Author Topic: Mustachian places to live in the UK  (Read 3569 times)

Taffy

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Mustachian places to live in the UK
« on: August 18, 2015, 02:28:39 AM »
Partly inspired by this article in the Guardian, I wanted to ask UK mustachians for their take. Obviously the article is largely marketing content for an estate agents and the numbers are far too vague, but there is a solid core idea in there: where in the UK can you spend little but have a decent quality of life? Obviously this will be different depending on whether you are already FIRE or not (accessibility of work being the key differentiator).

Once we reach FIRE North Wales seems like a good bet to me (maybe Denbighshire or Conwy), with the caveat that some areas are heavily Welsh-speaking and quite anti-English (despite the username I'm not actually Welsh). The Western Isles of Scotland are a bit too isolated for my tastes, but the Highlands might work.

Pre-FIRE, avoiding London seems like good advice. In my line of work salaries are 20–30% higher in London, but when you factor in the cost of living and the 15 hours a week (or more) of commuting it's just not worth it.

force majeure

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 10:09:21 AM »
Looking at homes under the hammer on BBC this week. A guy was buying houses in Stoke and renovating them to rent or sell on. You can get a gaff for 35k. It might not be pretty, but if you fancy the great outdoors and financial freedom, thats a mustachian solution. Get another one to rent out, then add the surplus into yielding ETFs, drip feed the investment over time. Thats what I would do.
p.s. I get this from friends a lot…

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2lazy2retire

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 12:57:19 PM »
I wonder if there will come a time when Londoners will pay a premium with a city tax ( popular here in the US) for the privilege of living/working within the M25?

Taffy

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 03:13:09 PM »
I wonder if there will come a time when Londoners will pay a premium with a city tax ( popular here in the US) for the privilege of living/working within the M25?
You mean aside from the tax they pay in increased prices for everything, increased commuting time, and sanity?

daverobev

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 07:01:10 PM »
I'd say most non-South East is ok, outside the bigger cities - Manchester, Newcastle, etc - and of course the university towns, Durham, Bath.

Stoke's a bit rough but sure houses are cheap. North East, North West, dales, moors...
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Taffy

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 01:58:20 AM »
I'd say most non-South East is ok, outside the bigger cities - Manchester, Newcastle, etc - and of course the university towns, Durham, Bath.

Stoke's a bit rough but sure houses are cheap. North East, North West, dales, moors...
That's certainly Stoke's reputation. I've only driven through, so I can't really comment. Some other places with houses that cheap (Birkenhead, for example) are too scary for a delicate little flower like me.

The Dales, that's more like it. Alternatively you could say "feck it all" and move to the west coast of Ireland.


mubington

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 04:53:57 AM »
I've been looking at the South West, in Devon mainly. Like most of the country, there are expensive hotspots but also pockets of value. I guess it comes down to how much bleakness you can stomach.

force majeure

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 05:15:57 AM »
BBC1 tonight - documentary to view.. How the British spend their money.

On another point, the west of Ireland would be a great solution, with the current exchange rate Vs GBP, you would live like a king. Property is not cheap, (anywhere near the coast), compared to north of England.
p.s. I get this from friends a lot…

"What will you do?”
"Whatever the hell I feel like doing on any given day."

Taffy

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 05:26:25 AM »
I've been looking at the South West, in Devon mainly. Like most of the country, there are expensive hotspots but also pockets of value. I guess it comes down to how much bleakness you can stomach.
Peak bleakness being Princetown? I grew up in Devon and I'd be quite happy living on Dartmoor. My other half – probably not so much.

Closer to civilisation, bits of Torquay are surprisingly cheap (for the region). Now the town has become a bit seedy in recent years, but still a decent place to live with great beaches and boating nearby, good schools, fantastic countryside around. Better weather than the north of England too (Torquay is an average of three degrees warmer than Blackpool, to pick a northern resort town, and gets loads more sunshine).

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2015, 10:20:58 AM »
I'm trying to get the best of both with living in Cambridgeshire and working in London. The cost and time of the train are a pain, but will stop after FIRE and I'll have a paid off house. Cambs has flat land, loads of cycle lanes, great for mustachianism.

If OH stops work we'll probably try to move further north (probably dales).

I've stayed in Stoke and found it like most other cities - rougher and leafier areas, maybe slightly more rougher areas but nothing that would stop me moving there (I grew up in inner city Birmingham and was a soldier so maybe my tolerance for this is higher).

