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Planning to move to London

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May 29th, 2013, 02:53 AM
  #1
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Planning to move to London

Hello everyone,

I am planning to move to London in late summer and therefore have a couple of questions. I hope that you could help me with a few tipps and hints so that I can manage my start in this mega-city.

1. My first question is about the first thing I will do in London: finding accommodation. I would like to know if anyone could suggest a cheap hostel or hotel in central London from where I can start to look for a permanent flat.

2. I am going to live in central London and am wondering which areas/ suburbs are the best to live in in regards to pricing, amenities and security.

3. How much money do I need for living per week or per month living in central London? I already checked out the pricing for flats in central areas (e.g. Hyde Park, Bayswater etc.) and know that I am probably going to spent a minimum of 200 pounds and am willing to spend up to 300 pounds per weeks for a small apartment. But how much is nichtlife, food, transport (tube) etc. going to cost roughly per week or month?

I hope to get some information from insiders or people who are or who did live in London.

Best regards,

Silvnello
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May 29th, 2013, 03:20 AM
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On the assumption that your living in Germany means you're an EU citizen and have no special immigration requirements to fulfil (do check that first)...

For the best value, you will have to look a good bit further out into transport zones 2 and 3, away from where tourists stay. What sort of job are you looking for? You may well have to consider commuting at least 30 minutes or so from home, and where you live may have to depend on the ease of transport connections between home and work. Play around with property websites like www.rightmove.co.uk or www.zoopla.co.uk to see what you could get in different parts of London, but at the budget you quote, for central London, you might be looking at a room in a shared flat, or a tiny studio.

I'm sure there are forums more focussed on expatriates and people moving permanently to the UK where you could get complete answers.
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May 29th, 2013, 04:23 AM
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I don't think any of the London residents here can answer your question without knowing some more details about you – your age, your career, potential earnings, interests, where you come from. The living options, and associated expenses, vary hugely across London.
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May 29th, 2013, 04:31 AM
  #4
 
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Hello!

Welcome to London

I relocated about 2 years ago, so can understand how you must feel.

Housing

Rent: including bills/council tax(about 100-150 per month), looks like you are looking at the £900-1300 pcm range? I would look into trying out a flatshare instead of a standalone flat. Make new friends, and its a cheaper option! I would try sites like asmallworld (its by invitation only, to keep it niche and safe), houseshare, spareroom. For standalone housing, try globrix to get an idea of the houses. They also have a very convenient map functionality.

Im not sure about your age and also the kind of work you do, your interests etc, so the suggestions would be generic:

1. Baker Street (where I live) - Quite central and has very good connections into the city, close to a park (huge bonus), and has nice shopping and restaurants close by

2. Lancaster Gate/ Bayswater - Parks (you will notice a theme here, but really its a very big advantage), good connections into the city

3. West Hampstead - the houses are usually much better value for money. the area is very nice, good crowds, parks, and nice restaurants

4. Pimlico - close to the river, with pretty looking buildings

5. Maida Vale/ Warwick Avenue - next to little venice, pretty buildings.

6. Angel/ Old Street - heaven in terms of food and culture. the crowd is younger. (I dont know your age!)

Frankly London has a lot of great localities. The key things when house hunting:
Distance from a tube station (try to keep it at 5-10 mins).
Try staying North or West for posher localities. South and East are younger but also can be unsafer (gosh i hope i dont offend anybody).
You havent mentioned where your work would be, but keep commute to work as abo best tube lines in general are Jubilee and Central (IMO obviously, this can differ from person to person
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May 29th, 2013, 04:34 AM
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oops i pressed submit by mistake, please read last paragraph again:

Frankly London has a lot of great localities. The key things when house hunting:

1. Distance from a tube station (try to keep it at 5-10 mins).
2. Try staying North or West for posher localities. South and East are younger but also can be unsafer (gosh i hope i dont offend anybody).
3. You havent mentioned where your work would be, but keep commute to work as about 25-24 minutes.
4. Best tube lines in general are Jubilee and Central (IMO obviously, this can differ from person to person.
5. If you are sharing, how important is an ensuite to you? It is about 100+ added expense per month, so really think about its importance first.
6. A LOT of houses dont advertise a living space, so keep an eye on the descriptions for that!!
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May 29th, 2013, 04:36 AM
  #6
 
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On your second question - i really need more information about you before i can comment on expenses! Your salary would be a good pointer, but Im not sure you want to divulge that.
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May 29th, 2013, 05:07 AM
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Kinda sounds like OP doesn't have a job there yet.
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May 29th, 2013, 05:21 AM
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Where are you seeing flats for 200 GBP/week in central areas?
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May 29th, 2013, 07:55 AM
  #9
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Hey...

Thanks a lot for your help Rushil! I really appreciate that you took so much time to give me all these information! I am not going to share an apartment and will rent a little studio apartment because I am moving to London with my partner (so we will already share a flat). In regards to expenses: How much does an average person who does an average job and gets an average wage (e.g. 30.000 pounds per year) have to spend on food, nightlife etc. during one month at least? I am selfemployed (I don't need to look for a job).

Cheap flats in Central London can be found on gumtree - Although they are tiny but enough for my taste!

Cheers

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May 29th, 2013, 10:33 AM
  #10
 
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Mid-range supermarket prices: http://www.tesco.com/

Supermarkets offer all sorts of special deals, e.g., all that you need for a suggested meal for two, for £10.

A nothing-special meal out could be around £30.

A pint of beer will be around £4, but you could spend a lot more in upmarket places for spirits.

