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Leaving London

(178 Posts)
Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:00:41

Hi in a serious mess about this, I'm so confused on whether to leave London or not.
Background : grew up in small insular town in lincolnshire. Left at 18 and moved to London working with the civil service.
I'm now 24, in a relationship on about 35k a year in the civil service.

My issue is I want to start a family in a few years time and London is just so expensive. Me and my partner both earn ok money but renting in London is he'll, and would struggle to get a mortgage and the I don't want to be in my eyeballs in debt worth millions the.
However I love all London has to offer and think it could be an amazing place for a kid to grow up and live.
My job restricts me to some cities if I move, it can be Norwich, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Cardiff or Edinburgh.

Any help appreciated

RedBlu Sat 21-Apr-18 23:02:40

Well, obviously costs will be lower in other cities, but chances are so will your salaries. I live in one of the cities mentioned and my salary is £28k, the same job in London is £40k so there is that to consider

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:02:59

Also I took a year out to travel at 20, so fear I could ruin my career if I move out, even though there's lots of job opportunities outside London.

SaltireSaltire Sat 21-Apr-18 23:03:19

Edinburgh best for quality of life on that list (houses not cheap), followed by Manchester then Leeds. That is if it’s city life you are after.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:05:02

RedBlu, I understand that but then cost of living will be lower. My partner also works remotely, so his wage would be the same and mine would go down by about 5k. Civil service London weighting is crap.

I'm more worried a bit about having a family, London seems such a great place for kids, but is it worth the costs? Also if I move further up north I could be back closer to my family

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:06:15

Saltire. Yes city life, those places are my options I've seen, and coming from a tiny crap town I would never go to anything small or any countryside place ever.

Fruitcorner123 Sat 21-Apr-18 23:09:29

How about somewhere like Cambridge? Good commute to London. It's still expensive but cheaper than London. There are other places too that you could commute from but I think that is the most obvious city.

I don't think you should leave a place you love but I don't know how you can get round the affordability.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:10:27

It's just so hard. I love London and feel everything it has to offer would be great for a family, and me and my partner too. But then living here is so expensive. For 500k which buys a scrappy flat or house in most of London we could get so much more for our money elsewhere.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:12:02

FruitCorner123. That's the problem, deeply in love with London, but love being close to the city and the South is a lot more expensive then some of the places mentioned. I'm also a bit naff and couldn't do small town living, which I know Cambridge is not but still not a thriving city.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:18:15

Anymore help appreciated

LightDrizzle Sat 21-Apr-18 23:18:22

I’d go for Leeds over Manchester. It had a better restaurant scene and a lovely feel. Excellent shopping too. It has good rail links and the bars and pubs in the centre have a real post-5.00pm buzz that reminds me of parts of London. I don’t live there myself, but I think it’s a really good all-rounder. The surrounding countryside is magnificent too. I love opera and Opera North is based in Leeds.
Manchester is too rainy for me. There is a big difference in precipitation east and west of the Pennines.
Edinburgh is lovely but also quite expensive.

LightDrizzle Sat 21-Apr-18 23:19:05

Sorry about the typos.

DuchyDuke Sat 21-Apr-18 23:19:44

Bedford, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Kettering are all within 25-60 mins of London Kings Cross / Euston. It’s possible to have a house, London lifestyle, and commute on your existing salary.

Pikehau Sat 21-Apr-18 23:21:15

But then your 500k would increase in London and you could stay here for a while and then decide when kids are school age so maybe 5 /6 years time (if you had a baby soon)

I loved zone 2 then 3 now 6. We are on a mainline into waterloo 17mins close to a3 and the “country” but close enough to London for Work and going out and taking kids with little effort.

I will tell you though that when I had dc1, and in “nappy valley” I enjoyed the baby scene but being a new mum meant London trips and nights out in the vast amount of restaurant was too much for my frAzzled and panicked state. Dc2 we were in suburbia, I drove much more but I enjoyed being close to London.... dc3 is 10months and I have been in London once!!!

Will take them all together eventually and it will be fab but life changes and London with kids is different and ££. I go home to where I grew up and so much is in offer for free, outdoors so close or very little £. A friend lives in Yorkshire and they also have so much on offer.

London is amazing but not always all that.

Pikehau Sat 21-Apr-18 23:22:19

*lived in zone 2 then 3 now six ... also loved them!

Pikehau Sat 21-Apr-18 23:24:59

I’m a Scot. I lived in Edinburgh many many moons ago. It is wonderful but frightfully cold and very expensive. You’ll not have the tube/ amazing train like you are used to. Etc etc

Lothian buses do have an extensive route.

