Moving to Bangalore from US- questions on prices

#1 Aug 8th, 2012, 08:27
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  • mammabooboo is offline
#1
Hi,

First of all, thank you for the taking the time to read this and respond if you can!

My husband's company is trying to move him to Bangalore to take over a job there in their offices. We are in the negotiations stage and would like to give them a good solid idea of what our bottom line is when it comes to accepting the offer. The big problem is that we don't have a very good idea of what all our costs will be there. We have a general idea of how much our rent will be (should only be there 2-3 years), and we know which bills we will be bringing with us from here. Below are questions about costs we are not sure of. I am not going to ask about schools, because his employer has pretty much said that whatever schools we can get our kids into, they will pay for.

Please keep in mind, when addressing the costs, that we have a large family. Five kids, 17, 14, 11, 9 and 7. So seven people, four of which (at least) count as adults when figuring food, electric, water, etc. And two cats

Utilities: How much can we expect each month for the following, assuming we have a 3000-400- sqft house?

-Electric (is it all electric, or is there gas?)

-water (also, are there limits on water usage per household? Per individual? extra fees for going over?)

-Home phone- do we even need one?

-Cell phones- I pay around $225 per month right now for four phones, two of which have small data plans and all have unlimited texting

-Internet

-Cable- what can we expect as far as US programming? Sports? What should we look for? We are huge soccer and American football (college and NFL)fans and love to watch our favorite teams- hate to think I won't get to see my Ducks play.

-Is there an Indian equivalent to Netflix?

-any other costs we should consider?

Hired Help: Here is where I get excited about moving to India! But want to know realistically what to expect before I get my hopes up.

-Driver- Both part-time and full time- I've heard full-time is between 5,000-8,000 rupees- is that accurate? And what does "full-time" entail exactly? Does that mean they are there 8 hours a day as needed, or are there set times? My children will most likely take a school bus provided by their school (hopefully), but I know my husband will need a driver, I will as well, and they children will be involved in a lot of extra curriculars. Gas prices? How are they figured in? Are there vehicles available large enough for our whole family? We won't often need to all travel together, but maybe on weekends or short trips.

-Housekeeper- How much part-time, and how much full-time? Do full-timers live with you? I keep reading about "servants' quarters" in all the rentals- is that just a fancy name for a closet (like Butler's closet)? Or do they really live with you sometimes? And what exactly do their duties include? Here in the greater Dallas area, a housekeeper/maid only comes in to scrub your floors, vacuum, do the windows and other detail work- they do not pick up after your kids or put away things. I know this isn't the case in some other countries though.

-Gardeners- this may not even be necessary, but just in case.

-Music lessons- I've heard that these teachers can be quite "reasonable", but that doesn't give me a dollar amount- any ideas? Our children play the clarinet, cello, piano, guitar and violin.

-Anything I've forgotten here?

Food/Supplies:

I've heard that the COL of India is quite small compared to the US- one site I looked at said that it ranged from 10-50% of that of New York City. Is that accurate? Things like a liter of milk for around 45rs, a loaf of bread around the same, around $3 for a pound of cheese, $12 for a two course meal for two at a mid-level restaurant (really?), $5 or less for movie tickets. If you can please give me some idea of the price of some common everyday items- or if you know how much you spend each month for your family's food/supplies.

Clothing?

Kid's Sports- how much do these usually costs through the International schools? Our kids all play soccer, some basketball, some track... they are involved in Club teams here, which can get very pricey but is helping them develop- are there similar programs there, or is it all through the schools?

I know I've forgotten somethings, so may add more

Again, thanks for any help!
#2 Aug 8th, 2012, 20:06
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  • mammabooboo is offline
#2
Bumping this up
#3 Aug 8th, 2012, 20:24
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  • sdsudarsan is offline
#3
Hi Good Luck with your move. In Bangalore, cost can vary drastically with location, quality as well as luck!

Also, schools particularly international ones have a fee (one time donation for admission and then the annual/monthly fee). If you have multiple kids in the same school, one time donation can be negotiated.

But, a little bit more detail about the locality and quality can get better answers.
Eg., clean would mean wash (and leave it like that, no mopping it dry) for most people. So, some amount of adjustment from your side and training the maid/helper is a must.
#4 Aug 8th, 2012, 20:31
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  • Arrowman is offline
#4
Can't help you much, haven't been there yet. But I have heard that cell phones are very cheap.

When you get to 10 posts, you'll have the ability to "personal message (PM)" other Indiamikers. Send me a PM, and I'll send you some book titles that my wife has enjoyed reading before our first trip to India.
#5 Aug 8th, 2012, 21:58
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  • happyhippy is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Hi,
Utilities: How much can we expect each month for the following, assuming we have a 3000-400- sqft house?

