So, you’ve decided to move to the Big Smoke, you’ve packed your knapsack, bid your loved ones farewell, and now you need to find somewhere in the capital to live. Whether you are in the capital to study or start a new job, you will probably want to rent a property in a part of London that has plenty going on, and the good news is that you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Is London as expensive as everyone says?
The short answer is yes… but, with a flatshare and avoiding the eye-wateringly expensive areas, you can dramatically reduce your expenditure, and have more cash to spend on experiencing the London life.
The first thing you need to consider, before you even begin looking for roommates, is where you’d like to be located. How far do you want to live from your workplace or place of study? London is huge and, while most places are very accessible thanks to public transport, the commutes from one borough to another can be quite long. Most people aged 25-35 live north of the Thames because it is more affordable, and considered to be more happening, but there are some great places to live all over London.
East London — where artists and bankers come together
Creative, diverse and brimming with galleries, coffee shops, vibrant bars and restaurants, East London is home to some of the capital’s artiest residents. Shoreditch is one of East London’s most diverse areas, and rent there can be relatively affordable. Victoria Park hosts exciting music festivals like Lovebox and it has some amazing clubs and restaurants. The Borough of Hackney (not to be confused with Hackney the area) is one of the trendiest places to live in, and Dalston in Hackney has even won over the likes of Italian Vogue — they crowned it the coolest place in London!
North London is for canal bars, antiques, fashion and art
An eclectic mix of bustling market stalls, antique shops and amazing restaurants, North London has something for everyone. A favourite with young professionals due to its fantastic transport links and thriving nightlife, it is a great place to live. Belsize Park and Hampstead are some of the more upmarket areas and the property rental costs tend to reflect this. So, if you take a shine to either of these two, it is definitely worth opting for a house share.
Camden Town and its neighbouring areas are a bit more affordable but also amazing. Camden market is one of the best in London with offerings from some of the city’s most inspiring designers, artists and musicians. Charles Dickens once lived there and it has great transport links — if you like to travel it might be just the ticket! On the other hand, if you’re looking for somewhere less touristy but still conveniently located in the centre, Angel might be for you.
If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to spend all your cash on renting, South London in the capital is great value for money. It is a bit further away from the central area but tubes are set to run 24 hours a day by the end of 2016 so you will still be able to get home easily after a night on the tiles!
Parts of South London, like Peckham and Brixton, have a similar arty feel to East London. Brixton has a large multicultural community and a fantastic music scene, a bustling market and plenty of shops and restaurants. Peckham and Battersea have plenty of open spaces and friendly cafes. New Cross and Deptford are popular with students from Goldsmiths University of London due to its proximity to the campus, community atmosphere and bustling nightlife. Rent in these areas tends to be really reasonable and flatsharing is the perfect way to immerse yourself into student life.
There are plenty of fantastic areas in the capital even if you are living on a budget. Where you choose simply depends on what you are looking for and why you’re moving there. So, before you choose your new home, why not visit the area during the day and at night to get a good feel for it? Work out how long your commute to work or university would be and consider where you would be socialising or spending your spare time. It’s down to you now — happy home hunting!