Can’t comment on the tram confused

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:27:02

Thanks for the advice.
Leeds does sound good, lively social scene and near countryside plus only an hour from my parents and an hour and a half from partners.
DUCHYDUKE, I do agree they could offer me a good choice but property is still astronomical prices and i fear when kids are older, they would prefer to be close in rather then an hour away from the city.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:28:10

Pikehau. Thanks so much. Yes I do love the connectivity of London, the tube, buses, DLR, the chance to easily walk and cycle anywhere.

usernamealreadytaken Sat 21-Apr-18 23:31:10

We used to live in Sussex and DH commuted in to London every day. No quality of family life; he left before DCs got up and got home just before they went to bed. Moved to Manchester suburb 8 years ago - 4 bed detached house for sale proceeds of 3 bed semi, half hour commute in to city, easy access to North Wales, Yorkshire, Lakes, Cheshire, Pennines (like walking!) - bit rainy sometimes but we don't get many hosepipe bans! DH got a transfer with his job (no relocation package sadly) and we are definitely better off as a family, and a little financially as house prices are cheaper and petrol slightly, but not much else is cheaper I don't think.

Fruitcorner123 Sat 21-Apr-18 23:31:26

Honestly some of the places duchyduke has suggested are not that expensive to buy property in comparison.

I grew up in commutersville and it was great. We had good train links and could go to London if we wanted but we lived in a place big enough to have cinema, leisure centre etc. I would never have wanted to live in London. I could go to london whenever i wanted.

Given what you've described I would be looking at commuting to London rather than the other options. You sound happy with your job.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:37:29

Fruitcorner123. Very happy with job Yes, but I could transfer easily to any of the other places as well.
Usernamealreadytaken that sounds so good, I'm a bit wishy easy, I love city life, easy access to the action and hustle and bustle but then enjoy a good long hike and physical challenge.

Any more help appreciated

Lifeaback Sat 21-Apr-18 23:37:42

I faced a similar sort of situation. I'm originally from a small crappy town on the outskirts of London which I couldn't wait to get away from, so moved to Leeds for uni. I moved there and loved it but it just didn't compare to London, so after 3 years in a graduate job there I decided to move back down south and bought a tiny rabbit hutch flat in London. After me and DH got married we were so torn about what to do and where we wanted to raise a family. We had the options of staying in London and buy a small house, move to Leeds (where I had job links and friends) and buy a bigger house, or move to Brighton (where we could both easily get a job and had many friends as dh studied there) where we could have an in between house and a good quality of life.

In the end we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave London. We decided that by the time our eldest child was 2 we would re-evaluate things and see how we felt then about the size of our house and quality of life. About a year later, DH's incredible DGM sadly passed away and we inherited a large enough sum of money to buy a gorgeous (but dated!) Victorian terrace in a lovely area of south London with a good school catchment which we then turned into our dream home and the question has never been raised again. We were incredibly fortunate though, and without the money I'm not sure if we would have decided to stay or not. The first year of having a child was tough as our flat was in a rough area and I constantly slept with one eye open once DD was born, and realistically we wouldn't have been able to afford to move anywhere better in London plus once schools came into consideration it would have been a nightmare.

I guess what I am suggesting is maybe you wait until you have a child to see how you feel. Circumstances can change in an instance, and I think if you move before you have a child you will constantly wonder what if. Whereas if you wait until having a child, your decision is more likely to be easier as you'll have a better idea about how the situation feels once you've lived through it.

I don't regret my decision in the slightest- 4 kids later and I'm loving every second of watching them grow into little city people with a much greater understanding and acceptance of different cultures then I had at their age. I also love that we're never ever stuck on ideas for how to fill our weekends- there's always 72819172 different child orientated activities to choose from rather than just the same old soft play centre week in week out. Sometimes I feel sad that their childhood memories won't be filled with den building and tree climbing, and of course I worry all the time about pollution and crime statistics and the different challenges parenting a London teen will inevitably bring to our door, but me and my family love city life and all it brings enough for that to outweigh the negatives.

Sorry for such a long post but just wanted to share my experience.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:43:16

Lifeaback. Thanks so much, really insightful, I've been to Leeds before and did love it too.

I agree there's so much to do in London but there's also so much to do in Leeds and Manchester as well. I want my kids to be city people too, but then I also want them to be able to do send and long walks in stunning countryside.

Sonotcivil Sat 21-Apr-18 23:51:24

Any more help appreciated

DuchyDuke Sun 22-Apr-18 00:01:10

If you will struggle with Milton Keynes or Bedford prices then the others will be a struggle too. You may find yourself needing to move further out and have to do an hours commute on a 30mile single carriage road due to lots of traffic rather than a straight up train journey to London. It takes less time to go from Leicester to London for example on the train than it does to go from Manchester /Leeds to some of the suburbs because of London’s superior transport links. Don’t count out commuting to London without thoroughly researching it.

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