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To think it's not that easy to 'just move'?

(54 Posts)
snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 09:49:25

Not a TAAT but about lots of threads! I live in London (but this could apply to any expensive area of the country). I rent. I have no spare money. Like so many other posters here, I've been told on MN and IRL to 'just move', that I need to leave London, that life will be less expensive elsewhere. OF COURSE it's cheaper elsewhere, although I've seen countless debates over how true that actually is (rent may be cheaper but council tax and other bills often aren't due, public transport certainly isn't etc etc).

But how easy do people really think it is to just relocate, when you've got to bear in mind:

a) getting together a deposit plus moving costs
b) viewing properties a significant distance from where you live and all the associated costs (never mind that's tricky when working ft)
c) finding a new job in a new area - which presumably needs to happen before trying to find a new tenancy, given you won't be able to get a tenancy without an income (and then you've got, once again, the issue of travelling some distance for interviews - not to mention if there are two of you looking for employment that's doubly difficult, especially around childcare)

I can think of others but these alone are pretty hefty things to deal with, involving money I - and many others - don't have. Not to mention that if we move far enough away to benefit from things actually becoming cheaper (so not the South full stop) we'll be even further from family which then adds even more cost and complication to have even some semblance of extended family relationships.

Yes, renting is shit most of the time. Yes, London is expensive. But AIBU to think 'just move' is a ridiculous and unrealistic solution to anything? And if you've done it, how?

snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 09:56:57

I should also add - how do you even know where to start looking to move to? There's a whole country out there!!

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Thu 28-Mar-19 09:57:05

I agree. It’s one of the more ridiculous of comments to make.

forestafantastica Thu 28-Mar-19 09:57:55

Oh god, YANBU. I moved out of London a few years ago to go to Scotland and, believe me, it's not easy. It took myself and DH over a year for him to find a job (a lot of employers don't like relocating candidates) and then the actual move itself was incredibly expensive - we had to pay 6 months rent up front as he was in his probationary period at his job, we had to pay £££ for removals costs - I think about £1k for a removals van, and that was a part load as we got rid of most of our stuff as it was cheaper to buy again up north.

We spent about £800 on new furniture to replace the stuff we got rid of, and then of course there was the price of going back and forth for interviews and house viewings etc etc.

And we were lucky because he had family up there who he could stay with for the first month while starting his job and getting the new flat sorted. Otherwise he'd have been in B&B accommodation for at least a couple of weeks which would also have cost ££.

It's not as simple as 'pop your stuff in a bag and go' - a bit cross country move can easily take months or work + thousands of pounds.

KingLooieCatz Thu 28-Mar-19 09:58:45

It can be done but certain things make it easier or more difficult. Once you have children it gets a whole lot more challenging. It is much easier to attend a job interview with a significant journey there and back if you don't have school run to do the same day. Some employers pay travel expenses for job interviews. When I relocated from Scotland to Essex I moved into a studio apartment sight unseen. I wouldn't want to do that with a child. I know a few people who have relocated to Uk from overseas. Unless you have family you can live with, there are probably a few nights in a hotel until you find to place to rent, then a place to buy. So typically you need some spare cash to get going, but without kids less so.

snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 10:00:48

Yes @KingLooieCatz - I can see how it would be doable without kids for sure, still tricky but you could compromise much more. With kids - genuinely I have no clue (okay that's being a bit facetious but it seems so far beyond the realms of possibility!)

Bezalelle Thu 28-Mar-19 10:03:21

Trite advice, in the same camp as the blithe "Just adopt!" and "Just have a spa day!"

KingLooieCatz Thu 28-Mar-19 10:04:03

Getting back from the south of England to Scotland took at least two years to pull off. We felt incredibly lucky when DH was offered a transfer and I was offered a job and we had an offer on our house, all within a few weeks. People kept asking me if we'd been viewing houses before we moved, but apart from the distance involved you can't start the buying process in Scotland until you've got the money in the bank from selling in England, in case the English sale falls through while you commit to completion date right at the start in Scotland.

ijustdontunderstandher Thu 28-Mar-19 10:04:08

I’ve never understood this comment, I see it a lot on MN if someone complains about a neighbour. But it’s practically impossible for some. I live in a very expensive area, but my house was passed down to me from my nan. Most of my friends around here would never afford to be able to move though.

snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 10:07:58

Wow KingLooie, that sounds stressful! Even with things coming together like that.

My parents relocated a couple of hundred miles away when I was a child but that was to move closer to one of their places of work, so the job was already sorted (parent did a lot of driving around as an area manager anyway). We were able to live with grandparents while they looked for a house and until it was ready to move into.

outpinked Thu 28-Mar-19 10:08:19

YANBU. I moved away from a big city a few months ago and it was far from easy. We were lucky to be in a position to buy but still had to view houses miles away and finalise the purchase of one from an estate agents miles away. It was a huge rigmarole and I wouldn’t want to do it again. Luckily a commutable distance from work so don’t have a new job to consider but did have to find a new school for my DC which we weren’t allowed to apply for until we’d actually moved into the area. It was a total nightmare at the time.

snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 10:09:25

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this comment is ridiculous. I do always think 'um.. yeah, you think I haven't considered that moving from my horrible damp one bed flat that costs £1200 a month and is on a main road with my three children to somewhere cheaper and bigger and quieter might be a good idea?' grin

snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 10:10:13

Glad you've come out the other side @outpinked! The school thing must have been so stressful right up until the last minute.

