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Moving to London

(43 Posts)
TxPato Tue 30-May-17 23:36:51

Hello! We're being relocated from Texas, US to London this summer.

My husband’s job is in district 1 (EC2). We want to keep his commute to be within 30-45 minutes.

We have two sons, ages 5 and 7. We would like to move into a good catchment area for a good school.

Our budget is $4000 pcm. We would prefer a house, but are open to a flat. We have been looking at Islington and East Dulwich.

Any and all suggestions or advice are welcome. I have always lived in Texas. We are excited for this move, but we are going in completely lost.


NoLoveofMine Fri 02-Jun-17 12:30:21

Not sure if these sites may help at all:

It would be a good idea to read up about the boroughs and various areas, plus look into information about schools, which is all linked to on these sites.

I have areas I would highly recommend but am not sure about what rent is for the kind of property you'd be after, which I assume would need two or three bedrooms.

An American family have recently moved in at the end of our road, the second one on the street, so you'll probably find a fair few others.

GreyCloudsToday Fri 02-Jun-17 12:44:20

Hi Tx

Welcome - are you coming for a visit at all or renting from an online listing? How long are you staying? Can you say what type of neighbourhood you live in now (or would like to live in) and maybe we can suggest some additional places (Islington and Dulwich v. nice, v expensive).

What's your budget in £? The $ is strong right now so be sure to factor in currency changes up front. Don't under-estimate the costs of setting up home (as we recently did on a year abroad!)

Have you checked out house hunting sites like Right Move:

There's a healthy second hand market for everything in London as people come and go so much - see Gumtree:

Welcome, I hope you enjoy it.

meditrina Fri 02-Jun-17 12:45:45

Most London schools don't have catchment areas.

It's by distance from the school (until all places are taken).

Although you do get some separate infants and junior schools, the vast majority are primary schools which go from Reception year (age 4/5) to year 6 (age 10/11). London does have a very mobile population so places do come up, and the council has to find you places (but it might be where there's a vacancy, not creating a new place).

Or will you be getting an allowance for private schooling?

OlennasWimple Fri 02-Jun-17 12:46:02

Wow - a big change!

Have you been over to London before, and if so what did you particularly like or dislike about it?

toffeeboffin Fri 02-Jun-17 12:47:22

No advice whatsoever but you've come to the right place I. E. Mumsnet grin

NoLoveofMine Fri 02-Jun-17 12:56:03

It's about £3,000 or so at the moment I think although I agree it'd be good to get a budget confirmed in £.

I can only advise on West London and am entirely biased grin

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 17:56:28

I'm hoping I am doing this correctly. I recently found this site. Thank you so much for responding.

Sorry for the late response. I broke my foot two weeks ago. With the move, work, and a broken foot, it has been a bit crazy.


Thank you for the sites. I knew of one, but not the other.

I would love to hear your recommendations.

We are looking for at least 2 bedrooms. We are trying to stay as close as possible to his job. We are open to all suggestions.

Where in London are you located?

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:07:04


My husband and I are going to visit 11June - 22 June. We have scheduled some viewings. We still haven't settled on which neighborhood we want to live in. We have been looking at rental listings online.

We are going to stay at a few different airbnbs in different boroughs to see which one we like better and to see what the commute will be like for my husband.

Currently, we live in the suburbs. In a three bedroom detached home. We don't expect to live the same way that we are living now. We know that we are going to have to give up space to live closer to my husband's job. We want a family friendly neighborhood with plenty of children, decent schools, nearby transportation, etc.

Our top budget is $4200 in pounds. Would you mind giving more detail on what was worth moving and what is better to sell and buy once we get there?

Yes. I think I am addicted to that site.

Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't know about that site.

Super excited, but somewhat terrified of the move.

annandale Tue 06-Jun-17 18:10:47

What sorts of things do your sfons like doing? Are they sporty, musical?

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:12:08


I was under the impression that they did. Bummer. I know it wouldn't matter now since we are getting our applications in late. I thought it would matter next year.

Thank you, that is reassuring. I have a fear of having to travel a long distance to get the kids to school. I don't want to have to travel too far.

No, we won't. We want to experience all of London including its schools. We know to look at the Ofsted reports to see where schools stand.

annandale Tue 06-Jun-17 18:16:11

Right! Having had a look, i would focus on the Barbican estate. You can afford it and it's the perfect location for you all. I am so jealous, i won't say i would kill to live there but I would be tempted!

Gowgirl Tue 06-Jun-17 18:17:04

Another biased west Londoner here, are you looking at state or private schools?

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:18:40


It's so exciting! But, it has been very stressful. It's such a great opportunity.

Yes, I visited two years ago. I loved it there. There is a vibe that can't really be explained. The melting pot of cultures, people, and food is amazing.

The tube scares me a bit. My husband can navigate it and his sense of direction is awful, so I think I'll be fine. grin

Everyone was so nice, so I don't really have any complaints.

There was the guy dressed as Shrek on London Bridge one night that was adamant about us paying him for taking a picture with him. He jumped in the picture my husband and I were taking. It wasn't scary. Just odd.

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:20:10


Thanks! I wish I had known about this place sooner. Such a helpful community.

Gowgirl Tue 06-Jun-17 18:22:14

Not always helpful, some boards can get a little heated grin

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:22:47


Our top budget is 4200 pounds.

I am open to suggestions for places I must see or eat at in West London. grin

StiffyByng Tue 06-Jun-17 18:22:57

Welcome to London!

East Dulwich/Forest Hill would be perfect for you, with quick links to the city. You can rent a 3/4 bedroom house for £2,500 or less, so well within your budgets. Schools are all under a lot of pressure there but you'll have that anywhere in London realistically. Your best bet is to move as close as you can to a decent school (and the vast majority of them ARE decent) so you are high up the waiting list. There is usually quite a bit of movement in London schools, especially the higher up you go, so you stand a chance of finding something.

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:26:08


They love soccer. All day long is soccer. I feel like I should call it football. Should I be calling it football? confused

They are also into martial arts.

theredjellybean Tue 06-Jun-17 18:27:08

I would say Islington over Dulwich as far better travel and it is very central, zone 1 mostly, with several tube stations and main bus routes, Dulwhich doesnt have a tube !

I live p/t in central islington and there seems to be loads of families around with lots of children, there is a community feel, lots of things advertised for children, groups etc , lots of 'yummy mummies' going to yoga and lots of fab independent shops/cafes ...i love it but it lacks outdoor space...

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:28:17


Thank you. I will take a look.

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:30:26


Right now we are looking at state schools.

Gowgirl Tue 06-Jun-17 18:32:29

Yep its football, and its everywhere I have a gloryhunter 10yo Chelsea fan myself who's managed to get to both premiership matches and smaller teams a lot, Twickenham can be very reasonable for rugby matches and dh and the glory hunter recently went to mma at wembly arena. I think your boys will be spoilt for choice...

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:36:42


Thanks for the warm welcome. smile

This is what we keep hearing and why we are looking into this area. That was very reassuring.

TxPato Tue 06-Jun-17 18:40:04


Our biggest reason for looking at Islington is the commute. A coworker mentioned to my husband that the train has many more issues than the tube. His coworker moved from south of the river because of it.

The outdoor space in Islington has also been the biggest complaint for us. Hopefully, we can settle on something.

Thank you for your insight.

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