Would anyone recommend where they currently live?

eljay

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2015, 10:43:38 AM »
If you're still working I think East Midlands hits the sweet spot between house price/weather/job availability.

Agree on salaries being 25-30% higher in London, but you get get a 3-bed mid-terrace in a nice area for 125K in Nottingham/Leicester and general cost of living is vastly lower (going out/tradespeople etc). Plus commutes are reasonable (or bike!).

It still has good accessibility to London (1hr on train).

Rains a lot less than Wales/West Midlands/Scotland.

A long way from the beach though.

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mubington

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2015, 12:34:04 PM »
What about the best place, for those who work from home? I have been touring the UK this summer looking for a place to buy, after being a life long renter, but much as I appreciate the NHS and friends near by, I just can't shake the feeling that I would get much better value and perhaps even more sun, somewhere in Spain or Europe. Please choose for me!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 02:10:39 PM by mubington »

Taffy

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2015, 12:54:40 PM »
What about the best place, for those who work from home? I have been touring the UK this summer looking for a place to buy, after being a life long renter, but much as I appreciate the NHS and friends near by, I just can't shake the feeling that I would get much better value and perhaps even more sun, somewhere in Spain or Europe.
More sun abroad? Certainly. If you want to stay in the UK and have good (for the UK) weather, then it's hard to beat south Devon, as mentioned above. It's a bit spendy, but beautiful. On the continent I might choose somewhere like Porto. Cultured, cheap(ish), warm. Away from the expat ghettos of the Algarve and the Costa del Sol and Watney's Red Barrel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz2LaJOVAiA

cerat0n1a

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 02:17:08 PM »
Pretty much anywhere in the UK is more expensive than most of France. (I.e if you avoid obviously expensive places like Paris, cote d'azur, provence). Check out house prices in Limousin, for example.

The office of national statistics has a nice map showing average prices across England & Wales. You can zoom in to individual areas within towns & cities.

http://visual.ons.gov.uk/house-prices-in-your-area/

Nothing too surprising. Further away from London you go, the cheaper it tends to be. Holiday/2nd home hotspots (Devon/Cornwall coast, national parks) are a bit more expensive. Not so nice urban areas are cheaper. Obviously averages will hide a lot of variation within an area and doesn't take into account that the average house in some places may be bigger/nicer than others.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 02:50:40 PM by ceratonia »

ozzage

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2015, 03:43:36 PM »
Would anyone recommend where they currently live?

Ealing. Recommended? Yes it's lovely. For FIRE? Hell no - people in other countries would be shocked at the prices (buy or rent) for property here, considering it's not even central London. It's one of those "we've decided we like it enough to just take the hit for a while" decisions to stay here.

UnleashHell

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 08:05:40 AM »
you could do worse than look at the Norfolk coast. I quickly looked and found a couple of places for under 100k.
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kvaruni

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2015, 08:21:25 AM »
Northern Ireland in general is very reasonable. It might not be the easiest option for some due to lingering political tensions, but you can really get bargains here. City centre is around £300,000 for a detached two bedroom, but what constitutes "centre" is absurdly small. Move out of the centre and you can snatch up three bedrooms of less than 30 years old for £75,000. Those are all within an easy bike commute from the centre. NI got hit, just like ROI, with a serious property bubble and now you can reap the effects. Also, your home is washed daily and water is free, so two big plusses thanks to the lovely weather in these parts. Utilities are top notch around the Belfast area, so expect anything from cheap and fast internet to very efficient grocery delivery. I personally wouldn't hesitate to FIRE here (just not too fond of UK education in general).

cerat0n1a

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Re: Mustachian places to live in the UK
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2015, 03:04:59 PM »
you could do worse than look at the Norfolk coast. I quickly looked and found a couple of places for under 100k.

Really? Where was this?

The North Norfolk coast is the kind of place that people retire to; wouldn't expect it to be all that cheap. (Burnham Market is known as Chelsea-on-sea for a reason...) Cromer/Sheringham area is often right up the rankings in terms of being the sunniest place in the UK.

I'm sure there's cheap property in Yarmouth or Lowestoft, but a lot of crime & deprivation too. I think the fens West of Kings Lynn towards Spalding & Lincolnshire gets pretty cheap. Horticulture is the big industry round there, lot of cheap smallholdings.