TheABC Thu 28-Mar-19 10:11:22

Yes, moving is expensive and a logistical nightmare (I have done it a lot!), which is why women who flee domestic violence are often start from scratch.

Having said that, it's not impossible and the presence of the internet makes everything from job hunting to Skype calls easier. If you really need to move, there will be a way to do it. But it's not something I would advise flippently.

Megan2018 Thu 28-Mar-19 10:12:56

I've moved house 4 times in the last 6 years. 2 were rental moves, 2 were house sales/purchases. One involved a big relocation and job change.
Moving is actually really easy once you get used to it. I could sell up tomorrow and move to a completely new area in 6 weeks without batting an eye now (I won't, we love where we are now). But it does cost money, I do agree on that, and if you don't have the money then it isn't possible.

krustykittens Thu 28-Mar-19 10:15:04

YANBU - we re-located from Southern England to Scotland, are both self-employed so our jobs came with us, but it was still a logistical nightmare. As a PP pointed out, we had to sell our house before we could make an offer on one in Scotland, we ended up living in a holiday let for six weeks, it cost thousands and was a massive disruption to our school-age kids. Something no one ever takes into consideration when they say, "just move". At least finances were not a problem as we were moving to a cheaper area so were not faced with saving thousands to afford the move. DH is worried sick about Brexit and wondering if we should have moved back to Ireland instead but there is no way I am disrupting my kid's education again, so we are here for the foreseeable

snarfblatt Thu 28-Mar-19 10:16:24

Yes @Megan2018 I agree - in my adult life I've moved about ten times and it's not the actual process of moving that's daunting (it's stressful but I quite enjoy it) it's the cost. We currently want to leave our flat and move somewhere local but quieter, and even that is out of the question at present (we moved a couple of years ago as got thrown out of our last place by the landlord wanting to renovate and sell). I genuinely don't know where you'd start with moving further away - although of course anything is possible. I guess it's just not the quick fix some people seem to think it is.

Prun Thu 28-Mar-19 10:16:26

I was once asked, 'what makes you think you can't afford to move?'

krustykittens Thu 28-Mar-19 10:16:42

Just to add - house hunting took two days at a time. Setting up loads of appointments and staying overnight in a B&B as the drive back was too long to do it in one day. We were lucky that houses don't tend to move fast in the Scottish countryside so we could take the slow approach to viewings, not having to make a mad dash for the border before it was snapped up!

CherryPavlova Thu 28-Mar-19 10:18:26

It’s not easy in the short term but often pays off if you are willing to move around. We’ve done it a few times and never regretted it. I’d say find the job first. Relocation packages are sometimes on offer that cover a good percentage of the costs. One of you might have to compromise your perfect job for the greater good of the family but in my experience the second partners job isn’t too hard to find if you sell your transferable skills well.
We’d never have been as financially secure or offered our children such a nice lifestyle if we hadn’t been been prepared to take the risks.

ASundayWellSpent Thu 28-Mar-19 10:38:23

We live in another EU country, and did "just move" but from your post I suppose that it might be easier here. We were ruining ourselves with city rental prices, so moved 45 mins out and commuted. Then a few years later moved another hour outside of where we were and into new jobs. It's not a "put all your stuff in a box and leave" situation, but a bit at a time shift. We also had to move school and nursery, but was well well worth it!

forestafantastica Thu 28-Mar-19 10:50:37

Another thing - I think relocating costs are not the norm for most industries. You need to be in a pretty privileged position for that to be an option - no one is going to pay relocation costs for an office manager, for example.

JacquesHammer Thu 28-Mar-19 10:51:51


One of the ill-thought out comments that is thrown around MN with gay abandon. Closely followed by "well I did it" when people outline the very real problems as you mentioned in your OP.

thecatsthecats Thu 28-Mar-19 11:01:22

I know four people/couples that left London, and each did it a different way.

Friend A - interviewed for an international job by Skype, they provided a moving allowance and some assistance
Friend B - retrained for a different career (teacher) so able to move very easily to where her husband moved to another branch of the company
Friend C - moved in stages - she took a generic job whilst looking for a better opportunity. Her husband moved to working from home two days in new location, and working 3 days a week in London, staying with family. Renting initially, they bought when they'd both got new jobs in their sectors up north.
Friend D - just upped and found a new position in another city.

I don't know if it's just because I'm from a rural area with fairly high-achieving friends, but I find the resistance to not moving amongst some people quite astounding. I was interviewing all over the place for my first post-grad job - all my university friends were complaining about lack of opportunities, whilst not looking away from home.

I agree it's not a simple thing, but it's also a highly sensible option which is achievable for most people, in a variety of different ways.

Lokidokiartichoki Thu 28-Mar-19 11:01:54

I moved from London to South Wales as a single parent. Was only able to do this as I was made redundant so used the money for associated costs including 6 months rent in advance as no income. I took a huge risk as I didn’t even view the house I rented, just paid the fees etc then turned up to collect the keys and sign the tenancy in the moving van. Was lucky enough to find a job within 6 weeks once I got there.

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