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to worry about moving out of London?

(31 Posts)
strawberry34 Thu 25-Jul-13 14:05:59

I live in suburban London, and dh and I have been looking at houses in the country. Initially I loved the idea, an idyllic house with more space, nice garden etc. but now I've thought it through, I've realised I'm terrified! I love our (too small and unextendable) house in a busy area, close to shops and restaurants, friends nearby, no need to drive anywhere, wonderful childminder etc.

The purpose of moving was because we want to have more children, more space and our house is miniscule whilst we can't afford bigger in London. We haven't made am offer on anywhere yet and tbh we're looking in popular commuter belt so hardly middle of no where, I just think I may be bored and lonely out of London, Aibu?

BoysRule Thu 25-Jul-13 19:53:23

We regretted moving out of London but we had no DC at the time. I wouldn't want to move back unless I was a multi-millionaire - in which case I would get a huge pad in Primrose Hill.

When we first left we moved to a small village - and hated it! I loved it at first but soon realised that no-one goes out - the local pubs were deserted and no-one was particularly friendly. We moved to a larger town and loved it. Lots of cafes and restaurants to walk to, lots of like-minded folk (ex-Londoners) and we were able to buy a house for the first time. Made loads of friends (mainly through DCs).

I would say don't be frightened of it but choose the place carefully. Really consider if you are village/rural folk. We have decided we are not - I hated not being able to walk to a busy high street. Decent sized towns can be great - lots of shops, easy to meet people, decent night life and sense of things going on. Do your research and visit in different seasons and times of the day.

I have friends who are too scared to move out of London and therefore are squeezing their families in tiny flats. However, you do have to realise that the things you have, you would have in other towns. London boroughs are like little towns and when we moved it really felt no different to being in our old borough.

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 18:23:46

Victoria, indelicate question but do you earn well? Do you have a house with a garden, live in an ok area? If yes then I can kind of understand but Dh earns pretty well but we got nothing for our money in London. Our quality of life is so much better now.

Victoria3012 Thu 25-Jul-13 18:11:19

Valium, I regretted moving out of London and moved back 7 years later, it's the best thing I have done for me and my children.

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 17:53:28

Me too Sam. Mind you we are only 30 mins on the train away so if we want to visit we can. I miss public transport, that's about it.

SamHamwidge Thu 25-Jul-13 17:49:23

Can't understand why so many people are so attached to London. Overcrowded, air of threat, stressful, people always on edge, some parts downright ugly ... would never want to live there again. If we go for a day trip I'm always quite glad to leave and feel I can breathe again.

PareyMortas Thu 25-Jul-13 17:44:31

You haven't met me then Valium.

whois Thu 25-Jul-13 17:42:02

I defo recommend renting for 6 months or a year in the area you plan to move to before commuting and buying! Much harder to move back to london if you've sold your house already.

valiumredhead Thu 25-Jul-13 17:25:13

I've never met anyone who regretted moving out of London.

StrangerintheNight Thu 25-Jul-13 16:50:01

Obviously you won't know till you try. We made our list of pros and cons then decided to go for it.

However, since moving I do regret it fairly frequently, and even in the 2 years we've been away the disparity in house prices has increased, so moving back difficult.

Maybe the grass is always greener. Our life here is much easier and less stressful, but also quite dull.

hesterton Thu 25-Jul-13 16:34:59

Snorting with laughter at the helpfulness of the Sherlock Holmes quote!

gotthemoononastick Thu 25-Jul-13 16:31:32

Be careful of leafy suburbia,though.Can be very lonely.I have seen people pushing adjacent swings and not communicating at all.
Smaller villages better,but also a double-edged sword of gossip.

dufflefluffle Thu 25-Jul-13 15:04:41

I moved from London to the middle of nowhere (really - nearest tiny shop over a mile away, nearest bigish centre 45 mins away) initially I loved it then I hated it and pined for about 7 years and then we built our beautiful house (closer to a bigger village) and then I got sick and the recession happened and I couldn't drive (illness) and had no money and couldn't get a job as we live in such a rural area which really felt the effects of the downturn and believe it or not this has culminated in me finally coming to love the place and believe that we made the right decision. Not for me alone - if I was single I'd probably still be happier in London - but for family life, for my children who are so happy and for the lovely people they see everyday and so many other small reasons. I know I took an exceptionally long time to come around but it does take time to make friends and I kept escaping on holidays and back to London for breaks and so didn't really give the new place a chance. I think if I did that big move again I'd probably get a job (dh and I set up a business so only saw each other at work - not the best idea in hindsight) and accept that shops and restaurants and a wide variety of people on your doorstep aren't that important hmm.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 25-Jul-13 15:03:01

if you move further out and change your mind it will be very very hard to move back

i have a few friends that have moved to reigate and other nice surrey towns and some are desperate to move back

what is it you want out of where you live a bigger house/garden or diversity that london offers

personally i would choose london everytime i luckily had the option of moving back in (only in suburbs) for what i pay could have a house (live in flat) but where we live is wonderful, full of great parks, great community feel, cafes, restaurants, shops, easy to get to central london museums etc but that for me is worth more than having a bigger property

cantspel Thu 25-Jul-13 15:00:08

You know there are shops, restaurants and nice childminders outside of london.