A lot depends on your lifestyle choices.
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May 29th, 2013, 11:47 AM
  #11
 
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Hi Silvanello:

I moved to London three years ago from Canada three years ago and came here for advice on location, and got some very good guidance

The price of rental accommodation in central London is pretty shocking! When Patrick says TINY studio apartment, he is NOT exaggerating - I had larger bathrooms in Canada.

Please be careful of Gumtree - I personally know of a couple of a couple of people who were scammed. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Better to check out Rightmove.com, as previously suggested, to find the real price of accommodation in London, with reputable landlords. I can't emphasise this enough.

Personally, I gave up on central London, after seeing too many depressing places (I was looking for a 2-bed, so not quite the same thing) and decided to move to SE London, where I got far more for my money, but it is clearly not as convenient. For example, I found a lovely 2-bed in Islington for $575 per week. In Blackheath, I got more space for £400. But the area would probably not suit you.

My advice would be:

Before you come over, make a list of your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ – your needs are the basic things that you can’t compromise on, your wants are what you can trade away based on available budget. For example, for me it was SPACE – having lived most of my life in large spaces, I just could not live in what I consider a closet, regardless of how central. Second thing was LIGHT – we get so bloody little of it in London, I needed big windows, no basement flats. Thirdly, it was nice local food shops and restaurants. Your needs will be different, but I encourage you to start with a list. I didn’t, I developed it as I went along, and therefore wasted a lot of time.

Be practical and be prepared to compromise, unless you are a Russian Oligarch. It is what all Londoners have to do! To live and be happy in this great city, you have to accept that it is expensive, and you may have to move outside your desired area, balancing your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and your budget.

Get onto Rightmove.com and see what you can get for your budget in each area. Start from the areas you want to live, and then expand. Be prepared to expand your search area (expensive), and look at less central areas. You don’t have to go out as far as I did, but there are lots of interesting areas outside of those that you have listed that will be cheaper, but still just a few underground stops from the centre. If you are in your 20s/30s you would probably like Borough, (South of the river) and Hackney (NE London). Both a bit ‘iffy’, but I loved them. I also liked Clarkenwell and Old Street but they have gotten a bit pricey.

Take your time and check out areas until you find somewhere you feel calls out to you. Initially, it is really confusing, as London is so vast, but you eventually get to understand the dynamics of each area. Get the bus maps from London Transport (can be picked up at major stations: London Bridge always has them) and hop on the buses to get a general impression of the areas of London. Then walk the areas. When I arrived, I was straight into work, so could only do this at the weekend, but it was such fun, as you get to see a London that the tourists never see.

I have never regretted my move to London. I only wish I had done a ‘reality check’ before I moved, so I didn’t waste so much time pursuing something I could not afford.

I wish you well in your search, and hope you get all your ‘needs’, and some of your ‘wants’.


Best ... Ger
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May 29th, 2013, 12:01 PM
  #12
 
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Just to emphasise - Please be careful of Gumtree: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Better to check out Rightmove.com, as previously suggested, to find the real price of accommodation in London, with reputable landlords.
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May 29th, 2013, 12:09 PM
  #13
 
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Thanks for the warning about gumtree. I thought 200 GBP/week for central London was unrealistic, which is why I asked. I'm considering moving (back) to the UK next year, and I figured London was going to be out of my price range from the start.
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May 29th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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Hi thursdaysd:

To be accurate, I am not saying that all listings on Gumtree are inaccurate, but I know of two in London that were not:

- A criminal scam, where the renter was asked to show she had the two month deposit by transferring money to Wells Fargo and give them visibility. She called them and they advised her it was a scam

- A few incidents where renters had posted details and pictures that were completely inaccurate/misleading

Anyone looking for long-term rental accommodation in London, with reliable landlords, should use Rightmove.com or similar.

Best Ger
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May 29th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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thursdaysd:

I am intrigued: What is the location of the apartment for £200 per week? Can you share the add on Gumtree?
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May 29th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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OReilly:

That wasn't me, I was quoting the OP.
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May 29th, 2013, 02:19 PM
  #17
 
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"Be practical and be prepared to compromise, unless you are a Russian Oligarch. It is what all Londoners have to do! To live and be happy in this great city, you have to accept that it is expensive, and you may have to move outside your desired area, balancing your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and your budget."

LOL, Ger, what you wrote is very true, but as soon as I read it, I thought, ok, this poster must be spending a lot of Kirstie and Phil ;-)

(for those who don't know K & P: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/l...ation-location )
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May 29th, 2013, 02:20 PM
  #18
 
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Oops! Meant to say...
LOL, Ger, what you wrote is very true, but as soon as I read it, I thought, ok, this poster must be spending a lot of time with Kirstie and Phil ;-)
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May 30th, 2013, 01:57 AM
  #19
 
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I'm not sure how recently this has been updated, but it will give you some ideas:
http://www.ludlowthompson.com/rentin...area_guide.htm

This gives an overview:
http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/boroughs/
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May 30th, 2013, 06:26 AM
  #20
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Hello again and thanks alot for all the effort of giving me so much information!
@PatrickLondon: I have lived almost 3 years in AUS and NZ and therefore find food prices (had a look at the tesco website) absolutely fine and not expensive at all. In AUS and NZ it was more than doubble the price.
@OReilly: I know about the fake people (they are also active in Germany, NZ and probably all other western countries) and find it pretty easy to figure out which ones are fake after contacting them - you just contact them and if they want money before you've seen the apartment and met them they are fake. But thank you! I will still be very careful! Here is a link to a gumtree-search (london/central london/ max. 200 pounds): http://www.gumtree.com/search?proper...ch_scope=title
They won't all be fake i guess and hope!
Cheers
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