-Electric (is it all electric, or is there gas?)
All electric, the cost per month would depend your usage, however it may not exceed a maximum 100$ or Rs.5500
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Hi,
-water (also, are there limits on water usage per household? Per

individual? extra fees for going over?)
No limits on water usage, the average usage for 3 Adults is about 10-15000 liters per month, for 6 it may not cost you more than Rs.2250 or 50$

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Hi,


-Home phone- do we even need one?

-Cell phones- I pay around $225 per month right now for four phones, two of which have small data plans and all have unlimited texting
Internet
--Cable- what can we expect as far as US programming? Sports? What should we look for? We are huge soccer and American football (college and NFL)fans and love to watch our favorite teams- hate to think I won't get to see my Ducks play.
You don't need a home phone! For 4 cell phones it is unlikely to exceed what you are paying currently, if you choose the plans wisely,it can even be half as much!

-Internet: not more than Rs. 3000 pm choose an unlimited plan.

-Cable- We get a few international sports channels :Star Sports, ESPN etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post
-Driver- Both part-time and full time- I've heard full-time is between 5,000-8,000 rupees- is that accurate? And what does "full-time" entail exactly? Does that mean they are there 8 hours a day as needed, or are there set times?
Full-Time is 8hrs per day, but you can discuss set times according to your need and pay more if it exceeds 8hrs per day. 8 to 12000 Rs. is reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Gas prices? How are they figured in? Are there vehicles available large enough for our whole family?
There are vehicles large enough for the whole family! Its best to go along with your driver to fill gas, and to fill gas only at a Shell gas station .
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post -Housekeeper- How much part-time, and how much full-time? Do full-timers live with you?
Part-time Rs. 2500 -3500, full-time Rs.5000-10000

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post I keep reading about "servants' quarters" in all the rentals- is that just a fancy name for a closet (like Butler's closet)? Or do they really live with you sometimes? And what exactly do their duties include? Here in the greater Dallas area, a housekeeper/maid only comes in to scrub your floors, vacuum, do the windows and other detail work- they do not pick up after your kids or put away things. I know this isn't the case in some other countries though.
All rentals do not have servant quarters , but you can find quite a few that do. Most full-timers do live with you, however if can find one that lives close by then they can go home in the evening
Here if you detail clearly and discuss all that you need done in advance, and then let them quote their wages you will not have a problem in getting any work done , its better if you do a proper identity verification,and make list of all the jobs and get them to sign it, before you employ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post -Music lessons- I've heard that these teachers can be quite "reasonable", but that doesn't give me a dollar amount- any ideas? Our children play the clarinet, cello, piano, guitar and violin.
It should not exceed a maximum of Rs.3000 to 5000 per: month/ child/ instrument.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Food/Supplies:

I've heard that the COL of India is quite small compared to the US- one site I looked at said that it ranged from 10-50% of that of New York City. Is that accurate? Things like a liter of milk for around 45rs, a loaf of bread around the same, around $3 for a pound of cheese, $12 for a two course meal for two at a mid-level restaurant (really?), $5 or less for movie tickets. If you can please give me some idea of the price of some common everyday items- or if you know how much you spend each month for your family's food/supplies.
COL is very less compared to the US and it depends on how high or low you want it to be !For ex. You can get a reasonable good loaf or bread for Rs.25 a good loaf for Rs. 45, a great loaf for Rs.100-150. Milk Rs. 26 per liter is usual, but very good quality for Rs. 40 to 60. A reasonable good meal for 2 @ RS.600 - 1200 or a great meal @ Rs. 4500.The cost of food supplies per month should not exceed a maximum Rs. 25000 to Rs.40000, most of us live very well spending much less than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Clothing?
You get many international brands here at good prices!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammabooboo View Post Kid's Sports- how much do these usually costs through the International schools? Our kids all play soccer, some basketball, some track... they are involved in Club teams here, which can get very pricey but is helping them develop- are there similar programs there, or is it all through the schools?
Its mostly/mainly through schools!

When/if you eventually do come and live here , it would if great if you share your experiences especially regarding the above mentioned with us.
Good Luck!
Last edited by happyhippy; Aug 9th, 2012 at 04:55..
#6 Aug 9th, 2012, 01:24
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  • mammabooboo is offline
#6
Thank you so much for all the info so far! Esp Happyhippy- very helpful! Arrowman will do once I am able.

I am still not familiar with the cities layouts (my husband is returning from a visit there today, so I'm sure he'll familiarize me a bit more soon) but the offices are on the east side- on Cessna Business Park Internal Road, I think. I am sure we'll try to find a place near there. One place I know that was recommended to my husband, and that he briefly looked at (his was very limited, he was just trying to get a feel for the different types of housing available)was Palm Meadows- anyone have anything to say about that place? It does sound like that may be a bit more pricey though.
#7 Aug 9th, 2012, 02:33
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  • wonderwomanusa is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowman View Post Can't help you much, haven't been there yet. But I have heard that cell phones are very cheap.

