London is a hub for every profession and personality, so it should be easy to find an area that’s perfect for you in the nation’s capital.
But the process of moving to such a vast and diverse environment might be somewhat daunting. There are many factors to evaluate when moving to London in terms of cost, time and accommodation. The list might seem quite exhaustive, but here are three of the most important aspects to consider:
1. Location, location, location
London has a huge variety of neighbourhoods, and choosing the right one is important to a successful relocation.
Choosing a neighbourhood, and then a new home, is going to be the most important aspect when relocating to London. The biggest part of finding the right home is to establish what you want from your neighbourhood or community. There is a big difference if you’re moving to London as a young professional or if you’re moving with your children.
So, if you don’t know the differences between Clapham and Camden, then you may want to get a relocation agent to advise you.
Whether you desire a village atmosphere, modern suburbia, or old school splendour, here are a few of our favourite London locations:
The West of London provides some of the city’s key landmarks and is home to Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. While a palace might be a little above most budgets, Chelsea, Kensington and Holland Park offer some truly exceptional and traditional London living spaces.
North West London
The North West has some of the most elegant restaurants, bars and markets. Areas such as Notting Hill and Camden, with its huge, alternative market, are popular locations, as well as the lesser known Kensal Rise, Ladbroke Grove and Willesden Green.
South West London
With a multitude of green open spaces such as Richmond Park and Kew Gardens, the South West is a popular choice amongst families. Areas such as Chiswick, Richmond and Barnes are some of the most popular currently.
2. Transport for London
London represents a vast geographic area, but getting around the nation’s capital can be relatively easy.
Transport will play a large part in where you eventually settle, so work out how far you are prepared to commute each day. Moving to London does not have to be a hassle if you carefully investigate potential routes and also get insider advice from people who know London, such as a relocation services.
The Tube is, arguably, the best option for travellers. Some lines are more crowded than others during peak times, but if you don’t mind a commute involving a couple of tube changes and a bus ride or two then you can live pretty much anywhere in the city. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient commute, your choices of neighbourhood may be restricted.
3. Running around in circles
Living in London is a very different experience compared with other large cities due to its unique layout. Instead of using a more conventional grid system, London is a convoluted and intricate web of city streets, which often gives one the impression of not living in the city at all.
London also offers its residents plenty of open space compared with other cities in terms of parks, green belt areas and open land. Some neighbourhoods have their own parks and, even if you’re living in the heart of London, it can feel like you’re in a small English village.
Country mouse or city mouse?
Choosing your new home after your relocation will depend on a number of factors. Many people moving to London are faced with the decision of living in the city or choosing to live in the more rural setting of the suburbs in Greater London.
The first thing you need to do is discuss your needs with a relocation specialist. For example, many people relocating to London opt for the smaller suburbs on the outskirts of the city, especially if they have young children. Another factor in your choice of neighbourhood might be the desire to live near friends and family so you can be as close to your support structure as possible.
It’s not always easy though. If you live in a smaller town outside of London, you will be facing a commute of a several hours a day to get to work and back. It’s a punishing schedule, and living in a borough right outside of London means that you may have to purchase a car to get around successfully.
It is true that house prices are more expensive in the city, but travel costs to get into the city may often be higher. If you have never visited London, then do not rush any decisions until you have been shown around and have viewed a number of different properties in different neighbourhoods to get an overview of the type of area that suits your needs.
Beat the crowds
London has a highly aggressive and competitive property market, with many houses not even reaching the open market before being snapped up. It is important to build relationships with the city’s estate agents, developers and private sellers to get a head start on buying the perfect property.
This can be a near impossible task for an individual, and again is an area where an experienced relocation agent could help you to arrange viewings ahead of other home buyers. An independent agent can also champion the aspects of a property that are important to you, saving you the time and hassle of viewing properties that do not fit your exact requirements.
Once a deal has been reached on a property, this agent can also help with negotiations and any potential hiccups on the road to completion, to make sure your move to London is as successful and seamless as possible.