Laying the groundwork - moving home

(14 Posts)
IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Mon 27-Jan-20 06:25:59

I’m done, I’ve been done for a while but now I really want to start looking at the possibilities of moving back to the U.K. am doing a lot of research into things like selling our flat (and everything incurred like CGT etc), moving to a new area and knowing we can buy (including get a mortgage), get into good schools, work (DH needs to see what his options are, I’m going back this summer to try to get as many meetings as poss to see what my options as a freelance voice director are) but in case anyone has done this before I wondered if you might have the time to answer a few questions for me:

- were there any unforeseen repatriation costs?
- if you moved to a new area did you find it relatively easy to build a community quickly? (We’d be looking at Brighton having lived in London before)
- if you’re a Permanent Resident of the US did you go for citizenship before you left? Why or why not?
- any advice on moving kids at certain ages (from those who’ve been there please rather than making assumptions), ours are currently 8&11 so if we made the move in 2021 DC1 will have done one year of middle school and move into year 8 - I feel like this is the last optimum chance to move as secondary school kids might not have totally settled into friendship groups after only one year, likewise he’ll have only been at MS a year which I assume will be easier on him to leave than at a later stage, and academically it’s only a year of shit American education to catch up to British standards and a decent amount of time before GCSE choices

Any other thoughts or advice, particularly if you did a lot of research before repatriating and stuff came up you didn’t expect.

I may find after doing the research that we’re better off staying after all and that will help me commit to being here long term. We’ve been here (west coast USA) for 8years. But I need to be proactive and look at it properly rather than jus MT do another year complaint about being homesick

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BillHadersNewWife Mon 27-Jan-20 06:46:50

I can't advise on many of the questions but wanted to set your mind at ease regarding moving with a child of secondary age. We're expats in Australia and arrived here when DD was 11 so that's slightly different but she settled well immediately and now she is 15...a girl arrived last term aged 15 from England and has made a lot of friends and is very happy.

Kids can and do settle well when they're teens.x

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Mon 27-Jan-20 07:26:57

Thankyou, I’m just going on my own experience of moving schools a lot when I was younger and being moved halfway through year 8 - I was ahead academically and found friends immediately, from the outside it all seemed totally fine but actually the repercussions on my mental health were huge and far reaching, I want to avoid that for my D.C. if possible. Also based on accounts from other expats it’s just really hard academically to move them home again after the start of year 9

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LittleMy77 Mon 27-Jan-20 16:39:23

Following with interest as we're looking into doing the same move back this year, but with a younger kid than yours (will be entering reception)

I've researched 3 areas to possibly move to, and we're set on one. Flagging tho as the school admissions process re residency differed massively between the 3. One just wants proof of a tenancy / somewhere to live, the other 2 wanted proof of admission to the country as final destination (ie one way ticket stub) proof of residency / citizenship etc

The biggest thing we've flagged is having enough cash to tide us over as neither of us will have jobs before we go. We'll be renting as we cant face buying from overseas at the same time we're moving plus we have the fear in case our new area turns out to be crap grin Estate agents have said they'd look for X amount of money in the bank (usually to cover 6 months rent) instead of proof of earnings

DH is American so we have the extra faff of converting driving license, getting NI number and bank accounts for him etc etc

My biggest questions atm are
- should I apply for citizenship before we leave
- how can I get a decent UK and US tax accountant to file both sides for us (moving mid year means we're liable for tax both sides) and give me some advice on property CGT in the UK
- a reputable moving company
- what documents do we need validating / notarizing from here - i.e. marriage and birth certificates

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Mon 27-Jan-20 20:03:23

I’ve heard that about enough money for rental costs and stupid credit history doesn’t transfer, although we’ve been paying a U.K. mortgage all this time so maybe that will help?!

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LittleMy77 Mon 27-Jan-20 20:40:59

I kept my UK bank account and a credit card whilst I've been away (its been 9 years tho!) so am hoping it won't be too awful!

Try HSBC international / premium and / or Amex for credit card credit history transfers. DH has just opened up an HSBC act - supposedly if we move to the UK they can link it and make it 'seamless' (I am skeptical but there you go wink)

One of the weird things to go back to will be being paid monthly and having to buy a car instead of lease - more cash outlay!

BritWifeinUSA Tue 28-Jan-20 04:01:52

I would get citizenship before you move. Yes, I know, it means you’re liable for taxes here for the rest of your life but unless you are making huge sums of money the reality is you won’t owe any tax here. But you just never know. Especially if your husband or children are USCs. Keep the door open.

Can’t help with anything else. I’m here for good as my American husband has a felony from many years ago that is severe enough for him to ineligible to live in the UK. I’m going through citizenship right now.


BritWifeinUSA Tue 28-Jan-20 04:03:42

@LittleMy77 you leave your car? We bought our cars. I see adverts for leading but didn’t think it was such a big thing here. What are the advantages? Curious as I’m wanting to change one of our cars later this year and just assumed we would buy another one.

BritWifeinUSA Tue 28-Jan-20 04:04:00

Lease not leave or lead!

HoldMyLobster Tue 28-Jan-20 04:06:36

We've moved back and forth a couple of times but have only moved UK to US with children. But to answer a few questions about moving US to UK...

Knowing a fair bit about both the US and UK education systems, I'd say around age 12 is the latest I'd move a child.

What do your children think about moving BTW?

were there any unforeseen repatriation costs?

We moved back without jobs, so we had to put down 6 months' rent as security even though our credit rating was fine.

- what documents do we need validating / notarizing from here - i.e. marriage and birth certificates

We haven't validated or notarized any of these - we have a US marriage certificate and a mix of US and UK birth certificates (various other countries too).

if you’re a Permanent Resident of the US did you go for citizenship before you left? Why or why not

Yes because my children and husband are American. Also I like having the choice to live in America. I have several family members who moved back to the UK and eventually lose their green cards - they didn't care either way.

One of the weird things to go back to will be being paid monthly and having to buy a car instead of lease - more cash outlay!

Yes, I'd find this weird. OTOH secondhand cars are a lot cheaper in the UK I think?

Re the accountants, we've filed our own in years when we've lived in both countries, and other times we've had a US accountant do it for us. I found UK tax filing pretty easy compared to US. Capital gains tax though... I think I'd want some good advice on that.

HoldMyLobster Tue 28-Jan-20 04:10:31

We lease our cars. Husband analyses this stuff to the nth degree and overall leasing works out pretty much exactly the same overall cost as buying then selling, unless you buy a real old banger and nothing goes wrong with it. We've never been particularly lucky with older cars so we lease for predictable costs.

When I say he analyses this stuff, he has a spreadsheet with deposits, interest rates, repayment schedules, depreciation, maintenance, excise tax, amortized loans, buyback costs... Also he's an evil negotiator.

BritInUS1 Tue 28-Jan-20 04:13:53

Capital gains on residential properties are changing on 6 April 2020. I would look into that, though selling before then at this late stage will be tricky

BTW I am an expat tax accountant, I specialise in UK taxes

IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Thu 30-Jan-20 07:09:23

Thanks everyone

@HoldMyLobster the D.C. have always known moving home is a strong possibility/an inevitability. But I don’t want to leave it too late esp. for DC1

@BritInUS1 thanks for that - is already done all my CGT calculations but will now do them again when the changes come in!

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IJumpedAboardAPirateShip Tue 04-Feb-20 21:07:35

Just bumping really

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