Relocate to London? Well it’s a big decision but here are five things every expat should know.
In today’s video I’m going to share with you the key aspects of London to help you sort things out and know where to begin as you think about relocating to London. As a property agent and having lived in London for over eight years, I’m an expert in working with expats because I can really help them understand the entire process of relocating to London, all the things they need to consider, and how to get settled in.
London is a city of over 8 million people and it is incredibly dynamic and energetic. One of the things that attracts so many people to London is that it’s so cosmopolitan and international, you see people from all walks of life here and I think that’s incredibly exciting. One of the key aspects of London is the arts and culture – London is one of the world’s most attractive destinations and a city to visit and it has so many visitors coming for arts and culture but even when you’re moving here make sure to take advantage because there’s definitely something for everybody. Whether it’s the British Museum, the V&A, the Royal Academy, and the Southbank Centre is one of the most unique and special places – a great place to hang out with family and friends, it’s right along the Thames River and you have so many places to engage and experience things to do in London.
Most likely if you’re moving to London you’re coming for an employment opportunity and London has incredible choices – the leading industry in London is the finance industry, so many people do work for some of the world’s largest global financial institutions – banks, asset management firms, hedge funds, and they are London-based. The areas that tend to concentrate finance companies are the area of the city so it’s a term that you might not be familiar with but it’s called the city of London & is for financial services and a lot of legal firms but then there’s also Canary Wharf which is a newer part of London that really has a lot of high-rise buildings associated with financial institutions and then hedge funds tend to congregate around the area of Mayfair.
One of the other industries that’s really coming up of late is the tech industry and there’s an area called Silicone Roundabout around old street and Shoreditch, which has become a key destination for technology firms. Other industries that are quite active in London are the manufacturing industry, so there’s a lot of pharmaceutical companies with bases here in London as well.
What’s really exciting is that a lot of companies are continuing to commit to London and are expanding, especially those technology companies including the likes of Apple, Facebook, and Google, all have a presence here in London.
If you’re moving over with children you’re definitely going to have to consider the school options and London’s got plenty to choose from. A lot of my clients actually start their connection by sending their children to boarding schools in London and eventually looking to have a base here in London. So you’re going to have to consider whether you want your children to stay in an international curriculum, British curriculum, or American curriculum because that’s going to dictate your school options as well as their school schedule.
Also, another key component that is really important when you think about schools, is where to live and what kind of commute your children are going to have – you’re going to have to give up, if you’ve coming from America, the iconic yellow school buses because London doesn’t really have school buses instead they have a “school run” so you’re going to have to make accommodations and arrangements for your child to get to school. What’s great is that the transport options in London are so fantastic that I see a lot of young people commuting to school with friends on their own. London’s a relatively safe place so children are able to commute on their own to schools obviously when they reach a certain age.
So, I mentioned transport options and London has some of the best, and the most iconic is the London tube system which is known as the underground or what you might consider the subway system. If you’ve ever heard the term “mind the gap” or if you haven’t, then when you start utilizing the London tube network you’re going to understand what exactly that means! I won’t go into too much detail about your transport options because I’ve put out a separate video on transport around London and ten great ways to get around London and that gives you all you need to know about how to get around London including a special bonus tip of a fantastic app you want to make sure you have when you leave to London.
That leads me to neighbourhoods – regardless of why you’re moving to London you’re going to need a place to live and the good news is London has some fantastic choices. While many of us fantasize about living in places like Notting Hill, South Kensington, or Knightsbridge, it’s typically not going to be a place that most people can afford and so you want to make sure you get clear on your budget but let me mention that London is primarily set up with prime central London being the centre of the city where a lot of the key attractions are and where some of those neighbourhoods I just mentioned exist, and as London is made up of zones that would be considered zone 1. If you can’t afford zone 1, and actually once most of us who’ve lived here for a while realizes zone 1 tends to be very noisy, very energetic, it’s is going to be places with lots of tourists, most people will look to move further out in areas like zone 2 which has some fantastic neighbourhoods.
One of the things I think that’s really special about London, especially if you start taking the tube, is as you pop out you’ll find yourself on these high streets or high roads of different areas that have such fantastic vibes. One of my favourites is West Hampstead in Northwest London or Balham or Clapham in Southwest London. You’re going to have plenty of choices and the great thing is, given the London transport network, you’re going to be able to get around fairly easily, check out my recent video on renting in London because that’s a fantastic video to give you all the keys you’re going to need if you’re moving to London as a renter and navigating that entire process.
I’ve given you now some top tips about London and the things you need to think about when you’re moving over but I’ve got a fantastic FREE relocation guide that you’re going to want to make sure you download – this is one of the best guides to give you a good sense of London, & the things you need to think about because I’ve produced it based on my experience for myself and working with my clients.
Do let me know if this was a helpful article for you, make sure you comment below to let me know what was helpful and/or the things you’ve experienced as you’ve moved over.