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‘Moving to the U.S.’ Series | NY Housing & Medical Considerations

With the help of our members, we are creating a Thought-Leadership series on important factors to take into consideration when ‘Moving to the United States’. Today, we present Dee Coffey, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at COMPASS, along with E. Steven Lenger M.D., Founder & Owner of MPC CONSULTANTS, who will address housing and medical related issues when moving to New York.


Moving to NY can feel overwhelming and daunting with so many factors to take into consideration.

In particular, concern for people moving to the US is its complicated healthcare system and deciding where to live and the process of finding yourself a home.

Whilst these aren’t at face value connected issues they are usually at the top of the list of many people’s concerns before they move here.

To help shed some light on these specific issues two of our members who specialize in helping people relocate to NY in these respective fields have written two helpful summaries of what to expect and where you can look for help.

Moving to the New York Suburbs

In 2020, as the pandemic continued to unfold and some degree of working from home changed from a temporary fix to a potentially permanent set up, many people decided that city life was no longer the optimal arrangement for themselves or their families.  So where could they go?

One of the most popular commuter locations for New York City is Westchester County and once you are here, you’ll understand why. Whilst the 30-40 minute commute to the city is a major plus, Westchester living has so much more to offer. Picturesque towns and villages throughout the county offer vibrant nightlife and boutique dining. Culture and the arts abound, with everything from musical festivals to galleries and museums. If you’re the outdoors type, you have the majestic Hudson Valley at your doorstep, offering internationally renowned golf-courses, hikes in the spring time or skiing in the winter. And with some of the finest public and private schools in the country, it’s truly an amazing place to create a home and raise a family.

Across the County, there are many great communities to choose from that are 45 minutes or less by train to Grand Central Station.  Along the beautiful Hudson are the river towns such as Hastings, Dobbs Ferry and Irvington – small and artsy with great boutique shops and restaurants. Central Westchester has Scarsdale, famous for its schools and White Plains, the county seat.  Further East, on the Sound Shore, towns like Larchmont and Rye offer beach life and sailing.

So, how do you go about finding that ideal community and the house that matches your budget and needs?  As a licensed real estate agent, my role is to help you in your search and to represent you in any negotiation and inspection processes.  Ideally you want someone who knows the areas and market conditions of the locations of interest to you.  Someone who can guide you as per your needs and budget.  You will also want someone who can steer you through the various steps of inspections, appraisals and closing arrangements which can be protracted and bewildering to the new comer.

One thing to note if you are considering buying a place, is that any serious search for a house in Westchester begins with securing pre-approval from your financial institution.  This will help demonstrate your viability to any seller as a prospective buyer, who is able to quickly close the deal. Its a competitive market right now with low interest rates on offer, so it’s always wise to shop around – especially if you have lived in the US for some time and have a good credit rating.

Your realtor will help advise on the competitiveness of asking prices and what scope there is for negotiation.  They will also help you arrange an independent-expert inspection, which can also affect the final price based on the condition of the property.

Renting a place in Westchester can be different to what you are used to, even if you have rented before in New York City.  Again, a Realtor can help make that a smoother process, so it is advisable to have one on your side.

What is good news is that, in Westchester, the prospective buyer or tenant does not have to pay the Realtor’s fees.

I have a website set up – www.totallywestchester.com – that provides a lot more detail on all the steps involved in all domestic real estate transactions.

It also includes tips and information for those who are moving to the US for the first time.  This includes some of the more mundane, but necessary steps, such as Social Security and acquiring a drivers licence.

Take a look and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me Dee Coffey on 6465495285 of at my email address deirdre.coffey@compass.com

I’d also be delighted to show you around Westchester so you can see all that it has to offer and help you decide whether you want to move here with the many other UN families who happily made the move to raise their families whilst stationed in NY.

Medical Considerations

There is always a lot of planning involved when moving domestically, and particularly when moving internationally. In addition to the decision about which community to choose, often overlooked is planning ahead for one’s medical needs.

So, what should you take into account as you plan for this journey?

Have a list available of all of your medications including dosages and instructions.  Be sure to include over the counter medications and supplements that you may be taking.  Keep in mind that there is often a difference in the names of medications used overseas vs. the U.S.  Some medications might not be available here in the U.S.

Prepare a file listing your medical and surgical history should include all allergies as well as any radiologic reports and bloodwork reports, if available.

Vaccination records are extremely necessary. Not only is it necessary to have a listing of childhood vaccinations, but especially important in today’s times of Covid-19, having documentation of having been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus may be required in order to travel, attend a sporting event, attend a concert, and potentially to attend school.

Know what your medical insurance covers and what you may be responsible for out of pocket.  Identify hospitals and urgent care centers near your residence.  In addition, it is very helpful to identify a pharmacy in your area that is open 24 hours a day.

Consider making an appointment with appropriate physicians (Pediatrician, OB/GYN, Oncologist, etc). Establish your physician contacts early so that when the need arises, the transition is seamless.  Don’t wait for an emergency; be prepared so that you know who to call and when to go. Include a list of your emergency contacts.

The United States, unlike most countries in Europe, does not have a National Healthcare system. Although there are public options, the best choices tend to be through the private insurance sector. This makes it all the more important to choose the insurance plan that best suits your needs. Will your plan allow you to see specialists without a referral from a primary care physician? What will your co-pays be and which hospitals are in your plan? What will your out of pocket expenses be? For these and many other reasons, choosing the right plan is of utmost importance.

Medical preparedness is key and will lessen the additional stress inevitably involved with moving.

The American medical system, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with it, can be a labyrinth.  MPC Consultants specializes in helping patients and their families navigate the complex worlds of care and treatment.  If I can be of assistance to you on any of these matters, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Conclusion:

We hope you found these useful. For more information please reach out below for all your housing and medical related questions.

Authors:

  • Dee Coffey, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at COMPASS | deirdre.coffey@compass.com | +1 646.549.5285
  • E. Steven Lenger M.D., Founder & Owner, MPC CONSULTANTS | info@mpc-consultants.com | +1 732.713.9604

Stay tuned for more on this series! We hope you enjoy these Thought-Leadership pieces written by our members.