Like with anything in life, there are pros and cons. Reasons to do something, reasons not to do something. Moving house is a pretty big thing, moving house to a brand new area is a really scary thing. We took the jump and swapped London life for the coast just over a year ago and moved into our first family home with Help to Buy.
I’ve had some messages from people who are toying with the idea of moving out of a city for a new life by the sea and I thought it may be helpful for some if I shared some of the challenges I’ve faced along with some pros and cons.
House prices. Cities generally speaking are more expensive to live. London for example is one of the most expensive cities in the world and it is becoming near-on impossible for people to get onto the ladder and afford a home of their own.
There are of course help to buy schemes but for us as young graduates with hardly any savings, we were forced to look elsewhere- there was just no way we could have afforded it.
You can get a lot more for your money away from the city. Rents are generally cheaper and help to buy through a shared ownership scheme was very doable for us here on the Kent coast.
Leaving family behind. When you move you’re not just leaving the place behind you may well also be moving away from your nearest and dearest.
This is tough. Especially as new parents not having support on our doorsteps it was really hard for us in the beginning, and still is to an extent, but like with anything, it gets easier. I suppose you’d have to consider if you will be able to cope, but my advice would be you are stronger than you think and you never know until you try. There are some days where I really wish I had more people I know near by but I guess that’s just the sacrifice we had to make as a family.
Connections back into the city. It may be helpful to know that there are lots of great connecting services back into London from areas outside. For example we can get back into central London in 50 minutes on the fast train.
It’s worth checking out the trains from the area you’re considering moving to and seeing if there are good connection routes. This was really important for us and it’s great knowing we can back into the city in less than an hour. Kent as a whole is generally great for this.
Everything isn’t on your doorstep. When you move out of the city you’ll come to discover that you might have to go that bit further out to eat out at your favourite restaurant or high street store.
We have a great town but it’s unique selling point is definitely the quirky independent shops- Zara and Nandos for example are around half an hour away in the car, although we do have a Primark so I can live with that.
Popping to the shop to get some milk is also a bit more of a chore, before in London I could get to the shop in under a minute from my front door now my nearest shop is about a 12 minute walk away.
Up and coming. As more and more people are deciding to leave their lives in the city behind and start a new life in country or coastal towns, you may find that lots of these towns are being invested in going through a bit of redevelopment.
Since we moved to our town, they’ve invested lots of money into the harbour, more and more trendy and new places are popping up and generally the area seems to have gone under a bit of a revamp. This obviously brings the prospect of more opportunities and generally creates a bit of a buzz in the area making it more attractive and appealing for residents and visitors.
OTHER CHALLENGES TO CONSIDER
When we first moved here my partner was commuting back to his old job but in the process of him looking for another job closer to home we quickly came to realise the amount of opportunities were far and few between. We could totally see why they say the cities offer the best work opportunities- especially for new graduates. Despite that, in the end he did manage to find a job close to home so it is doable but I definitely think you’d need to consider this carefully.
I was on maternity leave and my old job was back in London there was no way I would have been able to commute back there what with nursery fees etc and that’s why I decided to take control and freelance from home and thankfully it’s worked out OK but looking back it was a bit of a risk me moving here without any work lined up.
The other challenge has been meeting new people. Maybe it’s because I’m a mum and it’s harder to meet people when you’re a stay at home mum who works from home, but I think people who have moved to a new area would also agree that it is tough meeting friends. I think Instagram is a great way to connect with like minded people and I would definitely recommend mum apps like Peanut and Mush to connect with local mums in your area.
Stay tuned for my next post which will be all about the breakdown of friendships and the struggles of finding “your people” as a new mum.
I hope by sharing some of my pros and cons has got you considering your different options- it’s a tough decision to make, whether it be London or any other city, only you know if you’re ready for the jump…
Would love to hear some of your experiences so feel free to share in the comments below!