What you need to know about Relocating from Great Britain to the Keys

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker


Relocating to the Florida Keys from the United Kingdom is a dream of many. Enjoying the wonderfully warm climate and escaping those ever disappointing English summers that lead to long, cold winters is a beautiful thing.


Lower taxes, and more outdoor activities in the tropical island paradise certain sounds great, and is, for many expats living in the area. Going from British subject to U.S. citizen, however, doesn’t come overnight. There are some things you’ll have to do before and after you come across the pond.


What’s great is there’ll be new opportunities, and a plethora of things to see and do. Many Brits holiday in the Florida Keys and find it all too irresistible. Calling the Keys home will take more than a plane trip over the Atlantic, here’s what you need to know.


Becoming a Permanent Resident of the Florida Keys


Most expats start with their passport, then move on to obtain a green card. This requires a valid employment opportunity or an immediate family member already residing in the USA. You’ll be able to go through the naturalization process after living in the Keys for five years.


Banking Arrangements and Credit


Moving to the US means having to take your finances with you. This can be somewhat a difficult task, but with a little patience, it can be done. You’ll have no credit history after you move to the Florida Keys, so you’ll have to start building your credit file.


You’ll also need to get a Social Security number, which can be obtained through the Social Security Administration.  Apply for a retail store credit card, or an unsecured credit card to get the process going so you can build your credit history. This will be beneficial in a few years, allowing you to get better rates.




The best bet you’ll have is to leave your household goods behind. These items are less expensive across the pond, and, it just adds to the stress and cost of relocating to the USA. For irreplaceables, hire a reputable removal organization.




Of course, once you get to the Keys, you’ll need to get around, and that will require you to purchase a car. You’ll need to haggle with car salesman, and get your Florida driver’s license, along with auto insurance. To get your Florida driver’s license, you’ll need to take an exam, and insurance can be found at a reasonable rate if you shop around.


Getting a Mortgage


Buying a home in the Florida Keys is best left in the hands of an experienced real estate agent who’s familiar with helping expats relocate from the UK to the USA.


The first thing to do is start becoming acquainted with the local real estate market. An internet connection is all you’ll need to get started. From there, you’ll have to speak with a mortgage broker or a US banking institution to get idea of what your budget will be. As soon as you can, get preapproved and then prequalified for a mortgage, then begin looking at potential properties.


You’ll enjoy a less expensive cost of living, lower income taxes, and some of the finest weather anywhere in the Florida Keys.

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