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View Full Version : What if I moved to London for 2-3 months in a few weeks?


Asher
18-07-2008, 17:44:17
So apparently C++ gurus are in short supply these days. I've been working for the same US investment bank (under contract) for a couple years, but I'm moving on to new things.

I've been called by my company's London office since they found out I'm free after next Wednesday and I've got C++ experience and grid computing experience and financial markets experience. They've got a high profile grid computing application for a major UK investment bank that they need help on, for 2-3 months.

I'm being asked to go to London (the UK one, not the Ontario one) for 2-3 months, as soon as possible.

My main concern at this point is cost of living. They say they'll increase the pay for the duration to compensate, but I need to know I'm not going to get screwed.

They'll provide a furnished corporate apartment for me (not sure where yet) that I do not need to pay for (so I keep paying rent on my Toronto apartment for the duration), as well as an undisclosed food stipend. Additionally, they will fly me back to Toronto once a month or my SO out to London once a month for the duration.

For those familiar with the cost differences, how much of a % of pay increase should I expect if I have to live in London vs Toronto?

Lurker the Second
18-07-2008, 18:14:30
Pulled this:

According to Runheimer International, Toronto is one of the least expensive cities to live in the world. When compared to New York City, it is reported that the average cost (in US$) for a two-bedroom apartment is $4,275 in NYC, while it is $1,658 in Toronto.

An average cup of coffee is $3.35 in New York, and only $1.85 in Toronto. Their research shows a family of three making US$100,000/year would only need US$65,958 to live the same lifestyle in Toronto.

from here (http://www.torontokiosk.ca/costliving.php)

Not sure how old that data is. From my recent trip to London, I'd say the cost of living in London, in dollars, was not far off the cost of living in New York (excluding housing). London I suspect is higher, but I'm guessing no more tha 10% at current exchange rates. All guesses, though, plus I don't know about taxes.

You should already be in a position to compare Ontario to New York, so can take it from there.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
18-07-2008, 18:18:17
Pay increase on salary in US $?

Asher
18-07-2008, 18:21:19
In CDN $

Scabrous Birdseed
18-07-2008, 18:21:24
If you're being supplied with the appartment, then the big expense will be covered. London is expensive, sure, but it's the real estate that drives the cost of living to crazy levels.

Asher
18-07-2008, 18:22:15
Originally posted by Lurker the Second
Pulled this:



from here (http://www.torontokiosk.ca/costliving.php)

Not sure how old that data is. From my recent trip to London, I'd say the cost of living in London, in dollars, was not far off the cost of living in New York (excluding housing). London I suspect is higher, but I'm guessing no more tha 10% at current exchange rates. All guesses, though, plus I don't know about taxes.

You should already be in a position to compare Ontario to New York, so can take it from there.
Interesting. That's a massive difference.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
18-07-2008, 18:32:26
Agree with Scabby that shelter is the biggest factor.

There's a list from UBS, comparison at exchange rates excluding rent. London is about 26 % above Toronto:

http://www.ubs.com/1/g/media_overview/media_global/releases?newsId=137640

So assuming 50-70 % spent on non-shelter and some rounding, 15-20 % sounds about right for a guesstimate.

Beta1
18-07-2008, 19:10:53
After rent, transport is the next big cost most of the time.

If you want to compare rental values the two bed flat I rent out (in nice area on the zone 2/3 borders about 20-25 min from the center on the tube) is 1100 per month. Thats in SW london. North and central expect to pay more for less. Even with the current property price drops in the UK the london rental market, particularly in the mid range flats is very buoyant - our rental income has risen 10% in the last year and we probably could have realised 15% if we had pushed for it.

Noisy
18-07-2008, 21:01:01
Transport will be the killer if accommodation is covered. If you want to run a car and the apartment is in the charge zone, then you will be stung, and petrol is horrendous.

Provost Harrison
18-07-2008, 22:13:28
If the accommodation is covered I am sure you will be fine. You can get by in London quite cheaply as long as you do your research. You could be humble enough to ask some of us Londoners for advice while you are here you know, you have a great resource that very few immigrants would have.

alsieboo
18-07-2008, 22:32:53
London is shite, you don't want to go there. Think of all the english people you'd have to associate with.

Provost Harrison
18-07-2008, 23:05:56
Yeah, and think of all the terrorist attacks and knife crime. And we never did get rid of the black death or bubonic plague.

MOBIUS
18-07-2008, 23:07:33
Asher, you'll be fine. Most likely they'll put you up practically within walking distance of where you work - that way they can prey of the fact that you might as well do loads of overtime cos you don't know anyone in the country...

Canary Wharf is a nice place to work so you'll be sorted.

Provost Harrison
19-07-2008, 00:44:43
Always strikes me as a bit of a soulless place though. I'd rather live just across the river in Greenwich or Blackheath, personally :D

Not New Cross though :p

TCO
19-07-2008, 01:18:25
Dude if you're housing is being taken care of, DO IT. EVen just for same pay. London is way more fun than Toronto.

Housing cost is the big difference. You won't have an automobile. Eating or drinking out is similar. You'll save a little on utilities, but who cares.

How can you even debate it?

I had a blast on Navy reserve duty in London.

