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to think that we should move out of London and try and commute in?

(70 Posts)
fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 17:46:24

Our rent has gone up by £50pcm each year since we moved in in 2013. We moved into our flat as, at the time, the area was one we could afford easily. We now pay £2400 a year more on rent than we did in 2013, and the amount we pay now is pushing at the upper limit of what we can afford. We are in zone 3.

I'm tempted to suggest to DP that we move out of London and find somewhere in commuting distance. He thinks, as I do, that being a renter here is unsustainable and buying will never, ever happen - I'm in a fair whack of debt which I'm paying off, and while I'm doing that/healing my credit rating/waiting for my student loan to end so I can funnel money into savings jesus-christ-I'm-nearly-35-and-it's-not-done-yet, prices are shooting up with no sign of stopping - flats in our area are around £300k, we don't have rich aunts about to die or huge incomes. (Our household income is around average.). In addition, I have a serious MH issue and the service where we live is so oversubscribed that we had to write to our MP to get a referral after seeing a private psychiatrist.

But, he also thinks that if we leave, we leave for good - pack up and head North or Scotland. I'd 100% be on board with that but the reason we're both in London to begin with is that we'd both moved here because jobs were not to be found in the cities in which we lived. I outearn him by a long way (this is not likely to change for the moment) I like my job and I work in a stupidly London-centric industry. It'd take a lot of time and planning before we can make that happen, and in the meantime, we'll be looking at more rent rises.

Does the cost of commuting in (I get a season ticket loan, but still) make it worthwhile? If by some miracle we could buy (again, it wouldn't be for at least six years) we'd have more chance of it. On the other hand, I don't know where to look, and where's still reasonable to rent/buy. DP did live in Reading and I would have happily got us a flat there, but the cost of commuting in for two of us plus the horrid busy-ness of the line ruled it out. Should we start planning something more permanent elsewhere?

empirerecordsrocked Tue 14-Mar-17 17:56:43

I think you don't need to go as far as reading! I'm in zone 4, commute is £120 per month, I don't need tubes so it's just train. We don't rent but the two bed terrace with garden next to me has just gone on the market for £1300.

Lostwithinthehills Tue 14-Mar-17 17:58:27

I think you could start by working out how much time you are willing to spend commuting each day, in my circle of aquaintances two to four hours a day is considered normal. Then look at which areas reflect these commuting times, tubes are slower than national rail so you could look at, for example, Southend via national rail and Upminster via the tube. Consider areas the whole way around London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and so on. Work out the ticket costs and house prices / rental costs so you can see what your new outgoings would be.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:00:21

We can't afford £1300 a month. Although we don't have two beds or a garden, so that probably makes it more expensive!

Because we don't earn the same, the rent isn't split down the middle, so that limits us a bit (DP might get a promotion later this year) as does me paying off my debts (I'm on a DMP so it's fixed). Also, worrying about next year's potential rent rise, and the one after that, is really on my mind at the moment.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:02:17

Lostwithin - at the moment, bus and tube, it's 1 - 1.5hrs. I don;t mind something longer if I have a good chance of getting a seat and being able to read etc, which wasn't always the case when DP lived in Reading and I'd be going there in the evening or back to London in the morning. I think the latter is what puts DP off moving out and commuting in.

Dumbstrucked Tue 14-Mar-17 18:02:22

Commuting in isn't necessarily cheaper. How much is your rent pay?

Dumbstrucked Tue 14-Mar-17 18:02:31


empirerecordsrocked Tue 14-Mar-17 18:03:35

Oops I read it as your rent was £2400 pcm. You could get a flatsmile

allzwell Tue 14-Mar-17 18:05:05

Where in London do you need to commute to?
Welwyn garden city, Stevenage,Letchworth, Hitchin are all within easy reach of central / north London and cheaper to rent.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 14-Mar-17 18:07:53

What is your budget for renting and/or buying? Mumsnet can help you find somewhere cheaper!

If you plan to have children, don't set yourselves up for a long commute - it is soul destroying and means an exceptionally long time in childcare for your child.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:07:55

Dumbstrucked - it's £1050pcm, one and a half beds (you couldn't use the second room as a bedroom unless you were a small child). We rent privately, so it's much cheaper than going through an agent, but I've kept my eyes on what other places cost. One area I earmarked as somewhere we could look at is now out of our budget. Though Foxtons were marketing a flat in our block for £1950, so who the hell knows. I'll have paid off my student loan next year so that will be an extra £125 a month, though I'd like not to have to put that toward rent hikes and instead toward debt.

I'm currently paying £1500 a year for a season ticket to get me into work - though mine and DP's offices are walking distance from Euston/King's Cross/St Pancras so that would cut down the cost of train commuting and using London transport.

hazelnutlatte Tue 14-Mar-17 18:08:43

My friend and her DH moved out of London so they could buy a house, they moved to Bedford. Her commute is really expensive but it's a fast train and she works near Euston station so she actually has a shorter commuting time than some of her colleagues who live in London. They now own a 3 bed house for less than the price of a 1 bed flat in London. I think Bedford has a bit of a bad reputation but they are happy there and have lots of positive things to say about the place.

