New job in Uxbridge - where to live?

Old Jan 30th, 2008, 12:42 AM
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New job in Uxbridge - where to live?

My husband has a new job in Uxbridge and we would love some advice on where to move to in London.

We are Australians and have lived in the UK for the past 18 months but have never rented in London so don't know what the various areas are like.

We want to be within walking distance of a decent supermarket and tube/buses. Also, ideally, we'd like easy access to shops, restaurants, a library, etc. We're more into bookshops, cafes and markets than pubs and clubs. Good access to transport is important.

We are considering Uxbridge, Ealing or somewhere else along the Metropolitan or Picadilly lines. What are these places like?
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 03:33 AM
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Personally I'd stay somewhere within walking distance of Finchley Road - maybe Maida Vale or St John's Wood if not too long a walk for DH (they each have their own tube station for non-commuting purposes) - and commute out. The tube will be nice and uncrowded, going against the flow.

But I am an unrepentant city girl - when I lived in London I preferred to live in town and commute - Stevenage, Horsham, Basingstoke, Northampton... all much further than Uxbridge. So it can be done !
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 03:36 AM
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My opinion - stay as close to work as you can so you don't have to spend time stuck on public transport
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 04:20 AM
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Caroline -
I assume you mean live near Finchley Road tube station. I thought St John's Wood was very upmarket, wouldn't that mean rents are higher than normal?

Alan -
I know what you mean, neither of us wants a long commute. Trouble is I don't have work yet and we need to get a flat lined up, as soon as we can narrow down where to look. Also Uxbridge town centre was fine but seemed a little isolated.

Anyone else?
Kay
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Kay, yes I meant live near Finchley Road tube station. St John's Wood is generally very pricey but it's worth a look in case. I lived in Maida Vale for several years and really liked it - it's really quite central and you can walk to lots of places like Oxford Street & Notting Hill. I even sometimes walked to work when I was lucky enough to work in Covent Garden. Kilburn is another, less expensive area from which he might be able to walk to Finchley Road - only he knows how far he wasnts to walk.

Alan - each to his own, but I'd rather live in an area I like and spend time commuting (4 hours a day when I worked in Northampton) than live near work if it's not somewhere I like. I wouldn't want to live in Uxbridge. And don't forget that commuting against the flow is much less unpleasant.

I suppose Ealing is alright if you don't mind being further out & in a more suburban area. I would have thought that as foreign visitors you'd prefer to be near the thick of things rather than in a distant suburb or separate town.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 04:58 AM
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Hi Caroline,
thanks for this. You are dead right, I'd love to live right in the thick of things. My husband has a 40 mins walk to work in his old job and he enjoys that but he would have a tube journey to tack on in his new job. I think a long walk then a 35 min tube journey is too much. Still doing a bit of research on Finchley Rd area. It looks very central.

Thanks!
Kay
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 05:05 AM
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Finchley Rd's alright but it's boring.

What about Kilburn? (much nicer than it's reputation would suggest). There's lots more going on.

From memory; finchley rd consists of a big waitrose, two pubs, a cinema and a titty bar.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 05:07 AM
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A titty bar? Well I am looking for work
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 05:20 AM
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It depends on how close his office is to Uxbridge tube station. If it's a way away, he's going to want to drive, so you need somewhere handy for the A40. If easily walkable, then somewhere on the Metropolitan Line, which gets you into civilsation a very great deal faster than the Piccadilly Line.

Now Old Flanner's Rules of Reverse Commuting say:
1. Choose your house as close to a tube station (if tubing) or the fast road out (if driving) as possible. But, if tubing, a pretty walk to the home tube station can be surprisingly tolerable (if less than 20 mins)

2. Live as close in to town as you can afford. For the past 30 years, house price inflation has been faster the closer to the centre: in Ruislip, your house is interesting only to people who want to live in Ruislip, while in Mayfair, you can sell to the next dethroned president of Torturistan (or better yet, a hedgie)

3. Buy. Hock your mother if necessary, but buy.

4. London public transport is just fine. I've spent decades reverse-commuting on it, and as long as the house and office are in the right place, and you don't need to change, it's infintely better than living half-way to Birmingham

5. Think carefully about the temptation to reverse-reverse commute. There's nowhere worth living west or north of Uxbridge till you get to Oxford, and there's no decent transport from Oxford to Uxbridge. But it IS a fast drive.