Provost Harrison
19-07-2008, 03:50:50
Thankyou TCO, this is what I said in the Poly counterpart to this thread. Enjoy the greatest city on Earth :beer:

MOBIUS would have you believe it is Cardiff. Silly man.

Asher
19-07-2008, 04:04:30
What is the weather like Aug through Oct?

Provost Harrison
19-07-2008, 04:15:11
Should be fairly pleasant even into October...in the high teens to low twenties...may just get into the thirties in August - but don't bet on it ;) You can bet on rain at some point though. Honestly, it isn't that bad climatically. I think you're looking for excuses, but just enjoy the experience. I am sure you and your boyfriend would love it - as we have said, there's something for everyone. And I think it is relatively cheap to fly over here and back nowadays so even if he is committed to stuff back at home he can come now and again. And boy, what a time to visit!

I know it is a daunting move but hell, you've got the best of both worlds...you get to sample it but go back home if you don't like it! And if you have Canadian citizenship, you'll find it a damn sight easier to move back (if you enjoy it) than an American citizen. I suspect you probably have dual citizenship? You can't lose buddy!

Provost Harrison
19-07-2008, 04:18:10
If you are unsure, have a talk with Starchild (Ross) about the move...he lived in your area of the world for a significant proportion of his life but now lives over here (in Brighton). Brighton has an absolutely thriving gay community...apparently something like 1/3 of the entire population is gay.

And it would be good to finally meet you. Hopefully resolve any misunderstandings we've had in the past! You may finally get to meet Keith and his numerous DLs too ;)

Asher
19-07-2008, 04:54:56
Originally posted by Provost Harrison
Should be fairly pleasant even into October...in the high teens to low twenties...may just get into the thirties in August - but don't bet on it ;) You can bet on rain at some point though. Honestly, it isn't that bad climatically. I think you're looking for excuses, but just enjoy the experience. I am sure you and your boyfriend would love it - as we have said, there's something for everyone. And I think it is relatively cheap to fly over here and back nowadays so even if he is committed to stuff back at home he can come now and again. And boy, what a time to visit!

I know it is a daunting move but hell, you've got the best of both worlds...you get to sample it but go back home if you don't like it! And if you have Canadian citizenship, you'll find it a damn sight easier to move back (if you enjoy it) than an American citizen. I suspect you probably have dual citizenship? You can't lose buddy!

It'll just be me, the boy will be in Waterloo (in Ontario!) going to school. So it's not overly daunting for me, I'll bring suitcase and my laptop and that's about it.

I've got dual citizenship but I can't vote in American elections and can vote in Canadian ones. Also have a Canadian passport (it gets me into Cuba).

It seems like a good opportunity. Something different. To be honest I will miss my home theatre though, all my games and movies. ;)

Provost Harrison
19-07-2008, 05:00:46
True, although I am sure the laptop will provide some consolation. And you never know, they should provide you with a fully furnished flat and you never know what you may get in there. Doubt you'd get a games console but you might get a decent TV as they're a lot cheaper nowadays.

The Shaker
19-07-2008, 14:09:56
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/greenwichdata.txt

TCO
19-07-2008, 14:29:30
dude it will be fun. sign up for walking tours of London. They are cheap and fun and you meet people.

MOBIUS
20-07-2008, 20:02:35
Originally posted by Provost Harrison
MOBIUS would have you believe it is Cardiff (the greatest city on Earth). Silly man.

Nah, it's a bit of a building site right now. Wait till the end of 2009 and then it will be...:beer:

Drake Tungsten
20-07-2008, 22:43:46
I would never suggest permanently living in a city like London or New York, but it might be fun for a few months if the pay is right.

mr_B
20-07-2008, 22:59:06
" if the pay is right "

FokU all, are you hookers?

Funko
21-07-2008, 08:07:16
Originally posted by Noisy
Transport will be the killer if accommodation is covered. If you want to run a car and the apartment is in the charge zone, then you will be stung, and petrol is horrendous.

Residents get a 90% discount on the congestion charge so it's more of an issue if you live outside the zone and want to drive in.

You wouldn't really want or need a car in London though. A monthly season ticket for public transport is between 100 and 160 depending which zones you need. 159 for zones 1-5 which would cover anywhere you'd reasonably want to go, and that includes buses, night buses, overground trains and tubes.

Drake Tungsten
21-07-2008, 21:37:03
Jesus, that's expensive. $81 a month lets you go anywhere in NYC.

Asher
21-07-2008, 21:40:56
I'm already paying $110/mo to go nowhere in Toronto on its dinky transit system.

Drake Tungsten
21-07-2008, 21:44:08
Well, now you get to pay $200+ a month to ride on un-airconditioned trains in the shitty London Underground.

MOBIUS
21-07-2008, 23:06:14
Yaaay!:D

Funko
22-07-2008, 07:52:19
And buses and overground trains.

*End Is Forever*
22-07-2008, 15:05:40
Agree with previous comments. If your accomodation is paid for then you'll be more than fine.

Funko
22-07-2008, 15:20:17
Fine AND dandy?

Asher
22-07-2008, 18:13:50
So for an update...

The latest news is this project may get delayed due to another project deemed higher importance by upper management is coming up.... it'll be based in Toronto.

So now the odds are I'll still be in Toronto for now, as the London project is likely being delayed til the new year. The drama. I should find out tomorrow for sure.