If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, Neil Gaiman, and Bridget Jones, it’s not a surprise if living in London has crossed your mind. This city is as exciting and historically rich as its portrayal in movies and books with iconic places like Buckingham Palace or the London Bridge.
Life in London, as you see in films, however, may be different from real life. So, before you fall in love and decide to move, here are seven considerations to make before deciding to relocate to London.
London is known to be one of the most expensive places in the UK. Looking for housing options can be challenging, especially if you don’t have time to narrow down your choices. But doing your research before you move in can save you a lot of money. Aside from doing your research and asking colleagues, family, or friends who live in London, you can visit the local council or the Land Registry’s website to compare the property types, average prices, and other relevant data on housing.
There are a lot of housing options you can choose from, it’s just a matter of knowing what’s suited for your living arrangements. Are you willing to share a flat since you’ll be living in London alone? Or would you rather invest in a property near the city commuter belt like Luton developments?
However, if you don’t have too much time to go through listings, reaching out to property managers or real estate agencies can be your best option in finding properties that fit your budget and needs.
2. Cost Of Living
Aside from housing, these three factors must also be considered when creating a budget for when you move to London:
- Food: Eating out in London can be costly, so it’s best to take note of grocery stores and street markets. An average cost of a month’s grocery and street market can add up to USD$200 for one person.
- Transportation: With the vast network of tubes, taxis, and buses, going around is relatively cheap and convenient. These public vehicles are set far and wide, even far-flung corners of the city, and some parts outside London are accessible via commute.
- Education: For families with school-aged children, the options you have are a state-funded school, which is free for their pupils, or independent schools, which take in students for a fee.
These elements are crucial, particularly for individuals who are planning to relocate with their families. Special needs and requirements should not be overlooked when calculating the cost of living in this city.
3. Accessibility To Amenities
Once you’ve listed down your housing options, it’s time to check out how accessible these are from different significant places like schools, your office, hospitals, churches, or public transport. Since commuting will be more than likely part of your routine, the accessibility of your work must be factored in.
The commute in London can be stressful since you will be competing with everybody who’ll take the tube or bus and your travel can last from 10 minutes up to two hours, so it’s best to find a place near public transport stations or your workplace or where your kids go to school.
4. Job Opportunities
As mentioned, the cost of living in London can be expensive, which means you need to find a place that has a demand for the skills and experience you offer. Not to say that you will resign or lose your job, but it’s also good to evaluate your career’s growth or the possible transfer to another company should you see better opportunities.
5. Crime Rate
Another element you don’t want to miss when considering relocating to London is the crime rate. The last thing you want to worry about when moving to another place is feeling unsafe and vulnerable. A couple of visits around your prospective neighborhood may not be sufficient to alert you of any security risks.
The best way to get a feel of what to expect is to talk to the locals, your colleagues, or friends. These people will be able to tell you any problems they’ve experienced or heard about. In any case, a quick visit to the Office of National Statistics or UK Crime Stats should be sufficient to get you updated on local crime rates and which areas to avoid.
Living in London means living in a densely populated place with nearly nine million people living here. That means extra noise and traffic, particularly during the tourist season from June to August.
Living in a city can be intense for some. Still, London’s multicultural community means connecting with your country by sharing your culture and religion with the people who live here.
7. Leisure and Entertainment
Don’t fret if you love to do explorations to distract you from missing home. This city is filled with various spots which offer unique London experiences like visiting the botanical gardens or trying the delicacies from restaurants in Central London.
However, if you want to start hanging out where locals go, you can swing by art museums, go club-hopping at night, watch plays in theaters, or participate in sports held in public parks, just to name a handful of things you can do for leisure and entertainment.
Relocating to London is an exciting process as long as you come prepared. Doing your research will help you manage your expectations and guide you with your budget. Remember to tap various government websites to check out information about housing, transportation, and crime rate.
Tapping professionals to seek advice about your relocation needs or asking for tips from your friends will help tremendously with your decision. Just keep in mind that London is a beautiful place filled with career opportunities and lots of rain, so it’s best to embrace your new life one scone at a time.