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Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Back Bay, Boston
Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Back Bay, Boston
Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Back Bay, Boston

Real Estate in the United States

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in United States? How do you find a home in United States? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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Allianz Care International Health Insurance
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How do I find a place to live in the United States?

Live in the United States? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Came and stayed for a month touring island. Last 3 days found the part we liked, so came back down and rented a condo there for 2 weeks. Arranged finances online and came down 3rd time to sign and move in," explained one expat living in Palmas Del Mar Humacao , United States.

"On Saipan, it's all about knowing people. Friends put us in touch with friends here, who told everyone we were looking for a place, and voila," said another person in Saipan (not really Guam, but not listed anywhere).

"A relocation agent helped us to look at areas around the workplace. We settled on Huntington Beach because we could walk to some shops and restaurants. It was a great decision. Californians really do drive a lot and there is minimum public transport in the area," added another expat who made the move to Huntington Beach.

"Found the area by talking with friends and using realtor as well as length of commute. Also, by calibre of schools recommended by School Choice," explained one foreigner living in Morristown, US.

"I moved 5 times in 5 years because I could not understand how it works here. You have everything to learn if you are coming from an europeen country; It is a completely different life style. That is why I established myself as a real estate agent, to be helpful to the others, and avoid them to spend hours in traffic jam," said another in Atlanta.

"We decided to move out there because it was cheaper there than where we lived and it was away from Chicago," explained one expat in Sycamore.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in the United States?

Live in the United States? Answer this Question

"Condo on beach. [Palmas del Mar is a] large resort area but still 3000 permanent residents equally distributed across age range from 1-87 years. Large % condo but houses available. Most expats live in condo villages," remarked another foreigner who made the move to Palmas Del Mar Humacao .

"We live in a two bedroom, two bath full concrete house (which means the roof is concrete, too). It's designed to weather cyclones and features a big backup water tank. It's spacious but not fancy in any way and is typical of teacher level (as opposed to lawyer/doctor level) expat housing here," explained one person living in Saipan (not really Guam, but not listed anywhere), United States.

"I live in a home surrounded with a large yard. I don't know any expats, nor where they live," said another expat in Perrysburg.

"A three storey, 2 bed house. We're in a Community. We haven't met any other expats. Lots of people live in Communities, they feel secure. You're not that likely to make friends and they are very quiet in the daytime. We hardly see anyone because people travel in their cars and the garages are inside the house," remarked another member in Huntington Beach.

"Large detached. Had to get used to the unfenced gardens. Youngest child was confined to the deck," explained one expat living in Morristown, US.

"I live in an house. Yes, it is typical. You first live in a condo, which is a furnished rental place, very nice most of the time, while you wait for you stuff to cross the ocean. Then, you can, if you have a good credit history, borrow money to buy an house. It happens most of the time after 6 month. What is less usual is to rent an house, because they are few houses for rent on the market, and because real estate agent drive you to buy a house. But more houses are available, with the subprime crisis, owner cannot let their house empty until it sells," said another person in Atlanta.

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What is the average cost of housing in the United States?

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If you are thinking about moving to the United States, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Housing costs much lower but we moved from Seattle, WA. Any other locations in WA would be slightly lower for regular condo location and much lower for on water," said another expat in Palmas Del Mar Humacao .

"Housing costs here are far lower than they were in Hawaii (last 4 years), and a bit lower than north Idaho (20 years before that). We pay $850/month for our house, and locals think that's a little high. Electricity and water run us another $135/mo," remarked another member in Saipan (not really Guam, but not listed anywhere).

"Housing prices depend on neighborhoods, size and condition of home, proximity to doctors, shopping and entertainment. Healthcare in the US is very expensive. Spain was cheaper to live in. US: higher wages, higher costs. Average home price for 2 people in a good neighborhood near Perrysburg, Ohio: $100,000 to $175,000," explained one expat living in Perrysburg, US.

"Slightly less than UK. A nice house with 4 bed 2 1/2 bath and double garage in a child friendly neighbourhood would run approx. $700,000," said another person in Morristown.

"I would say lower. It is very interesting now with the current rate between euro and dollars," added another expat who made the move to Atlanta.

"Lower, I feel. You get more for your money as space is not so limited. Average costs: our mortgage is $1,100. That's for 3bdrm, 1bthrm, acreage...," explained one foreigner living in Columbus, US.

What appliances are typically included in a rental?

Live in the United States? Answer this Question

We asked foreigners in the United States what appliances are typically included in a rental, and, if there is anything else included or not included that a newcomer would not expect. Replies included:

"We nearly always have stove, fridge, and AC. But is there a generator? A cistern? Any alternative form of energy? These are important questions in an area where there are frequent power outages even when there is no storm," said another foreigner living in Christiansted, US.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Back Bay, Boston

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
Get a Quote

United States GuideUnited States Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in United States.

United States Forum United States Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in United States on our United States forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

United States Index United States Index
An index of all of our site's United States information.

Contribute to United States Network Contribute
Help others in United States by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in United States.

Expat Healthcare Advice in United StatesHealthcare & Health Insurance in United States

Expats in United States offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in United States.

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