My Permanent Residence in the U.K.

by Liz

This is an adventure about moving our residence from one part of the country and world to another. This move was from our domicile in Washington, D.C. to England.

It took almost three months from the beginning of the more to settlement at our new residence. It was different this time because we used our reciprocity between countries to purchase our home. Not all countries allow a foreigner to purchase a home. We had a green card for England.

We started packing as soon as possible to get our household effects on the ship. The next step was personal effects while in the U.S. The last step was to have the proper clothing for the other side.

We did not want to live in London. We needed to be close to Oxford for our daughter’s prep school. The choice we made was a home in a very small town (village) about 5 miles from the train to Oxford and London. Oxford is 70 miles northwest of London.

The British real estate agent was on the ball. We were in temporary quarters for only a short time. I studied the rules of purchasing a home in the U.K. for several months before arriving. One helpful hint is that your home is not sold or purchased until the title is taken.

There were about 10 homes in our circle. We were the only foreigners in the village. It was beside a major air base. The noise of B-15 jets was terrible. I found out how to apply for sound proofing our home. The neighbor told us what to do. I was a very happy foreigner.

The house was two stories with four bedrooms. They all looked alike from the front. The yard was small. It was our home for four years.

The house had about 12 to 15 steps to the top of the second floor. It had no bedrooms downstairs. My luck always carried me through. I was on crutches because I had tripped over a curb and broken my ankle. The next move it was a broken arm.

There was no violence. No guns were allowed; only the flying police squad could carry guns.

We drove on the left hand side of the road with an American car. In American cars the driver sits on left, while in British cars the driver sits on the right. It is great driving on the left. I am amazed at how many countries drive on the left.

We sold the house when we left. The exit was to put the village on the map because a ramp was to be built for the M40 Interstate from London.

This is a story about how to get a home anywhere with preparation. It usually went smoothly. Change may not be for everyone. For us, home was where we were sent to live.

May 9, 2011

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