London is a strange place, an exciting one full of hustle, bustle, tourists and enough cultural attractions to fill a few years but a strange one nonetheless. It has a pull like no other metropolis on young professionals all keen to make their mark in the world and of course, London is the place to be. Colleagues who have already made the move down South tell you over ten pound cocktails that you simply must move down here, you simply must for it is fabulous, and yet no one knows anyone who has lived there for more than a few months.
The move is made, possessions sent to storage as you downsize from a comfortable three bed semi in Yorkshire for a one bed apartment in London. Then for a few sweet months, everything seems to slot into place. The city is alive with people just like you; everyone has just moved down here, no one can believe the price of a beer, how many professionals seem to have liquid lunches or how great the social life is just outside your apartment door. You eat at boutique bistros of an evening with your new city friends and at weekends you visit national galleries and museums, sitting wistfully in front of century old paintings feeling like you’ve made it.
And then the reality hits, your mortgage has doubled if not more, you can never find anything as half your belongings are in storage and all of a sudden you have no money. In London if you are penniless then you rapidly become invisible as you can no longer join in with the after work drinking and mid week bar hopping. Soon, that lovely dream can start fading as you feel the financial pinch that comes from living in yes the most exciting but also the most expensive city in the UK.
So what can you do to prolong the party and enjoy more of your time in the big smoke? If you have room you could consider taking on a lodger. It might mean sending more stuff to storage but it could make a series indent on the mortgage payments and bills. If you can’t think of anything worse than sharing again perhaps you should consider selling up and renting instead? There are companies like Property Rescue who will even buy your property and rent it back to you, leaving you debt free.
And don’t forget there are other places in the UK that are exciting and vibrant and won’t totally break the bank… You could always move back up North.