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moving from Scotland to California

(46 Posts)
suncassie Sun 28-Sep-08 08:49:40

As an (older) mother of a 3 year old DD and 2 cats, we are hoping to move out to America in the NY with DH. Lots of questions about moving in such a big way and living in California. Is there anyone out there with any words of wisdom?

SqueakyPop Sun 28-Sep-08 08:50:56

Is your move permanent?

Is it with work, or a personal decision?

littlelapin Sun 28-Sep-08 08:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

poshtottie Sun 28-Sep-08 08:54:04

I think you need to contact another mumsnetter on here called Califrau.

Whereabouts are you going to? I lived in the San Francisco Bay area but quite a while ago.

sarah293 Sun 28-Sep-08 08:54:16

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littlelapin Sun 28-Sep-08 08:55:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

suncassie Sun 28-Sep-08 19:08:13

Thank you. we are moving with DH's work to Walnut Creek area, probably for 2 years.So much to think about. Going there on holiday at the end of Oct. so hopefully will get a better feel for it then. Weather must be better than heresmile.Am new to this so will try to contact Califrau or maybe she will get in contact after Oz.

poshtottie Sun 28-Sep-08 19:30:00

I used to live in Walnut Creek. grin.

suncassie Mon 29-Sep-08 09:59:03

Great, any top tips? Any nice places to look at when we are out there? Did you like it? Will my 3 year old like it?

poshtottie Mon 29-Sep-08 15:59:45

well it is about 15 years since I lived there, but it is really lovely. Very geared up for the outside lifestyle and very family orientated.

I used to be a nanny in Oakland and also lived in Lafayette which is next to Walnut Creek. Orinda is also very nice but expensive if you are looking to buy property. Lots of houses have pools as the summers are warm and generally the weather is fine from about April through to October.

Obviously close to San Francisco which is one of my favourite cities but also close to Napa Valley, lots of wine tasting. blush
The closest beach is at Almeda, not great, though if you travel to Marin county (north of SF there are some lovely beaches)

There is a good variety of restaurants in the area especially in San Francisco and shopping is excellent. There is good shopping in Walnut Creek at Broadwey Plaza including Nordstoms.

If I can think of anything else, will post later. Posh

suncassie Mon 29-Sep-08 18:53:07

Thanks Posh,we will have to look at all the areas close to WCreek to see what we can afford to rent but a pool sounds good. I feel there may be a story about wine tasting in Napa Valley!!!!

poshtottie Mon 29-Sep-08 20:38:20

We used to go to Stinson beach in Marin County. Check out these vacation rentals on this site here especially the fourth one down. $10,000 a week. shock Stunning!

Sadly I didn't appreciate the quality of the wine only the quantity blush

There is that fab restaurant French Laundry in Napa.

suncassie Mon 29-Sep-08 21:20:48

Wow, I'll mention it to DH...Think it may be a campsite though. Looks like we'll have a busy 10 days.

MalchowMama Sun 05-Oct-08 00:03:49

I was born in Walnut Creek, and lived in the immediate area for 32 years (moved to Ireland 6 years ago, and am in Germany now). There are plently of houses to rent, but rents are steep (mind you, with the dollar in the toilet, your Sterling will go further) for houses (minimum of about $2,000/month when I left. CHeck rental listings online to get an idea.

The area is lovely, Larkey Park and the Lindsay Museum are a great spot for kids, as are the steam trains in the Berkeley hills, oh there are too many things to mention.

You will absolutely need a car. This is what is meant by suburban sprawl. You cannot tell where one town ends and the next begins: Lafayett, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, they all just run together.

Any specifics I can help with? Schools? Neighborhoods? Let me know. . .

alipiggie Sun 05-Oct-08 01:22:08

Quickly we have an Expat thread which Califrau is on. There's a few of us out here who moved over here for one reason or another. Top tips, download the DMV handbook for driving test and swat up, legally you only have 90 days on a UK license. Find a good realtor for rental/purchasing. Remember the credit crunch means it will be very difficult to get a mortgage, credit cards over here. You will need a letter from your dh's work to get a letter saying you are exempt from need of a social security number for a driving license etc. Good shops include : Target - excellent superstore sells everything. Whole Foods for organic and non organic food and other items. Find a good preschool for your DD so you get instant friends. Come and find us on the other thread.

jabberwocky Sun 05-Oct-08 03:16:12

SophiaAimes is in California isn't she?

dodgykeeper Wed 08-Oct-08 01:33:26

Hey suncassie! Its a great adventure and those of us who have done it are mostly glad we did even though we have off days. Join us on the othe thread for any questions you have and lots of support.
Something to start thinking about now; if you are shipping stuff it will take much longer than you think (and probably longer than the company tells you). Your stuff cant leave until you have an address in the us and one of you has a visa. You are going to be without your stuff for several weeks at least to find out if the company your dh is working for make any provisions for this. Although its hard being on different sides of the ocean, it may be easier for your dh to go first and you to come with dc when the shipment is there. A 3 yr old will have no problems adapting, especially if they attend a preschool. Its a great experience for them.

Look out for those emigration expo things they have every few months in the UK. We went to one and found it useful for things like shipping companies, money transfer etc.

Another thing that will help you (but may be too late now)is to open an American express card. If you have had one for at least 6 months in the uk before you move, they sometimes let you have the american one and take into account your british credit history when setting credit limits. Other than that you will have zero credit history (which is considered worse than a bad history) and zero no-claims for insurance.

Totally agree with Ali that a good realtor can be a godsend - try and get a recommendation from someone at dhs company. Ours gave us loads of info on the area, schools, drs, etc, she referred us to a bank and helped us open an account (which you cant officially do until you have a social security number), she explained all the taxes, collected and posted info on all the local preschools, .. she was amazing.
BTW We moved from Edinburgh one year ago but to Ohio not California.

SittingBull Wed 08-Oct-08 03:59:07

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SittingBull Thu 09-Oct-08 19:07:53

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