Author Topic: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?  (Read 5277 times)

Midcenturymater

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would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« on: February 11, 2016, 02:23:45 PM »
I am just thinking on this.

Been in the US for 6 years. Very happily so long as life continues as it is. In sunny California.

However. My husband s job is not making him happy. He is reluctant to leave the company as it would give him 6 months of full pay if he lost his job, which is always possible knowing how often they lay people off.

I have been home with our kids for 6 years. Loved doing that. Worth leaving the UK for.
We have a good life here.

But

We have a huge mortgage of 500 k. 29 years to go.
As soon as I get work we intend to it all my wage into the mortgage. Aim to pay it off in 14 more years.

This will mean we will not save anything apart from equity in the house. Currently valued around 760k.
We will be able to start saving after that. At the ages of 57. Not much time to save. Should be sitting on a house worth.....let's say 900 k. Probably will be more. I guess we can cash the house in then and move somewhere cheaper.
 We have an apartment in the UK with 10 years to go on mortgage.It is worth about 250k. Equity in that is about $170. Rent covers mortgage and most repairs.

I am just thinking we might be smarter to move back to the UK when the day comes my husband loses his job. Company pays for relocation.

We would have, cashing out his 401 k about $450.

We could buy outright in the UK in many places.
I can go back to teaching which I used to generate about 65$ k a year in.
My husband could take a break from working hard, maybe train as a teacher too do we get 12 weeks together as a family each year. So between us in the UK we would generate 120 k to $150 k...both of us working. We could save everything above the current $24 k we live on after paying mortgage and prop taxes.


I am trying to get my teaching credential cleared here. I will take a pay cut to what I can earn in the uk...so instead of earning $65 k in UK I will start on 48 k here riding to 70 k in the USA after ten years.


We do love living here but I worry about health expenses or my husband losing his job and not getting g one at same salary...around 96 k.
I wonder if we would be safer back in a country where you have no health expenses, I can go back to my career at the level I left. We can see family ( my folks are nearly 80 though).

I just worry we don t have our eye on the long game. Loving living in the sun but not thinking through what could happen if one of us becomes unemployable.

And I am a little afraid of Trump getting in. That may be colouring my view right now.

Any thoughts. We would sell I'm apartment and usa home to provide 450 k to buy a uk home outright

Thank you!

But I am wondering if it might not make more sense

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2016, 02:28:53 PM »
Plenty of places in the US you could own a home outright, too. I do!

Retire-Canada

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 02:37:34 PM »
We have a huge mortgage of 500 k. 29 years to go.
As soon as I get work we intend to it all my wage into the mortgage. Aim to pay it off in 14 more years.

This will mean we will not save anything apart from equity in the house. Currently valued around 760k.
We will be able to start saving after that. At the ages of 57. Not much time to save. Should be sitting on a house worth.....let's say 900 k. Probably will be more. I guess we can cash the house in then and move somewhere cheaper.

I'd let the mortgage run and let inflation eat away at what you owe. You've got a low interest rate. There is no rush.

Take all that extra money you were going to shovel into the mortgage and invest it so it's working for you. You'll get a lot better bang for your buck than paying down a low interest loan faster.

When you are ready to FIRE sell the house and take the equity to buy something more reasonable wherever you like.

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2016, 02:37:45 PM »
That's true. But if we are going to uproot from a place we live and leave all our friends we may as well go back to the UK where we can enjoy family connections. I do fear going somewhere lcol in the usa and hating it because the city we are in us pretty cosmopolitan and being a foreigner here is common.

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 02:46:06 PM »
Thanks Canada. Ok good advice.
I guess the only time I invested in a fund in the UK it was a disaster. I put 10 k into it in 1998 and it us still worth less than that. I should have cashed put when it was worth 16 k but was young, not watching busy with Cleve. So I do need to learn about how you can make more that 3.75 % as that us our rate on a 30 year fixed.

My question was badly phrased.
I guess I like the idea of living in a house with no mortgage. No prop taxes in the UK.
I like the idea of earning 65 k without jumping through the hoops I have to here in California to only earn 48 k.

But we do.love living in California. I am starting to miss ever seeing my family. It us 6 years since I saw my brother who I am close to. My dad turned 79. I just feel less secure here in the USA because of potential health expenses and the fact it is still not clear if I can return to my profession where I made a decent living in the UK.

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2016, 02:53:23 PM »
I wasn't busy with Cleve. I was busy with college))

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2016, 02:55:51 PM »
That's true. But if we are going to uproot from a place we live and leave all our friends we may as well go back to the UK where we can enjoy family connections. I do fear going somewhere lcol in the usa and hating it because the city we are in us pretty cosmopolitan and being a foreigner here is common.

Understood.

That said, to add to the more general topic, being a foreigner doesn't seem very uncommon in lots of places in the USA; 8.5% of my county is foreign-born and 1.55% of the people in my county were born in Europe - very similar to LA county, actually (1.84). And there's a big range of cosmopolitan-ness between LA and Allentown!

Data from here in case anybody's interested.

