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Should I move to New York?

(14 Posts)
Stokey Mon 08-Oct-12 19:02:13

Dh has been offered the chance to do his job in New York and I reckon I could move mine too. Pay would be the same as we get in London with small relocation fund to cover moving. We have 2 kids, dd1 is nearly 3, dd2 is 6 months, I'm on mat leave due to start back in april.
Where would be a good area to live? We'd both be working in Manhattan.
And is it a good place for a young family? I guess I associate it with nightlife rather than family life.
We've just bought a house here and seems a bit weird to think about moving right now, but our house will always be here while we may not get this opportunity again.
I grew up living in various countries and think it is nice for kids to live somewhere else. But have never been to the states really and don't know anything about New York except for what I've seen on the telly. So give me your tips please.

Bonsoir Tue 09-Oct-12 15:44:21

School, school, school and rent, rent, rent would be my concerns!

BobbiFleckmann Tue 09-Oct-12 15:48:46

a small relocation fund won't scratch the surface in terms of getting into a Manhattan building. And schools? going to be very, very, VERY difficult if you haven't got name down now - can the company help out with that as part of the relocation package? what about living in Bklyn rather than manhattan?

alarkaspree Tue 09-Oct-12 16:06:44

I spent 4 years living in New York, starting when my children were 4 and 2. We all really enjoyed it. There's a lot of fun to be had for young families.

We lived in Battery Park City, which is a wonderful area for families - it is right on the river, surrounded by playgrounds, and because it's separated from the rest of Manhattan by the West Side Highway it is quieter than other areas of downtown. It has good public schools and several accessible private schools. And it's also very international which made it easier for us to fit in I think. The Upper West Side is popular for families as well and may be a bit more affordable than other areas of Manhattan. If you would prefer to live in a house rather than an apartment then you probably want to look at Brooklyn which has some wonderful neighbourhoods, or a lot of people also commute in from the New Jersey suburbs, or from Hoboken which is right over the Hudson River and very accessible to the city.

I think you would find that on the same money as the UK your standard of living would be lower. Your contributions to healthcare will be expensive, preschools in Manhattan would run around $18,000/year and private school is close to $40,000. Kids' activities like sports classes are usually around $500 per semester. School summer holidays are 10-13 weeks long so you need to factor in activities and childcare for that time once your children are a bit older. If you want to own a car, the actual car will be cheaper but parking in Manhattan will be a few thousand a year. Although in Manhattan you can easily manage without. And you also need to factor in the cost of trips back to see family.

I think you should do it, but see if your dh can negotiate a bit of extra money.

PandaNot Tue 09-Oct-12 16:19:12

Yes, you should is the short answer. Before dc we spent many happy months there, on and off over the years and we would move with the dc in a heartbeat if there was the chance. Needs careful planning though, especially schools and housing. More money may be needed!

NatashaBee Tue 09-Oct-12 16:28:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Want2bSupermum Tue 09-Oct-12 17:57:31

Without knowing your annual income it is difficult to have an opinion on if that would be enough. I will say that to live in Manhattan I wouldn't consider it if earning less than $250K a year, but then you don't need to live in Manhattan. You could support a family of four in a 3 bed apartment in Hoboken, with car on $150K a year.

From a housing perspective take a look on craigslist to see if you can afford the rent.

For childcare - Manhattan, Brooklyn and Hoboken are all in the Abbott program so if there is a spot the older DD can go to preschool (starting at age 3) at no extra cost apart from the afterschool program which is about $450 a month in Hoboken, if not keep her in daycare and to cost will be around $1500 a month for that age group. The younger DD will need to be in daycare which costs around $2500 a month in Hoboken and more in Manhattan.

The other things to consider are vacation days and cost of health insurance. It is normally cheaper to buy coverage through one of you for the whole family. It can be as much as $500 a month deduction from your pay but normally it costs less at around $200-300 a month plus you make a copayment when you see the doctor or fill a script.

Stokey Thu 11-Oct-12 13:48:23

Great information ladies, thanks. I was thinking of living in Brooklyn rather than downtown but will look at Battery Park City too, thanks alarka. We both have private health care through work at present so hopefully would get some there too, but must look into it.
Think our joint salaries would be closer to $200k than $250 based on current exchange rates.
I guess I thought cost of living would be cheaper than London.
Dd1 is 3 in November so here she wouldn't start school til sep 2014, but would need them both in nursery.

ljny Thu 11-Oct-12 13:59:31

Your daughter will be 4 before 31 December 2013, so she could start pre-K in September 2013 (in New York; I don't know what the New Jersey age cut-off is if you opt for Hoboken; they vary from state to state and even sometimes between locales in the same state.)

