Hiya, Weekend Warriors preparing for the big London move! I’d departed from my usual Saturday moving tips sheh-jule for a while to indulge the April A-Z Blogging Challenge – that was fun, wasn’t it? But now I’m back to offer another word of advice to you as you research and execute your London relocation.
Today’s topic is inspired by a recent discussion thread in our social network, in which an American moving to London asked for neighborhood suggestions based on where his office is located. I’ve blogged time and again about how lettings agencies in London do not operate with MLS (multiple listing systems), so you’re best off researching in advance where exactly in the city you’d like to target your London apartment search. This is absolutely necessary if you look for London flats to rent on your own, but it will also contribute to an educated discussion with a London relocation agent, who can advise on the merits/feasibility of the options you’re considering as well as offer additional suggestions based on the criteria you’re looking for.
Many expats relocating to London choose their neighborhood based on aesthetic, convenience, safety, affordability, family-friendliness, pet-friendliness, and so forth, but obviously your commute is an important factor as well. There will always be trade-offs, and it’s up to the individual whether you’re willing to take on a longer and perhaps more complex commute for your ideal apartment and neighborhood or if it’s absolutely imperative that you be able to get to work quickly without any train/bus changes or maybe even be able to walk there. What brings people to London varies, and some who are here temporarily for a work assignment or studies are more concerned with keeping that particular, short-term priority their central focus, versus other lifestyle elements that a longer commute could offer.
At any rate, you can’t be moving without knowing what’s bringing you here, right? In order to have a visa, you have to have a job lined up or school to attend, and hopefully you already know where those are on the map, right? So the next obvious step is looking at the surrounding London neighborhoods and gauging their proximity to your work/school. Seeing what they’re near—a major tourist attraction or a large park, for instance—could readily tip you off on what is or is not conducive to live by. Then you need to dive in a little bit further. I highly, highly recommend delving into our blog archives under the “London Neighborhoods” category, where we have been speaking to the characteristics and pros and cons of different areas popular with expats or unfamiliar to/underrated by them. Calling a relocation agent can then supplement this information based on your specific questions.
Next, you can already get a sense of what your commute could be like from any of these neighborhoods in terms of duration, modes of public transport, and number of line changes. As I’ve recently blogged about, TFL (Transport for London) is an awesome online resource for mapping out the best way to get from point A to B: www.tfl.gov.uk is the main website, and journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk is the Journey Planner tool that will customize your routes.
A lot of considerations go into a move, and deciding where to live in relation to where you’ll work is not least among them. Don’t get caught in the stress of the last-minute; do your research now when you can find the time and call on us to offer any additional advice.