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To move to London (grim down south?!)

46 replies

Boleh · 31/08/2015 03:32

Long story but I have been offered a job in central London - I really didn't expect to get it and I'm thrilled (I had been on a direct track towards redundancy in a few months) but the thought of living in London fills me with dread.
I am originally from the south of England and lived in Scotland for 5 years before moving abroad. We are having to move back to the UK due to work and I had assumed it would be Scotland again, DH and I loved it there, wide open spaces, hiking, climbing, skiing and we've saved enough abroad for the deposit on a nice house.
Instead, I have a job in London, DH has nothing yet although is pretty hopeful that he'll find something there. It looks like our money will get us something small and/or a bit run down in a just about do-able cycling distance from the office or we are looking at huge amounts of time and money on a train each day. It's not easy to get out of the city to do the sports and hobbies that we love either.
The (not so) 'grim up north' thread has just depressed me further with confirmation that 'up North' is indeed cheaper, friendlier and easier to get out and about!
I can't turn down this job (if I do I'll be deemed to have made myself unemployed so no redundancy payout) besides its a fascinating job - if something of a change from my current role.
No children yet but were planning them in the next few years (oh dear god the nursery costs...).
So, please cheer me up - tell me something good about living in London! And that I'm not utterly mad to move there.

OP posts:

HackerFucker22 · 31/08/2015 06:36

I don't get why your redundancy pay is dependent on you taking this new job?


londonrach · 31/08/2015 06:41

I loved living in london. So much going on. Dh and i used to take the tube to a different part of london and then just walk. Seen films been filmed, saw some famous people, Amazing resturants, lots of history. So many amazing museums that are free not just the big ones... Whats not to love. Some stunning parks. Make sure you see one play in the open air theatre in regents park. Only reason we left..cost of buying a house. Financially it was a struggle to rent on the wages we had coming in. Enjoy op. X


Duckdeamon · 31/08/2015 06:52

How come redundancy money would be affected by declining a job with another employer? Is it a lot of money?

I would think really carefully about the kind of life you both want and plan around that. And whether this would be a short term thing (eg plan to move elsewhere if you have DC) and what you might do if one of you wanted to stay and the other not.

London can be really great, fantastic city and work opportunities, but costs (housing, childcare) are challenging, especially if your jobs aren't well paid, and transport hassle and the pressure on public services of all kinds can be a pain too. I enjoyed it much much less after DC as we were in cramped housing, had bad luck with quality of childcare and didn't have time or money to enjoy the benefits of London life as much. Now commute which for us is much better for housing, costs, childcare/school and outdoors stuff, but bad for our quality of life IMO!


stepmad · 31/08/2015 07:15

I live and work in London the part I am in is friendly every one seems to know one another have a lovely parade of shops where you know the names of people who work in them lots of lovely open spaces near the centre so easy to walk ride in lots of free and cheap stuff to do. And quite frankly the country side is not that far away by train


choc4ddict · 31/08/2015 07:22

are you sure about the redundancy payout? I have been made redundant a few times and it has absolutely nothing to do with the job you take on after redundancy.Confused


londonrach · 31/08/2015 07:27

Op i would look at finances as living in london is very expensive.


DorotheaHomeAlone · 31/08/2015 07:30

I live in London with my DH and one year old. It's a great place to live! Loads of free stuff on in my area every week, lots to do in easy walking distance, no need to own a car or spend hours driving. We live in South London and there are loads of green spaces. It's also really easy to get out to Surrey, Sussex and Kent if you want more space.

Now I have a baby I wouldn't be anywhere else. Can walk everywhere with her, meet all kinds of people every day, people are friendlier when you have a kid and there are lots of incredible facilities for babies everywhere - fab playgrounds, free baby groups, health and bf drop ins. None of the new mums I know are isolated as they can visit each other easily. I have family here which helps but I honestly love it.


Egghead68 · 31/08/2015 07:32

I wouldn't rule out living in the countryside just outside and getting a train in. It will probably be cheaper overall, you can live in a nicer area and you will have easy access to hiking, biking etc.


Hassled · 31/08/2015 07:36

I think London is an amazing place to live - and at the moment you're young and childfree so you could really make the most of it. Just go for it and see what happens - if you feel you need to move out in a few years' time when you have children then cross that bridge then; you don't need to worry about nursery fees just yet.


Duckdeamon · 31/08/2015 07:37

I loved it with a one year old DC . Two coming up to school age DC in a one bed flat with no garden and difficulty finding anywhere affordable was less fun!


Boleh · 31/08/2015 07:42

Thanks folks, sorry, I wasn't very clear, the job is with the same employer and they will pay for my relocation - so as I understand it they say 'you were offered a new role, if you choose not to take it that's your problem not ours'. It's an application through an internal system and as I said, I really didn't expect to be offered it. To be honest I want to stay with the company, good pay, awesome pension, the job will be exciting and they will do their best to help DH (also with them, also facing redundancy) get a job there too - they have been generally good to me. It's just 'eek, London'!
DH has lived there before so knew what we'd be getting into when we applied and I figured we have a good chunk of savings so we'd be fine but blimey, the property prices are nuts!
Plan is to stay there around 3-4 years then move again, probably abroad if we can get it, otherwise back to Scotland.
We were considering renting and keeping my small flat in Scotland as an investment but with the new tax rules coming in that say you can't offset the mortgage interest against tax on a rental - being phased in - in a couple of years I'd be losing money on it (not getting as much in after tax rent as the mortgage interest and other costs), so it makes more sense to buy the place we are living in.
I'm Kondo-ing like crazy and trying to gently explain to DH that we will probably have to get rid of some furniture.
I think I might indeed have to accept a significant commute, which will be fine until there are nurserys involved - no idea how you manage that!
Thank you to people giving positive experiences, I'm 95% sure we are going so I just want things to look forward to about it really! Smile

OP posts:

catsrus · 31/08/2015 07:46

This is clearly a job within the same organisation so would affect redundancy. If redundancies are on the cards then it's normal for other jobs within an organisation, in other locations, to be advertised internal only.

