Downsizing, where would you live

(43 Posts)
Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 09:13:45

We coudl have about 350K to spend on a maybe three bedroom house anywhere. The trouble is, where. We love London and don't want to live anywhere else so of course everywhere else looks equally undesirable! What do you think, what would you do. This is not for now, this is for maybe five years time. I am planning ahead.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 10:53:37

I guess nobody is thinking about this in the way that I am!

noddyholder Thu 04-Oct-12 11:24:06

We sold our house last year to downsize as our ds is 18 and we all would prefer to live more central with more money rather than a family house in a suburban location geared to schools but we haven't found anywhere yet and are still renting a year on! I am in brighton and want to stay here but be right in town.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 11:44:22

Noddy thanks it feels like we are in the same position, when I look at what we could buy, if we consider ANYWHERE, it's very tempting, but on the other hand we could get a little flat in London and still benefit from being here. It would be very little though.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 11:45:08

Actually I was looking at Sussex the other day and I noticed that brighton prices are a little NUTS

noddyholder Thu 04-Oct-12 11:48:50

Prices here are silly! I really want to live now while we still are reasonably young and well rather than wait until we are older and not bothered. I have seen a close family member recently who wishes she had downsized years ago and done all the things she wanted to rather than hang on to her house which is now worth less and she isn't well enough to travel etc. I am viewing a few flats this week getting to the stage where I just want to buy anything but don't want to pay over 300k

LettyAshton Thu 04-Oct-12 11:55:37

I have considered this. The problem is that nice town locations are now the top choice of baby boomers. Retirees used to head for the sea, or a village, but now apparently they are descending in their droves to places like Bath, Winchester, Norwich etc etc where they can walk to amenties, the theatre and so on.

For us to "downsize" to somewhere more urban would involve taking out a mortgage!

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 12:00:06

Winchester was one I thought about. Walking and public transport are essential. This is going to be harder than I thought, especially since so many people like us (bought maybe 20 yrs ago) can see that the only wya their children can buy a house is if they sell up themselves. That is us. Ironically it's going to fire demand. I honestly wish the market was such that my house was worth half what it is. That way I could stay in it, and prices would be low enough for my children to buy.

noddyholder Thu 04-Oct-12 12:04:42

I agree brycie. We initially thought as we have just one dc we could afford his university fees but thats a no now and we are hoping we can keep some aside for a deposit for him. I want to live walking distance to brighton lanes sea front cinemas etc definitely not looking for a quieter life!

LettyAshton Thu 04-Oct-12 12:10:21

Same here, Brycie. Good luck with Winchester. There is a queue of about 17 cash buyers for every house, 99% of them from London.

Frankly I think it is probably right that empty nesters should sell up to fund their dc's house purchases. They do in Europe. In fact if someone dies, then their estate is divided 50/50 between spouse and dcs, so the spouse has to sell up to give the dcs their share. This stops elderly people sitting in homes that are too big for them. In rentals, older people routinely give up their larger home if their adult dcs are starting a family.

I think there will be a sea change eventually here because things have gone badly wrong. Our road consists of big family houses with very large gardens. I would say that out of 90 houses, fewer than 10 are occupied by families.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 12:30:37

People think, oh massive house worth loads, lucky you, but it brings its own issues. We can't stay in it. I would like the housing market to be much more normal and affordable, bring on all the building they are supposed to be doing, hopefully that will bring prices down.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 12:31:45

Interesting Letty. The other alternative is breaking the house in half, turning it into two flats, we live in one, the children have the other to live or rent out.

Winchester's very expensive. Have you looked at Woking?

noddyholder Thu 04-Oct-12 12:37:51

We have renovated lots of houses in order to get mortgage free as I was too ill to work in the traditional sense. Quite a few of them we couldn't have afforded to buy ourselves and the last one we just sold it because we wanted to be free of the worry for the future. I am struggling though to find something that isn't a dump!

LittleFrieda Thu 04-Oct-12 12:47:32

Why not rent out your London house and rent elsewhere?

It used to be that everyone wanted to live in the desirable villages, but now everyone wants to be in town. There's been a huge cultural shift towards towns. I adore the countryside and spent years living in the wilds, but I so much prefer living in town. When my children are flown (a while yet as youngest is 5) I want to move back to to central London.

Badvoc Thu 04-Oct-12 12:48:02

I would live in North Yorkshire if I had the choice.

halfnhalf Thu 04-Oct-12 13:03:13

We're in the same position. My dh is retiring in May next year and we live an a big old house (i.e. moneypit). I would love to move here, which my DH thinks is going Too Far. I'm hoping we can agree on something (parking, small garden, low maintenance) in Bristol.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 14:27:43

INteresting thoughts about Bristol and Woking and alsol the renting idea. I'll look. Thanks.

I live in Bristol and it's got a bit of that Brighton vibe without the whole London by sea thing. Have a look at Southville or off the Gloucester Road (BIshopston/Horfield) way. Lots of independent shops, yoga, cafes, music etc. I live in BS7 off the Glos Road and you can get a two-bed house with garden for £250k. Not as pretty as Brighton nor the seaside but it works for us. Personally I would shoot myself rather than live in Woking.

Brycie Thu 04-Oct-12 16:03:09

Nice tip queen. I'm not sure I would agree about woking I've never been there! I've just looked at your area on rightmove and yes I agree that would be a great option. Am looking forward to more browsing tonight. It seems to be all I do since we got Sky football, he watches sport, I look at properties and drool quietly over the laptop.

LornMowa Thu 04-Oct-12 18:03:39

Something like this or this - both in Nottingham would suit me.

Please don't all pile in and push up the house prices though - I won't be downsizing for a few more years yet!

PigletJohn Fri 05-Oct-12 08:56:47

Do you need to work in London?

If not, a town with poor rail and road connections will be less expensive.

MaBumble Fri 05-Oct-12 09:06:04

Harrogate. We moved here from North London for work (believe it or not) and will never, given a choice, live anywhere else. It pretty, safe, has all the normal high street shops, and a few quirky ones, some good restaurants, theatre, etc. Its friendly, but at the same time its a town not a village so not everyone wants to know your business (I grew up in a very small village) and close to some of the most fabulous countryside in the UK. Some residents can be a bit snobby, but I tend to just laugh at that smile

It is probably not for you if you are younger, single, like clubbing, etc. Its also not as warm as the south coast - which is the only other place I'd move to but hubby isn't shifting smile

Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 10:34:57

Thanks so much for all the great replies, I'm going to look at Harrogate and Nottingham too. The whole "job" now seems like much more fun. One just needs a bit of focus I suppose. I'm so grateful! ps mabumble I'm not younger, single, or like clubbing so I'm probably harrogate's appropriate demographic!

GooseyLoosey Fri 05-Oct-12 10:37:57

In about 10 years time we are seriously considering moving to somewhere between Hereford and Ludlow. Great countryside, nice city and much cheaper houses.

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