Cost of living in Sarasota / Building up a credit score


We are looking to move to Sarasota in the middle of next year (July 2018) I wondered if anyone living in Florida is able to give a rough idea of the costs we would need to budget for on a monthly basis. We'd want a 3 bedroom home, 1 car and our two children would be in middle school. Would $4000 a month be sufficient to live on assuming half of that would be for the rental to start with?

What is a good way to build up a credit score as quickly as possible?


That income should be sufficient, but it largely depends on your lifestyle habits.

As for credit building, you can start with secured credit cards.  Also, if your credit reports are in good shape in the UK, you might print them out and bring them to lenders and discuss with them if they are willing to extend credit based on that history and fast-track your credit building in the U.S.  Other than that, if you have an UK based American Express card, they can global-transfer it to the USA and begin reporting to the credit bureaus.

Romaniac Experts Team

Not enough information to run numbers.
Is 4 gross or net?
Is this a temporary expat assignment with relo package?

Initial expenses:
deposits - 3+ months rent, utilities
car (are you working from home, otherwise your spouse will need reliable transportation as involvement in kids school/extracurricular activities is a must)
Phones, TV, Internet
Renter's and vehicle insurance
School expenses from medical exam to supplies/uniforms/lunch/...
Medical/dental insurance
Basic household goods from salt to shower curtains (do not underestimate, small stuff adds up)
Clothes - you and your kids do not want to be sunflowers in the corn field
Small appliances (it is no fun to drag a transformer around) and maybe washer/dryer

Food prices seem to be a sticker shock for most Europeans. Google local grocery stores (Publix is a good start) and check their weekly adds. I spend 1k or more for two people and three cats and cook from scratch including bread/pasta and a small vegetable/herb garden.

What do you and the family do in your free time, what are your plans in FL?

How to build credit has been addressed in the past. Get a secured CC when you open your local accounts. Max it, pay it in full before the due date, six months later apply for a credit card - rinse and repeat! Unless a UK originated card charges no conversion it will get expensive.

Thanks both. We’re coming on E2 so hopefully fairly long term provided it goes to plan. Net £4K. It’s my business I’m expanding from Uk so I can be flexible but just want to be sensible in year 1 and see how we go. I’d rather spend more on the business in year 1 and just settle us all in at good schools. We can be more flexible when I’m up and running.

We’re not massive spenders but are all into various sports like running, basketball, gymnastics.

My Uk scores are all high so hopefully that may help but I guess it depends on the people I’m dealing with.

Do you pay property tax on top if you rent, or does that depend on the property? I’m sure these questions have been asked before but I can’t see all the answers.

you had some good advice already on expenses living in FL.
One thing I like to remind someone moving from Europe, in your case from GB to the US is healthcare. Our healthcare system is very different from the NHS in your country. I assume you will lose access to it once you move.
The fragmented American Healthcare System is not known for efficiency, affordability or ease of access. For Europeans this can be a rude awakening once they discover what they are up against, especially if they don't have employer sponsored health insurance. Being self-employed you will have to buy a private insurance policy, there is no public option. Depending on the coverage you need for your family, this can add up very quickly. Cheaper plans cover very little. Obamacare is still available with subsidies if you qualify.
Depending on your plan you will have access to providers within a certain network. After a hospital stay or a serious illness, recovery is usually followed by plenty of paperwork and all kinds of bureaucratic headaches.
I hope this was helpful, good luck to you and your family,

As renter you are not responsible for property taxes. They are generally built into the rent. If you are renting a house make sure you understand upkeep requirements such as landscape and irrigation plus liability. It can mess up your somewhat low budget in no time

If you are going to rent a home, the home owner is responsible for the property taxes because you are just renting from him/her.

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