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2013-03-22 08:39 am (UTC)
Ooh, not checked lj for a few days and only just saw this, hope I'm not too late!
First up, massive congratulations on the offer. :D
As for living in London, I love it, but I love urban places and am not that bothered about money and the fact that I don't have much after I've paid my rent and bills. I think you need to be very honest with yourself about what you are looking for and what London is. There's no point in trying to kid yourself only to be disappointed but committed. London is and feels urban. Even where I live in Leytonstone which is border of zones 3-4 and obviously more suburban than the centre has that urban feel. I think it's fantastic having everything on my doorstep, but I have had to get used to the fact that 'on my doorstep' does actually mean an average of a 30 minute journey each way and at least £5 in travel.
The plus side for you is that because London is so big and the different areas have such different characters, you have a range of completely different environments to choose from. I know that in absolute terms the rental prices will seem high coming from the Midlands, but it might be worth paying more to live somewhere a bit quieter/leafier/with better quality housing if you think that those sorts of things would improve your quality of life. Particularly if you are not the sort of person who wants to move frequently over the next few years as you try places out. If that's the sort of thing you might like then check out the more affluent areas like west/south west (Putney, Richmond, Clapham), or up around where Tom lives. Docklands (Limehouse etc) might also be a good option for you if you like modern apartment blocks. Lots of city workers live around there so there is good quality modern accommodation and various middle class amenities like good pubs and restaurants and nice parks and marinas. Being near canals or the Thames can also be a good substitute for green space and makes for nice peaceful walks.
Good suggestions about the fact that Liverpool Street is a good place to be commuting to if you want to look at suburban areas in greater London, but I don't know anything about those.
I love East London but I suspect it might not be to your taste. It is becoming more gentrified and safer, but it does still have that gritty, grimey feel. If you want to visit though do give me a shout.
Do also let me know if you have any specific questions about money, whether it's about rent/bills/oyster whatever. I'm happy to share that info but don't want to bombard you if its unnecessary.
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