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AIBU selling my house in zone 3 and buying a flat in zone 1?

(101 Posts)
karmi2010 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:38:54

I have actually posted in DIY as well but thought may be I could get more opinions here...

AIBU seriously considering selling my house in zone 3 and buying a flat (possible an ex-LA flat as they are larger and cheaper) in zone 1 primarily to shorten my commute?

I have a terraced house in London zone 3. It was OK for me previously, but now I have a 10-months old DD, schools around me aren't great so I am thinking of moving. I work in the City of London and my commute is just over an hour now. I am a single mum and have my mother living with me who is looking after my DD. This will be my home for the next 10 years or so, and realistically I need 3 bed, ideally with a garden or terrace/balcony.

Now the dilemma - when I sell the house, I can either afford a 3-bed ex-council flat somewhere closer to the centre of London and shorten my commute to 30mins or so, or get a nice house somewhere in zone 5, the commute will then be the same (hopefully) 1 hour or 1.10min.

I always thought that when I sell, I will move further out into a nicer house with more space and bigger garden, but when I started work a couple of months ago I realised that I really struggle with an hour commute - I work long hours and at the moment only see my DD for 30mins a day before she goes to sleep...

So I am seriously thinking about moving somewhere near Paddington or similar, so that I have 15-25mins commute door to door.

Am I mad? Will I regret not having a garden/living in a flat/living on an estate etc...?

Hassled Fri 04-Nov-16 14:43:22

No I don't think you're mad at all. Is your mum on board with a move closer to the centre? When you say living on an estate, are we talking dodgy estate or OK-ish? I'd do a lot of homework about the area before you commit but anything you can do to get some extra time with your DD has to be worth it. Good luck.

sparechange Fri 04-Nov-16 14:45:40

I don't think you are mad but I wonder if there is a better area for you than Paddington? And you could also look for a garden flat.

What is your approximate budget and perhaps some MNers can recommend some areas/find some example properties for you?

mumonahottinroof Fri 04-Nov-16 14:47:38

I think that is an excellent plan - why not a flat in the actual City of London? I used to live in an ex_LA flat in zone one, happiest days of my life. Never will understand the British aversion to flats.

Ellieboolou27 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:49:28

Not mad but as a previous owner of an ex local authority flat beware about the service charges. When we brought our ex council flat the council stated there would be no planned major works during the next 5 years, 18 months later we were landed a £12000 bill for major works, 4 years after that we were landed with another £6000 bill for major works, this was along side the normal service charges. Personally if I could avoid it, I would never go from a freehold to a leasehold. Hard choice but be aware of the pitfalls of a leasehold property, especially ex local authority as their major works charges can run into many thousands as we learnt from bitter experience.

Sonders Fri 04-Nov-16 14:50:13

I don't think your mad, but if you're already moving to Zone 1, why don't you get as close to work as possible?

I might be naive though as I'm not sure of the price differences in different boroughs :P

mumonahottinroof Fri 04-Nov-16 14:52:30

Re service charges buy into a block with a sinking fund - this should help with works etc.

Ellieboolou27 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:53:32

Also I'd never give up a garden if I had kids, but that's just me, I lived in a flat as a kid and hated that I never had a garden, my kids love playing ou in our garden, growing herbs, planting etc, I'd only give a garden and freehold up if it was a choice of becoming homeless.

karmi2010 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:53:59

Thanks so much, everyone!
I feel a bit better now )) as so far all my friends said I am mad ))
I chose Paddington (well, in fact, Little Venice) as I saw a really nice ex-LA flat there near an outstanding school, and the area, despite being the border of zones 1 and 2, felt really family friendly and just generally nice.
But any suggestions of the suitable areas are very appreciated!
I work very close to Chancery Lane tube, so commute to Chancery Lane, Holborn, Blackfriars or Farringdon are fine. I also commute to work in the rush hour unfortunately.
Budget is (very maximum) £700K (that's provided I sell for what I plan to sell and get a mortgage).

SharkBaitOohHaha Fri 04-Nov-16 14:56:05

I don't think it's mad.

I live in Zone 1 and commute to Barbican. It's literally 6 or 7 minutes on the tube, absolute heaven.

I have colleagues that live out in zones 3/4/5 and they're absolutely knackered all the time and have little time to themselves. My rent is higher than theirs, obviously, but it's worth it for me.

fusspot66 Fri 04-Nov-16 14:56:10

What about schools?
Babies are school age before you know it. You'll be applying for a Nursery place 2 years and Primaries in 3.

Believeitornot Fri 04-Nov-16 14:58:45

How do you commute? Train or tube. We used to live in zone 4 with a 20-30 min journey to London Bridge/Victoria or Blackfriars etc.

foxychox Fri 04-Nov-16 15:01:00

I would love to live in zone 1 and would gladly live in a flat to do so - short commute, surrounded by amazing stuff to do once your DD is a bit older, go for it!

mumonahottinroof Fri 04-Nov-16 15:05:21

Little Venice is a lovely area, Clerkenwell also is amazing and then work would be on your doorstep. I'd look for a place with at least a balcony, many flats (like my old one) also have communal gardens but personally I don't think a garden is a be-and-end-all in central London where parks are everywhere.

It can be hard to get a mortgage on an ex-LA flat in a high rise, so bear that in mind.

sparechange Fri 04-Nov-16 15:08:42

What about actually being in the City? There is only one primary and it is outstanding
Or Shoreditch borders where there will lots of hipster families

user1478257085 Fri 04-Nov-16 15:09:38

I'm jealous of you living in Zone 3.
I'd be GREEN if you lived in Zone 1.
Go for it, I say smile

sparechange Fri 04-Nov-16 15:11:02

JellyBelli Fri 04-Nov-16 15:12:49

The friends that tell you that you are mad - do they have to commute 2 hours a day through London?

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Fri 04-Nov-16 15:13:53

I wouldn't even hesitate.

I love flats and I love being central. nevwr underestimate how much better you will feel with a short journey to work!

chilipepper20 Fri 04-Nov-16 15:14:24

Commuting is difficult. that's a lot of time out of your day that could be spent doing just about anything else.

I don't think everything is worth shortening a commute, but if you can do it, it is probably worth it.

YelloDraw Fri 04-Nov-16 15:15:24

Yeah you could bike to work in <20 mins from either of those two flats.

Bogoffdailymail Fri 04-Nov-16 15:15:45

I'd do it, shorter commute and loads to do on your doorstep, as long as you're near a decent school it sounds like a brilliant idea

Backingvocals Fri 04-Nov-16 15:16:17

Love the idea. I live near Paddington myself and it's a great area. DCs have grown up loving the canal and the whole area is buzzy and vibrant but also doable for families. I don't know the City as well but I should imagine that would work well too.

HarleyQuinzel Fri 04-Nov-16 15:17:18

I live in zone 4 and Farringdon is half and hour on the train from where I am. I've only been a couple of times though, maybe it's different in rush hour.

As you work long hours I wouldn't be that bothered with a garden.

EssentialHummus Fri 04-Nov-16 15:19:17

Go for it! I am in Zone 2, in an ex-council, 10 minutes to London Bridge on the train. Schools around here are great but - and you're likely to face the same - the catchment areas are the size of my arse, and not in a good way. So do your research.

spare those are all great finds.

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