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To regret moving out of London?

(183 Posts)
Pickupthephone Fri 05-Oct-18 19:51:40

So about 6 months ago we moved from a tiny one bed flat in a lovely (but expensive) part of south London to a house in an town in one of the Home Counties.

We wanted a proper house and garden (and we couldn’t afford one in London), we wanted to be closer to the countryside, and we wanted things like good schools and good hospitals. I actually wanted to relocate completely and move up north, but my DH didn’t want to (jobs etc) so we compromised on this place.

And we’ve got all that stuff but I miss London.

The town we’ve moved to is ‘officially’ posh and insanely expensive (cheaper than London but that’s not saying much). And it seems superficially nice when you visit it (and as it did when we were looking round) but when you get to know it, it’s such a dump. The council tax is through the roof but the council definitely aren’t doing any street cleaning - the centre of town’s dirty and always stinks. There seems to be a lot of drug use - perhaps because there’s less for young people to do - but walking home at night I feel way more threatened there than I ever did in London. There are so many homeless people. They have camps on the pavements. How is such a rich council in such a rich area not helping them?! The car to human ratio is about 10 to 1 (I guess because there’s no public transport) so the traffic’s terrible, the pollution’s terrible, parking’s terrible. And we pay thousands of pounds in season tickets for the privilege of living here.

I know I’m going to get told that I should have got to know the place better before moving, perhaps you’re right, but it was tricky. I guess I’m just looking for sympathy - has anyone else moved and regretted it?

OP’s posts: |
Jaxhog Fri 05-Oct-18 19:59:45

Lots of reasons, but give it time. Living in the burbs is different, but keep thinking about all the benefits. We made the move too, and now we love it.

One reason your new council isn’ spending money, is that all the money collected in the SE burbs goes to London and northern councils. Being a rich area doesn’t mean your council is also rich. Depressing, but true.

ApplestheHare Fri 05-Oct-18 20:02:47

Give it time. You've not been there long and it takes a lot longer than 6 months for somewhere to feel like home.

RoseRuby26 Fri 05-Oct-18 20:04:10

I'd say give it time too. Have you made a new social circle? Which county are you in?

stressedtiredbuthappy Fri 05-Oct-18 20:08:29

Give it time. I moved back to Manchester after living in London for years and it was horrendous. I adjusted eventually, the main point being I was no longer haemorrhaging money on living expenses!

E20mom Fri 05-Oct-18 20:10:27

Are you in St Albans? I'm afraid to move out of central London in case I massively regret it too so I feel your pain!

SnuggyBuggy Fri 05-Oct-18 20:13:21

Sounds grim. Are there any small things you could do to make things slightly better?

ambereeree Fri 05-Oct-18 20:14:44

st albans or harpenden? I feel your pain OP.

Notonthestairs Fri 05-Oct-18 20:23:44

Took me 2 years to settle. I spent many hours on Rightmove trying to work out a way to move back in! But I love it now and wouldn't consider moving back.
Give it a bit more time.

garethsouthgatesmrs Fri 05-Oct-18 20:25:48

I think you should try another place OP. This town sounds awful. Maybe a small market town or a village?

I grew up in a home counties town and it was lovely. Nothing like the place you describe.

Racecardriver Fri 05-Oct-18 20:32:28

I've recently started commuting into London again. It's gone massively down hill. Literally ever day there will be at least one tube begfer who will inevitably start singling out young women in the hopes of intimidating them into giving them change. The number of terrorist announcements has definitely increased. There is one suicide/person that had somehow ended up on the tracks a month at least which disrupts my rail journey. Feels slightly less crowded though which is nice. Its not what it was five years ago though, or maybe I have just got old and boring in that time.

TeachesOfPeaches Fri 05-Oct-18 20:41:51

Which town is it OP? I'm thinking Oxford.

Bluelady Fri 05-Oct-18 20:45:54

Council tax stays in the area where it's collected. There's no cross subsidy from one part of the country to another.

A580Hojas Fri 05-Oct-18 20:48:35

Why won't you say what town it is?

Yanbu. I see countless posts on MN from people who regret moving out of London (including from me).

LynetteScavo Fri 05-Oct-18 20:58:27

I also think you've moved to Oxford.

twiglet Fri 05-Oct-18 21:16:11

I found when I left London that it took a while to settle and get used to it. I complained there wasn't any night buses, food sucked in comparison, lighting was poor so didn't feel safe etc (I was in Wales).

But after about 8-10 months I started to see the things that I couldn't get in London rather than missing things. Such as ability to go for country walks or trips, people more friendly, ability to visit other places more easily (getting out of London to about 2 hrs usually!) exploring etc.

I now live in a coastal town in Scotland occasionally go to London for work and I hate it despite growing up there etc. Give it time.

MereDintofPandiculation Fri 05-Oct-18 21:38:19

One reason your new council isn’ spending money, is that all the money collected in the SE burbs goes to London and northern councils. How do you work that out? bluelady has already said there's no cross-subsidy.

Local government is funded by a combination of Council Tax, Business rates and grants from central government. The only scope to give money from one LA to another is the central government grant - and in fact what's happened in recent years is that the grants to some councils, mainly in the north have been reduced by up to 40%, whereas the grants to others, mainly in the SE, have had cuts of only about 2%.

Singlenotsingle Fri 05-Oct-18 21:44:47

Why can't the OP tell us where it is? Guildford?

buckeejit Fri 05-Oct-18 22:06:28

Not London but Manchester to small hometown in NI. Took a couple of years to settle back still. Love it now but miss city perks. Our move was a total change of pace though & sounds like yours isn't so much. Hope it gets better

Unfinishedkitchen Fri 05-Oct-18 22:12:06

It’s St Albans isn’t it? I know of a family who moved there for the countryside, schools etc a couple of years back. However, they now hate St Albans as it hasn’t turned out to be the nice upmarket town they thought it would be and are looking to move again. They were happier in central London although to be fair they wanted somewhere bigger and couldn’t afford it in zone 2. They did lots if day trips to St Albans before buying but I guess visiting and living somewhere are two different things.

Want2bSupermum Fri 05-Oct-18 22:12:30

I live just outside on NYC and it's fab. We moved out to the burbs, had 2 DC and moved back. I couldn't live somewhere I couldn't buy milk after 10pm without a 20min drive each way and people living there were lovely for the most part but everyone self segregated. After we moved everyone assumed expenses would be higher but they were much lower because of lower property taxes and less childcare needed.

A580Hojas Fri 05-Oct-18 22:14:50

I think it's Brighton?

Fredthefrog Fri 05-Oct-18 22:15:07

This is my fear. We are already outer London and are starting took out of London but don't know where to look and fear we'll regret it.

WhackyBirds Fri 05-Oct-18 22:15:51

We moved out... then moved back again. I miss the space of the country house, that’s all.

calpop Fri 05-Oct-18 22:18:30

I reckon Guildford or St Albans

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