And unless you move to the middle of no where and are reasonably friendly then you will make new friends in addition to the ones who live in london.

neriberi Thu 25-Jul-13 14:53:43

I was living in London then when I got pregnant I ended up moving back to the tiny village I had spent my entire life trying to get away from and I haven't regretted it for one minute. We have a fab house with a garden and a quieter pace life, but its not too quiet! We've got everything we need on our doorstep, a decent town near by, mainline station to Paddington, a Waitrose, good schools, a couple of decent pubs etc.

The only downside is that we left a lot of friends behind in London and its been hard maintaining some the friendships BUT the friendships that we have held on to are the ones that matter.

Don't move because you feel you have to, do it because you want to.

poppingin1 Thu 25-Jul-13 14:50:51

And I don't drive!! It is a PITA! But I never had to before.

poppingin1 Thu 25-Jul-13 14:49:58

I only have 1 DC BTW, I only plan on having 2 which I think is the comfortable maximum for inner London unless you have masses of money.

poppingin1 Thu 25-Jul-13 14:48:50

YANBU. Really think about it before you move. I moved from just skirting zone 1 to zone 5 and I am beyond bored and have left my friends behind except for the occasional visit.

On the other hand, the space is lovely. But honestly, I would trade it in to move back to my nice restaurants and friends close by. I most likely will move back soon and I haven't even left London, just the inner area I used to live in.

But then I am a SAHM and everyone keeps to themselves where I live. If you are quite outgoing and not likely to be in a too quiet area, I would go for it. The space of a bigger home is such a luxury, just not enough of a luxury for me sadly.

themaltesefalcon Thu 25-Jul-13 14:42:45

I'd choose living in the city over having more kids, but that's me.

Agree with Sherlock Holmes about the countryside:

"Good heavens!" I cried. "Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?"
"They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."
"You horrify me!"
"But the reason is very obvious. The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish. There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard's blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbours, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going, and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser."

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)
Sherlock Holmes in "The Copper Beeches" (Doubleday p. 323)

chattychattyboomba Thu 25-Jul-13 14:42:05

I'm with you. We had the opportunity to buy a gorgeous house in Kent a few years ago. Massive house on acres, horseshoe drive etc etc. cons- 10 min drive to the station (i don't drive!) 1 hour commute to work, nearest high street not a walk away... Plus I don't know how I would manage to mow that lawn and maintain the garden! I'm too young to retire! Lol. Our friends moved shortly after. Yes they have more space but we call it the retirement village (lightheartedly). I love our rented house. Yes it's expensive. But it's 5 mins from the kings road, parks, buses, shops, supermarkets, community groups.... Everything!
Sorry... Probably not helpful. But I can totally empathise.

Karoleann Thu 25-Jul-13 14:32:32

We moved out of London (zone 2) to near Beaconsfield about a year ago and its been great. Lots of opportunity for making friends, much bigger house and garden and its so much less stressful that falling over each other in a little house in London.

I obviously miss friends, but we're only a 45 min drive back to our old place and 30 mins from London so we meet old friends fairly often.

In fact the only thing I miss is the gym (new one is not at all child friendly) and being able to walk to school - although I could have chosen a really nice little school 3 minsutes walk away.

Why not rent somewhere for 6 months and see how it is.

Trampoline Thu 25-Jul-13 14:28:36

We had this very same dilemma when I was expecting baby no. 2 - and we viewed dozens of houses outside of London in lovely country villages or in smart leafy towns. I'm so pleased we decided to stay in London for the time being, which came down to simple reasons like: prams need pavements (I couldn't bear the thought of driving everywhere and only have country lanes which could mean I couldn't just step out of the house with the pram); shops are important to me when on Mat leave, be it browsing for something to do or buying; London parks are sociable both for mum networking and children making friends; there are tons of things to do within easy reach by bus or train, etc etc. We will no doubt move out of London to get some more space when the kids are bigger, but while they are young, London is a great place to be. Having said that, many of my friends made the move out of London when they had their first baby and love their new life - it just depends on your lifestyle and what's important to you. Good luck with your decision!

MrsSparkles Thu 25-Jul-13 14:25:14

We moved a month ago from central London to a reasonable size commuter town in Kent. Only disaster we've had so far is all the shops close at 4 on a Sunday (still Domino's was open!). I think if you chose carefully it will be fine!

JamNan Thu 25-Jul-13 14:23:31

I have never regretted moving out of London.

mrsravelstein Thu 25-Jul-13 14:21:18

i lived in london most of my life, moved to the country 2 years ago, have never regretted it for a moment... BUT we are only 1 mile from nearest busy market town, 30 mins train back to central london, we have neighbours, and there is lots of stuff wtihin walking distance (a smallish sainsburys, playgrounds, schools etc)

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