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Moving to Yell as a single person


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#1 Derek2008

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 09:54 PM

Hi everyone. I’m sorry that this is yet another post asking for advice on moving to Shetland! I am a single female in my 30s and I have been looking at buying a property on Yell (preferably) or Whalsay, if someone will let me re-mortgage from my house in Nottingham. I work as a registered nurse down here but am open to a job change so long as I can pay my bills.

I work 50-60 hours a week and feel stuck in the rat race, constantly spending my money on this, that and everything else. I am from rural Yorkshire so the weather isn’t something that I’m concerned about. I am aware of how isolating it can be, etc. My questions are:

• Car maintenance: am I better off just buying another car over there that is a bit more adjusted to the saltwater and weather? I currently drive a 2004 Lexus RX-300 as I have an enormous dog.
• Socialising. I’m not big on going out at all and I’m not massively sociable but at the same time I’m aware that I’m in my 30s and would be living in the most remote part of the U.K... are there opportunities to integrate and meet people in the islands like Yell or Whalsay?
•Finances: am I dreaming when I think that I could maybe grow a few vegetables and not have the opportunity to waste my money all the time? I have coeliac disease so I’m guessing that Tesco will be the only real place that can cater for my gluten free diet (which is expensive anyway). Is the cost of living in general much higher than the mainland with council tax, bills etc?
•Work: I’m not too bothered about being an RN if there aren’t opportunities there as there don’t seem to be that many jobs and the likelihood of being able to maintain an effective work schedule when the ferries are off timetable during the winter seem to be slim.
•Ferries: as I will be moving on my own with just my dog, how likely is it that I could get stuck due to ferry problems, if I did have to commute to Lerwick? I use doggy daycare here but I can’t risk having to leave him for vast amounts of time if I can’t get home.

My family are not supportive of this potential move at all as it is so expensive for them to visit or for me to leave (I do like to travel when I can) but I am desperate for a slower pace, a nicer community (gun and knife crime is a real issue in Nottingham again) and some space for my dog and for myself, instead of living on top of others like you do in England. The Scandinavian influence and the Archaeology (I have a degree in that!) also make it very appealing, as I like to be close to culture.

Sorry for the long message and thanks for any potential replies!
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#2 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:13 PM

• Car maintenance: You don't see many 2004 reg cars up here, I don't know if the climate gets to them or if most people can afford something a bit newer.

 

• Socialising: probably more opportunities than you would get in a city. Most activities that are not provided by the council are organised by volunteers, usually permutations of the same people. A new face is often welcomed.

 

•Finances: as far as I know council tax in Shetland is comparatively low. Shopping can be expensive. You either use a local shop that has to keep its prices high to survive ot spend money on fuel to go to Tesco in Lerwick.

 

•Work: The Shetland Health Board regularly complain they can't recruit. In general Shetland has a problem with there being not enough people to fill available jobs.

 

•Ferries: you won't be the only one with a problem if ferries can't run (which is rare). Employers will have policies on what to do.



#3 CrashBox

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:47 PM

I moved up from the Midlands five years ago and it's been the best thing I've ever done, so just do it. House prices in and around Lerwick are comparable with much of the rest of the UK but are much cheaper the further from town you go. I live up on Unst and I was in a position to buy my 3-bedroom house outright. That definitely wouldn't have been the case pretty much anywhere else in the country. Due to not having a mortgage, I find I'm much better off financially than I would be down south. Can't really advise you on the other stuff, other than agreeing with Joannie regarding NHS Shetland having difficulty with recruiting medical staff. Oh, and the ferries are generally pretty good given their extreme age and the climate they have to endure. And all the pre-2004 cars are up on Yell, Unst, and Fetlar, with no MOT.  :razz:  



#4 Derek2008

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 11:08 PM

Your replies are making me want to just go for it! I am originally from a small town which was both coastal and semi- rural so I know all too well how brutal the winds off the North Sea can be and how long it can take the feeling in your face to come back, but sometimes I miss that when I’m breathing in the polluted air down here.

