General Question

Megan64's avatar

How much does it cost for a family of 4 to live in a decent part of London, England comfortably?

Asked by Megan64 (5705 points ) March 18th, 2014

We don’t need a lot. Just food, shelter, and regular life things.

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14 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m guessing $45,000 to $50,000 at least. Your taxes are a little higher than the states.

ibstubro's avatar

You need to define what you consider ‘decent part’ of London.
How many bedrooms?
Buy or rent?
What’s “comfortably”? An occasional ice cream or an occasional opera?

Megan64's avatar

@ibstubro Thank you for asking.

Decent, meaning family-friendly – Not trendy or up and coming, or the center of a nightclub district.
2 or 3 bedrooms
Renting
Occasional ice cream, coffee a couple of times a week, eating at a pizzeria once a month.

Thanks for your help. Are you in London?

trailsillustrated's avatar

look on the daily mail’s toolbar under properties, rentals. I would say you would need 80,000 pounds yearly to do this.

downtide's avatar

Rent alone for a property of that size would be at least £1,500 a month; more if you choose to be more central. Factor in another £1,000 or so for essentials; utilities, food, public transport to get to work. Another £500 a month if you run a car in London (parking!). Rent in south London is cheaper, but it’s not as nice, usually. You get what you pay for.

(I don’t live in London currently but I have done before – far too expensive for me).

ibstubro's avatar

No, I’m in the States, @Megan64. Just trying to help you define your question so Jellies like @downtide can give pertinent advice. :)

Stinley's avatar

It’s very very expensive. The further away from central london, the cheaper the housing costs and this is your biggest expense. Have a look at http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent.html to get an idea of what you can get for your money.

The schools in London are not great in the areas ordinary people can afford to live – the best schools drive up the house prices. You could think about living in the Home Counties which are the counties that surround london – Essex, Sussex, Berkshire, etc. These are probably more family friendly than the inner city. You should consider living in the areas that are served by the trains from stations near your work. E.g. you work in the City and you can walk to work from Liverpool St Station so therefore you should look to live in Essex. Look at the map of the rail and underground network to get an idea http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/London_Rail_Tube_map.pdf

Would you both be working? Childcare is expensive too.

I haven’t lived in London for about 10 years.

bolwerk's avatar

How much is a one-bedroom in, say, a lively part of Westminster? I’m asking because I actually get occasional jawwwwwb outreach from London, and might even entertain a move.

Stinley's avatar

Soho – very trendy and central this one bed appartment is £1650 a month

bolwerk's avatar

Damn. Not long ago I paid $1600 in a nice part of Manhattan.

downtide's avatar

@bolwerk Westminster is not a residential district, unless you are the Prime Minister.

If you want Central London and you are extremely wealthy there’s Kensington. Going downmarket a bit (but still fairly nice) is Bloomsbury – good student life there due to its proximity to the University of London. Another area to look at is Camden; again still very central but cheaper and more bohemian in style. There are some upcoming areas east of the city (Greenwich for instance) although on the whole, east is cheaper than west, and south is cheaper than north.

bolwerk's avatar

@downtide: I might be crapping up neighborhood terminology somewhat, but I just meant the City (Borough?) of Westminster. I had in mind areas like SoHo, though not necessarily there. I’ll keep Camden in mind though.

Megan64's avatar

Camden sounds nice. Anyone want to chime in about schools for 11 year olds or should I start another question about that? Also, I live in SF, so I imagine that the rates are pretty similar?

Stinley's avatar

The school age intake runs from 1st Sept to 31 August. So if they are turning 12 from now til August 31 2014 they would be in Year 7 now. If your kid turns 12 in Sept 2014 onwards they would be in Year 6 now. Year 6 is the last year of primary and year 7 is the first year of high school. So at this age it makes a big difference. As you are just at the planning stage, your 11 yo would probably be high school age by the time you get here. You might want to factor that into your plans – if they turn up at school in September to start year 8 having just left primary school, the disadvantage they face in this new country will be compounded by the transition to high school, and having peers that have already been there a year. My daughter is in year 8 and she developed and changed so much in year 7. We moved from Scotland to England when she started year 6. There is a different education system in Scotland and we made the move at that time so that she could settle down and have her final year at primary before the transition to high school. We would definitely have postponed our move until she had completed a year at high school in Scotland if we couldn’t have moved back then.

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