London is undeniably the place to be for graduates. The vibrant culture and city life, countless job opportunities and excellent transport links make it the perfect place for anyone looking to expand their horizons and strike out on their own.
Before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you’ll need to research and plan first. Here is our ultimate guide to making a move to London as smooth and rewarding as possible.
Find The Right Job
It may go without saying that before even considering a move to London, you need to be sure that you have a job waiting for you. While you may be impatient to make your move to the city, it’s crucial that you find the best job for youand not simply to facilitate your move to London.
Living in London is expensive, so you should ensure that you find a job that will allow you to live comfortably. Another important reason to be choosy when it comes to employment is that a move to London will be costly, meaning you should be confident that you are making the best choice.
Spread your net wide when it comes to applying for jobs. Research a company, its ethos and culture to decide if it will be a place that you will thrive. Remember, when it comes to interviews, a prospective employer is not just interviewing you – you are also interviewing them. Get a feel for the business and ask questions about the company to get a well-rounded idea of how they operate.
What Kind Of Property
One great way to save money while living in London is to rent a room as part of a houseshare. These often come with bills included so can be a great way to get on your feet in London. A houseshare also has the advantage of immediately knowing a few people when you move in, or you could look for a place with some other friends that are planning to move to London. You could consider living in a flat or houseshare until you find a place of your own.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to buy or rent a place of your own, you should carefully consider what kind of home you want. While a house may be tempting, it is worth thinking about whether you will be lonely and carefully consider the full cost of running a place single-handed in London. A great way to offset this could be to take on lodgers in the future for some extra cash.
If you are going to be working with movers, make sure that you get moving quotes in order to ensure that you are able to save as much money as possible. Ask at least three companies to get a representative sample.
Where In London
The great thing about London is the diversity of the city. No matter your preference, you will find communities and areas that will suit you. If you want to be close to the best nightlife, then Soho could be perfect. Camden is the world-famous home of London’s rock and hippy culture if you prefer a more alternative scene.
You should consider each of the London zones and see which area best suits you. It is worth noting that travelling between Zones 1 to 3 will be cheaper than travelling into Zone 1 from Zones 4 to 6. Living in Zone 1 will also be the most expensive.
Therefore, where you live depends on where you will be working and what kind of commute you will want. Balancing the cost of commuting with the cost of living is vital. You may find accommodation that will allow you to walk to work, saving you thousands in Tube fares, so balancing this with the cost of your housing can be an excellent way to save money.
You should also ensure that any property you are considering has links to all the things you might need. A nearby supermarket is a must. A Tube station close by is also a key consideration. You’re unlikely to find anywhere that will be truly quiet at night in a place like London, but it is worth finding somewhere off the main roads if noise at night will keep you up.
Finding Service Providers
If you’re buying a property in London, you will want to ensure that you research the professional services for any renovations or repairs that need doing. Fortunately, there are plenty of professionals to be found in London with experience dealing with the unique issues a London homeowner can face.
You should research and choose an all-around handyman, electrician, gas engineer and plumber. Ideally, you will never need to use these things can sometimes go wrong in any home, so having the contact details of reliable professionals in these circumstances is vital.
One area of London living that often poses an unexpected problem for new homeowners are drainage issues. London is heavily built up, and with millions of people putting a strain on the sewage systems, many people encounter drainage issues in their home.
Blocked or damaged pipes can cause major structural and aesthetic issues with your house. Making sure that you have access to drainage experts in London is crucial. Drain Detectives set the industry standard for drainage services. They are experts in recognising and fixing drainage issues in London, which will give you the peace of mind knowing that you are in the best possible hands.
Make A Budget
Once you’ve decided on an area, got the perfect job offer and found the right property to move to, making and keeping a budget is crucial. You don’t want to end up with any unpleasant surprises so sticking with a budget is important. If you already have some savings, you should continue to add to these in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Work out what your monthly outgoings will be and compare to the money you will have coming in. Decide how much you want to allocate to socialising and leisure each month and stick to the amount you decide on. Saving money in London is challenging but not impossible. While the London culture may make it tempting to buy lunch from the local coffee shop every day, cutting these and other costs will be essential if you want to save money.
That being said, you are living in London to experience all the big city has to offer, so allowing yourself some luxuries is vital to getting the best experience. The key here is balancing treats with saving money each month.
The next step in your journey will be meeting new friends. London can be a lonely place if you don’t know anyone, and many of the ways of meeting new friends that worked at university may not serve you as well in London.
Fortunately, there are many other people in the same boat as you. You can check out apps like Bumble that allow you to match with people looking to make friends in your area. You can also take advantage of work social events to make friends in your new company, which also provides excellent networking potential.
There are plenty of online initiatives aimed at helping people connect in London. It would be best to research which groups there are available to find ones that will work for you and help you find likeminded people. You could choose a foodies group, a park run or exercise group, or just a general meet-up group.