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To not know where the hell to live

(23 Posts)
HomewardBound84 Wed 03-Jun-15 09:30:27

Hi, long time lurker first time poster.

As the title says really. We have to move by august, we now have two choices about where to move to. Option one-
An area that I know well that's near family and generally has good schools, we won't get much for our money though. We would be lucky to get a two bed flat with a small balcony, more likely to be a two bed above a shop. It's a nice area with good facilities and has lots for the children. It's likely that the property prices will continue to rise and we could be priced out the area.

Option two-
An area I don't really know very well, it doesn't have the best reputation and I keep being told it's a bit rough. My best friend lives in the area so I would have some support, we would likely get a two bed maisonette with a garden. It's about 40 minutes away from family who I am very close to, most of the schools seem to have good ofsted reports but that's all I have to go on (no word of mouth).

I'm really starting to get stressed about this, I can't sleep at night, I obsessively check right move and zoopla and am getting down and tearful that I can't work out what is best for my family. My husband doesn't mind which area but I suspect he would like more house for his money. My girls are 1 and 3 so wherever we choose we need to stay as the eldest starts school next year. I need some perspective from people who are emotionally involved.

ThePartyArtist Wed 03-Jun-15 09:33:22

I think you need to get to know the 'option 2' area better. Talk to your friend who lives there. Visit at different times of day e.g. to suss out what it's like at night. Try getting public transport, hanging out in the sorts of places you'd use if you live there (cafes, shops, pubs, parks etc.) I know it's a real dilemma. Good luck!

HamishBamish Wed 03-Jun-15 09:35:26

I would always go for the best location you can afford and sacrifice the space. Good schools would be a priority for me unless private was an option.

SueGeneris Wed 03-Jun-15 09:37:38

I'd say location, location, location.

Cliché but true. Slightly different but we relocated and chose size of property over area. I remember being stressed in our old place because it was small but I loved the area. Here I have felt trapped because I don't enjoy going out and about. So although we have a bigger house I feel a bit stuck.

It is different for DH as he is out at work but I have been home with preschool children or working from home the past 5 years and the location has been a major cause of depression for me.

So I may not be entirely objective but in your shoes and going on my personal experience I would go for option 1.

BathshebaDarkstone Wed 03-Jun-15 09:39:50

I'm with Hamish.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 03-Jun-15 09:41:08

Option one. Location is more important than house Imo. Also if property prices in that area go up, you will have more options when looking at other areas.

I wouldn't want my children growing up in a rough area tbh. A smaller flat is less of an issue.

Pipistrella Wed 03-Jun-15 09:43:43

I'd also go with option 1 - look about and see what you can afford.

We hadn't much choice but to move to what would be your option 2, as we had too much stuff! but we had time constraints too.

It's lovely having a decent garden and nice size house - it works much better for us in that regard, the children have their own rooms, there are a lot of children, open spaces, useful shops - but there aren't any very good schools, the town is rough, I don't like feeling stuck.

I mean you do adapt but I keep hankering for where we lived before as we knew everyone and it felt like home. That is really important day if prices equalise here we'll move back.

AuntOlive Wed 03-Jun-15 09:43:59

Would go for option 1- better the devil you know. If prices are rising it's a good investment too (assuming you're buying), but even if not I think area is important.

SueGeneris Wed 03-Jun-15 09:47:28

I also think if you put the pros of each option against each other you have more pros for option 1. Especially if you rank how important those pros are.

Family, area, stuff for kids, schools you know about would all make a much bigger difference than a bit of extra space or even garden access. Because you would be sacrificing all of the first lot for the second. We have a bigger garden here than we used to and I value it but not anywhere near as much as I would have valued being in an area I liked and close to friends.

SueGeneris Wed 03-Jun-15 09:49:55

Yy to feeling like home. We are the same as Pippistrella, this has never felt like home and that is something very important to me, it's made it hard to live in the now as I'm always thinking about when/how we will move.

RedHelenB Wed 03-Jun-15 09:53:45

If renting option 2 if buying option 1.

AgathaF Wed 03-Jun-15 09:54:00

Option 1. You can always move again in a year or two if finances allow, and you will be in a better position to sell then.

HomewardBound84 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:07:15

Sorry should have added we are renting. There isn't much on the market in option one and what is out there is snapped up fast. Community is very important to me, I like being able to go to the park and bump into people I know. I think my heart says option one but I'm worried that we will find somewhere and then at some point rental prices will get so high we will have to take the children out of school and move anyway.

viva100 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:12:00

My opinion? Go for good location and good schools. But I didn't grow up in the UK and when I first came here I was shocked by people's obsession with living in a house. Outside the UK, quite a lot of people live and grow up in apartments quite happily.

ninaaa Wed 03-Jun-15 10:12:53

Option 1 looks better, as it is nearer family and better schools. You will get the same number of bedrooms, just no garden, but if the local area has good facilities for kids e.g. parks, playgrounds, pay centres, that won't matter.

If you buy now, then prices rise, you will benefit later.

ninaaa Wed 03-Jun-15 10:14:12

Oh sorry, started typing before you posted before the renting comment, ignore my last sentence.

If the prices go up, could you not move a bit further away, but still stay at the good school?

Orange6358 Wed 03-Jun-15 10:17:54

Follow your heart

wdyfoyc Wed 03-Jun-15 10:28:04

When you say rough area, how bad is it. Are there knife wielder's at every corner or is not your kind of place or people?

NinkyNonkers Wed 03-Jun-15 10:31:30

One probably, but outdoor space is massively important to me. Could you not look closely to area one,but a bit further out for example? Why does it have to 've one or the other?

Mamus Wed 03-Jun-15 10:41:05

People (including some on here, I discovered by googling!) say the area I live in is rough. It really isn't. It's not affluent and I suspect a lot of opinions are (maybe subconsciously) affected by the fact that it's very racially diverse. Living here we can afford much more than we could if we lived in the more desirable areas of the city (where, funnily enough, you are far more likely to be burgled or have your car stolen, I suppose because if you're going out robbing it makes mores sense to do so in a wealthy area). I'd rather live well in a cheaper location than spend most of our income on housing in a sought after area, but ymmv. Go with your gut.

HomewardBound84 Wed 03-Jun-15 11:07:51

I don't really know what people mean by rough, we've driven around the area and I thought it looked ok. It has a reputation as an area where lots of travellers settle and it's not very affluent, this doesn't bother me in the slightest as long as it doesn't impact my children.

Ninky, it's really one or the other because I need that support from either my family or friend. I don't want to be isolated and find it hard to make friends.

ProfYaffle Wed 03-Jun-15 11:20:55

'Rough' is so very subjective. Have you spoken to your friend who actually lives there? Spent much time there? 40 minutes really isn't far, my parents live 4hrs away.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 03-Jun-15 12:25:44

At the risk of sounding slightly negative, I think choosing an area specifically because there is a friend there to help you is risky. So many things could change - friend's marital status could change and prompt a move, friend may end up moving for family/job/other reasons. And then you're there in that area, stuck. Is your family likely to be in that area long term? Are you close? If so, I'd say the move towards family is a better approach, as it sounds like you have other ties to the community as well.

It's hard to say what rents will do specifically in any area over the next few years, but at least if you know it's a possibility they will rise, you can prepare for it between now and then.

I have to say that I moved to the area I am in because it was close to my ex's family (we were married at the time). Now we are separated, and I'm stuck near his family and nowhere near mine, with very little support except for a few friends (that are wonderful, but obviously they have their own families and work commitments). Not saying that you and your dh will separate, of course, just saying that family support can be so helpful and would definitely be of benefit IMO.

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