So, you’ve decided you’re going to live in London. Great! Now, what to do about those zones. No, these aren’t the same kind of zones Katniss had to deal with in the Hunger Games but there are some differences between them and for some people it makes all the difference in the world. After all, it’s all about Zone.
At least for some.
For those who wake up everyday in Zone 1, good for you. You’re likely living the life the rest of us really want. Zone 1 is arguably the best place to live. Everything is so close and so convenient. There is no commuting. Let me repeat that. There is no commuting.
While many Londoners think Zone 1 is the place to be, a little slice of heaven on Earth in fact, there are some drawbacks to it.
What You Get for the Money
The prices are a bit steep to say the least. There are wonderful properties in Zone 1 but your money doesn’t stretch as far as you’d li it to. For instance, you can own a gorgeous studio rental property in zone 1 that looks divine but barely gives you enough space to change your mind. Ads for some of the properties might say things such as vintage staircase or original molding. Those types of descriptors can be a bit confusing. While the word vintage conjures up romantic tropes of novels and movies it more likely means that the staircases is distressed and requires repairs. The most frightening thing of all? This tiny bit of joy could run as much as 750L up to one million.
What will that kind of money get me in other zones?
Interesting question. Do you think it matters which zone you are in? To stretch your money, you bet it does. If you went into Zone 2, your 750k would likely land you in a wonderful two-bedroom rental property complete with large, fully-equipped kitchen with all the latest appliances, expansive Victorian terrace and space to spare inside. The windows would be large and offer inviting views.
What can you get for the same money elsewhere?
750K will get you a lovely two-bedroom flat in the second zone. Your flat will be located on a Victorian terrace, you will enjoy a large kitchen fit for cooking rather than simply storing empty pizza boxes, the windows will be as large as life and the flat itself will be as roomy.
If you went all the way to Zone 5, you could easily afford a roomy three-bedroom house and have room to spare for a family and plenty of children.
Who Are All These People?
Zone 1 truly has everything. It has museums, galleries, theaters, restaurants, and pubs. But it also has something else in droves and that is people. Lots and lots of people. This includes locals and tourists alike. While this might not be bothersome to some, to others it can be downright intolerable.
Any peace and serenity one might have thought they’d have in Zone 1 could be lost in a heartbeat because of the sheer amount of people that are currently living there. If you can get past that and the cost then Zone 1 living might be for you.
Pulse of the Big Smoke
There are far more positive aspects than negative ones to living in Zone 1. Certainly, it may take a bit of getting used with regard to how overcrowded it might seem and how noisy but think of the benefits. The hours of commuting to the city for work and school will be gone simply by living in Zone 1.
The galleries, pubs, restaurants, and museums are all lined up in Zone 1 too. It’s where you’ll find the pulse of this lovely city. Concerts, seminars, Comic-Cons, and wine tastings are all at your fingertips. Life in this wonderful city can be experiences here like no where else.
A Bit Stuffy? No Problem
So, you’ve taken the plunge and snagged a great rental property in Zone 1. If it feels a bit different it should. You’re allowed to be a bit high and mighty for living in such a place. Those around you will likely sense your stature living in Zone 1 and look to you for directions. No need to fret about it. Just take a few minutes to study the layout of Zone 1 on Google Maps. Pick out a few spots to check out and get familiar with the area around your new home.
Traveling in the City isn’t as Bad as I Thought
Living in the heart of London comes with the perks of knowing everything you need to live comfortably is practically within an arm’s reach. It’s amazing to be so close to everything. But what if you need to see something outside the rarified air of Zone 1? Once you get used to be living in central London it can seem like a rather arduous task of visiting any site outside of it.
You see, London is a really big city. And while this is good for so many reasons, it can also be bad for things like traveling.
So, what are the options? Well, you could get a car and drive. At least that’s what everyone things right away. Just get a car and you’ll be fine. Well, they would be wrong. In a city as large as London a car will honestly only slow you down when you discover the knots of traffic here and there.
Having an Oyster card at your disposal linked to your rail cards is the most logical solution. The traveling you do will cost considerably less with the associated discounts. Also, use your Oyster card combo to shop beyond the Zone 1 border and you can realize some true savings. The prices will be kind to your wallet if do this one simple thing.
Just when you think you know London as a good friend, there is always something to learn about the Big Smoke.