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?

Preciousbane Wed 26-Feb-14 08:33:40

Plate of crumbs that is exactly how I feel about property markets. Unless you a developer, estate agent, downsize, relocate or inherit a property it is not helpful to have rampant prices.

Artandco Wed 26-Feb-14 07:20:28

Thanks, but £299000 is very rare. I would be worried about area/ flat!
I need to be able to walk home at midnight after work without feeling threatened. Won't move to ' unfriendly' areas

Elfina Wed 26-Feb-14 06:58:18

Who's getting excited? I'm worried we won't be able to get a house down here, so it might be point that sways us into moving to birmingham (where I'm from): £500K buys a bit more up there!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 25-Feb-14 20:29:29

Five-thanks!smile

SidandAndyssextoy Tue 25-Feb-14 19:48:45

I know the OP has made the decision to rethink but I am hmm at the idea that she might want to move away from her current life into a studio in a grotty bit of London just for the sake of being in the city.

Prices in SE London are going insane. In my bit the price of a three bed Victorian terrace with around 1100 sq ft and a tiny garden has gone from around £500,000 to £850,000 plus in under two years.

Binkybix Tue 25-Feb-14 18:45:41

And YY to plateofcrumbs!

Binkybix Tue 25-Feb-14 18:45:05

Anything in a Stockwell that's 3 beds and £299,000 wouldn't be great I'd have thought. Most 2 beds that I've seen around there are over £400,000 now.

Plateofcrumbs Tue 25-Feb-14 18:39:53

It's all very well "making money" on your home but unless (like Annie seems to be doing) you move to a cheaper area or you downsize you never actually cash that in. We recently sold a flat and moved to a house - we 'made' £130k on the flat but in the same time frame the houses we wanted to buy (which had gone up at the same rate) had increased by more than £130k. So we'd have been better off if house prices hadn't increased at all. Getting excited about the increasing value of your home is generally about as useful as counting monopoly money.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Tue 25-Feb-14 17:28:13

Wow Elfina. I wish I had the money to play the property game! That's more than I will earn in years and years of work....

Annie - If your income is around 40 grand how on earth did you get a mortgage for nearly 10 x income? We were in london on 30ish, offered 4 times income so at most that was 120 grand we could borrow.

pinkdelight Tue 25-Feb-14 17:14:12

Annie, my point was that studios are more than £600pcm. On right move there is one grotty minuscule studio for £625 and the rest are all £800 and above. I thought my point was pretty clear and several others have said the same. Your situation is not relevant to OP. no more relevant than me saying my neighbour has a 3-bed semi in CP and pays peanuts for it cos they bought it 20 years ago. Lucky them. It's a different world now and getting worse, and the fact that it's some badge of honour to live in tiny overcrowded accommodation just to make it in the capital is sickening. God knows what our kids have to look forward to!

Mintyy Tue 25-Feb-14 17:00:46

Its a good thing that op has long-since decided not to apply for the London job because this thread has gone off on a totally bizarre tangent!

FiveLeavesLeft Tue 25-Feb-14 16:58:29

Mediterranea is lovely but A Torre a couple of doors up is even nicer!

Anniegoestotown Tue 25-Feb-14 16:57:59

Art you were saying you were trying to get a mortgage for £400000 for a 2 bed. Have you tried Stockwell, zone 2 20 mins Liverpool Street and 25mins Fulham b.way and under £299k and 3 beds.

As for the £600 per month I was referring to a studio in Crystal Palace for the op.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 25-Feb-14 16:30:29

Complete hijack alert-is the restaurant in CP called Mediterreanea (sp?) nice? A friend was telling me it was amazing....

Elfina Tue 25-Feb-14 16:24:53

We've just today had our 2 bed flat in CP that we bought two years ago for £220K valued at £370K. Our next door neighbours sold there's for this on Saturday. Been on the market for a day. Things are going crazy round here.

Plateofcrumbs Tue 25-Feb-14 13:35:49

Annie I'm not suggesting you've not made sacrifices to get where you are, but the fact you have sustained such low housing costs and made enough equity to buy another house outright in cash IS exceptionally lucky, and not something anyone starting out at the bottom of the housing ladder today could hope to replicate.

On the matter of what the OP could afford (were she still considering moving to London - part of that £20k benefits will be housing benefit which (at a maximum) would only be available to cover the rent and no more. Depending on the age of her son she might be entitled to enough benefit to cover a 1 or 2 bed flat. Trading down to a cheaper studio wouldn't 'save' her any money as she would simply receive less housing benefit. In that respect the actual housing costs are somewhat irrelevant, it entirely depends what's available on the market to LHA recipients within the relevant caps.

Artandco Tue 25-Feb-14 13:27:52

Annie if you can find me a 2 bed flat/ house that's within 30 commute of both Liverpool street and Fulham for work for £600 a month that would be great. Oh and can't be out of zone 2 really as then we would have high commuting costs the further out which defeats the point. Cant be more than 30 min commute otherwise we would spend more on nursery fees