My concerns are mostly financial, I guess. I would be bringing with me £10,000 in debt with £200 a month loan payments, plus my family leant me the deposit for my house so I pay them back £300 a month as well as my mortgage. Here in the Midlands I’m able to keep doing extra shifts to pay my debts but I’ve found it’s affecting my health and I have no life!

Does anyone grow their own food? In an ideal world I would grow a few veg and maybe have a few chickens but I don’t know how much chickens like the Shetlands! My dog would be fine as he’s a Newfoundland so the weather would suit him better anyway.

Thanks again for your advice.
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#5 The Cleaner

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 11:37 PM

Yes ofcourse some people do grow their own & keep hens too, we are not in the Arctic circle lol. You will find some stuff on YouTube (if you haven't already) about Shetland. I think that you would find both our supermarkets (the Co-op & Tescos) will cater for your diet plus a couple of independent shops in town, Scoop & The Healthcraft Shop. Some local shops now stock specific products for special diets too. I don't want to discourage you or anybody but would it not be best to visit once at least before making such a life change? That would maybe ease your families concerns a bit. Good luck.
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#6 Acid

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:23 AM

Nothing is impossible. 

Have you visited Shetland before? I would suggest a couple of holidays here, one in Summer and one in Winter. 

That will give you a idea of what the islands are like, and you can tour around, with dog, and see what there is here, plus you can speak to people face on about the islands, plenty of tea rooms to have a jabber with folk. 


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#7 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:03 PM

Your family are being a bit over protective and possibly dont want you to go for thier own feelings. You need to do what is right for yourself not friends and family, sounds selfish but you get one shot at life so dont live with regrets you didnt try something, i am sure you will love rural life on Shetland and Yell, Go for it ! ;)
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#8 paulb

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:10 PM

there is a job going for a band 6 district nurse in yell at the moment. you wont get overtime. however you will be on call. it can be lonely. even with family.



#9 Derek2008

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:21 PM

I contacted the health board today and they said there are no vacancies but I did read about the band 6 on another post, which has now been filled. It’s a shame as that would have been perfect but I didn’t look early enough!

I am quite the adventurer but I also worry about house maintenance as I’m guessing the weather gives the roof and windows a pounding?

For those asking, I have visited before and I particularly loved the Scandinavian feel. I guess my main worries are loneliness and finances, although I don’t think I’ll spend as much without a giant Pets At Home, IKEA and 4 supermarkets within 5 minutes of me!

#10 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 08 August 2018 - 08:42 PM

some nice properties for sale on Yell

 

www.estateagencyshetland.co.uk

 

including a 4 bed cottage for 125k !



#11 Suffererof1crankymofo

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 12:13 AM

What about renting your house out and re-mortgaging?  Buy-to-let mortgages are usually available.  Speak to a mortgage broker and local estate agents to see what rental income you could realistically expect each month, not forgetting overheads such as their commission, Gas Safety and Electricity certificates, etc.

Have you considered a change of career, say being a private carer?  I'm wondering if you could do that and perhaps be say bank staff for nursing?  Not sure about the practicalities around that?  It isn't uncommon for people to have two, or even three part-time jobs up here.

It's worth bearing in mind too the legalities surrounding leaving a dog alone  (most animal charities recommend no more than four hours and that's reflected in Scottish law) and it might not be so easy to get a dogsitter on the outer isles.

Re coeliac disease:  check out https://www.shb.scot...tetics/gffs.aspin addition to the outlets listed above.


Edited by Suffererof1crankymofo, 09 August 2018 - 12:14 AM.


#12 The Cleaner

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 12:59 AM

Re your last post D. The weather up here can certainly get pretty wild at times in the winter but I can't say that I'm aware of folk here doing any or at least not much extra maintenance on their roofs, windows etc. than would be usual. I'm not a home owner though so maybe someone who is can confirm that or not. On the plus side as you will have seen, we have a lack of trees in most parts of Shetland so there's little likelihood of one being blown into your house. Also we generally get less frequent/severe lightening storms here (though they do happen), something to do with being a smaller land mass I think. There are less shops to tempt the money out of your pocket but fuel bills for house & car are very likely dearer. You would probably need to just be very frugil with your money to begin with until you get a feel for what your costs are going to be. Hey if you can deal with Ikea you are braver than me & will no doubt cope with the ups & downs of Shetland life!

