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we're moving to california!

(26 Posts)
GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sun 21-Aug-11 11:48:46

eeeek, all happened very quickly but DH has accepted a job in Santa Monica, he'll be going on a H1B visa which should be processed by October. I'm due DC2 end of November so he'll work from home with a few trips over until February when we'll all move. Once we've been there a few months the company will start processing his green card so I can work, but there are a few loopholes that mean I might be able to work anyway (am a theatre director)

It feels very far away still and of course we've got the baby coming before then but where the hell do you start when planning a move to the States? There's a limit to how much we can do before the baby but I also don't want to be dealing with a toddler and newborn on my own AND doing all the admin for the move, what can I start thinking about now?

We own a 2bed flat in London which we intend to rent out, the company are paying all our shipping costs (we have little furniture anyway), I guess we should start clearing out stuff we know we no longer want or need to keep - and damnit I need to learn to drive!

soymama Sun 21-Aug-11 11:55:42

I'm too jelous to comment!!!!

Tsil Sun 21-Aug-11 11:58:30

Soy - me too!

Girl - do you need a nanny to come with you wink

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sun 21-Aug-11 12:15:43

grin yeah we're getting excited, but still having moments of cold feet whenever a friend we tell we're moving wells up or my midwife calls to remind to see my doctor about my ongoing CBT for pre-natal depression and I worry about being stuck out there on my own....

cherrysodalover Tue 06-Sep-11 13:06:40

You will love it.it is amazing here and you will meet lots of ex pats in Santa Monica. Check out meetup.com and find local groups on the west side. I have met the most lovely people since moving here and not once have I felt isolated.Americans are very nice, warm and helpful people. California is stunning.you will not need to leave the state for holidays.
Good luck with the move.no need to bring electrical appliances.....none of them work here.

MilaMae Tue 06-Sep-11 13:51:59

Girl do you mind me asking about how your dp found his job?.

We're looking for a stint in the states but finding the whole H1B visa thing daunting ie knowing out of the many of jobs he gets e-mailed which ones would sponsor the visa.

We have no intention of paying any fees to a company that "helps" with this kind of thing but to be honest it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Good luck with the move,it sounds amazing, very envy re all that sunshine!!!!!!!!!

mathanxiety Wed 07-Sep-11 14:56:43

Don't bother learning to drive until you get to CA. You will only have to re-learn when you get there, and there is a high likelihood you will have an automatic car too.

Start with the packing of your home by sorting out clothing. You probably won't need much heavy winter wear envy.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 08-Sep-11 17:33:32

Thanks for replies! Have decided to havea handful of lessons here first in an automatic but do the brunt of it there and take my test there.

cherry thanks for that, and the link is great - have been on britexpat forum and christ everyone there just sticks their oar in and are pretty mean, so good to know about another one!

Have been on craigslist, looks like most places are rented unfurnished, is that right? Working out what furniture to take.

milamae my DH actually was contacted by the company who are employing him via LinkedIn. He keeps an eye on internationa recruitment sites as well and applies for jobs in the same way he would here. They're organising all our visas and travel etc

mumblechum1 Thu 08-Sep-11 17:35:59

Ooh, I'm just back from Southern California and loved it so much I want to live there!

We were in Santa Barbara for some of the time which was just beautiful, and the people are very gracious and polite.

envy

We were thinking of going there when we retire, hopefully in five years when dh is 55 but I don't think they want retirees!

mathanxiety Thu 08-Sep-11 17:53:58

Unfurnished is the way you will find 99% of rental apartments or houses. They come with major appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove, sometimes built in microwave) 99% of the time too.

MillontheFloss Thu 08-Sep-11 17:57:03

Santa Monica is amazing. You are very lucky indeed! Be sure to take some drives up the pacific coast. It's breathtaking, it really is.

mathanxiety Thu 08-Sep-11 18:02:24

I would bring beds (including mattresses) and bedroom items including bedding; sitting room and dining room furniture would be optional but not too expensive if your company is paying the moving costs. Maybe check average room dimensions before deciding? Don't bother bringing something like a piano.

