing cars etc. Make sure that his company will be flexible on supporting you in this, either with internal loans or letters to support an application.
Make sure you get good medical cover included!

NJ gets a bad rap, but we loved the suburban small town feel with NYC on your doorstep.

Have fun!

MadamDeathstare Tue 11-Jan-11 21:33:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

livinginthehills5 Tue 11-Jan-11 21:45:14

Thank you so much for your feedback, would love to know from you not what you miss, but if anything what you would of done differently, (someone from mentioned to me something about sloping driveway in the snow which I would of never of thought about !) so don't rent a house with a sloping drive..... !

OP’s posts: |
MadamDeathstare Wed 12-Jan-11 02:33:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Wed 12-Jan-11 02:51:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.


xAshx Wed 12-Jan-11 17:05:21

One thing that's common (in NJ anyway) is to have your garden maintenence and snow removal done by a landscaping co. We managed to negotiate this into our lease which was a saving in terms of money, time and effort! If you're buying a house, beware of property taxes. They are paid annually and can be quite a lot of money!

Also, if you think you may have more children out there make sure any medical insurance you have is pretty comprehensive. I think NJ has high malpractice insurance premiums for OBs to pay, so the resulting costs can be crazy. To have DD there cost usd 30K from start to finish (c section)... Nuts!

If there are any Bergen co. related specifics you need, I'm happy to help.

You are heading for shopping many malls and NYC within 30 I miss it!

HollyBollyBooBoo Thu 13-Jan-11 02:45:01

We're living in Canada at the moment, but we lived in NJ a few years back and still have lots of friends there, so first hand advice a bit out of date but...things to think about....

Due to the fact you have no 'history' in the US certain things will be really expensive, car insurance for example, 12 x more expensive than the UK 'till you build up no claims. Leasing a car was quite tricky and you might need your DHs company to almost 'validate you' via a letter stating he's employed, his salary etc. Fuel is cheaper and actual cars are cheaper.

Cable, internet and telephone is double the price of UK.

Property tax (council tax equiv) is a lot, atleast 4 times as expensive, but a lot of this funding goes to schools hence schools are amazing in the right areas.

If you've got a heated pool that costs a lot to heat (almost died when my first gas bill over the summer was $1000 !!!!)

I hope to goodness your DHs job comes with comprehensive Health Cover for the entire family because to pay for it privately is off the scale expensive (literally thousands a month).

Eating out quite reasonable in the suburbs, we went for a fab breakfast in Ridgewood on Sunday and for 4 people paid $60 for more food than you could possibly eat (the general consensus in North America is if you don't take home a box of your leftover food then they haven't served you enough!). Obviously you can pay a lot, lot more for food in the city.

Does that all sound a bit negative, I hope not as it's an amazing experience. I think at one point North America was cheaper to live but I'm really not sure it is now, I was really suprised by how expensive Canada is. The most annoying thing for me was the thought of not being able to work as I couldn't get the right visa, just found that a really annoying.

Things I miss about the UK - familiarity, friends, family, M&S underwear and Ocado food delivery.

HollyBollyBooBoo Thu 13-Jan-11 02:46:47

Oh and US bread is minging, just cannot find a good brand, have taken to making my own!

xAshx Thu 13-Jan-11 10:21:18

Country pancake house or the Daily Treat? Many a Sunday morning spent in both!

HollyBollyBooBoo Thu 13-Jan-11 12:44:30

Country pancake! No matter how hungry I am I can still only get through 1 and a half of the 4 pancakes!!

HollyBollyBooBoo Sun 16-Jan-11 04:20:37

Just found out that vets fees are much more expensive aswell - annual checkup and booster for our dog is twice the price as UK!!

mathanxiety Sun 16-Jan-11 04:48:34

All baked goods are weirdly sweet thanks to corn syrup in everything. Other food, meat and veg, tastes bland imo. You can find British foods in Irish shops (lots in the NY and NJ area, and Irish stuff is a reasonable facsimile to British a lot of the time) and many European flavours like blackcurrant, which is virtually unknown in the US, with blackcurrant juice and jam in Polish and other eastern European shops. But dive in and enjoy Mexican and all the other lovely cuisines you will find.

Get maternity insurance and well child care included in the health insurance, as well as dental and vision care.

