Home owner in #London

With a bit of luck, you have a good job. What is a good job? For some it is about job satisfaction. For others, it is just the high income (without the daily happiness).

When living in London, there are a lot of vacancies in different industries! It all depends whether you are fussy or if you are desperate to get some cash.

London is the Capital of England and like other big cities around the world, life can be expensive. We are not talking about food or transport but, paying the monthly rent or, if your income is high enough investing in a property and repaying the mortgage.

London house and flat

London house and flat


Rents are high and getting higher. A mortgage could be in fact cheaper than the rent but, the initial deposit is what brings a real stop to most first-time buyers!

Some long time London citizens are even moving away from the busy streets and changing their lifestyle for something quieter but mainly cheaper.

They are keeping their jobs but may decide to move to the suburbs or even commute daily for two hours by train – which would take less time to reach the destination than jumping on the crowded London Underground. On a train a seat is reserved as on the Tube, people have to stand for hours due to the fact that so many commuters are going/leaving central London at the same time.

London crowded Tube

London crowded Tube


Now, the Guardian has revealed the following:

…first-time buyers need to earn £77,000 a year to live in London…

Even the so called “affordable housing” – across the UK is a real issue as for that particular case, a minimum income of £41,000 is expected, in order to get through all hurdles.

Average house price per region UK

Average house price per region UK


What is preferable: rent a property but keep a certain quality of life or get on the property ladder and check each penny spent on a daily basis to make sure that the bank won’t call for a lack of money on the savings account?!

Families and businesses seems to struggle despite the quietness of the recession. Mind you, the news have been busy recently with everything concerning the Royal Baby & the UK elections to name just a few.

Looking at a few unexpected changes from the past years; The MetOffice relocated to the Southwest of England and just a few years back BlurGroup also decided to install its offices at the newly implemented Exeter Science Park (see article HERE). It seems that commercial investment in the Southwest is changing in a good way.

Devon was seen until the late 90s as the countryside of England with nothing actually happening. However, entrepreneurs are observing what is going on and expenses can make such a difference when choosing the right location. It doesn’t actually matter anymore where you are and this is applicable for a firm or for your own property too.

Everyone can be online. Some employees and employers as well, work from home. It is all about increasing your savings and getting a good balance between life & work.

This can explain why families are relocating from London to Devon such as Bikelands in Exmouth.

When it comes to put a roof over your head, owning a property is the dream of must of us as long as it doesn’t trigger anxiety, stress and despair when finances aren’t following as planned. Yes… buying a house (whatever the size) is a commitment where everything needs to be scheduled carefully!

Read full article from The Guardian Business section HERE.


London’s accommodations

Living in the capital is exciting. However, there is a price to pay and having a healthy budget and strong savings are essential.

There is a real attraction for London…a constant buzz about fashion, music, culture and art exhibitions as well.

Some people like central London when others have a passion for the East of the city and browse through Shoreditch and the rebirth of Brick Lane or the docklands.

It is almost like being in different towns when traveling on the Tube lines. For instance, Old Street and Liverpool Street stations are completely different from Sloane Square or Charing Cross.

There is always something to see, visit and the interaction is just second-to-none. Sometimes we can hear people saying that Londoners aren’t helpful because always in a rush.

Personally, I have never struggled to find a particular shop or address. Even delivery drivers would stop their routine to show me the right direction on their personal SatNav. There is a great feeling of community even if there are 7 million people living there.

However, when it comes to work and live there, a question must be asked.

Pay a premium for the privilege to have an accommodation closer from the office OR commute and get a more affordable rent? Some wealthy people are lucky and can purchase a property, but it seems that prices are hitting record highs. London’s lifestyle can be pricey!

Getting on the property ladder is one thing but even renting can be a real assault course… Decent flats are like gold dust.

Recently, The Independent reported that a bedsit in Earls Court equipped with double glazing , a bed, kitchen and shower (but no toilets) was available for £536 per calendar month. Not bad you might say… However, all this is in ONE room. Very very compact indeed. In fact, so small to live in it – alarming that such space can cost so much.

Bedsit London Earls Court

Bedsit London Earls Court

Everything is not lost. It is after all easy to visit London for a day or long weekend. There are plenty of guest houses and hotels. Some of them are even very close from London Underground stations and shopping arteries. The Strand Palace Hotel on the Strand will provide you a  room to rest and copious breakfast for a decent rate.

But when it comes to work, some companies also decide to move away from the capital. The Met Office (in 2003) then in the past months blur Group made the move from the Southeast to the Southwest.

 …Exeter and the South West demonstrate a track record in innovation and entrepreneurship… Source

The other latest news from Flybe was the implementation of regular flights from Exeter Airport to London City Airport will begin in October 2013 – (BBC article HERE).

This could change or facilitate life and business for a lot of companies and workers too. The Southwest of England offers a wide choice regarding shopping but also concerning the type of accommodations.

As blur Group CEO Philip Letts declared: “Exeter has the right ingredients to become Europe‘s San Francisco and south western UK the new Silicon Valley.”  There are already innovative graphic design studios in Exeter, but having new high-tech companies in Devon can only be a bonus point for the local economy and regional growth.

Could the forthcoming months show further moves from other firms in order to avoid paying premium rates and high rental costs? Some born and bred Londoners won’t certainly make the jump. But, it is always good to know that there is a plan B available.

The English capital will always remain a focus point for entrepreneurs, investors and tourists as well… whatever the amount to pay. The recession has affected a few families and sometimes a change is necessary in order to survive financially, but the heart usually stays anchored at the foundation’s root.

Aerial view of London

Aerial view of London