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Moving to London renting -Help with areas and schools

(42 Posts)
Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 20:27:15

Posting for traffic.

Please advise on areas you would recommend to move to in London.

Plan to move from current area (North) to London for the school year September 2017 (assume a new school year would be the best time to move for a then year 2 child?)

Currently have no ties where living, just divorced. Have decided for work (IT contracting), lack of childcare and good schools, London would be the best option.

Need a safe area with lots of good schools (state) where a place offered is likely! (Along with a good school club/childcare at home). Plus nursery or home childcare for then 3 year old.

Will be renting (Buying will be unobtainable in London).

Suggestions please smile

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 19-Aug-16 20:33:33

What is your budget? What kind of property do you want? Will you want to get away from London to visit family and where do they live? Do you know where in London you will be working?

To give you an idea of the size of London, it can easily take 2 hours to drive across the central 3 to 4 zones north to south or east to west.

Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 20:40:02

Budget ideally a couple of grand a month (cheap as possible really).
Family overseas. Move is solely for work, good schools and wraparound childcare.
Work will most likely be central, contracting, so it will change on a regular basis.
With rush hour we're needing areas for work, schools and childcare. Schools are the priority, then transport links and then locations for work.

Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 20:40:33

Property ideally a house rather than flat.

SaltyMyDear Fri 19-Aug-16 20:42:15

It contracting you could earn a fortune. Depends what you actually do. Have you checked wages on jobserve?

BigCC Fri 19-Aug-16 20:44:39

I don't profess to be at all expert, but have just moved (today!) to Hammersmith for almost identical reasons. DC sharing a rooms as very young. Happy to share details if you want to PM me.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 19-Aug-16 20:48:51

There are loads of good state primary schools all over London. You're asking for a needle in a haystack so need a bit more information from you.

Surely you've had a look on rightmove?

Maisy313 Fri 19-Aug-16 20:49:13

Budget is key really, I can recommend a nice, reasonable area with good schools but if your loaded you probably won't be that interested!

Domino20 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:00:04

bibbity is right, plenty of great state primaries, I have always lived in the central to SE area and nowadays East Dulwich/Peckham are middle class nappy valley hot spots. While (if you have kids) it is super to be in an area that has loads of parks/classes/clubs/cafés/bugaboos etc, it does mean long waiting lists for schools/Crèche/childminders. Have a research on the Peckham Rye/Nunhead areas. Look at the 'East Dulwich Forum' they have a property page. Good luck!

Lelloteddy Fri 19-Aug-16 21:02:15

You'll need to narrow your search yourself a little. London is quite big wink

Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:02:20

Work in project management, rates are good although saturated market, so not expecting crazy rates to current ones (But more contracts will be available which is the driving force to move to London).
Thanks BigCC, Hammersmith is nice and central, I need this for work but more importantly good schools (ideally outstanding that also offer wraparound care and not so oversubscribed no places are available).
Unfortunately not loaded! Will be selling current house and expect to rent forever in London.
It seems so confusing trying to decide on a area that's safe, likely to be offered a school place with wraparound care (as work will most likely be leaving after 7 and not getting back much before 7pm) and good links for work.

Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:05:24

Thank you Domino20, this is the problem getting the good childcare and school places available. Hence no idea where to move to in London where I can actually work with childcare in place.

jay55 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:15:20

While lots of schools have in year movement, the places don't sit around for long. It'll be something to hope for rather than plan for.
Without knowing where you'll be working(and it will change every 6-24 months) no one can comment on commute.

I'm not in london right now but will be back in january (also a contractor) and make sure I live somewhere I can get to the city and canary wharf easily but often end up working in other areas even though I work in finance.

You just have to go for somewhere you like, can afford and has reasonable transport.

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 19-Aug-16 21:16:11

Again, most reasonably central places in London which are home to high earning professionals like yourself will have good childcare provision. All good and outstanding primaries in London are over-subscribed. You will need to live within 500m of some of them to get a place.

Your question is too big.

What sort of flat would you like for your £2,000 - 2/3/4 beds? Do you need a private garden, communal garden, not bothered about garden?

You can live in zone 2 but still spend more than hour commuting to work if you live in, say Hammersmith (West) but work in Canary Wharf (East).

JacquettaWoodville Fri 19-Aug-16 21:17:54

The wrap around care at my school runs 8am-6pm, not sure you will find something that runs till 7. Would you consider an au pair to meet your kid from school?

