HOUSING IN THE UK
The United Kingdom has a diverse population of approximately 63.2 million with 53 million living in England. The major towns and cities are fast expanding to cope with the increase in the population.
Urban Life or Countryside
The UK offers the choice of living in urban areas or in the countryside.
In urban areas people often live in flats, although it is also possible to live in houses with gardens. It is, however, unusual for properties to have a large garden, a drive way or a garage.
In villages there is comfortable and spacious accommodation with good links to nearby city centre which allows people to live outside of cities with the convenience of getting to work easily. This option also offers easy access to lakes, forests and woodlands during weekends.
Upon initially arriving in the UK many different types of accommodation are available to stay in. Options include renting a private house, flat sharing, staying in a hostel, private boarding or buying your own property.
Description of Houses
Most houses are made of brick or stone and are joined together in rows. These are known as terraced houses. Other types of houses include detached or semi-detached houses.
Houses usually consist of bedroom(s), living and dining room, kitchen and bathroom. It is common for gardens to be located at the back of the house.
Victorian or Georgian styles are very characteristic of architecture in England and large houses have now been converted into flats.
Characteristics of Victorian houses include bay windows, iron railings, patterns in the brickwork, stained glass in doorways and windows, decorations on the walls and roofs made of slate.
Characteristics of Georgian houses include pillars in the front of the house, square symmetrical shape, a paneled front door in the centre, sloping roof, paired chimneys and sash windows (windows which slide up and down).
Once you have decided on which type of accommodation you would like, a location, and a price range, there are many different ways to find a property to buy or rent. You will find plenty to choose from, depending on your taste and budget!
Prices for renting or buying properties differ greatly depending on which part of the UK you wish to settle in; London being the most expensive.
In March 2015, the average rental cost in the UK was £918 per month. The average price of a new home in UK was £272,000, and in England, £284,500, in February 2015.
London continues to have the highest average house price at £502,000 and average rental cost of a home at £1,500 per month.
In addition to the rent or mortgage, people need to pay Council tax and utility bills.
When you move into your accommodation you will need to find out who the current water, gas, electricity providers are. You may wish to compare their prices with their competitors and you will be free to open accounts with other providers, if you prefer to do so.