Life in London and tips for moving there

266 posts in this topic

 

Think you got your Council tax figure wrong, will be looking at 75 a month,

In fact, i think you're even quoting it a bit low. 2 years ago I had a two bedroom (one bedroom was like a closet) flat in Camden, which was 200 pounds a week. I was paying 100 pounds a month council tax. I don't know if they have settled down now, but I remember every year it used to go up by 20%, it was really unbelievable.

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I suspect it wouldn't be too difficult to find out the current level of council tax for where you want to live. If nowehere else, many (most? all?) councils would have the levels listed on their website. My 'home' one does, and here's Richmond's. The page also includes a link to the VOA where you can check the band of your property. It's just another of the costs of living in the UK.

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If yer gonna get a drum in my manor, yer gonna need to school 'ow to parle proppa like what I does, ain't'cha?

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Looks like you're looking at a minimum of 100 pounds a month in Richmond then, and maybe more like 150 pounds. Unbelievable.

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Richmond is nice, there's no denying it. It's also bloody expensive and not that far away from Heathrow, so be prepared for lots of plane traffic.

 

It's true that London is green, but it's all contained in huge parks, which if you don't live beside, means you don't see much green except for the occasional tree.

 

From my little experience here in the UK, I'd say Guildford might be a good place to live. Cheaper than London, so you can get a bigger place for you and your family, whatever your budget. Not far from London for when you do want to head to the bright lights.

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It's true that London is green, but it's all contained in huge parks, which if you don't live beside, means you don't see much green except for the occasional tree.

I disagree. There are LOTS of local parks and lots of squares. You're never too far from open green space in London. It's in Munich where you have one enormous park and FA everywhere else.

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Well, that's been my impression from several visits to family and friends in various places around London over the years.

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Having re-read Gemini's post #59, I would add that I'm not sure that anywhere on that London-Guildford line really has a 'city' feel. I used to live in Wimbledon and I thought that was the 'burbs. I think there are some lovely, almost fairytale, villages in that Surrey strip. Fantastic for raising a young family. Not exactly Soho (London or NY) though.

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Yes, Putney is very nice, but also fairly expensive because of its close location to the city.

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I disagree. There are LOTS of local parks and lots of squares. You're never too far from open green space in London. It's in Munich where you have one enormous park and FA everywhere else.

agreed.

 

And Putney's nice.

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You all have been really helpful. I am sitting here with a map next to me and circling our route as I read. Definately don't want the "burbs". More like the city outskits...Brooklyn feel if I was in NY vs. Westchester County.

 

We got a hotel to stay in in Richmond while we look over the next 5 days. Hard to get a room as I guess there is a rugby match this weekend.

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Yes, Putney is very nice, but also fairly expensive because of its close location to the city.

Lived in Putney for years and loved it. Close to Richmond by bus and train, on district line and overland line into town, v close to Clapham for night life there. May be slightly more expensive but is in Wandsworth borough so Council Tax is one of the cheapest in London. We had a five bedroom, three bathroom flat in Putney and paid only 45 quid a month CTax for whole the flat. I am currently living in a 2 bed place in south east london and the Council tax for that is nearly 200 quid a month so makes a big difference which borough you are in.

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Richmond Park is about 1/4 mile from where I was born. Dad's poxy dog used to roll gleefully in the deer shit and come 'ome 'onkin' like J. Arthur.

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O.k. so I am scheduled now with 3 realtors. Is there any "code of conduct" with the realtors that I need to know? Do you generally tip realtors in England for showing you properties, or if you sign a lease? Is bribery become the norm, or is it not necessary :ph34r:

 

Thanks

Gem

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for god sake don't tip any estate agents for anything, they're bloodsuckers.

be nice and polite fine, but don't tip them.

ask any question that comes into your head - I think they are obliged to answer if it is a direct question and they know the answer - especially useful when wanting to find out about the neighbours!

otherwise just be firm with them and don't let them string you along.

and don't tip them.

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Thanks again to all who offered helpful advice. We are off today for our 5 day exploratory mission. Few last questions.

 

Several posters mentioned in other threads that the "bottom had fallen out of the renters market" in 11/05. Does anyone know if the renters market is still on the soft side or has tightened up?

 

At the recommendation of several, we will also be looking at Guilford as an alternative. How long is the commute from Guildford to the city center? Are there smaller towns surrounding Guildford that could be recommended, or should one stay in Guildford proper? What kind of people generally live in Guildford?

 

Everyone seems to be a big TESCO fan (actually sounds quite industrial to me). In Munich we buy 85% of our food at BASIC (the large organic food store). Anyone know what the organic food options are? Is is very popular in London? May seem silly to some, but it is actually a big quality of life issue for us.

 

Gem

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Several posters mentioned in other threads that the "bottom had fallen out of the renters market" in 11/05. Does anyone know if the renters market is still on the soft side or has tightened up?

Last weeks Sunday Times Property section mentioned that rents were increasing in London again. Though I gather from my brother who is currently moving in London that you can still drive a hard bargain - especially as interest rates have gone up so landlords don't want long voids as they need to cover mortgages.

 

 

At the recommendation of several, we will also be looking at Guilford as an alternative. How long is the commute from Guildford to the city center? Are there smaller towns surrounding Guildford that could be recommended, or should one stay in Guildford proper? What kind of people generally live in Guildford?

About 30mins on a fast train from Guildford to Waterloo I think. Plenty of trains in the morning and evening. Check out Southwest trains

There are plenty of nice smaller towns around Guildford but few have fast train links into London. Having been down there quit a bit I would say that Guildford is a good mix of all types - young, old, middle, generally families with a decent student population.

 

 

Everyone seems to be a big TESCO fan (actually sounds quite industrial to me). In Munich we buy 85% of our food at BASIC (the large organic food store). Anyone know what the organic food options are? Is is very popular in London? May seem silly to some, but it is actually a big quality of life issue for us.

Personally I don't particularly like Tesco. I think of the large supermarkets Sainsburys has the largest organic food range. Though all supermarkets do organic variations of most stuff. Guildford is also the type of place likely to have full on organic stores.

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