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An Expat Talks about Moving to Bermuda, Bermuda

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Bermuda

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Wish I had brought:

1. Electric blanket - It gets cold in winter and the houses do not generally have any heating. With the high humidity, your bed can feel really damp and cold - an electric blanket is a necessity not a luxury!

2. Snorkel and fins - I had good quality diving gear at home and left it in the UK... Stupid!

3. Push bike - Got mine shipped out at a later stage, because good road bikes are very expensive in Bermuda.

Wish I had left at home:

1.Leather jacket - not much call for this in Bermuda - it sat in the wardrobe for 6 months and got covered in white mould.

2. Rain gear - unless you've got gortext yachting wet weather gear, don't bother bringing it to Bermuda. When it rains here it really rains - and a thin hiking rain jacket will not cut it. Especially if you are zooming about on your scooter in the rain. The rain jackets and rain pants they sell in Bermuda are a much better buy - and heavy duty enough to stand up to the torrential downpours.

3. Smart clothes - I read somewhere that in Bermuda you had to look smart... and I misunderstood... Smart in Bermuda means "smart casual" - polo shirt and tailored shorts... suits, ties, jackets and dresses are rarely required.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

I moved to Bermuda from the UK with just 2 normal sized suitcases of stuff. For me this worked perfectly - I was put up in a hotel (by my employer) for the first month. I immediately took my bike test, bought a scooter, and set about looking for an apartment. Found one within a week. Furnished it over the next few weekends by zipping all over the island on my scooter from one "house-sale" to the next picking up bargains from people leaving the island.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

One bedroom apartment, attached to landlord's house. This is a typical set-up in Bermuda. In the past it was difficult to obtain a mortgage in Bermuda, they were not available for more than a 5 or 10 year period. So, to fund the building of a house, people built self contained apartments on to the side, to generate rental income.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

By word of mouth - Good reasonably prices apartments for rental do exist, but they never make it as far as the newspaper adverts. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a place to rent. Keep your ear to the ground to find out who is due to move off the island - and ask if their apartment might be coming up for rent. Don't be too concerned about the neighborhood - there aren't any really bad places... even those areas with "a reputation" are far safer than anywhere in a European City!

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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Rent is expensive in Bermuda. But as the lifestyle is so much more focused on being outdoors I chose to rent a tiny one bedroom place - I only really use it to sleep anyway.

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