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Hello everyone! I just received the good news that I am going to be working in the UK real soon! My place of work will be in the Hammersmith area and I am moving with my husband and 5 year old son. I am new to this forum so I was not sure how to search info so I just started a new thread :). I have a couple of questions if anyone has any info I would be forever grateful:

1. What good areas with good free schools are in the hammersmith area?
2. What is the process for school aged children when they transfer? my son already started kindergarten here in the US
3. What is a reasonable rent rate for a 2 bedroom flat
4. What are the fixed expenses that UK residents normally have? I need must haves and nice to haves (i.e. electricity vs. cable)

Thanks! And I'll post more questions as the reality of moving across the ocean sinks in :plane:
 

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1 and 2. Here is a link with information about Hammersmith schools and how to apply. Additionally you can look up league tables:

Education and learning - Hammersmith & Fulham

3. Reasonable is a subjective term. Here are some property websites so you can see what you can expect to pay for a 2 bedroom flat where you plan to live:

Primelocation: Homes & Houses For Sale, Estate Agents, Property Search
UK's number one property website for properties for sale and to rent
FindaProperty.com Houses for sale, rent, estate agents & house prices

4. Expenses:

Water
Electric
Gas
Council Tax (varies by borough and size of property, info can be found on council website)
TV Licence (about £12/month)
Commuting (Oyster Card)

I guess all the following could be optional:

Landline
Mobile Phone
Cable and Internet
Content's Insurance
 

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Thanks! How about furniture and appliances?

Thank you for the reply nyclon :) i will check out those links. I also wanted to ask what furniture to bring. We were thinking of bringing a couch, a tv, my sons bed, a playstation, and a bose sound system. I know the voltage is different there so we were thinking about just buying transformers. Any thoughts on that?
 

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Thank you for the reply nyclon :) i will check out those links. I also wanted to ask what furniture to bring. We were thinking of bringing a couch, a tv, my sons bed, a playstation, and a bose sound system. I know the voltage is different there so we were thinking about just buying transformers. Any thoughts on that?
I'd be cautious with furniture, as British houses are typically small with small doors, staircases and entrances, so bulky furniture may not even get in! As for TV, if it's modern flatscreen LCD, LED or plasma, you will need, as well as a step-down transformer (which you can get here), a digital PAL > NTSC converter like PAL to NTSC Video Converter | PAL to NTSC Video Conversion | Pal Video converter | pal to ntsc TV converter | convert ntsc to pal | convert pal to ntsc | Pal TV converter. I have no experience with any of the products listed so it's not a personal recommendation. Playstation will work with your TV (of course), but probably won't playback any games you buy in UK because of regional coding. Sound system is fine.
 

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Thank you for the reply nyclon :) i will check out those links. I also wanted to ask what furniture to bring. We were thinking of bringing a couch, a tv, my sons bed, a playstation, and a bose sound system. I know the voltage is different there so we were thinking about just buying transformers. Any thoughts on that?
Flats tend to be on the small side. As long as your couch isn't huge and overstuffed, you should be fine. We brought an average sized couch and we did have to discount 1 flat because it wouldn't have fit up the bend in the stairway but that was it. We also brought a king sized bed and have had no problem. We did however take the opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff because we knew we would be moving into a smaller space. The TV probably isn't going to work properly and as mentioned the playstation and bose system should be fine. Other small appliances would require bulky transformers and there is still no guarantee that they will work properly. Our lamps have been fine with a plug converter and a surge protector just for good measure.

Something else to consider, in London furnished flats are common.
 

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Have you thought about living a bit outside Hammersmith? I'd recommend Barnes or East Sheen (in Richmond Borough) as very child friendly areas...

You'll find some fabulous state primary schools in this area, but secondary education can be tricky in the state sector in much of London. There are some grammar schools with selective entrance and a lot of private and very expensive schools.... Many families move further out of London when their children get to secondary school age because of the schooling issue.
 
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