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.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 05-Oct-12 11:50:00

hi OP, this was me last year, I could move anywhere out of London, though budget was lower than yours. After being spoilt by living in nice london locations, I was very weary as to what could compare, but on the other hand it was fun travelling and looking at completely differnt places! ?Funnily enough I looked at most cities mentioned here - Harrogate, Brighton, Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham, also Oxford, York and Winchester!
It really depends what do you like London for? is it cultural stuff, the buzz and hte crowds, good transport, the parks??
Also important: would you need to visit London often once you move? As if not the case you are more spoilt for choice. I was shocked at train ticket prices, even IF trains are nice, but many trains are uncomfortable (why aer thrains to Sheffield and the North are SO overheated that you end up dehydrated?)
Winchester is really not great for a non-family setup! it's very small, snobby and only worth living there if you want schools and a good commute to london. There really is not much to do there at all, even though it's pretty and looks nice for a visit.
Bath I would recommend! My budget didn't quite stretch to a good size period two-bed walking distance to station. Very good theatre, shops, big park plus countryside nearby, Bristol not far for more shopping etc, and it's not oo small, plus 1h30min to london paddington on a nice train (not thatcheap of course).
I went for Bristol as it has the BEST choice of nice flats andthe prices are lower than Bath. For 350K I wouldn't go to Southville unless you want a big house. I'm very Clifton/edge of Redland biased, it's also near Univresity that gives it a lively edge (but not overcrowded). You aer near the Downs and Suspension Bridge that leads into a forest and a huge green estate as well, you get villagey feel in Clifton viillage which is vey charming and beats Winchester imo! Tp me brighton is jus ttoo crowded especially with hen/stags in the centre, you don't get that around here. There aer a couple of good theatres in Bristol (Old Vic), and shopping is good.
You can get a very nice 3bed period flat for 350K in Clifton. The only downside is that these nice areas are not by hte main station, yo need a connecting little train (about 20 min, twice an hour) to get to Temple Meads, so overall it's 2h20min to london with connections (the main train is 1h45min. of course you could take taxis or buses to main station (about 25min, but hugely frequent). Btw Clifton is much better for public trabsport (look at whiteladies road) with lots of buses into the centre and out of town, unlike South Bristol (Southville) so be aware of that
Bishopston is quite nice but it's a families place and a bit crowded, depends what you like!
Bath just has the edge on Bristol with shorter journey to london, more cultural stuff possibly, and being more compact, but then the prices ARE high, 300-320 for a 2bed.
Harrogate has very beautiful properties and countryside but it's a bugger to get to from london with connecting train fron York being old and slow, but if yo uwant to stay put and mainly just go to York and Leeds then it's an option. It's too small for me though after London.

Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 12:43:01

Thanks for the very long post! What I'm going to do, is look on rightmove and see if I can find some nice drooly properties to link to. Mmmmmmmm.

likeatonneofbricks Fri 05-Oct-12 14:17:36

exciting! with this budget, the most drooly period flats you can find are in Bath, Bristol and Harrogate (maybe York)!
still would help to know what's important to you in terms of fthings to do in new place,

Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 20:54:02
Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 20:55:44
Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 20:57:37
frenchfancy Fri 05-Oct-12 21:01:51

Depends on where your children are I suppose, but if you like the feel of Harogate I would take a look at Statford upon Avon. My frfiends mum downsized there and I used to visit her and be very envy £350K can get you a nice 3 bed place.

Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 21:01:59
Brycie Fri 05-Oct-12 21:05:02

Golly stratford is pricey!!! just had a gawp

Hebden Bridge?
North Devon?

RumBaaBaa Fri 05-Oct-12 21:30:14

Personally I would shoot myself rather than live in Woking. Absobloodylutely Queen.

I thought it was just me. We have lived in Woking temporarily as we manage our relocation from London to Cornwall and it has been utterly soul destroying. But I have discovered fellow haters grin. Both here, and the poor GP I saw this morning who, one discovering we are moving to Cornwall in two weeks signed and exclaimed, 'you lucky thing, you are escaping from this terrible place. I was quite taken aback, but this town really is inhospitable and inhumane in so many ways.


Totnes, Hove, St Ives, Ludlow would all be on my list. Perhaps Lewes and Bridport.

RumBaaBaa Fri 05-Oct-12 21:31:08

Oh and maybe Leamington Spa.

mumzy Fri 05-Oct-12 22:31:58

Norfolk is cheap with good rail links to London. I think kings Lynn to Kings X is 1 1/2 hrs

PigletJohn Fri 05-Oct-12 22:57:51

East Anglia has very cold winds in winter.

reddaisy Fri 05-Oct-12 23:07:29

King's Lynn is horrible. Cambridge is nice though grin

Brycie Sat 06-Oct-12 07:32:36

Thanks everyone, will have more fun tomorrow night. On a quick note, Cambridge is lovely, but very pricey no? Plus from riends we've heard there just isn't the housing stock there. It's either a million pounds or you're living nowhere with transport. But I'll have another look see.

reddaisy Sat 06-Oct-12 09:15:56

It is very expensive but you would get something for £350k.

Brycie Sat 06-Oct-12 09:35:16

I will have a lok, and thanks smile

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