Once an American family has made the decision to move to England many grab the nearest map of neighborhoods to decide on where they should live.  While a map of neighborhoods does come in very handy in finding the right place to live it should not be the only determining factor in a home decision.  A map of neighborhoods should be used to determine distances between Tube stations, work and home and schools – not to pick a home or neighborhood.

What a Map of London Neighborhoods Can Tell a Family

For any family moving to from America and not from a large city (i.e. New York, Chicago, Boston, ect…) learning to use public transportation as the primary mode of transportation takes a while.  Within London people use buses and the Tube (subway) to go about their daily lives.  Until one has learned all the Tube stations for their daily commute and daily activities a map of neighborhoods should accompany them at all times.

A map of neighborhoods is also useful when deciding on schools.  Before moving every American family at least knows where they will be working (hence the reason for the move).  Depending on what part of town that may be in other decision can be made.  For instance, if a school for the family’s children is on the opposite side of town from the new job location a family may decide to live near the school despite the long work commute.

What a Map of London Neighborhoods Cannot Tell a Family

To put it simply no map on neighborhoods can tell someone where the best place to live is.  Even if one is able to get a map with statistical information on demographics of particular communities.  Each American family is different and has different needs.  A young professional might be willing to take a small flat in a rough neighborhood if it is near a lively club scene.  A childless couple may be willing to take a small flat in an upscale neighborhood where rent runs very high.  A family will need to consider schools, safety and accessibility of parks nearby.  No map of local neighborhoods can tell a family which spot in the city is best for their situation.

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