What You Need To Know About Relocating & Making The UK Your Home
The UK is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. It’s home to rolling hills, beaches, and areas of outstanding natural beauty. As well as an array of diverse, multicultural towns and cities. It’s easy to see why each year millions of tourists flock here for a relaxing summer holiday. Of course, while most tourists are happy with a two-week break to this enriching country, some love it so much they decide to move here.
While this is just a pipe dream for most visitors, it is possible to make it a reality. If you’ve recently visited the UK and fell head over heels in love with the country, you might be considering a permanent move here. Of course, there’s a whole lot of paperwork to get through to do that, but that isn’t all it takes to reside permanently in the UK. You’ll need to find a new home, get a job, enroll your children in local schools – there’s a lot that comes with moving from one country to another.
To help make the process of moving from abroad to the UK easier, we’ve put together this handy guide. Packed full of tips and advice, this can guide you through what it takes to move your life overseas and set up a home in the UK.
Visit the country
If you want to move to the UK, you will most probably have visited before. If you’re seriously considering a move here, it’s important to visit again. This time, you need to look at the UK as your potential new home. It’s easy to think that because you loved the UK as a holiday destination, you’ll love living here. But the truth is, that’s not necessarily the case. Before you commit to moving across the ocean to the UK, you need to spend longer exploring and getting a feel for the country.
Rent out a house for six weeks and get a feel for what living here would really be like. You may love everyday life in the UK, or you might realise that it’s not for you. Before moving somewhere, an extended visit is a must. Look at the cost of living – from running a home to putting food on the table. Spend some time job hunting to get an idea of what opportunities are out there. If you have kids, look at the education system – is it on par with what your children would get at home? Take the time to learn what living in the UK would actually be like.
Think about yours’ and your family’s needs
Once you’re certain that the UK would make a great new home, you need to start thinking about yours’ and your family’s needs. Sit down and have a family meeting where you discuss the move and what you hope to get out of it. Write a list of all the things that you need as a family, such as a home with a garden or a place that’s close to certain local amenities. The list should also include the type of location you would like to live in, a rural or urban one. This will most probably depend on the type of lifestyle you already have and the job prospects in each area. As well as your budget, of course.
It’s also important to think about what you want from your new life. Would you like to be able to spend weekends exploring the countryside or walking on the beach? Or, do you dream of living close to all the sights and attractions that city life would bring? Moving to another country is a big decision and one that needs to be thought about from every aspect. The UK has some amazing locations, from bustling London to quieter and more rural Devon. You need to take the time to think about what you want, before making the move, to ensure that you pick the right type of place.
Find an area you love
Once you know what you want from your move, you can then start looking at potential areas. If for example, you’ve decided that city life is for you, you then need to consider whether you’d like to live in a big city like London. Or whether a smaller city like Exeter, Gloucester, or a seaside city like Brighton is best for you. As you can see, there are plenty of options. It’s a good idea to visit each area before deciding that it’s the place, just to make sure that you like what you see.
Save enough to live off
You are most probably planning to work once you arrive in the UK, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately get a job. Even if you do, you’ll have to go through training and do a month’s work before your first pay cheque. Hence, why it’s important to save enough money to live off so that you’re not worrying if you’re not earning right away. Ideally, you want to save enough money to live for three months without an income. This needs to be able to cover rent or mortgage payments, bills, food, and any other expenses that you may incur.
To work out how much you will need, do some research into average living costs in the UK. Write down the amount that you think you’ll need for a month’s worth of living costs and then times it by three. This will ensure that no matter what happens, you’ll have enough money to live off when you first arrive in the UK.
Calculate your budget
The next step is to work out how much you have to spend on your new home and getting you, your family, and your belongings from where you live now to the UK. This will most probably be expensive, as shipping a large amount of items from abroad tends to be. You could opt to buy all new items once you arrive in the UK, it just depends on what you would rather do.
The amount that you need for your new home will depend on whether you’re renting or buying. If you’re renting, you’ll need a small deposit and one month’s rent in advance. If you’re buying, you’ll need to put down at least 10 percent of the cost of the house and will need to arrange a mortgage to cover the rest.
Start house hunting
Now for the fun part – house hunting. Whether you’re renting or buying, you’ll need to spend some time house hunting. It’s best to do this on your extended visit to the UK to ensure that you are able to see each property. Photos can be deceiving, which is why it’s best to see a property in person before you agree to buy or rent it. Once you’ve selected an area that you are happy to live in, the next step is to look for property listings here. If you see a property that you like the look of, contact the estate agent to arrange a viewing.
When walking around a property, make sure to have a list with you. This should include needs – things the house has to have, and wants – things you’d like it to have. For instance, you might need a three bedroomed house but would like a four bedroomed one. It’s important to have a list to tick things off of, to ensure that the property you pick meets all yours’ and your family’s needs. Never agree to rent or buy a property after just one viewing, visit it at least twice. If you still like it as much the second time, go for it.
Review the local area
Once you’ve found a house you like, before you agree to take it, review the local area. Chat to the neighbours about what the area is like to live in – this should give you an idea of whether it’s a nice place. Visit the neighbourhood at various times of day, to get a sense of what it tends to be like. It’s also worth exploring the local amenities, such as supermarkets, medical facilities, and schools. Oh and don’t forget to take local transport links into account. This is especially important if you don’t drive and need a reliable way to get around.
In terms of schools, don’t just take it for granted that your children will be accepted into local places. Get in touch with them and find out whether there is space and whether your kids meet the criteria needed. This is important as the last thing you want to do is move somewhere new, only to find that your children aren’t able to get into the local school.
The tips and advice above should help to make your move to the UK a lot less daunting and stressful. There’s a lot that needs to go into moving abroad, but if you take your time and are smart about it, you can ensure you get it right.