Coveredinweetabix Tue 25-Feb-14 13:23:42

OP I'm someone else who really admires you for wanting to do this. I can't really comment on the financial side of things as don't really know about the cost of rent & childcare in London but do think carefully about the friends & family side of things. Who do you meet up with at evenings & weekends at the moment? Where do you meet up? Do your parents regularly babysit (whether of an evening or for a few hours during the day at the weekend)? Do you regularly go there for a meal or to stay? My worry for you is that you could be pretty lonely. You say you get on with anyone & make friends easily, but when & where are you going to meet people to make friends with? If you're working full time, in the mornings you'll be racing around to get ready, to drop your DS off at nursery & then get to work. All the other nursery parents will be doing the same and, whilst some people will begin to look familiar, you won't make friends, especially as everyone will drop off at slightly different times unlike at school when it opens at a set time and so people are waiting outside together. DD has been at nursery since she was 15mths but it wasn't until she turned 3 and some of the children had birthday parties that I ever said more than "hi" to any of the other parents. At work, if you are joining a graduate programme who mainly take fresh graduates, then I doubt that there will be many others in the same situation as you so a lot of the social life could be based around going out after work, something you won't be able to do as you've got to go & collect your DS from work. Also, they may well all be younger than you &, even if it's just by a couple of years, you will be so much more mature than them as you have a child & have already had an actual job. And then once you've collected DS and got home and put him to bed, what are you going to do then? Presumably you'll have little choice but to stay at home whilst he sleeps unless you can afford a babysitter. So that leaves you with the weekends to get out & about and make friends but a weekend can be a long time to fill when you are by yourself, have a little one to entertain & don't have friends and when your main way of meeting them is going to be the chance of finding a like minded person in the park. There may be some toddler activities or classes at the weekend but there aren't where I live (admittedly a fairly sleepy market town). I would love to be able to somehow wave my magic wand and move you to a nice flat, near a park, near the bus stop & in the catchment area of a good school and find you some friends with similar aged children but I don't have a wand and nor does anyone else!
Just one thing on nursery fees - our (outside London) nursery is open from 7.30 - 6.30. It is the only one in a ten mile radius which is open for this long. The fees for 8am - 6pm are £62 per day. It's then an additional £7.50 if you want to drop off at 7.30 and a further £7.50 if you want to pick up at 6.30 so bear in mind the premium you may have to pay if you want extended care, which you may need as you're the only one able to do drop off & pick up.

Anniegoestotown Tue 25-Feb-14 13:18:49

I am not questioning £400000 for a 2 bed per se but you do not need to spend £400k to get a 2 bedder.

Recent thread was about how someone would not be able to buy as a 2 bed new build in Wembley was £350k and how they couldn't afford it even under the HTB scheme. (2 bed in Wembley £145)
Despite myself and several other posters repeating that HTB was not just available on new builds one of the last posters tried to point the op in the direction of moving to Northampton as there were a few new builds around that qualified under the HTB scheme.

And as for being exceptionally lucky I would just like to point out that if you call scrimping and saving for years exceptionally lucky then I have been.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 25-Feb-14 13:05:57

The fact that you question 400k for a 2 bed shows how out of touch you are Annie,I think you live in la la landwink

Anniegoestotown Tue 25-Feb-14 12:35:59

Do not know where you are looking Art but £400000 for 2 beds?

Italwayshappenstome Tue 25-Feb-14 12:10:23

Thanks flora, I am contemplating the OU. The work I do now is related loosely to my degree which was in Engineering. Funnily I have ended up in the education sector but my role is very limited to the point that I just see it as a means to an end for now. I can guarantee on my monthly pay cheque and that's all it really holds for me.

The job I was thinking of applying for in London is moving towards a health care profession but still undertaking an engineering role, however it would mean starting as a trainee hence the naff wage.

I will consider the OU, I just need to establish what it is I am hoping to works towards.

Thanks for all the help people

Plateofcrumbs Tue 25-Feb-14 12:07:42

Annie you have been exceptionally fortunate with your housing costs. If you bought 6 years ago, this was just before the crash which severely curtailed mortgage lending and raised mortgage costs - getting such a low interest-only deal would be impossible these days despite the fact that base rates are so low.

You have also benefited from a period of unprecedentedly low interest rates, keeping your repayments extremely low. During a more typical period your repayments, even on an interest-only basis, would have been substantially higher.

And you have also benefited from a period in which housing market conditions in London have bucked national trends - blame wider international markets for that - in which prices rocket whilst in the rest of the country they have generally dropped through the down-turn. Leaving you with substantial equity in your home despite the fact you haven't been repaying any of the capita.

With 20-20 hindsight that may seem like good judgement on your part but no-one predicted what has happened over the last six years. It could easily have gone another way - in an alternate universe you could be paying £1500 a month in interest payments and trapped in negative equity.

florascotia Tue 25-Feb-14 11:35:04

OP This may be off the point a bit but I must say that I really admire your get-up-and-go and your wish to improve your career. I was going to suggest some sort of further education, but see that you have thought of that yourself. Is there anything you could train for /study that is linked to your present employment, however loosely, so as to make it more interesting /rewarding?

Education is great for its own sake, but study ideally needs to be targeted if it is to progress your career, especially in these difficult times when so many young graduates with perfectly good but non-specific degrees find it hard to get a job. Might it be an idea to talk to the HR dept at your employers/seek specialist careers advice, eg from professional bodies linked to the sort of career you are aiming at, and/or from a relevant trade union?
The Open University has this website: www2.open.ac.uk/students/careers/ou-study-and-your-career which might perhaps be useful.

Please forgive me if I am interfering/just stating the blindingly obvious. Good luck.

Artandco Tue 25-Feb-14 11:23:39

Annie- you are living in a one man fairy land. We live in a one bed flat, x2 adults,x2 children. Admittedly more central, but it's £1600 a month. We asked recently about a mortgage and for £400k mortgage, monthly repayments would e approx £2400, that's a 2 bed.

No way would we get a £600 rent/ mortgage. I paid £680 6 years ago for a room in a flat share. Dh the same.

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