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Moving to Manchester(59 Posts)
I’m looking for some help and advice if possible. It’s my first post here, so please forgive if I get anything wrong!
Basically, we’re going to be moving to Manchester at the end of the year, and are hoping to buy somewhere when we move, and avoid having to rent while we work out what’s what. We’re in the Midlands at the moment, and will be moving for work – neither of us knows Manchester at all, so we are completely at square one. I’ll be working at the Uni and will need to drive to work; DH will be working in the City Centre too (Spinningfields) and could either drive or use public transport.
We have a DD, who is two, so we really need to make educational choices a big part of this decision. I’ve heard that in Manchester/Cheshire, as is probably true everywhere, the areas with good primaries are often over-subscribed, so even if you’re in catchment etc, you can struggle to get a place.
So, I’m looking for help. We have six months to work it all out, and I’m hoping that, with the collective wisdom of all you good people, you can help shed some light on the options.
What I would really appreciate is thoughts or comments on the areas that people have mentioned to us at interviews etc. The ‘short’ list comprises: Sale, Altrincham, Didsbury (in various directions East, West and so on), Heaton Moor/Chapel/Mersey, Bowdon (though possibly unaffordable based on what I’ve seen on Rightmove), Bramhall, Marple.
I’ve watched enough Phil & Kirsty (or should that be Kirsty & Phil?) to know that you never get everything you want, but the things that will matter to us are:
•Schools (nursery, primary and secondary) – we’d prefer state as that’s more our sort of thing, but aren’t ideologically wedded to it
•Gardens/Greenness of the area – we live in a very leafy, tree-y place where you get lots of families and can get a decent sized garden with a house and would like to keep a bit of that if we can in the place we live
•Stuff for kids to do, and ways for our daughter (and us, as well) to make friends in our new home – could be sports or other community things.
•Commute – we love our daughter and would rather spend time with her than on trains/trams/traffic jams, so a reasonable commute is important
•House Prices – we can’t compete with footballers!
And that’s about it. If you live in/know these places, and would be willing to tell me what you think, I would really, really appreciate it.
Thanks in advance
Primary schools can be a real issue in Didsbury- there was a thread on here about someone who had to go private as offered nothing suitable. Usually Rc will get a place at St Caths though.
Wilmslow and Didsbury have the highest number of resident students living there, though the houses are large and schools are decent and excellent commute. Altringham is nice and leafy, middle class area, good schools.
All the area's you have listed are on the metrolink route.
I have lived in East Manchester all my life, but on a council estate. Myself and all my siblings have university degree's and work, so I guess it is what you make of it.....
good luck x
I live in the Heatons. My son goes to a Trafford Grammar, though I would have been more than happy with Priestnall if it hadn't come off. Primaries are all pretty good but there have some issues with shortage of spaces which I believe is being addressed by a new school on the old North area college site , where a new housing estate is being built.
The tram is a short drive away in East Didsbury where there is masses of parking.Train is 9 mins into Mcr. I drive to Mcr for work in 15-30 mins in the morning.
You mentioned lack of parks, there are a number of really lovely ones, plus lots of open green space, fields and a lovely Common.
I absolutely love it here.
Happitots on Dane Road is an excellent Nursery. Mine were very happy there. There's almost an excess of nurseries and Primary Schools in Sale Moor. Lots of good choice.
OP -- what are your thoughts on renting for a while -- does it not appeal?
OP click through on this link, its called Raring2Go, its a little magazine that is published in Trafford (might be other places too) but it has a list of all the classes for babies / toddlers / children in the back of it by area / day of the week. Not sure if there is a section that covers Lymm, but there is one for Knutsford / Sale / Altrincham etc. This is the online version, not sure its as comprehensive as the book - you could perhaps request a copy or if you're ever in the area, you can pick them up from libraries / cafes etc.
Pre School Classes
You might also want to google Sale Private Day Nursery - it came in for some negative publicity a while ago. Have no personal knowledge of it so perhaps its unfair of me to point it out, but I personally would be wary of that particular recommendation.
There are loads of dance classes/activities in every affluent area -- always plenty of entrepreneurs around to prize the hard earned cash out of parents wallets for their dc's enrichment/entertainment/education...!!
There are loads of dance classes in and around sale, most of my DDs' friends dance, we're on a waiting list! Swimming pool nearby (council, but ok) gymnastics, play groups, rainbows, theatre. Sale has a lot to offer, but the town centre does lack 'heart' (we blame the trafford centre!)
I've especially loved living here since DD1 started school, whenever we're out and about we see people we know. It's very friendly.
Thanks for the suggestions. Love the house in Sale, it's really nice and has pretty much everything we would want. The fifth bedroom is one of those "optimistic" bedrooms that you'd struggle to get a bed in, but the cat would adore it! That house is the kind of place that would attract me - it's got a nice garden, plenty of space about you, and I bet DD would be able to have loads of friends near her.
Where is good for activities? DD loves singing and dancing, and does baby ballet every Saturday. She'd be really sad if she didn't get to do music and dance, and I know we could drive to other places and find classes, but it'd be better if it were local.