Bed dimension comparison chart here.

said Thu 08-Sep-11 18:09:30

What exactly did he write on LinkedIn? <Cut and paste at the ready>

I'd much prefer to live in New York (ridiculouly churlishly jealous) envy

Summersoon Thu 08-Sep-11 18:54:34

<<gets in line for LinkedIn tips>> smile

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 08-Sep-11 19:43:50

will ask him! He's a software developer and was approached by several companies over the last year because he worked on a major project with a company in Seattle which I think also registered him on the radar in the US. One other company was NYC, so am also being a bit churlish that he didn't get that one - I frigging LOVE that city!

mathanxiety that's brilliantly useful, thanks. We barely own any furniture to be honest so thought we may as well bring what we have, and have heard the americans don't really go in for duvets so we should bring our own bedding too.

We obviously won't bring most electrical applicances, but apparently things like tv's and PS3 should work? I want to take the PS3 cos it can play both regions of dvds!!

It'll be a good excuse to get rid of a lot as well though. Any ideas on good storage facilities in or close to London for long-term but not masses of room?

I literally don't really know where to start with the organising and have to have a baby at some point before we move as well...there must be a list somewhere for expats?!

MilaMae Thu 08-Sep-11 19:44:07

Yes me too,want to know more re Linkedin etc,what line of work is your dh in?

Good luck with the packing and keep us posted re how it all goes.smile

MilaMae Thu 08-Sep-11 19:49:17

Also could he recommend any international recruitment sites,some seem to want fees for access,we've never paid anything as seems a bit scamlike but is that the way it's done?

Apologies for taking up valuable packing time blush!

MilaMae Thu 08-Sep-11 19:50:06

Hmmm so is my dp grin.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 08-Sep-11 19:53:12

will ask him when he's back...don't worry, the packing hasn't started yet, we've got a few months til we leave!

mathanxiety Thu 08-Sep-11 23:06:34

You'll need an adapter for any devices that have British plugs. US electricity comes in different voltage, 110 vs 220 iirc, and the sockets are completely different so nothing with a British plug will fit in the sockets. Definitely plan on getting US devices too so you'll be able to use US dvds. You would probably find a tv in the US for a good price at some place like Best Buy where you will get a good warranty and service.

Good idea to bring your duvets. They are hard to find in the US except in Ikea.

lulalullabye Sat 10-Sep-11 13:02:33

envy nuff said !!!

kippersandjam Sun 11-Sep-11 17:29:25

blimey, how lovely- (squashes down jealousysmile yes, sort through everything and be ruthless, clothes etc. you can get really good stuff there and i expect after the baby the things you bought out might not fit in with your new lifestyle so you might want to just take maternity and buy as you go along. I moved when pregnant, took all my stuff and wish i hadn't- it all seemed so out of date and baby styuff is cheap and plentiful, plus very nicesmile if they are not shipping stuff back then don't take it unless you truly can't live without it! will you be renting out your flat furnished or unfurnished? you can get stuff in the us quite cheaply and its easy to order online there too.

you can look up doctors there and make some calls as to which ones you like, close to where you will be living, maybe talk to midwives find out what info to bring with you. they will know of the new mom groups and baby/ toddler groups. get your husband to show you round the new pad on skype video and let him know what to buy before you arrive. def look at expatwoman website as well. good luck!

cherrysodalover Wed 14-Sep-11 01:00:54

You can get super cheap beautiful furniture via estate sales which are on every weekend or craig's list.Much better value than UK so I would only bring what company will pay to ship.
Most places are unfurnished.
Westsiderentals is good for rentals but you pay to use it so best to wait till just before you get here and do temp accomodation for a few weeks.

flatbread Thu 13-Oct-11 21:31:46

No need to carry duvets. You can get loads in Macys and all major stores. They are called 'comforters' there with some really nice comforter covers available as well.

DH worked in Mountain View, near SF many years ago and we both really love California. Good luck with the move!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 14-Oct-11 19:08:43

thanks for ongoing advice - especially doctors and midwives stuff (DD will be 2 months when we go). Was thinking it'll probably be pointless taking many clothes, especially as it's all winter wardrobe stuff(please someone tell me I can leave our coats, hats and scarves here!)

I think the company will ship stuff out and back again, we'll rent out our place while we're gone so weighing up whether to take our bed, DS's bed and our sofa (think we'll def take the sofa, we love it too much not to) because we'll probably have to replace that stuff for our tenants.

We'll be put up in a serviced apartment for up to 3 months while we find out feet so where we live initially won't necessarily be the area in which we make our home - do you reckon we should get DS (who'll be 3) into daycare asap, he's used to doing 3 mornings a week at home anyway

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