Readers' Submissions

Living In London

  • Written by Anonymous
  • August 14th, 2003
  • 4 min read


By Top Cat



Thanks for your latest article. Now I'm going to make you feel good.

You stated comparative salaries earned in New York and London. I cannot comment on New York as I've never been there. However I used to live in London up until 1991 but direct comparisons with prices then and now are not relevant.

You mentioned a salary of 30k Sterling as being easily attainable in London. As a teacher you may just be able to attain this. High salary's are paid in the City 100k is not unusual but you would have to be an experienced trader etc. who can earn money for clients etc. Since the money dealt with is in telephone numbers the 100k looks small next to it. I knew a girl who worked in the City and she was on big bucks. But she added there was no security and it was not uncommon for people to be made redundant and never be able to get another job again in the City. This would not be down to malpractice but the volatility of the markets and changes in the economy. This girl personally knew high flyers who got made redundant and are now unemployed, taxi drivers, postman etc. Bit of a come down.

OK the Sticks decide to up sticks and come to London. First of all you need somewhere to live. Why not buy a place. House prices are one of the nations talking points and an Englishman's home is his castle. What does a flat cost in the suburbs? Well I lived in North West London which has a massive Irish contingent and it is fairly typical suburbia.

To look at property prices in this area you could go to www.rightmove.co.uk (which is the U.K.'s No. 1 residential property site) and type in the post code NW2 which covers part of North West London . I've just done this and the cheapest property I found was for 230k sterling. I also searched two places called Dalston and Hackney which are rough. Cheapest price there 160k sterling.

To buy residential property in the UK money is borrowed from a lender by way of a mortgage. (unless your paying cash). Assuming that you would require a mortgage of around 100% i.e. you haven't got a lump sum in cash to put down as a deposit then a maximum sum lent is generally at the rate of 3 times a single persons salary or if its a couple 3 times the joint salary.

So assuming you both got work permits both got jobs at 30k each you would be able to live in one of the worst suburbs in London.

30k x 2 = 60k then

60k x a multiplier of 3 = 180k.

If Mrs Stick was unable to work for whatever reason then you could not afford to buy a property.

I checked out rentals these start at about 1k sterling per month for a 1 bedroom flat i.e. 12k per year.

On top of this you've got all the massive problems with the cost of living, crime, transport etc.

Quality of life? My sister's a Primary School teacher and can confirm that teaching and preparation account for 12 hours + per day. Bit less on a weekend.

I am professionally qualified, live in the North East of England (Geordieland) and earn in excess of 30k sterling which is good for here as property etc. is cheaper (50% +) than London and the South East.

So if your happy with your lifestyle in Bangkok but not the salary then do not ever consider moving to London. As your wealth will not improve and you won't have a lifestyle to think about. Unless your idea of bliss is sitting indoors 7 nights a week watching soaps on T.V. because that's all you can afford and you can't leave the flat empty anyway because you'll be burgled.

If you still fancy a change then the weather is better in Thailand anyway. To sample an equivalent lifestyle in Thailand to that in London go to Isaan and work in the paddy fields. You'll work long hours for shit money, live in a hovel (by western standards) and have no social life.

Occasionally I get approached discreetly to work in London. The first thing I mention is that a salary of 100k sterling minimum has to be paid. The offer falls at the first fence. Then I put them straight on house prices cost of living and they see my point plus I want to be compensated for working in a dump like London anyway. It then works out I'm better staying where I am and the potential employer agrees.

But they have to add that my London salary expectations are outrageous as no one will pay that sort of money in my profession! I have to point out they approached me, I don't want to work in London hence the high rewards required to make it look tempting.

My advice. I've only ever been to Don Muang airport and travelled to and from it therefore my experience of Bangkok is nil. However it does sound a good place to live. London is definitely not.

Stickman says:

While not about Bangkok at all, this article gives those of us in Bangkok serious food for thought, and in many ways makes us realise just how lucky we are here.