Thinking of Moving to Ilfracombe? Go for it.

The Personal View of an Ex-Londoner

I would say that the best decision I made was moving to Ilfracombe from my home in Walthamstow, London. Not that I hated Walthamstow, specifically. I had lived most of my forty plus years in London and hated most of it. Not the city itself, and not individual people, but the cost of living just drives everything and everybody until it becomes the most impersonal and unfriendly place in the country.

Not that everything is perfect here, but compared to London I would not swap back for any (plausible) reason. Sure if you paid me a million pounds to live there then I would go back, but if I won a million pounds I would stay in Ilfracombe.

Pro and cons of London compared to Ilfracombe

And for London you could read Birmingham or most other big cities as well.

Ilfracombe

  • Vastly less traffic, my son and I no longer require asthma pumps on daily basis. Drivers are annoyingly polite.
  • You get to know loads of people really quickly and you can’t get down the High Street without having to stop for a chat. Don’t upset people though because you still have to see them
  • Some jobs are seasonal but there are still plenty of good jobs. Even working in Barnstaple you only have half an hour each way by car.
  • No, it is NOT perfect here either. If anything some drugs are more readily available. And yes there is violent crime, but not so much, and the papers are mainly full of stories about dog crap, or pesky seagulls.
  • People still moan but mostly those who have lived here all their lives and don’t realise that it’s worse in big cities.
  • Some incredible local talent with most venues offering free live music weekly, a great little theatre, cinema, and night club and a night out needn’t break the bank.
  • We sold our three edroom end of terrace house in E17 (a low value part of London) and bought a seven bedroom terraced house in the centre of town. We had £30,000 left after all costs.
  • House price info from Right Move
    “The majority of sales in Ilfracombe during the last year were terraced properties, selling for an average price of £144,794. Flats sold for an average of £130,925, with detached properties fetching £230,006.Ilfracombe, with an overall average price of £166,160 was cheaper than nearby Woolacombe (£307,735), Combe Martin (£178,171) and Braunton (£248,692).

    Overall sold prices in Ilfracombe over the last year were similar to the previous year and 16% down on the 2008 level of £197,112.”

London

  • Traffic pollution, congestion, and road safety issues. Asthma was a big problem. Took ages to drive anywhere.
  • People rarely know their neighbours, and nobody talks on public transport, or in the street. Surrounded by people, you can still feel completely alone.
  • Huge choice of job opportunities, some jobs can only be found in the biggest cities. Often you have to commute for two or more hours a day just to get to work.
  • Street violence, drunkenness and abusive behaviour fairly common in a lot of areas. Drugs and drug crime all too common, local papers full of stories about stabbings and shootings.
  • People moaning about things like overcrowding on the tube, traffic, the cost of living, pollution, and each other.
  • Top west end shows and huge international music acts (if you can afford them) immense choice of restaurants, nightlife, tourist attractions (except you never really visit them do you?)
  • Property prices are high in London. If you own your own home then you can probably trade up and get some money left over for yourself. If you are renting then the chances are you will get a better deal in Ilfracombe
  • House price info from Right Move 
    “Last year most property sales in London involved flats which sold for on average £391,595. Terraced properties sold for an average price of £507,732, while semi-detached properties fetched £469,713.London, with an overall average price of £456,932 was more expensive than nearby South East (£296,292),

    During the last year, sold prices in London were 8% up on the previous year and 12% up on 2010 when the average house price was £406,347.”

So what are you waiting for?

House prices in town are finally on the rise so there couldn’t be a better time to buy. There are signs of investment and improvements going on all over town right now, with some high quality new shops opened up lately, and every likelihood of a resurgence in the town in the coming years.

Estate Agents in Ilfracombe

 

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