Moving 2 UK...need help choosing area to buy in!(22 Posts)
Hi there. We are going to be moving to the UK in a few months. We want to purchase a property for under 600k. My hubby will be working from home most of the time, but will occasionally be required to go to his office in central London. He is considering driving to work if necessary and is therefore not too fussy about being close to a subway station. However, this would be an added bonus. Our main priority is our two kids aged 8 & 10. We want to move to an area which has good state schools and which is safe and relatively 'chav' free. We were considering the following areas....your comments on these areas will be much appreciated:
Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent
We seem to be leaning more towards Epsom, Guildford & Croxley Green at the moment, but I would love to hear your opinions on these areas. Thanks!
I lived (very briefly) in Dorking near Guildford and reckon it fits most of your requirements, but I dont know the area really well.
I used to live in a village just outside Epsom that was nice, DD went to a really good primary school there, quite chav free. Epsom itself has the propensity for chaviness though, as does any large town really. Cheam is nice, and has good schools (Nonsuch etc)
Preezie - No matter what area you search in, you will almost always find a chav element. I ask my clients to focus more on the issues that are important to them and their families - proximity to good schools, manageable commute times, accessibility of lifestyle & leisure activities, type of property to suit family needs, etc. Once you you've done this all other issues can be considered in context. Good luck with the move.
Not Maidstone! West Malling next to Kingshill is very nice. Kingshill is a new development. Tunbridge Wells is lovely too. What about Bucks? Marlow, Beaconsfield etc?
Actually, I'd recommend renting when you first move - that way you will have time to look around all the areas you mentioned, and individual houses. You can also visit schools and do some research into what else each area offers (for adults and children). I don't know about house prices in the areas you're looking at, but in North Wiltshire £600k would buy a lot of house!
I grew up near Guildford and lived around the area for most of my life. Godalming is lovely as is Farnham. Farnham has an excellent state school - often judged to be the best in the country - for ages 4 to 11. There is also lots to do there with children.
I can't speak for the other areas, but these areas meet most of your criteria.
I would also recommend you rent first. Find a school you love, rent to get your children in there and then buy wherever you like (that is accessible for school) in 6 months.
You seem to be focusing on areas that are known for being nice/expensive and in a definite commuter belt, so you won't necessarily get much for £600k. If your DH only needs to commute to London on the odd day I would seriously consider going much further our of London, but somewhere very nice like Norwich or Kenilworth or similar, where the pace/quality of life is more pleasant but access to London is still easy by train.
Kings Hill/West Malling are both very nice but the surrounding area generally is not that great to be honest. The villages are often lovely but the towns can be rough to say the least. Although I sort of agree with HomeSearcher that there will always be an undesirable element in any large town.
If you'd consider village life instead of a city or town there are some lovely places on the Essex/Suffolk border like Dedham & Stratford St Mary. Then the train from Manningtree is around an hour into Liverpool Street.
Couldn't agree more VN - it is a much overlooked area, but good value for money and extremely accessible for London. Beautiful countryside, safe, good schools etc. I lived in that area for several years and loved it.
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Hi Everyone! I apologize for my tardy reply. Thank you for all your opinions! I really appreciate you taking the time to respond & I will definitely consider each response carefully. We are coming up to London for a week to have a look at areas. I think this would make it easier for us to narrow the areas down to one or two that we like. We are also planning to visit a few schools in a few of the areas listed above. Thanks again & wish you all a wonderful weekend!
I was brought up in a village between epsom and guildford and i know the area well, happy to advise if you want any specific advice, although i no longer live there. Good schools, quite expensive housing, but will be able to get something for your money. east horsley, fetcham and cobham are nice and as someone has already said, dorking is a lovely town
Hi Clueless2727...thanks for the comment. Unfortunately I didn't see this sooner and I just got back from my trip to London.
Guildford did seem like a nice area....didn't really get a chance to see the other areas you mentioned.
I loved Croxley Green....managed to find a gorgeous, brand new 5 bedroom house within our budget, BUT all the state school in the area are full, which is a huge problem for us...we can't afford both the house and paying to send 2 kids to independent schools! So I had no choice but to scrap Croxley Green off my list!
I decided to go with FellatioNelson's advice (others have advised the same)....So we looked at state school availabilities, (VERY limited!) and ended up signing a rental agreement in an area we were not even considering to begin with....Richmond! Love the area & we are hoping to get our kids into a good school. We will then take our time deciding whether we like the area enough to buy there (although we won't get anything as huge as the Croxley Green property in Richmond...it's clearly far more expensive!)
I may still have to consider buying in some of the other areas recommended at a later stage.
Thanks again for all the wonderful advise/suggestions!
Oh, Richmond is fab. Love it. Plenty of really good state schools. Especially if you go towards East Sheen and Barnes.
I went to college in kingston which is the next town. Lovely, nice town, lots of shops and richmond is very nice. Kingston has a grammar school tiffin, maybe speak to them. If you're still looking surrey way, i went to a good state school callled howard of effingham. West of richmond is the lovely but very expensive windsor and ascot, maidenhead is just west of that all in berkshire. Still got family on both those areas so happy to advise
Richmond is about to get a new Catholic primary and secondary school opening in September 2013, which should open up places in other Richmond schools too.
Thank you for all the advice! I really appreciate it. We've settled in very well...I've got so comfortable that I can see myself having trouble moving out when we need to. I've looked at property prices in this area and they are ridiculously expensive...Of course if we had a bigger budget I'd purchase a property here in a flash! But will have to look elsewhere when we want to buy I'm afraid. I think the surrounding areas are a little cheaper and worth looking into. Not in a hurry to buy just yet though...
Hi guys! Any thoughts on moving to Milton Keynes? My husband works from home about 3 days a week, so he is not too concerned about the long commute to central London (Although if you do have information on this, I'd be glad to hear it). I do however need to research schools in that area. My son is currently in Year 5 and my daughter in Year 4, but I'll be focusing on high schools in the area as we don't intend to move out of Richmond in the next year or two.
We are relocating from SA to the UK in June -July 2013 and I was hoping to live somewhere south of London, in the country, close to the coast. I have three daughters. 8, 13 and 16. Any advice on state schools and towns/villages..etc. We are going to be renting for a start.
Do you need to commute into London?
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