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Moving to London

(11 Posts)
Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 13:12:44

Hi, I had no idea where else to post this topic so thought here would do.

I am a lone parent, have ds who has just turned one. I currently live in the north of England and work here. My salary is ok and I receive tax credits due to being SP.

I don't really enjoy my job and it feels like a daily grind and I can't see me wanting to stick it out any longer than I have to. There are no prospects for me at all.

I have seen a job advertised but it is in London. I need to find out what the salary would be (waiting on a call back plus loads of other Questions I'd like to ask them about the position).

My question is has anyone moved to a completely new area miles and miles away from friends and family as a lone parent and succeeded? Is the cost of living in London expensive and would it be worth my while since I am on my own with a baby. I am anxious about the cost of living and childcare more than anything else, plus being miles away from my family and friends.

Anyone have any advice?

rosemarypie Fri 21-Feb-14 14:00:29

I live in London as a lone parent. I moved down here when DS was small, but that was to return here as it's where I grew up and where my family are.

London is expensive but in many ways some things are much better. For example, public transport is good enough that I don't run a car, and children travel for free on buses up to age 16. I can shop around quite well as I will travel to various areas to buy from different markets/shops. And salaries tend to be higher, but of course housing is very very expensive as well. Many people get housing benefit even on quite good salaries because the housing costs are so high. I am in social housing and moved via a mutual exchange, but for those in private rentals, rents have increased quite a lot in the past few years and seem to be heading even higher.

I would recommend getting some figures together, including looking up rental prices, LHA figures, costs of childcare etc. It can be quite hard to find childcare even if you can afford it, as there is a waiting list in most areas.

Personally I think London is a great place to be with young children and I don't regret my move at all, but of course my circumstances are different to yours. I don't think it will make much difference being far from family or friends though as I've always been able to be quite independent and not have to depend on them for support. All my friends that I have now were new friends made from when I moved back here, most of my friends from my childhood have left the area. There is so much going on that I found it quite easy to meet people.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 14:10:48

Thanks so much for your help and advice, I re-posted this thread on the AIBU section too since it gets a lot of traffic.

The salary is not brilliant tho it would be fine if I was still going to be living up north. The area where the job is is Crystal Palace and I have no idea what that is like tho I have google mapped it and am starting to do a bit of reasearch on the area. There are quite a few OFSTED registered childminders in the area. This sounds daft but do people live in London or do they live on the outskirts and just commute via public transport. And would that be my best bet in this instance?

I have only been to London a handful of times and I that was Canary Wharf years ago. Even the tube confused me haha

nessus Fri 21-Feb-14 14:17:44

OP, it would be 'well jammy' (sarf London speak) to find a job that pays you well south of the river and away from SE1/City. This is because in terms of affordability you can't go wrong with housing stock / cost around the Bromley / Croydon borders. I have intentionally omitted Lambeth. I know the SE19 and surrounding areas inside out so happy to answer any questions.

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 14:56:42

Thanks nessus

Is Lambeth bad then?? I have looked at housing costs to rent and the prices vary vastly depending on the site you use or maybe just the individual areas. Some people have recommended even living on the outskirts of Crystal Palace might be cheaper and very cheap to use public transport too.

I have heard it is a nightmare getting childcare places due to CP being so family friendly. And that house prices shot up due to families moving there.

What is Croydon or Bromley like to live? Are they expensive? Aaargghh I've got so much to consider confused

nessus Fri 21-Feb-14 15:17:56

Lambeth starts veering into SW territory. To maximise funds I would stick to SE/BR/CR post codes.

Crystal palace in itself is actually ridiculously expensive due to the Dulwich association and general media / creative luvvies bearing precious sprogs. I would definitely look at an upto 20 min or so commute by bus into CYP. Do a +5miles search on Rightmove using SE19 as your starting point. If you get it right lots of parts of Croydon are actually lovely and Bromley even more so. In terms of ease of commute don't look further than Shortlands in Bromley or Norbury in Croydon. These are 1 bus ride journey away with lots of childcare options. Any questions let me know. And I forgot to say I think you are incredibly brave to be even considering this major move. Major respect!

rosemarypie Fri 21-Feb-14 15:27:59

I live quite centrally but I can only afford it due to social housing, I couldn't afford private rents where I am now. Almost everyone else I know commutes in from zone 3-6 (on the outer bits of London).

Crystal Palace isn't somewhere I know well, but I've been to the park there (it has dinosaurs!) and it seems nice and popular with families. It's on the Overground so it would be easy to commute to from a cheaper area (it's not very expensive like Dulwich but not the cheapest).

I don't know South London too well, but generally the cheaper areas in London generally are going to be South east or East London. I've used the public transport maps to decide on where is suitable to live, because if you can get a direct train/bus/tube route to work, that's fine even if it's quite far down the line, especially if you get on at the start of the route.

legalalien Fri 21-Feb-14 15:30:37

Hi there,

Quick suggestion that you post on www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk for advice. East Dulwich is now quite pricy but there are lots of people with young families on the board posting about where to try and buy their first house. Apparently some parts of Penge are now up and coming, for example.

legalalien Fri 21-Feb-14 15:33:02

See here

www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk/forum/read.php?29,1156253

Italwayshappenstome Fri 21-Feb-14 15:42:03

Haha there's a fine line between being brave and being stupid but CP can't be that scary. I'd be more worried if the job was in some war-torn country.

Thanks for all your help folks and the more I look into it I will probably drop you a PM if I get 'stuck'.

cestlavielife Fri 21-Feb-14 15:49:16

with ds being that young you can get a small place eg studio for now eg get small place in nice area close (ish) to your new work. it's lucky the work is based outside central london so cheaper living costs - but just a train or bus into central london.
look up childminders etc online. check families
www.familiesonline.co.uk/LOCATIONS/London-South-East

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