The prevailing theme of this blog over the last few months has revolved around our recent move from the US to the UK. Huge life changes like this often come with massive financial impacts.
Fortunately for us, the actual move itself was free. Packing and shipping our household goods, airfare to London, and temporary lodging were all paid by the US Government. After all, they were the ones responsible for our move. For our family of five, I’d estimate the value of these services exceeded $15,000.
However, before moving we needed to sell our house along with many of our other possessions. Moving from Texas to England meant downsizing from a sprawling 5-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3,200 sq ft suburban home to one just over half that size.
Three years ago, we purchased our house for $280,000. Although we enjoyed the house and neighborhood amenities, we confess that it was more home than we’d ever need or want again. We sold the house in August for $297,000. After paying roughly $9,000 in real estate commissions to the buyer’s agent (we did not have an agent ourselves) and other closing costs, we profited only a few thousand dollars.
With moving costs paid for and our home sale a wash, we were at just over the breakeven point. Remember though, the move came with a fairly drastic downsizing and this is where we really did well.
A few months before moving, we made an initial pass through our belongings to get rid of some easy stuff. This culminated with an “open house” of sorts where we invited the neighborhood to take anything we no longer needed. Everything was free, though we set out a donation jar that most people contributed to.
As the summer wore on, we buckled down and got much more serious. We touched everything in the house and began selling anything we couldn’t envision fitting in our English house. This included ditching the contents of two rooms almost entirely, our media room and spare bedroom.
Lastly, days before we left the states, we sold both of our cars to CarMax.
Since arriving in the UK, we did purchase one used car for roughly the same amount we’d sold our older car for a couple weeks prior. We’re on the fence about buying a second car. If we do, we’ve set a hard budget at £3,000, or $3,677 at the current exchange rate.
Additionally, because of the lack of storage in our new house, specifically in the kitchen, we’ve purchased a shelving rack and some cabinet inserts to maximize the space we do have.
The table below lists everything we sold leading up to the move and everything we purchased to replace some of those items or accommodate our new house.
In total, we’ve come out ahead nearly $20,000 as a result of our move overseas. Not to mention, we received $45,126 in equity and escrow payments from selling our house. This means we now have another $65,000 in investable assets! Our goal is to use these funds to bolster our passive income streams.
Have you ever moved or downsized to improve you financial position?