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Old 01-28-2010, 07:19 PM
 
Location: between Ath,GR & Mia,FL...
2,574 posts, read 593,165 times
Reputation: 327
Default The true cost of Living in London...

As a tourist I have visited London & stayed there for a total of 2 months...
However,a tourist cannot understand the true cost of living in that great (..apart from...RHD ) city...
So,I welcome testimonies from individuals or couples who actually live in London informing us about the true cost of living there...

Specifically,
salaries,
mortgages/rents/property taxes,
social security tax.
income & other taxes.
utilities,heating,
car expenses ( loan payment,insurance,petrol cost,parking etc)
education,daycare,
food & dining,
entertainment
etc...

I hope this will be an interesting test with true numbers...

 
Old 01-28-2010, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Texas
447 posts, read 1,155,689 times
Reputation: 194
Well, we lived in London (most recently) from 2005-2008. London housing is expensive. We lived 30 miles outside of London-(Kent)
rent- 800 pounds- but it was a great 2 level, 1400 sf apt.(HUGE by UK standards) on a river in the center of a town of 100,000. You will have to pay council tax even if you rent- it's like property taxes- ours was about 120 pounds per month.
Utilities- didn't seem that bad really
Salaries- we did ok there- I made 48,000 pounds/ hubby made a bit more. (I am a nurse- but worked in the private sector as an operations manager- he is in IT) Salaries will vary widely, depending on what you do.
Taxes- I really think it was about the same as the US, considering you don't have to pay health insurance (it's taken out of your check)
Petrol- about 8 bucks or so per gallon- but really- you will not drive much. Even 30 miles outside of London, we took the train into work (worked in London) and walked everywhere on the weekends. We bought a small Vauxhall Corsa that was 2 years old for 4000 pounds. It got about 50 mph! My yearly train ticket was about 3300 pounds!
Daycare- I didn't have to pay this, but friends who did seemed to pay about 800 and up pounds per month (pretty high)
Eating out- don't bother- it's expensive and not really good- go to pubs for beer,etc. Pubs are GREAT
West End shows- you can get deals - about 20 pounds per person or maybe less

Even keeping in mind the above numbers- I will say that there were lots of young people who worked for and with me in London that lived fine on much less money. Their standards were a little different, but hey, my 25 y.o. here in the states has different standards for housing, travelling than I do. LOL The young people I know travelled a lot- (as did we)- Europe is at your doorstep, literally
 
Old 01-29-2010, 06:03 AM
 
Location: between Ath,GR & Mia,FL...
2,574 posts, read 593,165 times
Reputation: 327
I know that many people live far away from central London ( inside the Ring) because of crazy housing prices...
 
Old 01-29-2010, 08:46 AM
 
Location: England.
1,007 posts, read 1,662,868 times
Reputation: 746
Well, I lived in a bedsit in the mid 80s in Archway north London on 2 an hour from a factory job. Rent and tax took half my 80 a week, leaving enough for food, cigarettes, and the occasional treat. I was poor, but living indpendently for the first time, and as happy as can be.
 
Old 05-01-2010, 09:56 AM
 
2 posts, read 171,692 times
Reputation: 16
We would want to live in a suburb of London (40-50 minute train ride) and we currently live in a suburb of Seattle (one of the most expensive). I think they are comparable in terms of location and standard of schools, etc. (I have lived in both places)
1400 sft house in Seattle Suburb (fully updated)=$450-500K
1400 sft house outside A1 ring (needing updating)=$575-650

This is the biggest difference for me. Not to mention the kitchen standards are very poor in the UK. Some kitchens in half million dollar homes are cobbled together messes. It is crazy to me that the housing is of such poor quality for so much money.

Last edited by xpatgrl; 05-01-2010 at 10:06 AM..
 
Old 05-01-2010, 11:01 AM
 
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
3,467 posts, read 3,854,746 times
Reputation: 2067
I live about 20 miles outside London:

Rent for small 2 bed apartment (550 sq ft) is 1250
Council Tax is 150 per month
Utilities around 80 per month
Income tax is around 32% including health
Petrol is 1.13 per litre and car tax is 100 per year

All in all it's pretty expensive considering London rents/mortgages are another 30% on top of that! These are the reasons that my wife wants ti go back to the US so badly!!
 
Old 05-04-2010, 08:11 AM
 
1,644 posts, read 2,746,277 times
Reputation: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by xpatgrl View Post
We would want to live in a suburb of London (40-50 minute train ride) and we currently live in a suburb of Seattle (one of the most expensive). I think they are comparable in terms of location and standard of schools, etc. (I have lived in both places)
1400 sft house in Seattle Suburb (fully updated)=$450-500K
1400 sft house outside A1 ring (needing updating)=$575-650

This is the biggest difference for me. Not to mention the kitchen standards are very poor in the UK. Some kitchens in half million dollar homes are cobbled together messes. It is crazy to me that the housing is of such poor quality for so much money.
The house prices are in some way a reflection of the comparitive lack of space affecting the price of land compared to the US.

Unlike the US it's often more expensive to live out in the "country" than in the suburbs.

Also in the UK there isn't such an aversion to getting your hands wet (or wearing marigolds!) and washing dishes in the sink.
neither do people rely so heavily on tumble dryers.I never owned one in the UK.
Plus people don't "need" 4 bedrooms and 2 baths if there are just 2 of them living there.
Often older homes or fixer uppers are seen as more desirable as you might get more square footage, a larger (by UK standards) lot and a better area for your buck than with new builds.

Half a million dollars is nothing for a home around London or many other UK cities.
 
Old 05-10-2010, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Germany
53 posts, read 201,366 times
Reputation: 34
you're right Susan. The population density of England is very high. That makes the flats so expensive probably.
 
Old 05-26-2010, 06:19 AM
 
Location: London UK
1 posts, read 170,367 times
Reputation: 30
The true cost of living in London is the loss of your sanity. Trust. This is no place to live.
 
Old 05-26-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Colorado
5,111 posts, read 5,935,124 times
Reputation: 5886
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian6479 View Post
I live about 20 miles outside London:

Rent for small 2 bed apartment (550 sq ft) is 1250
Council Tax is 150 per month
Utilities around 80 per month
Income tax is around 32% including health
Petrol is 1.13 per litre and car tax is 100 per year

All in all it's pretty expensive considering London rents/mortgages are another 30% on top of that! These are the reasons that my wife wants ti go back to the US so badly!!
You don't have to go all the way back to the US to find more affordable areas. Here in Salford Quays where tons of new job ops will be opening up thanks to Media City, you can get a larger 2 bedroom apartment for about 700-800.
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