Moving to London

(190 Posts)
Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 13:47:18

I have copied this thread from the Lone parenting section, thought it would make sense to post in multiple areas:

Hi, I had no idea where else to post this topic so thought here would do.

I am a lone parent, have ds who has just turned one. I currently live in the north of England and work here. My salary is ok and I receive tax credits due to being SP.

I don't really enjoy my job and it feels like a daily grind and I can't see me wanting to stick it out any longer than I have to. There are no prospects for me at all.

I have seen a job advertised but it is in London. I need to find out what the salary would be (waiting on a call back plus loads of other Questions I'd like to ask them about the position).

My question is has anyone moved to a completely new area miles and miles away from friends and family as a lone parent and succeeded? Is the cost of living in London expensive and would it be worth my while since I am on my own with a baby. I am anxious about the cost of living and childcare more than anything else, plus being miles away from my family and friends.

Anyone have any advice?

FiveLeavesLeft Fri 21-Feb-14 14:47:32

CP is also well served by buses so worth checking out areas along some of the routes that pass through.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 14:47:36

How far is Croydon and what is that like? Expensive? Nice?

DarlingGrace Fri 21-Feb-14 14:53:18

Parts of CP are ok, others not so. From Penge you are 15 mins into Victoria. But CP would be considered outer London and not command a City or West End salary>

My cousin lives in Penge. It all comes under Bromley - which is generally good for schooling.

What you dont want to be doing is moving over towards Croydon, which again has some lovely areas but also some pretty shitty bits.

RiverTam Fri 21-Feb-14 14:58:20

you need to get yourself onto the Transport for London (TfL) website, all the bus, tube and train maps are on there. I would also get a big, fold out A-Z map of London so you can plot things on it. Look at schools too.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 14:59:20

Thanks Grace

So Bromley/Penge is the better area? Aaaaahhh I feel like my head is going to explode hehe!! Google maps is good but it's hard to get a feel for a place from it

RussianBlu Fri 21-Feb-14 15:04:39

I think it kind of depends where about in London your job is and how much you would be earning. Its all very well telling the Op she could get Housing benefit but how many landlords actually accept people with this??

Childminders can tend to charge wildly varying prices from £5 an hour if you are lucky to £9 an hour.

SidandAndyssextoy Fri 21-Feb-14 15:05:38

Penge is also part of the great price explosion but still cheaper. South Norwood is cheaper too. Croydon does have some really grotty bits. It must seem really overwhelming, I know! It's not easy even when you already live close.

whois Fri 21-Feb-14 15:06:04

CP isn't exactly 'moving to london' however it's a nice family area, prices aren't as high as nearer in and there are decent enough transport links.

Yes you could live and work there!

DorotheaHomeAlone Fri 21-Feb-14 15:09:29

I think this might be a really good idea for you if you're feeling stuck where you are. The starting wage may be low but there is much more potential to move up wage and opportunity-wise in London if you can make ends meet for now. CP is lovely and surrounded by cheaper but still quite respectable areas, like Penge and West Norwood, where rents are relatively low for London.

My main concern for you would be the potential isolation from living away from your support network. Will you be ok without people to help with childcare/emergencies etc?

nancy75 Fri 21-Feb-14 15:12:47

Op can you say what the salary would be? It is hard to give you an idea of property if we have no idea of budget.

Bromley is close to crystal palace and has some very good schools but Bromley is a massive borough with some bits much better than others.

FlyingDucky Fri 21-Feb-14 15:14:03

Croydon has some rough bits but also nice parts that are affordable compared to CP. Kenley, sanderstead, Purley, Coulsdon, riddlesdown and Shirley all pleasant and family friendly.

Good transport links to CP.

RiverTam Fri 21-Feb-14 15:15:30

of course Crystal Palace is moving to London, what a bizarre thing to say.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:18:11

Thanks again for all your replies

Russian I will call tax credits to see what help is available.

Thanks for your recommendations of areas sid, I'm so out of my depth but I have now narrowed down my search on rightmove etc.

Dorothea - Yes I think it will be quite 'isolating' in some ways and my nearest family (I am a Northerner born and bred) will be in High Wycombe and I only see them maybe once every couple of years. My saving grace is that I am comfortable making new friends, I get on with most people and my home town is a mere 3-and-a-half-ish-hours-away!!!

RussianBlu Fri 21-Feb-14 15:20:36

Hi op, Im not sure that tax credits will be able to let you know what properties in Crystal Palace (or anywhere) are willing to accept Housing Benefit Im afraid.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:23:02

And let's not forget...I've not applied for the job yet grin.

I hate uncertainties. But I might just bite the bullet and go for it anyway

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:23:45

Russian - I'd just want to find out if I still qualify for them really. I should do being a LP

Mandy21 Fri 21-Feb-14 15:32:37

I also think its a good idea if you're in a bit of a rut now. With a 1yr old, you can be fairly flexible, its once children get to school age that you are more limited with moves. I'd go for it, obviously subject to the other parts of the jigsaw falling into place. Good luck smile

MrsWedgeAntilles Fri 21-Feb-14 15:35:35

It might be a bit cheaper to live somewhere like Norwood or Streatham and travel over to Crystal Palace.

An other thing to think about (an one of the reasons we left) is that there is a shortage of school places in London. Just before we came away there were newspaper articles about kids who couldn't get a place and had to wait for the next intake to start school.

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 21-Feb-14 15:41:06

I lived in the area around Crystal Palace for 20 years. It does have lovely green areas and a community feel.

It's harder to get the balance in London as a lone parent without a plan B and a back up plan.

But that is more of an issue if you can't afford to live, work and school in the same place IYSWIM. It is a huge stress to work in Oxford Street, live in Epsom and manage childcare on your own for example. I remember just feeling physically sick some days stuck on the underground in a tunnel with no reception, unable to tell the nursery there was a delay.

But if you plan to work and live in close proximity then I don't foresee a huge problem if the salary is manageable and you can get the right childcare support.

SidandAndyssextoy Fri 21-Feb-14 15:43:56

Actually there's stuff in Sydenham for under £1000 a month. Sydenham is very nice with good schools, and an easy journey to Crystal Palace.

coffeeslave Fri 21-Feb-14 15:44:48

Use Mapumental to help you find property:

http://property.mapumental.com/

Put in the postcode of your work, how long you want to commute & voila!

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:47:00

The starting salary is £18k but it is graded. It's a trainee position so your salary increases as you become more competent. I don't know how far that would get me living there. In the north I would be fine on that - similar income to what I am on now but here I have no prospects in my current role and it is hard to find a similar job with prospects that start on this salary.

"When you're at the bottom, climb to the top!"

SidandAndyssextoy Fri 21-Feb-14 15:48:40

Ouch. £18k will be tight. I know people who do manage on similar salaries but you will definitely see a difference.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:48:47

Thanks coffeeslave

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:49:22

Ooooh that comment put me off sid

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