Domino20 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:23:55




Domino20 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:30:22

I'm honestly not an estate agent desperately trying to plug this area, I spent 10 happy years living on the edge of Peckham Rye Park and although we are more central now I still go there a couple of times a week. The third listing I've copied is also near a great school but pretty much there are no bad schools. Most of your requirements/enquiries regarding arranging childminders for early drop off etc, can be sorted via that website. It's VERY busy! (The website, not necessarily the area)

Insabbathstheatre Fri 19-Aug-16 21:33:52

Sydenham / Penge / Beckenham / Crystal Palace have good schools and cheaper properties but great transport links to City & Canary wharf (and victoria) - I now contract and can get to work door to door in 45 mins (which other than the young free and single I manage and who live in zone 1) is a very short commute! Best move i made was moving to London - been brilliant for the kids as well! I would have preferred closer to the centre but was too expensive - but good luck.

titchy Fri 19-Aug-16 21:35:36

School wraparound care will not be 7-7. It'll be 8-6. An au pair or nanny might be better though you'd need an extra bedroom. Can you investigate where contracts are likely to be? If you're in financial services then city/ Canary Wharf, if media then look west. If you lived close to Canary Wharf for example your commute times could make school wraparound possible which means you could manage with 2 rather than 3 beds. I think you need to do a bit more research then ask MN!

Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:36:47

Jay55 It's a huge question (I've overwhelmed myself with it). As we'll be renting (need to sell up where currently live and have no hope of buying in London, expecting to have to move regularly with renting, I'm trying to avoid the areas I like and just be practical). As you know budget depends all on current contract and hoping to have breaks in between contracts to spend time with my children, so as cheap as possible -for good schools (!) Prechildren and marriage contracted in London which was mostly central but all over and then starting work at 8 and finishing 12 hours later with a commute either side wasn't a problem it now would be.
Bibby the dilemma is moving to an area, not getting a good school for older child and ending up with a huge commute on top. Accommodation would be 2 bed initially. Garden would be great but schools /childcare and transport links are most important. (Pay also wouldn't be so great, £400 day is most likely which whilst sounds great, after deductions, then rent and bills and childcare. Basic living costs, not such a huge amount left. Children's Father has chosen no contact, moved back overseas and will not pay any maintenance costs).

MouseholeCat Fri 19-Aug-16 21:38:28

Have you had a look at shared ownership properties OP? There's some good deals on part rent, part buy that really cut the cost of living in London and enable you to afford a lot more. DH and I are currently looking down that route because the rents keep escalating.


Don't discount the train lines- we live in SW London on a mainline rail station in zone 2/3- it's quite cheap to commute on the Oyster fares, and the fast train takes about 15 mins into Waterloo.

coffeeslave Fri 19-Aug-16 21:41:24

Forest Gate or Manor Park. 15 mins by train to Liverpool Street (faster once Crossrail opens); lots of green spaces and tons of schools. And at the moment still a lot cheaper than west London.

Insabbathstheatre Fri 19-Aug-16 21:41:52

We also moved in December (year 1 and year 4 at the time) and had to wait until the September for the school across the road from where we rented - (felt bad 3 schools in one year - kids were fine!) - ended up with a neighbour as my childminder after putting an ad in the local paper (for someone to take kids to school and pick up / feed in evening ) - great arrangement and got to know someone quickly !

Movingmovingmoving16 Fri 19-Aug-16 22:04:06

Domino thank you for those links -my evenings will spent reading the forums. No bad schools and available childcare is exactly what we need.
Insabbath that is the type of commute I need (and the eventual successful move you had).
Thank you for these suggestions, this is exactly what we need.
I've been hoping a responsible 6th former/s or similar would babysit for the hour before and after school clubs (whilst in a contract, which ideally -again, would be 3-6 months contracting, couple of months off with the children and then back contracting).
I've deliberately ensured I've gained experience in all sectors to not be limited to a certain sector (although I have found the financial sector the one I enjoy the least which unfortunately recruits the most. The work is to pay for housing and living costs so I can't afford to be selective unfortunately).
Shared ownership would be ideal (Although wouldn'the want to get our hopes up). Thank you for the link -have saved as a favorite.
I had been put off East London with how a street can be safe and the next seems to be one to avoid but will look more into those two areas thank you.

firawla Fri 19-Aug-16 22:09:09

If you don't mind being a bit further out what about Pinner / Ruislip / Eastcote? All on the metropolitan line so not bad for commuting into the city. We moved here from central London a few years back, good schools and a lot more affordable

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