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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?

DarlingGrace Fri 21-Feb-14 13:51:57

London is a vast city, it's a sprawling metropolis of 8 million people. Without wanting to sound unhelpful you might be be living from Mayfair to Tower Hamlets and anywhere in between.

You need to find out your salary, the area , then plot a commuting line and work out if you can afford it from that. Child minders will be in the region of £4-£5ph. Nurseries the thick end of a grand a month

Rental prices vary wildly. A three bed semi my way is a min of £1,500pcm to rent, a 2 bed flat on a rather grim high street is £1200pcm and a 25 min journey into Charing X will be the thick end of £1600pa.

NigellasDealer Fri 21-Feb-14 13:54:12

London is hard to get into these days, the rents are through the roof.
You would need a good few thousand to get established.
Do you know London at all in terms of nice areas to live?
If you do decide to go ahead, please do contact me and I can give you some suggestions, would hate to see you stuck somewhere horrible with your child.
the actual costs of living are about the same as anywhere else in terms of bills and food and transport, IMO, it is just the rents are a problem.
You might be entitled to some HB but again you have to choose your area carefully as some London boroughs have really capped this low.
Research, research. research.
you have to decide where you would like to live and phone that borough to find out their HB rates.
Also think about schools for the future although that is not your immediate concern. Childcare is expensive these days I have heard.
please do feel free to PM me about areas.

FlyingDucky Fri 21-Feb-14 13:57:11

Good opportunities for work in London. Better wages, lots of free stuff to do with kids. It could be a really positive move for you op.

Research different areas. Where would you be working if you got the job?

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 13:57:36

Thanks. I was vague, the area is Crystal Palace, the starting salary is not brilliant (it would be fine oop north grin).

I have been to London (Canary Wharf) only ever a few times and it was years ago. Is Crystal Palace a nice area (without meaning to offend or come across as a snob)?

I'm looking into childcare in that area now, it is roughly the same pw as up here. The closing date for this job is a couple of weeks time so I think my best bet would be travel down there to have a look at the area and what I might be getting myself into before sending off that CV

NigellasDealer Fri 21-Feb-14 13:59:28

Actually Crystal Palace is one area I would consider again, a bit villagey in its feel and plenty of bus routes, not bad at all, and some nice parks too for your child.
I would say go for it!

squeaver Fri 21-Feb-14 14:03:01

Being able to live and work in the same area - and Crystal Palace is a nice, family-friendly area - would make a huge difference in London as it's the cost and time of commuting that is a killer for a lot of people.

SidandAndyssextoy Fri 21-Feb-14 14:03:23

Crystal Palace is nice, and although housing prices have gone a bit insane round here recently there are nice-but-dull bits at the edge of it that are still fairly affordable.

It's a very family friendly place too, and great for kids, with lots of green space (the park is wonderful). Public transport in London is actually cheaper than many other places, there are shops for all budgets, so it's housing and childcare that bite.

FlyingDucky Fri 21-Feb-14 14:04:39

Crystal palace is nice. Good shops, big park.
You'd have no travel do that's a saving.
Look on rightmove at local rents and surrounding areas.

QueenStromba Fri 21-Feb-14 14:06:08

As others have said, being able to live and work in the same area in London is a big bonus - the average commute is 40 minutes each way I believe.

FiveLeavesLeft Fri 21-Feb-14 14:06:16

Crystal palace is lovely and very friendly. Lots of young families and plenty of beautiful outside space. Dead easy into town too with lots of transport options.

Just check out proximity to schools as there is a lot of pressure and maximum distance for admissions are very small. Have a look at for a bit of local flavour.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 21-Feb-14 14:07:15

Have you looked at the price of renting. Lots of people can't afford London on double incomes atcthe moment.

NigellasDealer Fri 21-Feb-14 14:10:57

yes but she is a LP and so could apply for HB support as well as tax credits etc.

Mintyy Fri 21-Feb-14 14:11:42

Yes, Crystal Palace is a nice suburb of London, about 7 miles south east of the centre. Will you need a two or three bed flat? I imagine rent would be in the region of £900 - £1400 per month (but don't quote me). The area postcode is SE19 if you want to have a browse on Right Move.

SidandAndyssextoy Fri 21-Feb-14 14:11:57

Yes, what would your rental budget be?

Sarahschuster Fri 21-Feb-14 14:14:11

Crystal palace is nice, but not the cheapest. The further SE you go, the cheaper as a rule.

NigellasDealer Fri 21-Feb-14 14:14:57

beyond there is not really London though is it?

FiveLeavesLeft Fri 21-Feb-14 14:16:34

Sorry meant to add that there is a really good chat forum on Virtual Norwood. It might be worth your whole posting there too.

dreamingbohemian Fri 21-Feb-14 14:18:32

I have some friends in CP who really struggled to find childcare, so many families have moved there in recent years. So would suggest not just looking at cost but availability.

If the job itself is in CP you could save some money by moving further out.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 14:21:07

Hi and thanks for all your lovely helpful replies. I have looked at renting two bed apartments and the prices range greatly depending on the website you use!! It's so vast! I am definitely going to travel down there next weekend to have a look at the place, see what it 'feels' like.

There are quite a few OFSTED registered childminders in the area too so hopefully if I get the job (not even applied yet but that's optimism for you!) it shouldn't be too hard to find one with a vacancy.

So if I am reading this can do both Live and Work in Crystal Palace? You wouldn't need to do any hefty commutes? Sorry, I'm sounding so dumb confused. A lot of people go on about commuting into London and I think that has put me off living/working down there in the past, plus the expense.

I will ring tax credits too to find out if I'd still qualify for them. I've never received HB and have always managed fine

SoonToBeSix Fri 21-Feb-14 14:21:25

You should consider a one bedroom
Flat to save costs as your ds could sleep with you for another year at least. Then you could get a nice day bed or sofa bed for the front room and give ds the bedroom.

specialsubject Fri 21-Feb-14 14:22:00

as a matter of interest I had a look on rightmove. 2 bed flats in the area are about £1000 pcm.

SoonToBeSix Fri 21-Feb-14 14:25:47

London rents are crazy, my four bed house with driveway and garden is only £400 a month.

FiveLeavesLeft Fri 21-Feb-14 14:27:03

Second what dreamingbohemian said, get child are sorted as soon as you are able, as there is a real shortage.

dreamingbohemian Fri 21-Feb-14 14:35:20

CP is the suburbs really, so yes you can live and work there. But it's become extremely desirable for families in recent years so prices have shot up. I would also recommend getting a one bed and sleeping in the lounge, you will save a lot of money.

I'd actually ring some childminders and see if you can find a vacancy. There may be lots but really, from what I hear from friends, it was a nightmare finding someone. Nurseries and schools packed too.

Have a look at the train lines that go through CP and look in the neighbourhoods along them. Even a short commute might find you somewhere cheaper and with better childcare options. London is indeed vast but if you focus on the commuting paths, it helps.

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