Why are you thinking of private school? In an average middle class suburb public schools are usually very good, and private schools can be very expensive indeed. The only thing to remember wrt public schools is that district residence is very strictly enforced, so your choice of where to live if you decide to send them to public school dictates where your children will go to school. Districts with good schools are always very 'nice' places to live in (but there's no casual in-and-out of other people's houses no matter where you live unless you make friends with other Europeans).

Private schools don't have catchment areas except for some Catholic schools that enforce parish boundaries, or have school admission and the level of fees you pay tied to parish membership.

NJ is very pretty and has nice beaches, lots to do, and there's much more to it than the rougher parts you see on TV.

Oscarcat1 Sun 16-Jan-11 21:01:56

Hi all

We are moving to NJ in April, probably, cherry hill, haddonfield area, does anyone no these areas??My husbands company are being very supportive, however he is going to have to choose the house, and get the furniture before we arrvie, so my main question is can I order from a us store on line and get it delivered to the house, if not any suggestions, as we have 3 kids I want to make their rooms as nice as i can before they arrive. We all know how other halves can be. Any suggestions on anything really greatly appreciated.

Thansks xx

mathanxiety Sun 16-Jan-11 22:38:54

Looks very nice and has good schools. If you have a credit card you can order furniture. <wink at the idea of the OH getting the house furnished> You could alternatively get there and everyone sleep on air mattresses for a bit and sit on the floor while you go out and choose stuff.

ChunkyPickle Sun 16-Jan-11 22:48:26

HollyBollyBooBoo - sorry to thread-jack - but what flour do you use for your bread? I've managed to make something vaguely flavoursome with Rogers wholewheat and spelt flour mixed together, but if I try to make white bread it just turns out flavourless and with the texture of cake.

It doesn't help that all I can find in the supermarket is 'all-purpose' flour - no bread flour to be found at all! (I really miss waitrose basics breadflour.. now that made tasty bread)

HollyBollyBooBoo Mon 17-Jan-11 00:21:22

Oscarcat - are you buying all new furniture or shipping some over and buying some? Just a thought but there are companies that you can rent furniture from, either a rooms worth or an entire house worth, it's really good quality stuff aswell. I've done this twice now and is a very efficient way of furnishing a house, you just choose your style and the company come and deliver everything, unpack, sort out even plug in your toaster and set your phone up for you!!

Maybe you could look into that, get DH to sort that and then you can go to Crate and Barrel one afternoon and go mental on your credit card...if you need a shopping buddy...!!

ChunkyPickle I've chucked the bag away now as I decant flour into a canister but I'll look at the brand next time I go shopping and let you know.

mathanxiety Mon 17-Jan-11 01:13:47

You can get 'bread flour' in most supermarkets. Have you tried Whole Foods or any supermarket that's a bit upmarket? Or try a store that sells Polish foods and look in the flour section for small packets with a blue design (as far as I can remember) on the front.

With Polish flour brands, the higher the number on the packet, the higher the gluten content and that would be your baking guide (different numbers for cakes and breads for instances) 480-500 would be good for bread. HTH.

King Arthur is a good US flour brand stocked by most good supermarkets. Good ole General Mills also does a bread flour.

Oscarcat1 Wed 19-Jan-11 15:36:22

We looked into renting furniture but believe it or not it worked out very expensive, so yes I will be hitting the credit card!!!! As well as giving him pictures of exactly what I want, otherwise you could imagine what wewould end up with! Oh yes I could do with a shopping buddy, watch this space.


HollyBollyBooBoo Fri 21-Jan-11 13:15:50

ChunkyPickle I'm currently using 'Robin Hood bread flour'. It's a white flour which is fine for regular loaf etc etc, they also do a wholemeal flour which I'll try next as DD is now weaning and I would prefer her to have that.

Oscarcat1 wishing you lots of luck with the move and the shopping.

overthemill Mon 24-Jan-11 17:02:42

my sister lives in Moorestown which is, I think, near Cherry Hill. She loves the town and its proximity to Philadelphia. My kids love the whole place! I really liked the small town feel, walk everywhere, know everyone kind of thing. And all her kids did very well at the local schools.

Watch out for added sugar in everything. Plus HUGE portion sizes

overthemill Mon 24-Jan-11 17:03:10

oh yes, wholefoods is fab, we always shop there and so does she

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