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2016, 03:11:07 PM »
Useful to know. It does not bother me being g a foreigner. But I do hear some parts of the USA are a bit redneck....I guess I like no one caring I am a foreigner here and I wonder if other places may be more homogenous. It may be my perspective us uninformed of course. I think I am having the shock of trying to get back to work and start from the bottom again. If I return to the UK I go back in at the high level I got to...pay wise.

But I love our everyday life in the USA and think there us more space here somehow. I would miss,the usa if we left but am thinking financially and emotionally we may be better off in wet cold rare blue sky U.K.. I haven't really missed the UK in 6 years if being here. It's just the career thing here that is making me think. If my husband lived his job I would feel different. We love the above average pay and we love California.

JLee

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2016, 03:40:45 PM »
Keep in mind the US is a LOT bigger than the UK (over 40 times the land area).  There are wildly different geographic regions, populations, etc across the country.  If you haven't traveled much in the US, you may want to consider that before leaving outright.


Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2016, 04:00:01 PM »
Thanks. I agree. I think it is more a case of knowing on had reached so professional level in the uk and I have to start again now as none of my experience is recognised. This is combined with the fact my husband's job is not giving him much satisfaction.
Of course..he could find another job...but then we give up the free relocation we are currently entitled to under his contract. We have been to Arizona, Colorado..which was beautiful, Nevada on road trips...and Utah which was beautiful but hot.

People tell me Austin is great and cheaper. I think because the us job market is less known to us I feel nervous about uprooting to move somewhere cheaper as we are very content in California....well apart from my husband not enjoying his job right now. That is a changeable thing of course.

I am feeling the not seeing my family more as my kids age. My parents are on the cusp of 80 and I worry I will feel this tremendous sadness when they are gone and I have missed my chance to share some times with them.

JLee

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2016, 04:01:46 PM »
Thanks. I agree. I think it is more a case of knowing on had reached so professional level in the uk and I have to start again now as none of my experience is recognised. This is combined with the fact my husband's job is not giving him much satisfaction.
Of course..he could find another job...but then we give up the free relocation we are currently entitled to under his contract. We have been to Arizona, Colorado..which was beautiful, Nevada on road trips...and Utah which was beautiful but hot.

People tell me Austin is great and cheaper. I think because the us job market is less known to us I feel nervous about uprooting to move somewhere cheaper as we are very content in California....well apart from my husband not enjoying his job right now. That is a changeable thing of course.

I am feeling the not seeing my family more as my kids age. My parents are on the cusp of 80 and I worry I will feel this tremendous sadness when they are gone and I have missed my chance to share some times with them.

That's definitely a valid concern and bears serious thought.

Best of luck with your decision! : )

Retire-Canada

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2016, 04:05:25 PM »
I am starting to miss ever seeing my family. It us 6 years since I saw my brother who I am close to. My dad turned 79.

My GF is from the UK and sees her family on average twice a year.

nereo

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2016, 04:11:42 PM »
It sounds like you have two distinct concerns here that emotion has mashed together. 
The first is being able to see your parents and family more

The second is increasing your financial means (either by reducing cash-flow by not having a mortgage, or having more investments)

To address the first - it's simply a matter of whether moving back to the UK is the right decision for you and for your family.  It cannot be solved with any simple equation, and there is no right or wrong answer.  It should not be confounded with the second question.

To address the latter - I concur with Retire-Canada. The smart thing to do here is allow interest to eat away at your debt while investing money towards FI.  Over time you'll build equity and a 'stache, and when you are ready to move there are lots of places both inside the US and outside where you can buy a large family home for under $200k.  Some of them are even nice places to live ;-)

aFrugalFather

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 04:15:00 PM »
Not sure I follow completely, but personally I wouldn't sink too much into CA real estate, not sure it is any  more stable or likely to increase than the US stock market.  If you make minimum payments at least you could walk away from the loss and keep whatever you have saved in other accounts to leave the U.S. with.  However if you have all your savings in the house and the market tanks then you may lose everything.  I'm one for making min. payments only.  Worse case is that the house continues to appreciate in value and you can pay off the mortgage at some point down the road with whatever savings you had saved away in other accounts.  Also since you are at the early end of the payment cycle you should have a good mortgage tax deduction as well. 

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2016, 04:15:43 PM »
Well one flight is a lot cheaper than 4 in the school.holidays.

 My mum has visited 3 times in 6 years...My dad once. My brother once. We have not had the spare 5000 for flights living on one wage in hcol area.

My otherwise is to use 5 k a year from my wage, when I get it , to go back for 6 weeks...My husband could join us for 2 weeks.

I do like living here a lot, and we live the home we bought, the school my son attends.
 But we don't love the lack of holiday time compared to Europe, the fact people think having a gun is a right, and the sense of job insecurity that is dawning on me now I must return to work, if the state will even let me. I am still waiting on that. If they clear me to teach, maybe I will feel differently. I am still taking a pay cut. My husband will still be unhappy in his job. Maybe we wait till he loses his job. That will happen. Lay off s of 66% of the company have happened since we moved here. Amazingly my husband has survived such job cuts.