When you get to 10 posts, you'll have the ability to "personal message (PM)" other Indiamikers. Send me a PM, and I'll send you some book titles that my wife has enjoyed reading before our first trip to India.
Why don't you just post them here ... there are others who are/will be newbies to India who might also find them useful.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#8 Aug 9th, 2012, 10:14
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  • Ajaykkssraj is offline
#8

Moving to Bangalore

Hi,

I wil try and explain for each of the interest items you have put in and add a couple of extra of own.



Utilities
Electricity
It would depends on the house and the amount of usage. I the amount given by happyhippy could be a bit lower considering your family size. It could be in the range of 7000 Rupees.

Water
You would require to pay water tax yearly or twice a year.In select apartments you might have a pay per use facility. Though I havent heard of such in bangalore. Annual Cost - ~5000 Rupees


Phones

Home Phone - I would still suggest you to get a landline. It always helps. You might pay about 600 Rupees for the same.

Mobile Phone - Depends on Usage. I have a black berry with Unlimited internet plan. Costs me 400 Rupees for the Plan and a 1000 Rupees plus for other calls.

Buying phones and plans separately is suggested. It will come in handy if you wanna change service provider, or during travelling where you can use a temp SIM.

Internet -
You can take Internet PLans for service providers like Airtel/ BSNL. I also hear that there are local service providers. Cost Per Month - for a average ousehold with 2 users - 1000 Rs.

For yours, you can get a higher data package for about 2000 Rupees.

Cable - You have the option of choosing DTH. provides different options.
Check out these links
http://www.airtel.in/digitaltv
http://www.tatasky.com/
http://www.dishtv.in/
http://www.reliancedigitaltv.com/home.html

Guess I have given four widely used DTH.

My estimate is that you might end up paying about a 1000 Rupees per month, considering the age range of your children and preferences they might have. These DTH service providers also offer High Definition, which might be a little costlier.


Will skip the following topics for now (got to run to office)
Hired Help / Drivers / etc.

One thing I wanted to check with you was regarding your child aged 17.
Would you be moving with him here. Since you might want to enroll him to college and if you are staying here for 3 years, it might throw some challenges into his studies. For others I am sure there are embassy schools and International schools which can take care of their needs.

And one more thing - You would really need a large house which is near to your kids school. Check out the work location of your husband and check out the rent rates of house that fits your needs. I see a real challenge in getting a good house.

cheers
ajay
#9 Aug 9th, 2012, 10:39
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  • suparnakdas is offline
#9
hi mammabooboo,
welcome to bangalore. nice place to stay.. btw whwre will be your husbands office. because getting 4000 sqr ft apartment is not easy an all areas. rest of the things can all be managed. if you can specify your husband's working area, i can give you some more details which may help you.

regards
suparna
sup
#10 Mar 11th, 2013, 07:10
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  • Travelboarder is offline
#10
Any updates on how things turned out? My wife and I are looking for a bigger place also for our dogs to have a bit of space to run around.

Cheers
#11 Mar 19th, 2013, 00:10
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  • crvlvr is offline
#11
Welcome Mamabooboo.

My responses in bold below. hope you find them helpful.

Utilities: How much can we expect each month for the following, assuming we have a 3000-400- sqft house?

-Electric (is it all electric, or is there gas?). >>> Only gas cylinders. a few Apt complexes have piped gas. Mainly used for cooking. about the same price as Propane in the US. So all other appliances are electric.

-water (also, are there limits on water usage per household? Per individual? extra fees for going over?) >>> No limits. But, you may not get any. water shortage is a HUGE problem in Bangalore. However, the problem is extremely localized. You may have water, and your neighbor none. Most water needs are supplemented by bore wells and if thatgoes dry -- which is becoming more common - water has to be purchased

-Home phone- do we even need one? >>> Not Really, unless your cell phone reception at home is weak.

-Cell phones- I pay around $225 per month right now for four phones, two of which have small data plans and all have unlimited texting >>> Rs. 500-1,000 per mo with Data. Remember, incoming calls are free. yeah!

-Internet - Rs 1,500+ per month. Depending on your data plan speed and download limits (more expensive here than the Us for the same bandwidth)

-Cable- what can we expect as far as US programming? Sports? What should we look for? We are huge soccer and American football (college and NFL)fans and love to watch our favorite teams- hate to think I won't get to see my Ducks play.>>> you may get to see the major sporting events. But the sports coverage here is mostly local or European. Let me add that I pay just $10/mo for ALL the channels that my provider provides

-Is there an Indian equivalent to Netflix? >>> Not that I know of. But, illegal downloading is rampant.

