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To wonder why people struggle to live in London.

(467 Posts)
m1nniedriver Sat 10-Oct-15 12:41:38

Just honestly wondering what it is about London that makes people on, as I see it, huge salaries want to live in tiny flats just because it's london? The cost of living there seems riduculous. Some of the posts on here about the cost of housing just beggars belief! A tiny 1 bedroom flat for 300k?? If that's what you want then power to you but I do see posts with people say they are struggling and stressing every day to get by. Why would you not move to another part of the country that would enable a much better quality of life?

I'm not great at putting things across on posts so I hope this doesn't offend anyone its is meant as a genuine question, not having a go.

LookingUpAtTheStars Sat 10-Oct-15 12:42:45

Because their families, friends, jobs and history are in the area.

IfNotNowThenWhenever Sat 10-Oct-15 12:43:52


hedgehogsdontbite Sat 10-Oct-15 12:44:09

Some people love the hustle and bustle of living in such a massive city.

Duckdeamon Sat 10-Oct-15 12:45:34


LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Sat 10-Oct-15 12:45:51

I agree. I can see the point if you are a single professional with a good salary and a burning need for the sort of social life that revolves around/depends upon being in a major city, but I can't for the love of me understand why couples with families live in shoe boxes with little or no outdoor space and surrounded by all of the highly attractive aspects of urban living, just so they can gloat over having a central London postcode.

I really do find it odd.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Sat 10-Oct-15 12:46:29

Lots of jobs only exist in the capital OP.

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Sat 10-Oct-15 12:47:16

sorry i meant highly UNATTRACTIVE aspects of urban living! And by that i mean crime, grime, noise, pollution, litter, urban deprivation, awful traffic etc.

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Sat 10-Oct-15 12:47:39

That's why trains were invented LikeASoul

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 10-Oct-15 12:48:40

I do understand what your saying. I do wonder how they dont burn out!! It looks like a lot of energy to do basic tasks, and expensive, and time consuming ... like only 2 hour commute ... really? Compared to my 4 mins ...

Fratelli Sat 10-Oct-15 12:50:42

Failing to see how it is your concern unless you are being forced to live there? confused

Jeffreythegiraffe Sat 10-Oct-15 12:56:37

Jobs. I moved to London for a promotion, it wouldn't have happened if I'd stayed where I was.

bruffin Sat 10-Oct-15 13:00:50

I dont get it either mInniedriver. I was born in North London and lived in both north and south london until I was 30. The area I live in now is not fashionable and has been dissed on MN in the past, but I much rather live here than in the areas i lived . I am 20 minutes by train into central london so very easy to get into the West End for shopping and the theatre or a night out but also have miles of country park on my doorstep, lovely place to have bought up my children. I get a 3 bedroom house for less than a price of one bed flat. I paid 24k for a one bedroom flat in crystal palace back in the 80s and a 1 bed in the same road is now over £300k shock it is ridiculous as that is the same value as my 3 bedroom house.
The area i was bought up in north london is now crime ridden and gets a really bad press, it wasnt like it when i lived there and find it really sad.
My sister also lived north and south london and moved out to Norfolk and couldnt be happier.

BondGate Sat 10-Oct-15 13:01:09

There's plenty of cheap houses where I live, low cost of living.

There's also one of the highest levels of unemployment in the UK.

People go to London and the surrounding areas because that's where there's lots of work. No point moving to somewhere with cheap houses if you won't be able to find a job to pay the mortgage with.

m1nniedriver Sat 10-Oct-15 13:02:09

there are other big cities in the UK too though. surely if you have a decent job yet your paying 1.5K for a tiny flat and struggling to eat then perhaps it's worth looking at moving to another city.

I moved from friends and family for a better job, better lifestyle etc certainly wouldn't be able to have what I do where I'm from. I still see them all regularly. We mamage well day to day, have a nice home don't worry too much about money and neither myself or DP are in particularly high paying jobs.

I just don't get it.

JassyRadlett Sat 10-Oct-15 13:02:24

That's why trains were invented LikeASoul

But if you're commuting in from suburbia as many of us do (which isn't cheap to live in anyway), you need to balance the cost of commuting against what you pay on your mortgage.

Two of you commuting in from beyond Zone 6 can easily cost £400-£500 a month, and in many cases much much more.

So a lot of people choose to slash their commuting costs and spend that extra each month on their mortgage or rent, and have more time with their families because their commute is much shorter.

bruffin Sat 10-Oct-15 13:03:23

You dont have to live in london to work. My commute to the City was 30 minutes on the train.

