Choosing Where to Live in the Great (and Expensive) City of London

Thinking About Moving to London…Where Should I Live??

Some areas in London may ring a bell with people unfamiliar with the city—think Brixton, think Shoreditch. Now don’t forget, a borough’s reputation changes with time depending on the economy and on the income level of the people living there! A decade ago, I’m not sure I’d have advised living in either of these areas!

shoreditch-london-guide

Mix Between Community and Commerce

Busy areas tend to appear trendy and populated during the day, but when everyone goes home at night (elsewhere), the infrastructure surrounding and supporting the needs of people working there during the day may take a well-deserved break as well. Conclusion: You can’t judge an area by only one time of day! So, if it looks deserted during the day, it’s probably because it’s a very residential area and nobody is at home between ten and five-o’-clock! So, in that case, consider how much time you want to spend travelling during your day. Add up transport costs and think about whether the money spent going from home to work and back may be better spent on a place that is more pricey but closer to work.

Think of Economic Status

A home in a residential area is very different from a home in an area that is yet to be discovered, already up-and-coming, or totally in business. The duration of your stay, in accordance with the goodwill of your landlord, really depends on that. Regardless of where you are living, you should probably wonder when you may be pushed out. Think about choosing an area that has a reputation for change. Areas that are sometimes deemed too out-of-the-way or too shabby to raise kids are sometimes the areas that start becoming trendy.london-housing-strategy1

Generation Rent

To use an expression from the UK, it’s a race to the bottom. While in previous generations the English were proud to be homeowners, young people now can only dream of getting onto the property ladder. Prices rise fast and mortgages need parental injections so renting replaced home ownership among young people. Sharing flats among adults increased while Airbnb is presented as a viable solution to the monetary struggles of paying for your own apartment, whether that means allowing yourself to afford a living room or having the luxury of your own bathroom (during the few days of the month that you aren’t sharing your flat with tourists).

Seek Work-Life Balance

No matter what borough you decide to go to, you are pretty much looking at paying 700 -1000 GBP in rent a month and that’s excluding utility bills. So, it is advisable to look for a place that has a combination of accessible green spaces and convenient infrastructure. Walthamstow, in the east, and Lewisham, a borough located south, are prime examples of mixed-use areas that feature good transport alongside a rooted community. You can get to and from busy areas with ease while returning somewhere that offers recreational opportunities. River Lea is your spot along the marshland if you follow my advice going east while Greenwich Park, Nunhead Cemetery, and the River Thames are ideal relaxation spots in the south!

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