When you look at salaries, you will see 'inner London' & 'outer London' weightings. These are extra amounts added on to you basic salary, depending on the school's postcode, to assist with the extra cost of living in the capital. I think the amounts are published somewhere - you may be able to find them on the interweb. Apologies if you know this already! It is a good idea to live close to where you work. Travel can take ages in London, despite places looking close on a map. For me, I can get to work faster on a bike than I can on public transport. In addition, my bike journey is sometimes even faster than a car journey. Bikes can go down side streets, across parks, through alleyways etc! I would always suggest renting accommodation rather than buying, at least when you first move to a new place. You have the chance to sus out the area and are flexible and mobile if things need to change. Finally, the 'season' for jobs being advertised is about now. You may have noticed that there are loads of science posts for September 2012 appearing in the TES at the moment. There will be others throughout the year but never as many as in Jan / Feb.