MairzyDoats Tue 14-Mar-17 18:09:18

I was just about to say WGC, it's about 20 minutes on the fast train to Kings Cross, and I'm currently renting a little 2-bed with a garden for £ that more doable? That said, I don't have to commute any more so I might not sure what the monthly cost would be.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:10:27

We don't have children. We will not be able to buy for a very long time. I need to pay off my debt, and then my credit rating needs to repair over time (during which time I will be saving). By that time there will be no chance in London unless there is that crash that everyone keeps saying is coming.

Depressingly, I have a colleague who was on the same pay grade as me in her twenties in 1998, bought a place on her own and paid off the mortgage within ten years. Stupid London and its streets paved with gold, eh?

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 14-Mar-17 18:10:45

Where in London do you need to get to?

Although Reading to Paddington is only 25 minutes (all seats gone by the time they get into Reading) I then used to have over an hour on the tube.

When I moved to Buckinghamshire for DH's job my commute in was 1 hour on the train from Milton Keynes to Euston (seated) but then only 10 minutes by tube.

Lostwithinthehills Tue 14-Mar-17 18:10:51

"+ Large flat in conservation area with sea views
+ 0.3 miles from Southend Central train station
+ Lounge to front 18' x 13' with panoramic sea views and fire surround"

This flat is £650 a month, the season ticket to Fenchurch Street is about £350 a month of £4500 a year. It's the first station on the line so you'll get a seat, and it takes around an hour.

Allthebestnamesareused Tue 14-Mar-17 18:12:32

Cross posted.

Dumbstrucked Tue 14-Mar-17 18:12:36

Okay so a London to reading national rail ticket is 400pm - for 2 of your that's 800pm which means you'd have to find somewhere to rent for less than 400pcm.

I don't know reading rentals personally but is that realistic? I live just outside Manchester and for 400 I couldn't get much more than a room in a shared house.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:15:13

Allthebestnamesareused - that's the problem with Reading, it's SO busy.

We'd need to get to Bloomsbury/Warren St area, so there's a few stations within walking distance. I think if we could walk from the train station it would keep costs down, as no need to get a tube pass then. People I work with commute from Brighton (they bought a while ago, though - if we could afford it I'd love that), Hemel, High Barnet, Southend.

DP earns £21k so I think that's also making him very reluctant to spend a hefty chunk of money on a season ticket - his work are doing loans now, though.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:16:02

For Reading, no, not realistic - once we factored in commuting costs it wasn't affordable. Maybe it would be if we'd moved out to buy a larger house than we would in London, but definitely not as renters.

pinkdelight Tue 14-Mar-17 18:25:12

Not sure which zone you're in, but your rent doesn't sound too bad. Not for your pocket maybe, but for a 1.5bed flat, shared by a couple. There's couple's sharing a room in house shares paying that much and as you say, there's flat's in your block that cost a lot more. Horrifying isn't it really. If you're finding it too expensive, you'd probably have to go quite far to get a better deal so I can see your DP's point about relocating. Is your career not viable in other major cities?

mummabear14 Tue 14-Mar-17 18:27:25

We moved to west Kent, from south London, and was the best thing we ever did. We lived in a 2 bedroom house, that was old and run down. Cracked windows, dodgy boiler and no garden. We paid £1000pcm. I don't commute to London, but my husband does daily and rides his motorbike there (so sadly I'm not sure of travel costs).
However we now rent a huge 3 bedroom beautiful house, in a rural village, nice garden and very low crime rates. It's £1050pcm. I can imagine prices for small properties are a lot cheaper, but my point is that is defiantly pays to move out of London.

fridgepants Tue 14-Mar-17 18:30:09

It's not at all, we are really lucky. But what makes me worry is that it's just not sustainable. If it goes up by the same amount each year, it's going to get to a point where we can't afford it. At present, I pay 2/3 of the rent, DP pays 1/3, this may change if and when he gets his promotion, but as I'm paying off debts as well, the budget is tight. And I keep getting really anxious about not knowing if we can count on being where we are for the forseeable future or how much it will keep going up by - that and getting a cat is why I wish buying somewhere were more viable.

The specific thing I do is only done in the company for which I work, but I've been looking round to see if there's something for which I can use the same skills. The difficulty is that both of us would need to find something. It would take a fair bit of time to plan and I don't even know how you move cities as a couple (done it on my own) iyswim.

specialsubject Tue 14-Mar-17 18:30:45

There are stories on here that London rents and prices will drop ( not crash) given what is about to happen. And I wouldn't risk Scotland!

Might be worth hanging fire a little longer?

Roomster101 Tue 14-Mar-17 18:33:19

If you work by Euston you could move to the Midlands. The commute from Birmingham or Tamworth station to Euston is only about an hour and housing is obviously much much cheaper than London.

I would be a bit daft to move to Scotland if you don't have decent jobs there so your DP is not being sensible about that.

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