Pre-K is like nursery in the UK; it's not guaranteed a spot as there aren't enough places. Kindergarten (reception) is guaranteed and - IMO an advantage over the UK - it's totally catchment, so when you find housing, you are guaranteed a place at the local school.

mathanxiety Fri 12-Oct-12 05:19:07

Cost of living is higher. You would need at least $175K to live in any way decently in NYC. If the DH's company is serious they should pony up more relocation money and hopefully they have offered health/dental insurance?

You would need to look closely at the medical and dental insurance your DH's company is offering. It should include well child care and it should include maternity coverage unless you are completely sure you would not become pregnant. You need dental coverage too.

An option you might consider instead of nursery (called daycare) would be an au pair but you would need an extra bedroom.

The flip side of the catchment system is that you have to go to the catchment school or go private, so you need to find a school before you start looking for somewhere to live within its catchment. Private includes RC and Lutheran parish schools, some of which are reasonable even in NYC but you would need to be a member of the congregation. Most parish schools have preschools. The public/private thing isn't the same as in the UK. There are many, many fabulous public schools, but again, people choose a school and then find somewhere to live that ensures their child can go.

NYC is a nice place to live with small children (or without).

babydad Fri 12-Oct-12 10:31:54

I am in the same situation. My wife has been offered a job in New York with her company as her boss has re-located to a much higher profile job. The problem is we are due to have our first child in January and they want us to make a decision in February/March to move over there a couple of months later.
As my wife will be the main income provider, I will be looking after the child for the first few months until we find somewhere to live and sort out childcare. I hope to be given a visa to work also.
We are obviously excited by the possibility of moving to a new exciting country, but daunted by the idea of doing it so soon after the birth of our first child and whether we could afford it and the lack of a support network from our families. There has been no discussion about wage as of yet, but I would expect it to be around the $150k mark for my wife. Would this be enough to live on in a non-manhattan area for up to a year? We would not need to pay for childcare as I would be looking after the child day to day initially.

Would welcome your thoughts.

CaliforniaLeaving Sat 13-Oct-12 02:58:25

You can look a prices on here.
Don't assume anything about health care cover, get all the details including what your costs will be each month and how much you have to pay for care each before the insurance kicks in.

HilaryLDN Sat 13-Oct-12 05:39:06

Based on four years in NYC and just under a year in London (moved here last Dec), I'd say cost of living is lower in NYC - certainly in terms of food/clothes/public transport and in my experience rent as well. Our two-bed in Angel costs the same as the three-bed we shared in Nolita; our current place is nicer but the lower Manhattan location was pretty unbeatable.

Can't speak to childcare/schools as just had PFB two months ago, but would agree with your assumption that you'll have private health insurance - I've never heard of a full-time professional job in the US that didn't offer it. Monthly deductibles will vary of course. What's your tax situation? I found that the higher taxes I pay in the UK balanced out the US insurance cost.

Money questions aside, I love NYC and would absolutely recommend you take the offer!

ElaineBenes Fri 19-Oct-12 04:44:43

I definitely find NYC more expensive than London! Rent is quite a bit more and health insurance can be ridiculous. Schools in manhattan are close to $40,000 and I find decent food to be pricey as well.

You absolutely need to check what health insurance is offered. Hilary is right that generally health insurance will be offered but employers differ greatly in their generosity and every plan is different - some may have higher premiums (the % you pay depends on your employer), some have high deductibles, some have high co-pays, some restrict you to certain providers etc etc. As an example, I pay $700 per month for my insurance for family of 4 (health and dental) and if I go in-network, I'm covered 100% for most things withh no deductible other than $15 or $20 copay. There's an additional copay for medication. Many employers are moving to very high deductible plans - be very careful with those kind of plans.

I'm putting a plug in for Queens as a place to live, it's the most over looked borough but it's fab if you need to get to midtown. The E, F and 7 lines all run express to manhattan so you get there in next to no time. Daycare, rents etc are all cheaper in queens as well. We live in Queens and absolutely love it. We have a beautiful 100 year old 4 bed house in a safe and quiet neighborhood for the same rent as a 2 bed flat in a decent part of manhattan. If you're interested, pm me and I'll tell you more smile

The other good place to live is Roosevelt island. I know lots of people there and they all think it's fab. You're basically one subway stop from manhattan but way cheaper.

Good luck! We love it here!

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