Re Lymm, it does have loads going for it, though the prices are definitely more than Sale, and I'd worry about having fewer school options? DH spoke to one of his prospective colleagues who lives there about it, and he reckoned it was quick into town, but you absolutely had to be out before 7.30. That was driving into Spinningfields though, so might be different to the Uni.
Sale moor also has at least 3 good nurseries, we used sale private day nursery which I liked a lot. We now have an amazing childminder. Templemoor school nursery is excellent too.
I walk past this house every week on the way to the shops at the end of the road. Always loved it and now it's for sale!
Very top end of this area, great school round the corner and 10 mins from tram. Bus at the end of the road goes to the university or a 40ish min drive in rush hour (20 mins in the evening)
bughunt, you'd be surprised. I know its not logical.
Go for Didsbury within spitting distance of Beaver Road primary, unless your heart is set on church school.
For those advocating Lymm, I just can't see how it would be easier to travel into Manchester from than Sale, Altrincham etc. You'd still hit the traffic in the rush hour eventually.
I also second renting. We moved 3 times within Sale before finding our 'spot'. We love it though and commute into Manchester easily.
Hi not sure if you saw it but I sent you a pm. Good luck.
I would also advocate renting. We moved to the area in 2008 and although I had lived relatively close by previously, what I thought I wanted was completely different when we actually came to buy. It enabled us to build up a relationship with the local estate agents, narrowed our search area down to a select few roads.
I have a few recommendations for nurseries / pre-schools so if you want PM me, I'll give you the info local to me.
Wow...OP your post is so thorough looks like an excel spread-sheet would be in order!!.......my advice is RENT for 6 months....the money you "waste" in rent will be a wise investment and save you tens of thousands in not getting it wrong -- if you are spending £750k - you will have massive SD costs and if you get it wrong and you need to sell again in a few years - you would be p***ing away double EA and SD fees by doing it all again. Are you sure that you both will be in the same job and house for 10 years? Do you really need to choose secondary schools at this point (ratings will change no doubt in a decade). I would RENT for a few months and try to think what is really important to you as a family for the next 5 years .... so nurseries and primaries ... if you are planning more children then how (and where) do you want to spend you mat leave?....do you think that you will spend weekends travelling to visit family?
explore where, WHY and how your work colleagues live over this time.
I have a lot of friends in these areas although I live down south I visit lots -- many aspire to Lymm...
Knutsford also wouldn't be a bad idea. Direct train to Piccadilly.
MuttonCadet's suggestion isn't a bad one. Based on everything you've said, you would probably love Lymm. It is further out, but ironically, given where it is positioned if you are travelling to Manchester via car, it can be shorter on driving times than some of the places that are closer that you have mentioned during rush hour. (Certainly, Altrincham is a total nightmare in the mornings and if you are driving, its just as quick to come in from Lymm). Its an odd mix of being like a town, but also like a village at the same time. Very leafy and green and sits surrounded by greenbelt.
There is a good community feel, and most people living there are commuters too. There is a good mix of older and newer houses. Whilst there is a lot of very affluent people, its not as bad as Bowdon and Hale and there are a number of spots where there are a lot of shared ownership properties, which means there are quite a few people who aren't quite as rich as their neighbours. (Though with a budget of 750k you wouldn't be one of the poor neighbours by any means.) Its by no means cheap, but you'd get a very good quality of life for your money.
The schools are all good, and though they are full, if you live locally, you should get into one of the primaries without too much problem. They are not heavily over subscribed. The local high school is good, and again you should get in, if local. Unlike Trafford, it is not selective.
Public transport is the one area it does fall badly though. You would need to drive.
Lymm also has the advantage for being great to commute to a large number of places in the North West. If you did decide to look for jobs elsewhere, you have the possibility of a wider net to cast.
I live in sale - near Walton park - and my daughters go to woodheys primary (one nursery, one just finishing year one). We moved here 2 1/2 years ago. I actually really llike it. The town centres not cool but it's friendly, and has some good cafes (I see you've already tried bean and brush!). If you want your fix of boho chic it's only ten mins drive from chorlton. Similarly altrincham is ten mins the other way. Loads of stuff going on for kids. My husband gets tram from brrokland to Manchester most days and it's usually ok (rarely gets a seat in the mornings tho). We paid £250 for a nice bur needing tlc 3 bed detached - you'd get something lovely for your budget.
Flixton is nice. So is Urmston. Very family friendly, nice schools. On a railway line, 10mins to Manchester Oxford Rd. Lots of choice of houses, community feel.
Also be cautious with heaton chapel as the catchment for priestnall secondary school is to the heatons side of .the A6 not the Reddish side
Sorry, I haven't read very carefully but i noticed someone said thread that there's no metrolink in heaton mersey but the east didsbury stop is on the edge of heaton mersey with abundant parking.
There are currently a few places for September at freshfield nursery in heaton mersey and it's excellent. Usually oversubscribed. Outstanding ofsted etc
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