-any other costs we should consider? >>> Housing. a biggie. Rental for US standard accommodation will be as much as you pay in a large US city. Car (s). Luxury cars are 2-3 times US prices. Home made ones (usually smaller and cheaper models) about the same price. Depending on domestic needs, salary of maid servant(s) Rs.2-7K and driver Rs 10-12K/mo. these are Expat rates. Indians pay a lot less. Details below.

Hired Help: Here is where I get excited about moving to India! But want to know realistically what to expect before I get my hopes up. >>> Dont get your hopes up. Getting good help is like finding gold. and worth their weight in gold! Demand is hugely greater than supply. and the expected salaries are skyrocketing

-Driver- Both part-time and full time- I've heard full-time is between 5,000-8,000 rupees- is that accurate? >>> No rates have gone up.. And what does "full-time" entail exactly? Does that mean they are there 8 hours a day as needed, or are there set times? >>> this can be mutually agreed. Usually they work 8 hours with breaks and days off for usual holidays and many unplanned ones. My children will most likely take a school bus provided by their school (hopefully), but I know my husband will need a driver, I will as well, and they children will be involved in a lot of extra curriculars. Gas prices? How are they figured in? Are there vehicles available large enough for our whole family? We won't often need to all travel together, but maybe on weekends or short trips.>> The most popular choice these days are Toyota Innova a 8 seater van with space for "stuff" . Usually the family shares the same driver, if schedule permits. Gas prices are currently $5.25/US Gal. Most people opt for Diesel power, which is about 30% cheaper

-Housekeeper- How much part-time, and how much full-time? Do full-timers live with you? I keep reading about "servants' quarters" in all the rentals- is that just a fancy name for a closet (like Butler's closet)? Or do they really live with you sometimes? And what exactly do their duties include? Here in the greater Dallas area, a housekeeper/maid only comes in to scrub your floors, vacuum, do the windows and other detail work- they do not pick up after your kids or put away things. I know this isn't the case in some other countries though. >>> They will do whatever you need for the right price. but, duties need to be carefully agreed to ahead of time. Live-in quarters are a big attraction for housekeepers as accommodation for them is becoming expensive in BLR.

-Gardeners- this may not even be necessary, but just in case. >>> May not be necessary. Most houses don't have yards, or water to water them.

-Music lessons- I've heard that these teachers can be quite "reasonable", but that doesn't give me a dollar amount- any ideas? Our children play the clarinet, cello, piano, guitar and violin. >>> No idea. I can find out though. as a general rule prepare to pay from 1/5 to 1/2 the prices in US

-Anything I've forgotten here? >>> Pretty comprehensive list.. I have added cost of automobile above.

Food/Supplies:

I've heard that the COL of India is quite small compared to the US- one site I looked at said that it ranged from 10-50% of that of New York City. Is that accurate? Things like a liter of milk for around 45rs, a loaf of bread around the same, around $3 for a pound of cheese, $12 for a two course meal for two at a mid-level restaurant (really?), $5 or less for movie tickets. If you can please give me some idea of the price of some common everyday items- or if you know how much you spend each month for your family's food/supplies. >>> Indigenous Produce is cheap. Imported stuff (e.g. Apples) more expensive than the states. Local branded goods cheap (50%) and imported brands expensive (200%). CDepending on the mix of your basket of goods, it could less or more than the US. Restaurants can be expensive if they are upscale.

Clothing? >>> Local brands inexpensive, Foreign brands 2-3 times the sale price of US. (PS: I do my clothes shopping in the US)

Kid's Sports- how much do these usually costs through the International schools? Our kids all play soccer, some basketball, some track... they are involved in Club teams here, which can get very pricey but is helping them develop- are there similar programs there, or is it all through the schools? >>> Sorry no kids. I can find out of you like.

I know I've forgotten somethings, so may add more

Again, thanks for any help!
#12 Mar 19th, 2013, 00:41
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  • n_siva is offline
#12
Helping/clarifying on a few stuff:

- Gas vs. Electric stoves - With increasing gas cylinder prices, induction stove tops are becoming more and more common - single top as well as multi-top. Costs around 2K for a single top induction stove. Utensils are little more expensive and costs 500-700 per piece.
- Music lessons- Depends on the instrument. The more common ones are the keyboards, guitars and drums. My kids used to go to keyboard classes costing 1K a month, an hour a week, and was considered expensive. Western classical Piano and violins, clarinet and cello are rarer and might have to hunt around for classes.

- Kids sports - most of is it organized via schools unless you get them to join one of the sports academies. Cricket is the most common sport via academies though football and tennis are quite popular as well for academies. I pay 11K an year for a cricket academy. Tennis used to be 2.5K an year though I suspect prices have gone up recently. Check out a place like SPT Sports Academy for more details.
#13 Mar 19th, 2013, 00:41
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  • surinder20e is offline
#13
Bring your cell phone with you. In India it can be unlock and use. Cell Phone not provide free from service provider.
Best Regards,

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