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Getting an idea of costs for living in London

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oscgerst
2/12/2018 15:18 EST

My wife and I are trying to figure out our next steps now that we are getting older and our kids are out of the house. We have talked about different possibilities including living in Italy or London (we are currently in the US as citizens). We met in London and love the city and now realize that it's the right place for us. I am overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on the internet related to living in London and buying property.

I am hoping that someone can either provide specifics to my questions or point me in the right direction.

1) Moving to London - as a US Citizen can we live there? How long? It is my understanding that a US citizen can live in London for 3 months and then must leave for 3 months - essentially allowing for 6 months in London during a year period. Is this true?

2) Buying property in London (central London) - I know this is crazy and expensive especially if we are not living there full year, but I have worked hard my entire life and have saved a bunch and really want to do this (although admittedly would probably try to rent/AirB&B if possible instead). BUT, assuming we bought a 1 bedroom flat in central london for 1 million pounds, I have the following questions:
- I understand there is leasehold and freehold. Being from the US clearly leasehold scares me and freehold sounds "better". I have read that if you have a leasehold you want at least 80 years left on the lease, but again it sounds like freehold is much better. Thoughts?
- Assuming I found a freehold for let's say 1 million pounds. What other immediate charges are there (for the purchasing) and what can I expect for monthly or yearly charges? e.g., stamp tax? council tax? I'm used to a property in NYC and there is a monthly maintenance which covers real estate taxes and other things.
- Same question as above but for a leasehold.

Thanks in advance!

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00abuse

BigWorld
2/12/2018 20:00 EST

I may be wrong but I do not think you will find much help on this expat forum so I recommend you look for others forums to try and get some answers to your questions.

I have done some of this research on this exact topic over the last year or so for my own retirement plans so if you want to send me a pm, we could start a dialog.

Best of luck.

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00abuse

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