#13 Frances144

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:23 AM

Everywhere is desperate for social care workers.  They would snap you up.

 

Move up.  (Best decision I ever made.)



#14 Derek2008

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:37 AM

Again, thanks everyone! In regards to leaving my dog, that’s an interesting one as I don’t see how I could do it logistically if I can’t leave him. Being a Newfie he’s very chilled out anyway. This is my fourth day off and he’s hardly moved because he just lays in the kitchen all the time! Also, I have no idea how to get him there. Logan Air won’t fly him as he’s too heavy and he’s too big to fit into the kennels on NorthLink so unless they make an exception for him, I can’t come anyway which seems ridiculous.

I have seen the carer jobs with the council and they seem to pay as much as RN jobs which is what I would need to satisfy a mortgage provider as I have debts too so they expect a fair wage in order to give me the mortgage. From what I understand I wouldn’t be in the market for renting as it’s around 3x more than a mortgage payment would be!

#15 Roachmill

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:42 AM

I've never done it (cats FTW  :razz:) but I've heard of folk leaving their dogs in their cars on the ferry. That may get around the kennels not catering for small bears / Newfoundlands.



#16 Derek2008

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 10:55 AM

I thought about that but I can’t really risk temperature changes in the car as Newfies overheat extremely easily and he’s also an anxious soul so I think he would either suffer heatstroke or completely wreck my car. I’ll speak to NorthLink again but if they say no then maybe I’ll have to look at the route to Orkney and then up to Shetland or something. It would be ridiculous if there wasn’t a way to get a dog up there!

#17 Frances144

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:20 AM

I take my Icelandic horses to and from Shetland on the boat in my horsevan.

 

To stop them overheating and to maintain a good thru-flow of air, I bought two small battery powered desk fans which we put on as we board the boat.  I also open all windows and give them unlimited water, popping down at midnight (with the crew's permission) to check everyone is fine and give more water if required.

 

With dogs, when I have travelled them in my car, I have done the same - gone down at midnight and walked my dog about so he could have a pee on the cardeck.  The dog was absolutely fine in the morning.

 

Apart from lights always being on the cardeck, the car doesn't actually get that hot and all my dogs (and horses) have travelled fine, not over-heating and not minding in the slightest.

 

I probably worry more upstairs in my cabin! :oops:



#18 Roachmill

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:47 AM

Well I hope you can work something out. Frances offers some sage advice and I can't imagine the car deck being anywhere close to warm through the night. I do get the fear of climbing into your car come the morning though... only to find it filled with chewed up seat foam and a dog with "Who me?" written all over their face ;) Perhaps a vet could advise on a little something to calm his nerves?

 

And, unless you're hell-bent on living on an island off and island, I wouldn't rule out being able to afford a house on the mainland. Properties "full of country charm" [read: old and needing work] can be had for a good price. We got our house down the south end for the asking price FWIW. It could be worth renting for a few months (if you can find somewhere to rent!) which would give you time to look around, get a feel for the place and not end up with a house and the desire to move back south 6 months down the line.

It'd also easy finding work if you're better able to accomodate unusual shifts (I have first hand experience of nursing shift "patterns" at the Gilbert Bain and others in the caring professions who all do night shifts in amongst seemingly random daily shifts. I take my hat off to them, I really do!



#19 Wheelsup

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 12:58 PM

You could look at  Shetland Islands Council for work, they have a few, very nice, care homes, which nowadays also deals with a lot of unwell elderly people.  Might even find they pay more than NHS. 



#20 Derek2008

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 11:20 PM

The council do indeed pay more than the NHS! I have just got home from the supermarket where I had to have the police follow me home because I was being followed by a black car... this kind of behaviour really is one of the reasons why I want to at least try somewhere with communities and nice people.

As for housing, I have seen an old school house on the north of the mainland that is up for sale but most of the nicest (and affordable for my budget) housing seems to be on Yell.