There are many advantages and disadvantages of both renting in London, and moving out to the countryside or a smaller city. Some argue that the bustling and vibrant city life has many benefits that simply aren’t available in rural areas, whilst some aspire to leave the urban lifestyle behind and move to more peaceful surroundings. It can be a difficult decision and depends on what you prioritise in life. We’ve gathered together some of the pros and cons of both.
Pros and cons of renting in London
Transportation and amenities – London’s transport network is the central hub for the United Kingdom, so commuting just about anywhere is incredibly easy. You may not even need transport to get to local amenities, for many city dwellers everything you need is within walking distance – which means great exercise and a good contribution to your carbon footprint.
Culture & Activities – The city that never sleeps! London is packed full of activities, incredible restaurants, experiences and social scenes 7 days a week.
Career Opportunities – Big businesses are based in London meaning that there are much better pay prospects and career opportunities in the city.
Cost of living – Rent in London is incredibly expensive, in fact, the most expensive in the UK.
No community – Despite being surrounded by people, Londoners often feel a lack of community and more isolated, due to everyone having such a busy schedule and no time.
Lack of being able to ‘escape’ – Sometimes after a busy week all you want to do is go for a long walk in scenic and peaceful surroundings. This can be hard to do in the centre of London, and it’s much more difficult to switch off.
Pros and cons of renting in the country & other cities
The peace and quiet – If you like a more peaceful lifestyle, escaping the city is probably more up your street. The pace of life outside of London is much slower, and you’re able to take advantage of more scenic surroundings.
Lower cost of living and rent – You can get much more for your money when you’re not paying rent in London, some are even able to buy a property much earlier when re-locating to the suburbs.
More of a community – Despite there being fewer people in areas outside of London, when leaving behind the busy, overcrowded lifestyle, you get to know the locals better. When speaking to a member of our team who recently moved out of London, they said “I went to Kent for lockdown with a big garden and lots of long quiet walks and really friendly neighbours… I had lived in my flat in London for 4 years and had only had a couple of conversations with my neighbours, I never felt that community feeling where I was living.”
Lack of facilities and transportation – In opposition to London, being surrounded by nature means that everything is no longer on your doorstep. Be prepared to have to travel or drive to get to corner shops and civilisation.
Less career and social opportunities – This doesn’t mean you’ll be without a job, however, there are definitely a lot fewer career options and prospects than you’d naturally find in London. Although everything is relative, and despite the salary cut, you’ll also be paying less in living costs.
Top tips for moving from London to the Country
If you’re contemplating moving from renting in London to starting a new life in the countryside or another city there are a lot of things to consider. We’ve pulled together a handy list of tips:
- Test the waters by renting for a year first
If by moving to the country you’re now able to buy a property from the money you’ve saved, we’d highly recommend still renting for the first year just to make sure the country life is all that you hoped it would be. This way you can always easily return and not incur large bills from leaving London.
- Consider your transportation
The days of catching the central line at rush hour will be far behind you! However, this means that if you’re still working from an office it’s important to consider your commute, most people outside of London require a car as public transport can be very limited.
- Get to know the locals
You’ll probably get a much warmer welcome than that of a Londoner. Talking to the locals is a great way to find out what they love about living
- Spend some time in your new area
As mentioned above, to help make sure that the move is right for you, plan some day trips or weekends away to your new area to make sure you’re certain about living there. There are benefits and pitfalls with both options, but something to consider is finding somewhere in between. For example, cities like Bristol are a great employment hub and growing city, with London only an hour and a half away, and the coast only a 30-minute drive away you can have the best of both worlds.