Moving to the Washington or California: A question in many parts
August 26, 2012 1:08 PM Subscribe
Several opportunities for my family to move to the States from Canada have come up and we are considering moving however we, early 30's SAHM and Husband + toddler, have no idea how basics such as down payments, mortgages, health insurance and retirement accounts work down there. We are considering a move to Bellevue, WA or Mountain View, CA so any advise on deciding between these two would also be great :)
We are well versed in how all of these things work in Canada and are current home owners, so Bonus points for any side by side comparisons of how the American and Canadian systems differ or are similar.
posted by saradarlin to Work & Money (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have turned to google for answers but I keep seeing references to "points" and "FHA loans" etc that I am not familiar with. Also, I frequently see questions here on the green about people in terrible trouble with poor health care, bad mortgages, balloon payments, which worries me. So help us learn so that we can make an informed decision. I am looking for nice clear introductions, links or summaries of:
- How do US mortgages work and what is "normal"?
- Does every place sell off your loan? Is this even bad?
- What are standard down payments, post crash, and what happens if we only have 10% down?
- What is "good coverage" and how much do you spend out of pocket on top of your employer coverage?
- How expensive is having a baby? Do you pay anything out of pocket (with insurance)?
- In network/Out of Network providers? What happens if you are away from home?
- Pre-existing conditions? If I am pregnant when we start coverage will that be a problem? Can coverage of the pregnancy be denied? We would like to start trying now for baby #2 but given this move might happen in 2-3 months we are wondering if we need to/should wait.
- Tips or an introduction to living as an expat?
- Retirement accounts, 401k wtf?
- Saving for University for the kid(s)?
- Bellevue, WA vs Silicon Valley? (we have lived in Vancouver and loved it so we are familiar with the malls of Bellevue and the weather)
- School districts? Just yesterday I was reading a question here about lying to get into a better school. I have never heard of that before in Toronto/Vancouver. Are the "bad" schools that much worse? How do you even find out what a school is rated and what school zone a house is in?
Thanks so much for any help you can give me on my huge list of questions.
Though being able to attend IRL Mefi Meet-ups would be cool!