I lived in London over 20yrs and loved it - did move further out when DC were about the start school and now live at the end of a train line (Coast) for 20 yrs. my commute takes me 2hrs each way (door to door) but I can now work from home most of the time. Being at the end of a line means a fab journey into London, window seat, coffee bought from local cafe, laptop or book open, feeling sorry for everyone who gets on nearer to London standing like sardines.

I have land, coastal walks, country pubs, farmers markets ... And would not now move back to London.

A long commute can be less stressful than a short one, particularly as you don't have DC to consider.


drinkscabinet · 31/08/2015 07:47

I assume new job is a transfer with the same employer which is why if she refuses it she won't get her redundancy.

DB lives in London, DH and I live in the north. I think as a childless couple you will have a great time in London, DB loves all the culture and has the time and money to afford it. We on the other hand need the large house, good schools, lovely neighbours and and cheap cost of living of the north with our three children.

Go for it and think about moving north in a few years IF you have children. DON'T base your decision on the idea of having kids, you have no idea yet if you can have them so don't miss out on great opportunities now on a dream.

As a PP said check out the finances but it sounds as if you have already. Go for the short commute option in your current set up so you have time to enjoy London's good points.


LittleLionMansMummy · 31/08/2015 07:48

There's no way in hell I'd move to London - and I work there. I was recently made redundant but walked straight into another job which is based in London. We live 80 miles from London. I negotiated three days working from home, on the 'London' days I plan to invest in a diesel lease car, drive to the outskirts and get a tube in. It'll be a longer journey but I'm not prepared to sacrifice our quality of life to live there - our space, 4 bedroom house and garden are important to us. Even with the lease car and fuel expenses it'll be lots cheaper than a train (just twice a week from where I live would cost more than 6k.


Blu · 31/08/2015 07:49

I presume the job offer is within the same company?

London is a brilliant place to live, as long as you take it as it is, enjoy what it has to offer and don't expect it to be like a rural village for noise, traffic and views.

I live in S London, easy reach of weekend escape to the S Downs, Kent coast , Rural Sussex etc. People (not me) hop on EasyJet from Gatwick or on planes from
City Airport for ski-Ing, and London itself has such a massive range of big green spaces to explore.

It's true, the benefits are not always apparent in the thick of a weekday morning tube journey, but I find London friendly, helpful, full of amazing food in an array of different neighbourhood stores , fab quality and variety of restaurants and cafes SO many free activities, and it's been a great place to bring up a child, too!

Also, surely it can only be a good thing in your CV and give you more choice, should you want or need it in the future?

Would you be buying?


LittleLionMansMummy · 31/08/2015 07:53

Just to say that I totally agree with Blue in terms of the great things London has to offer (I'm not anti London at all) but I wouldn't live there. I love working there but enjoy returning home to my spacious and inexpensive house!


LieselVonTwat · 31/08/2015 08:08

You can always take the London transfer then look for something else in Scotland.


LittleLionMansMummy · 31/08/2015 08:13

I could be wrong but I think that alternative employment offered to 'at risk' people only counts if it is deemed to be suitable. If it's miles and miles from where you currently live in would argue that would not be considered reasonable or suitable and would be getting employment law advice with a view to taking it to tribunal.


NoDramaForTheLlama · 31/08/2015 08:20

Where I live (South downs) a train commute is around 45min to Victoria. I know so many people who do it & either have a nanny or do a 7am nursery drop off. Plus you may be able to negotiate flexible hours once you have DC so that you don't have to do such an early drop off.

I can walk along the downs - they're on my doorstep. I can get to the coast in 20mins. It's lovely, friendly and a lot greener than the city!


DorotheaHomeAlone · 31/08/2015 08:40

I haven't read the grin up north thread in full but from what I saw people who don't want to move up north (like me and everyone I know!) stayed out if it and let people who love it rave on about why.

Maybe if you hate London you could leave this thread alone too. If you don't live here your opinion isn't that helpful really is it? Hmm


DorotheaHomeAlone · 31/08/2015 08:41

Sorry if I sound grumpy but seriously people don't who live here seen obsessed with bitching about it in a way I never here Londoners doing about other places. It's it for everyone but the OP is probably loving here


Twowrongsdontmakearight · 31/08/2015 08:50

I'd definitely go to London and enjoy it while you're still child free. It's a wonderful place to live for a while. I know it's a cliché but there are lots of 'urban villages' each with their own feel. There's bound to be one that 'fits'. My preference was for SW London because of the river and Richmond Park. IME it wasn't unfriendly at all. If you socialise and shop locally you become a familiar face just like anywhere else.

You won't be bagging Munroes there but it but you can enjoy different things for a while. It will also give you breathing space (and an appreciating asset - your house!) to think about where to move to when your DC come along.

I live 'up North' now because I prefer the lifestyle for raising DC but I loved my London years and I'll certainly be encouraging my DC yo live there for a while if they can too. Good luck!!


Duckdeamon · 31/08/2015 08:52

I don't think anyone is bitching really, I know it happens in RL and can be annoying but this all seems quite balanced.


Duckdeamon · 31/08/2015 08:53

If OP can afford a house in SW London then childcare costs should be a breeze!


DorotheaHomeAlone · 31/08/2015 08:54

Sorry so many grumpy, cross typing typos!

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