All of which says St John's Wood if you can. IMHO, if you're prepared to conmpromise and live near Finchley Rd, tube you may as well go the whole hog and live in Eastcote (which has got a library, though what proportion of its stock is picture books I'd hate to find out) Don't dismiss the south and western bits of Camden Town, though, as some affordable bits are within 20 mins walk across Regents Park from Baker St.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 05:30 AM
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Thanks Flanner, your comments are thought provoking as always. We don't have a car and don't plan on buying one. His new office is 2 mins walk from Uxbridge tube.

We definitely don't want to live west or north of Uxbridge, commuting OUT of London to Uxbridge is the deal, but hopefully with not a long commute.

Have been looking at rentals online and you do get less for your money near Finchley Road than Ealing Broadway but I'd expect that, as it's closer to the centre.

Will continue researching...

Thanks all, other comments welcome.
Kay
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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By the way: Don't knock a long commute.

If there are no connections, and he's going against the traffic (though you'd be amazed how many other people reverse commute), he's got 40 mins or so each way to sit and read, catch up on emails, do office paperwork, check proofs of reports or (if working for the British government) leave his laptop, with 20 million citizens' personal details, for someone to nick.

You'd be amazed how much productive work, or mind-expanding study, you can squeeze into those 7.5 hours a week of uninterruption.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:18 AM
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You may want to check out certain areas on www.livinginlondon.net to get an idea for neighbourhoods etc.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:22 AM
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Flanner - love the wry humour.

So it seems living within 20 mins walk of a tube station on the metropolitan line is the answer. I wish the hard part was now done but I think that's ahead of us.

Thanks all, for your help.
Kay
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Hey jamikins - great website, have not seen that one before. Thanks.
Kay
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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No problem. We just moved here last summer from Canada and also had no idea where to live. I work in Canary Wharf and my hubby works in Richmond, so we looked in Fulham, Putney and Clapham...ended up in Clapham. Love it! We found we got much more for our money south of the river (I'm sure you will find lots of discussions on north vs south) but considering where your hubby will be working north sounds obviously the way to go.

My recommendation is try to be within a 15 mins walk of a tube or national rail station that provides direct service to your work. You are lucky as your hubby will be going against the flow of traffic and should have no problems. Transferring can be a bit of a pain, but can be tolerated for sure.

Also, live as close to central London as you can! London is a fantastic city, but most of the action is in zone 1-2. If you have to live further out, or decide to, ensure you have good connections to West End (Liecester Square etc) and the rest of central London, or you'll find you either never get out to see anytihng, or you spend a lot of your spare time getting to where you want to go.

let me know if you have any specific questions about moving. It can be a bit frustrating, especially getting bank accts and national insurance numbers. I hope your hubby's company is setting up bank accounts for you and provide a relocation specialist to help you with your flat.

Keep in mind you will need to pay your first months rent, and then usually a 1 month deposit on your flat so ensure you have those funds. Also, bring references form previous landlords (or your bank if you own) as you will need this for your flat rental application.

Hope this helps!
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 06:40 AM
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Oh yeah...one thing that confused me is they post rental rates by the week here (its by the month in Canada) so you need to multiply the weekly rate by 52 and then divide by 12 to get your monthly rent payment.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Thanks jamikins, we moved here a while ago so have set up bank accounts etc but thanks anyway. How did you go about finding a flat, did you mainly look online and then make appointments to view properties you were interested in? I really want to narrow down the areas where we are looking but remain flexible as well.

That's one of the reasons for the move, we love London and have had lots of weekends there but there are always things on that we can't get to. We do own our home in Australia but found rental agencies when we first arrived were completely uninterested in that. We didn't provide references when we first arrived as we didn't have any, not sure what the rental agencies require in London?

By the way, how long is your commute to work?
Kay
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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If you don't mind answering; how old are you both? Someone suggested Clapham where I lived in my late 20s and early 30s. It's a great place to be that age but I wouldn't live there now (40s) for love nor money. Much the same goes for Putney, Fulham etc (where I have just moved from, partly for this reason).

Ealing is quite a happening place with lots of bars and restaurants. However beware the London Estate Agent. I have seen places like Northolt described as Ealing - and Northolt would depress soviet era Russians. Get a precise address even before viewing.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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"living within 20 mins walk of a tube station on the metropolitan line"

Depends on the quality of the walk.

Pretty or interesting: might even be more. Standard London maw (like Finsbbury Park): 10 mins twice a day gets to be REALLY dismal after a month or so. And rain-tolerance is important.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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<<< he's got 40 mins or so each way to sit and read, catch up on emails, do office paperwork, check proofs of reports >>>

What a sad person it is who thinks they've got to work for their employer on their own time.

Personally I'd rather have that 1h20m each day doing something I want to do - at the very least it means another 1h20m in bed each day or you can catch the early show at the cinema or have a good workout at the gym
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