1. alpacinoutd

    alpacinoutd Senior Member

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    Anyone from London here?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by alpacinoutd, Jul 26, 2021.

    Hi.

    I'm about to start writing a story which takes place in London. I've never been there so I wanted to know if some stuff would make sense in London.

    The main character is a young woman who was born and raised in a small town near London. What poor town near London can I say she was born in?
    She falls in love with London after a visit and dreams about buying her own flat in London. She moves to London, rents a small place in a cheap neighborhood. What are some areas that are cheap in London that my character would be able to rent a place in?

    She then joins a modeling company to collect money for a down payment/deposit for a flat. She wants to mortgage a place there to fulfill her dream of having her own flat in London. Does that make sense? Are houses in London sold with a mortgage like in America? Would it make sense for her to save money for a down payment/deposit? How much money would she need for a down payment? What neighborhoods can she buy a flat in after working a few years?
     
  2. dbesim

    dbesim Contributor Contributor

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    I think that your best bet is to google some of your questions on the internet to find out.
    To answer your first question, ‘what poor town near London can I say she was born in?’

    I’ve attached a map indicating various suburban towns around the city: she can be from Reading, Northampton, Norwich or Leicester, for example.
    EF58BDF3-C02F-4797-9919-A6E97FD257D3.jpeg


    The next map informs you that London is divided into various different BOROUGHS. The expensive ones being at the centre of London (Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea) and the more affordable as you come out of the centre toward the suburban areas (Croydon, Bromley in the south, Barking&Dagenham in the east, etc).



    The following is a map of London and all its boroughs (‘boroughs with the most outdoor dining locations’). Somehow indicates that the most expensive to rent are the boroughs at the centre and less so as we move out of that.


    80AF55F5-29B7-4673-8FF4-9ECA53E9D175.png

    It’s also worth noting that people move OUT of London because rent is much cheaper elsewhere. So accommodation in Leicester (a town outside of London) is bound to be cheaper than rent at a poorer borough of London (yes, even at the poorest of boroughs). Also, there are a bunch of council flats in the poorer boroughs built for people on low incomes who cannot afford London where they get for much reduced rates or perhaps rent free - i.e. live out of tax payer’s money - but you might have to research that one.

    I don’t know why anyone would want to come into London, mortgage a house. This city is so expensive. But the idea of taking out a mortgage in London might not be too dissimilar to how they’re mortgaged in America. Sometimes the buyer takes out a loan from the bank that they have to pay back in instalments within an x number of years. House prices in London being far more expensive considering it is a more populated city than other towns.

    But also. If your character lives near London, she or he might have visited the city many times over the years and perhaps isn’t quite so ‘dazzled’ by the city as someone who lives a little further away eg. in Sheffield more up north where prices should be a lot less or even maybe if they were coming from a town in Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland - a little further away.
     
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  3. alpacinoutd

    alpacinoutd Senior Member

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    Thank you so much! Very helpful.

    Is it impossible for a young woman to want to own a house in London? Let's say she can be a model and make good money. Based on what you've said, I think I'm gonna say she is from Sheffield. Can I call that place drab and boring compared to London?

    Let's say she finds a job in London and she is now saving money for a deposit for the house in an affordable area in London. How much money would she have to pay in order to get the house? I mean the initial deposit. And how much each month.

    I know number are variable and depend on so many factors, but I could use some approximate numbers for a deposit and monthly payment for a humble house in London.
     
  4. Steve Rivers

    Steve Rivers Contributor Contributor

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    You'd virtually have to be a supermodel to afford London these days, hehe.
    Sheffield is very far away in north England, so if you want that "just outside London" ideal, that's not the best place. There are towns called the "Commuter Belt" towns that people live in for affordability and then get the train into London every day.
    https://secretldn.com/this-map-could-persuade-you-to-leave-london/

    Places like Ashford, Guildford, Watford, Maidstone, Staines. Those last two are more well known for being on the more run downside of things, but any of them or other commuter towns on that linked map that are just outside London would do. They all have large portions of their population working in London every day. Several of my family do it.

    As for deposits, rent, and mortgage, the best bet is to just bypass us and google estate agents in London and search for their cheapest rates. Then let your jaw drop when you learn even closets/cupboards are on the market as "rooms" and charge exorbitant amounts. :D
    If she's trying to be a model and afford a new place, she'd most likely definitely need to hold down another job or have a sugar daddy or parents helping her out. I could get into the way us Brits view London, but that's not really on topic.
     
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  5. alpacinoutd

    alpacinoutd Senior Member

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    Thank you. Very informative.

    One question that arises here, there are so many houses in London. Who owns them?! Not all of them are owned by oil oligarchs, right?

    Let's say she rents a humble place outside London. She works her ass off and earns ten thousands pounds a month. She also leads a very frugal lifestyle. Wouldn't she be able to pay a deposit for a house in London?

    Actually, I'd like to know.
     
  6. NigeTheHat

    NigeTheHat Contributor Contributor

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    It's not totally unrealistic for her to buy a place on her own, for a given value of 'buy'. You can get a 35% share of a 1-bed flat in Croydon for £80k - that's where people buy a % of their flat and only pay rent on the other bit, so they get the joy of having both rent and a mortgage. But she would get to say she owned a house in London, if that's really what she wants.

    For something like that she'd probably need a deposit in the region of £10k and a salary in the region of £25-30k.

    If she's self-employed it gets more complicated, but TBH I'd probably just ignore that.

    That bit I'd struggle to believe.
     
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Of course not. Lots of people own houses.

    There are very few jobs where she's going to earn tens of thousands of pounds a month. The average UK wage is around £31k a year before tax, which equates to around £24k after tax. She could expect to easily spend £8-10k a year on rent.
     
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