RaskolnikovsGarret Sat 10-Oct-15 13:04:13

It's what you get used to. I now feel claustrophobic to the point of madness when I visit some small Northern towns (I am originally from the North). It's strange, I start by thinking how wonderful life would be there, big house, easy to park, school nearby etc., but by the end of the day I feel like screaming, it just feels so small and insular. I think I am just used to the daily urban struggle now, and find everything else boring. Not rational though.

Although DDs pop over to the National Theatre, Oxford Street, book signings, concerts so easily by tube, so there are advantages. And the cultural diversity of life appeals. And yes, neither DH's nor my job exist outside London, and a long commute from the Home Counties doesn't sound great. Horses for courses I guess.

bruffin Sat 10-Oct-15 13:07:13

And another thing my mother said she would disown me if I lived anywhere with hills again grin

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 10-Oct-15 13:08:44

I live in Central London because I couldn't cope with commuting. I had no life when I was commuting - an hour and a half door to door, I got home, ate dinner, went to bed, got up, went to work... I felt like a machine. I can walk to my office now in 20 minutes, bus in 10, don't need to worry about last trains or whether there will be a taxi at the other end. My family are all in London, too, as are my friends. I agree that house prices are mad here, fortunately we bought before they went completely mad, but it was costing me over £500 a month just to get to work when I was commuting.

Londonista123 Sat 10-Oct-15 13:10:48

It depends OP. I was on MN yesterday having a moan about house prices and schools, but I think DP and I would genuinely leave the country before living elsewhere in the UK (him particularly, but I'm not far off).


We're both foreigners, and London is a great place to be a foreigner since no-one cares and there isn't ever a sense that you're an outsider. I don't mean to paint the rest of the UK as some some of Deliverance-style backwater, but I haven't felt welcome everywhere we go.

Access to culture: it's not like we swan off to the ballet or theatre every week, but we both like art-house films, concerts, exhibitions, and there's just cumulatively more happening in London. (Sometimes when overworked City types say this I feel like asking when the last time was that they actually made it to a cultural event but, well, we try.)

Jobs: I can work anywhere, but DP is a software developer and there are a lot more jobs going here. Salaries are, for us anyway, high enough to make up for the higher cost of living. (When I last worked for a law firm as a very junior associate, I was on £100k. That is unheard of outside of London.)

I am not particularly interested in postcodes or gloating about where I live, but feel that my/our use of amenities justifies the sacrifice, for now.

hooliodancer Sat 10-Oct-15 13:10:51

Well most things on a forum are not really 'your concern'are they? Why do people write stupid things like that? Most conversations people have on general subjects are 'not my concern'but I have conversations because I am interested, curious etc . The OP is interested that's all.

An estate agent told me once that people pay a huge premium to be closer to work. In my tiny commuter -to -London town apparently people pay £200 a month extra in rent to be 10 minutes closer to the station!

London is great in the centre, but many of the suburbs are just grimy and expensive in my opinion. So I agree with you. Most people near me have- at some point- sold a flat in London and moved to a house here.

On the train in the morning, everyone here gets a seat. 2 stops closer to London everyone has to stand, but still has 30 very uncomfortable minutes to get through! And the house prices/rents are higher because they are closer. Bonkers. Though of course, none of my concern...

BigGreenOlives Sat 10-Oct-15 13:12:10

I come from London, my parents were both born in London and so were all four of my grandparents. Dh's family moved here in the 1780s (Hackney). My grandmother's family lived here before 1850 or so. My mother always said she couldn't live somewhere the sky was dark at night.

JassyRadlett Sat 10-Oct-15 13:12:20

I moved from friends and family for a better job, better lifestyle etc certainly wouldn't be able to have what I do where I'm from

So did I. From the other side of the world, to London. grin

My job, which I'm really good at, exists outside London but is sparse at my level. Ditto DH's, in a completely different field. In London I can move between employers, have promotion prospects beyond my current employer, and wouldn't have to uproot my family for a new role.

And we don't have to make any trade offs about whose career takes a back seat which we'd have to do almost anywhere else, as the likelihood of us both finding fm jobs at our level in our fields in the same town or city outside London are very small.

We're very lucky. Outer London borough, excellent train links, good schools (though a nightmare to get a school place) and managed to buy twice (flat then house) at what turned out to be very opportune times. A lot of folks on MN would probably hate it. My in laws certainly do, and can't understand why we'd choose this life.

RaskolnikovsGarret Sat 10-Oct-15 13:12:44

And I certainly don't feel like gloating over my postcode! I have however on occasion seen gloating from country dwellers. Do they feel insecure about their choice, so criticise London? I wouldn't dream of criticising their choice of where to live. I could be wrong though.

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