JLee

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2016, 04:29:39 PM »
Well one flight is a lot cheaper than 4 in the school.holidays.

 My mum has visited 3 times in 6 years...My dad once. My brother once. We have not had the spare 5000 for flights living on one wage in hcol area.

My otherwise is to use 5 k a year from my wage, when I get it , to go back for 6 weeks...My husband could join us for 2 weeks.

I do like living here a lot, and we live the home we bought, the school my son attends.
 But we don't love the lack of holiday time compared to Europe, the fact people think having a gun is a right, and the sense of job insecurity that is dawning on me now I must return to work, if the state will even let me. I am still waiting on that. If they clear me to teach, maybe I will feel differently. I am still taking a pay cut. My husband will still be unhappy in his job. Maybe we wait till he loses his job. That will happen. Lay off s of 66% of the company have happened since we moved here. Amazingly my husband has survived such job cuts.
If it makes you feel any better, in California it basically isn't. :P

Telecaster

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2016, 04:35:15 PM »
Back to the original question:

Would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?

Answer is no, not for that reason.   I view housing as an expense.   Like all expenses, it makes sense to minimizing them when you can.  Sometimes owning a home is the way to minimize that expense, but not always!   

Sounds like the OP loves living in California.  That's the answer right there.  I'd rather live in a place I love and have a mortgage or even rent, than own a home in a place I didn't love. 

Jeremy E.

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2016, 06:49:49 PM »
In my opinion, the United States is the fastest place to grow a stache, due to the very high salaries and low taxes, but once you are retired, there are lots of cheaper places to live, like China, Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, etc. if I didn't have ties to the U.S. I would leave it when I got enough money to retire, however I have a lot of family and friends here so I'll stay here. You should make a pros and cons chart of United States and UK, and choose what is most important to you and your husband.

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2016, 07:27:49 PM »
ThAnks frugal father. Interesting view. Id your lack of confidence due to the high prices or long running drought probability?
We were spending so much on rent...150 k in 5 years. So it made sense to buy but we did sink a 140 k deposit on it.

We have yet to find out how much tax we get back...I am assuming the tax we paid on the 1600 a month interest section of our.payment.

I didn't know that taxes are low here but I do recognise we have a better quality of life here on a pretty mildest 95k family income because so much stuff us free when you have sunshine most of the year.

I think I have the jitters about finding work and accepting the pay cut. But mainly I feel sorry I can't see my parents and brother very often. My husband us less connected to his family so not going home us fine with him.

deborah

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2016, 07:41:13 PM »
Being a stranger in a basically similar land can be more disorientating than being a stranger in a completely different land, because you occasionally really trip over! And America doesn't have the migrants that other places (like Australia) have. For instance, I was amazed at how difficult some Americans found my accent, until I realised it was because we are used to talking to people with different accents every day, and they aren't. So I can understand how you are being affected by things that the people around you (who are Americans and are used to the way things work there) think are normal - because they really aren't normal where you come from.

You need to decide where you want to live. You love the (somewhat foreign) environment of the US, yet yearn for the "normal" social  sphere where you grew up, and miss the family network. Unfortunately, I have found that many migrants here have a similar yearning for their homeland and family, only to go back and find that everything has changed and they don't really belong there any more either. Perhaps you really need to think about why you came, what you miss and what you can do to fill that gap where you now live. For instance, the social media - like Skype - can be so much better than a telephone at bringing your family to you.

frugaldrummer

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2016, 08:07:24 PM »
Heck, I was born in the U.S., and if Trump gets elected. I'm emigrating myself!

Midcenturymater

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Re: would you leave the US if you could own a house outright?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2016, 08:31:51 PM »
Ha..frugal father...We are all saying that but of course we will just most likely be with it.

Deborah...We had an amazing adjustment when we moved here and honestly I have not really missed anything about the UK and we don't really get homesick.....and we love it here. But this feeling I may not get my teaching credential recognised is giving me doubts. Silly as I could have a go at something else but I chose teaching very pragmatically.I thought it would work well part time so I could enjoy family.

It seems part time teaching jobs are less common here and I am not looking forwArd to returning to the grind and not being around my kids who will be grown up before I know it.

 We could of course move somewhere cheaper and use our 450 k to buy outright and carry on living on one salary but then I think if we are to make that big move and leave dear friends we may as well move back to the UK. More for me being able to drop back into my career....which of course may not be as easy as I think. My folks won't be around for ever.

I think we should pay to get our citizenship before making any drastic decisions so we could go back to the UK for a period of time and return to the USA easily.

I think I just have return to work blues.....I have never done a paid day of work since coming in 09. Have been mostly incredibly happy as a stay home mum...and now the time has come to generate more income.

As transplants we are pretty unanimously happy to be in sunny California and I am old enough to recognise our grass is green. But I just fear husband loses job and can't get another at that level....and I can only make  50 k as a teacher to start with. I guess everyone has these possibilities.

Excuse typos. Cell has auto correct I have not worked out how to change.