Once considered the capital of the world, London offers historic grandeur with contemporary cool. Ancient streets meet modern boutiques, early morning runners meet all night ravers. Famed the world over for its royal palaces and parks, departments stores, and West End shows. Museums and galleries, royal boroughs, and barrow boys. Home to authors, and politicians, actors, and royalty. There really is no other city in the world that offers so much. But living in London comes at a cost. From rising house prices to expensive pints. Here are some costs to consider before joining the other 9 million people that call the capital home.
London is renowned for its expensive house prices, and was in fact found to be the fourth most expensive city in the world. Whilst most of us can only dream of purchasing a grand Georgian town house in Kensington or Chelsea, London has plenty of boroughs each offering something different.
For young families the average house price in sought after areas like Barnes and Chiswick are over the one million mark but look a little further west and you can find houses much closer to the national average.
If you can afford to buy in London, but want a good return on investment, look to areas that are up and coming, or are close to boroughs that have already had major regeneration. Battersea offers the best of both worlds, both centrally located, but far enough away for the hustle and bustle of city life. And if you’re budget is more modest, consider areas like Acton and Shepherd’s Bush.
Of course, if buying is out of the question, London has a booming rental economy. However, because of the demand, rental rates are high. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth using the power of social media to find a rental property instead of going through an agent. You’re more likely to find someone who is looking for a flat or house mate, who won’t charge you an arm and leg. With the average rent price for a two bedroom house starting at £1,500 pcm in outer boroughs, it’s worth calling in a few favours from Facebook friends.
If you’re moving to London for a job, and the cost of living in central London is too high look at the commuter belt. Travelling by train and tube is the only way to get around during busy commuter times, so looking for somewhere along the different Zones should be your first port of call. St Albans City to London St Pancras is a popular commuter route and stops at many popular commuter towns.
If commuting is on the cards, look at investing in a season ticket to help cut costs. You may also find your employer will provide you with a loan to purchase your ticket, and then deduct the cost from your wage in monthly instalments.