5 things to consider when moving from overseas to London
Are you planning to move from overseas to London? Are you looking to find your dream home in a culturally diverse city? Discover the top 5 things you need to consider before moving and how you can enjoy the nation's capital.
1. Why London?
London is a culturally diverse city, with over 40% of residents in London coming from outside of the UK. With this much diversity, London is a hub of creativity and opportunity. With an abundance of history in the capital, London is a great place to explore. There are over 100 museums in London alone, ranging from art galleries to wartime museums, many of which are free and family friendly. There is a buzzing nightlife, a variety of cafes and bars and some of the top restaurants in the world.
London has an array of opportunities, not only for your lifestyle but for your career. In a report published in 2018 by the BBC's Shared Data Unit, one in three jobs created in the UK has been in London. The city attracts many creative and entrepreneurial individuals, which has made it the cosmopolitan city it is today.
2. Choosing the right area
Moving from overseas to a major city can be a little daunting, so ironing out the details beforehand will help you on your journey. But before you settle on your home, consider what area of London you want to be in.
Do you want to be really central?
Will you need to be close to a major airport?
Do you need to be close to the motorway for work?
What area has the best schools?
What area can you afford to buy in?
Do you want to be north or south of the river?
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when conducting your research.
You will also have to consider if that area is close to your work, your children's school and what the local transport is like. If your children need a specialist school, you will need to think about what area is best suited for them. London is known for having good transport links and regular underground, overground and bus services. But it's always worth checking the Transport for London website for more details of what is in your desired area. If you're planning on driving in London, be aware of the congestion charge that operates in most areas of central London and occurs a daily charge of £11.50.
Barratt London are a leading London developer and have homes and apartments in many different areas. For example, you could find your dream home in Central London, Croydon or Acton. To find the area that best suits your needs, search with Barratt London today.
3. Finding the right home for you
When moving to a new location, whether it's 2 miles away or 2000 miles away, you'll need to find the right home for you. Ask yourself these questions when searching for your dream home:
Do you want to live in an apartment or house?
What is your overall budget?
Do you want to have outdoor space?
Do you need to live near a train station?
What local amenities are there?
Do you need space for a growing family?
Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to live in a centrally located apartment that is close to many famous London attractions and monuments. Barratt London have many new build apartments that have stunning views across the city. With a new build home, you can avoid the hassle of having to fix old electrical wiring, plumbing and fixtures. New build homes are built with modern living in mind and are intelligently designed to suit your needs. The home buying process is also a lot easier with a new build, as there is no onward chain so you can have a smoother move-in process.
4. Moving your belongings
Moving overseas is a big task, so finding the right company to move your belongings is very important. There are lots of companies that offer different services, so consider these questions when speaking to an international removals company.
To get your belongings to the UK, you can choose between 4 options:
Air freight - this may be the most expensive of all forms of overseas transport as the items are packed into special airline pallets. Although the most expensive, it does guarantee quick delivery, which could help if you need to move with a tight time-frame.
Sea freight - this is a good option if you have a lot of possessions to move. It is the slowest form of transport but it does allow you to move multiple large items. The price of this service depends entirely on the number of items you have.
Groupage - this is similar to the sea freight service, however your items are loaded into a container with other people's belongings. The container is then transported once it's full. This means that you have no control of the delivery date.
Road - some companies will travel with your belongings in their own lorries. They are packed up just like a normal delivery, but to minimise your possessions getting lost, it's best to keep an inventory of all items.
When moving any personal items, it's always best to wrap them up securely and have them properly labelled. If you have any sensitive documents like passports, legal documents etc., keep them secured and in a safe place. Similarly, if you have a pet that you will be bringing to the UK, there are a few things that you will need to have in place before you can transport them over.
5. Making the most of being in the capital
If you're worried about the cost of living in London, don't be, as there are plenty of fun things to do that won't break the bank.
Due to London's culture and history, simply walking along the streets can be enough of a fun activity. Take a stroll down Carnaby Street and take in the swinging 60's vibe. Walk along the Thames on a sunny day and visit the Tate Modern for a chance to see some exciting art. Or take a picnic to Hyde Park to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus, there are plenty of food markets and vintage fairs to explore on the weekend.
Once you're in the city, it can be hard to settle in straight away. So make the most of your new home by exploring the surrounding areas and getting to know who and what's around you. London is a great place to meet new people and try new things, so don't be afraid to get stuck in.
Looking for more things to do in London? Check out our guides on London living.