Borough Market in London
Borough Market in London
Borough Market in London

Moving to England

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Moving to UK: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to UK.

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What do I need to know before moving to England?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to England, they said:

"There's a lot of red tape in England and it was difficult for me to start up here. Utility bills up to three years prior, from former homes, were requested, making finding a house to rent on my own an impossibility. Lucky for me, I rented a house with my brother for the first six months and managed to find a council house that was made available for a single Mum," explained one expat living in Sheffield, UK.

"When you first move to London, you definitely want to live somewhere in the center, preferably the west end side of it, as this is where you will find the majority of other expats," said another expat in London.

"If you are coming here for work, try to get them to pay for a relocation expert. I also brought my dog with me and went through the PETS travel scheme. The process takes six months and you have to complete all the steps exactly in order and within the correct time frame or your animal does not get in. If you are even thinking about living or working in London and you have a pet then start the process asap. I also recommend Virgin Atlantic for pet travel. They are really efficient and good at what they do. I had no problems getting my dog over here. Probably the biggest obstacle so far has been the weather and people tend not to be friendly for a very long time," added another expat who made the move to London.

"You can look for rental/purchase properties online and that will give you a good idea of the cost of living. Also, if you can see any outside pictures, look at the background! This area is very nice because you have a fairly large town with a fairly low crime rate, and the outer villages are countrified and charming. Plus it is on the coast, if you like the sea and one of the sunniest parts of the UK. Now, don't all rush over here at one time!!! Lol," explained one expat living in Colchester, UK.

"Pay for a full structural survey if you buy. It's expensive, but worth it for the peace of mind. Make sure you take insurance for the stuff you move - replacement value. Shed as much as you can before moving if coming from the US, as you could easily have less space in a UK home. Check out an area at dinner time, so you see how good/bad parking really is, rather than just looking at a property during the day, when the street may be empty. Very important if you don't get off street parking guaranteed with your place. If you rent, go through the lease and the "condition" of the home listing very carefully - note even the most insignificant looking pre-existing "problems" you have with the property, so it does not come back to be your problem later in trying to retrieve a deposit," said another in London.

"Research the area and look at the crime rate. Find a place near work or with easy access by bus/train," explained one expat who made the move to Stockport.

How do I find a place to live in England?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Living in UK GuideLiving in UK Guide

Expats in the United Kingdom live in one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Its four countries - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - offer expats a broad range of expatriate experiences.

UK Forum UK Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in UK.

Healthcare in UKHealthcare in UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons.

Cost of Living in UKCost of Living in UK

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in UK.

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Real Estate in UKReal Estate in UK

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in UK.

Pros Cons of Living in UKPros & Cons of Living in UK

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Retiring in UKRetiring in UK

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Contribute to UK Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in UK.

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