After receiving the news that you will be moving to London it’s tempting to start packing and head overseas to begin searching London flats for the perfect place to call home. Before your feet ever touch British soil there is much to do to ensure you find the best flat for your needs.  Although it’s highly recommended that you hire a London relocation agency to aid in moving to London from America there is much you can do before even talking to them.  Ideally, you should already have in mind how much you can afford in a flat, what neighborhoods you are interested in living, and what amenities you need both in your flat and nearby.

One of the best places to gain information about London is on forums.  There are many forums dedicated to London flats, moving to London from America and London neighborhoods.  By reading through archived forum discussions and starting your own discussions you can relevant information from locals and expats alike. Official tourist websites and books are great for pointing out museums and hotels but are not that helpful when it comes to understanding the vibe of a neighborhood.  You are the only one who knows what neighborhood dynamics will fit you most (or you can tolerate) and only by talking to real people living in those London neighborhoods can you determine what stays on the list of places to see and what gets crossed off.

Newspapers are almost all online today.  Use that to your advantage and begin scanning the classified ads to learn about standard prices for flats.  Remember, though, that prices often are by the week as opposed to by the month here in the States.  Mistaking the two could cost you big bucks!  Relocation services are very helpful in deciphering advertisements but for just a general idea of what the market is doing you can keep an eye on local papers.

Even if you are on a tight budget there are certain amenities you will need.  If you are a single woman safety should be your top concern.  If you are only staying for a short time you might need a furnished flat.  If you have a family close proximity to a park and playground will be necessary.  All of these amenities, both inside and outside of the flat should be listed and shared with potential landlords or your relocation service to avoid looking at flats which absolutely will not work for you.

There are many wonderful flats and chances are you can find one that is perfect for you and your family no matter what your budget may be.  With that said you must do your part in researching the market, keeping tabs on neighborhoods and being vocal and persistent in your demands.  The move to a new country is stressful enough without the added hassle of choosing from flats you know nothing about.