Of course you shouldn’t feel left out if you’re not one of the thousands of Americans moving to London in 2016. London Relocation is an expat-centric flat finding service that offers advice, practical help and a guaranteed property search service for all those making the move to the ‘The Smoke‘. (It’s not so smokey anymore; a veritable haven of nature these days *cough)
As an American who has made the move to London myself, (twice – will I never learn?) I know EXACTLY how tough it is. There are a number of real challenges ahead of you, and the reality is that you’ll have to remove those rose-tinted, romanticized anglophile spectacles and face a few facts…
Even as a relocation specialist, tapped into a personal property search portal – I’ll tell you that apartment hunting is a killer. For Americans moving to London it is particularly difficult, stressful, and we haven’t even taken into consideration the fact you’ll be giving up your closet space, to move into an apartment that is sometimes, quite literally, the size of a closet. It’s one of the reasons that we prefer to view as many as 25 properties in one day with our clients. not only do you get a snapshot of London neighborhoods, but you get to see a range of different types of apartments before you make your decision.
This is important. Developing a community and a circle of friends is challenging in London. The fabled British ‘reserve’ isn’t a myth at all. While Londoners are friendly, they often don’t need or want to make more friends. join an expat group at first, or a join a group that is hobby based. if you have kids it may be easier to make friends through school, but don’t count on it.
It’s a factor, just like it is if any other city. It can also be a challenge for Americans moving to London, as they are, sometimes considered an ‘easy mark’ for pickpockets, purse snatchers etc. Keep your wits about you and don’t feel the need to let everyone in your vicinity know that you’re a foreigner.
There are dozens of other challenges that you’ll face as an expat moving to the UK, opening a bank account (need a Visa for that), managing the exchange rate, tax on London salaries, London salaries in general and which neighborhood suits your pocket and your lifestyle.
If you’ve made the move to the London recently let us know what you found to be the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome and how you did it. We’d love to hear from you!