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AIBU to ask for advice? Need to move to a cheaper part of the U.K. for financial reasons, but don't know where to look...any ideas on locations please?

(36 Posts)
laleila Sat 18-Mar-17 12:20:54

I live with my 4 DC in a ridiculously expensive part of the SE. I've always lived here, kids are settled and happy at school. But I can't afford to live a halfway decent life, I can just about afford to pay my mortgage and bills and there's nothing left over. I work in a low paying job and I've increased my hours to try to improve things but it's not really making much difference.

I'm looking for ideas, suggestions, please, on nice areas that I can afford a 4 bed house, near good secondary schools and within reasonable distance of a town/city, as my eldest 3 DC are teenagers and will want lifts to venues/mates etc.

Hopefully a cheaper part of the U.K. would mean I have a bit more spare cash and I could clear some debts accrued from my divorce. I have pretty good equity in my home and selling shouldn't be a problem.

I wouldn't rule anywhere out, I'd love to stay fairly nearby for visiting family, friends but I drive and it's not too much of an issue.

I've looked at various places on right move but you can't get a 'feel' for an area just by looking at photos online....

Any ideas would be gratefully received and appreciated smile

Happyandhungry Sat 18-Mar-17 12:31:07

If you're in south east I think one of the cheapest places is Portsmouth. We live here and find that its reasonable and yet still nice (obviously some not nice areas in every town and city) but if we go any distance around us we hit really expensive areas like Brighton, Petersfield/Haslemere etc and west we hit new forest etc. So its a happy medium place with good links to everywhere and also the seaside smile

TinfoilHattie Sat 18-Mar-17 12:34:32

You need to be more specific. What would your house budget be? House prices vary hugely through the UK. What do you do for a job?

TinfoilHattie Sat 18-Mar-17 12:35:50

Also with teenagets you are pretty much restricted to England/Walese as moving to Scotland would mean different school system which may not be appropriate.

DaisyBlameless Sat 18-Mar-17 12:36:33

What budget?

Sallysadlyseescertainty Sat 18-Mar-17 12:37:47


FarAwayHills Sat 18-Mar-17 12:38:18

Makes sense OP, we've often considered doing the same. The price differences outside of London and the SE makes it very tempting. Even within the SE there are certain areas that still offer good value outside of the hotspots depending how much equity you will have.

LesSmiths1 Sat 18-Mar-17 12:40:10

South east? What Hastings/Bexhill, Crawley, Folkestone.

Portsmouth is also fine but avoid areas around the football stadium.

LesSmiths1 Sat 18-Mar-17 12:41:22

Obviously these areas are cheap for London standards but for northerners won't be cheap at all.

LesSmiths1 Sat 18-Mar-17 12:43:21

What about this in Horsham this is a lovely four bed.

Domino20 Sat 18-Mar-17 12:43:26

I'd second the Portsmouth area, we holiday there a lot, loads to do, seaside, country side and quirky towns. I've been looking at properties (although much smaller than your requirement) and there seems to be a wide range of prices. Sorry no idea about schools though.

spanieleyes Sat 18-Mar-17 12:51:50

Try Lincolnshire. Cheap housing, good communication links to London ( even if to nowhere else!) grammar schools in many areas.

TheRealPooTroll Sat 18-Mar-17 12:58:46

North Wales coast is cheap and beautiful. You can get a massive house right on the beach for next to nothing. We looked at moving there but you are quite isolated if you're used to big city amenities.

10Betty10 Sat 18-Mar-17 12:59:43

Going further north would make sense if you are looking for Harper living costs. How about somewhere in the East Midlands? Nottingham, Derby and Leicester all have much lower house prices, excellent amenities and schools and some beautiful villages with easy transport links to the cities if you fancied something out of the city?

10Betty10 Sat 18-Mar-17 13:00:02

*cheaper not Harper!

Babbaganush Sat 18-Mar-17 13:00:40

South Wales? Swansea Valley and Neath Valley both have some nice affordable areas. Good access via trains / M4 coast and countryside, shopping, theatres etc in Cardiff and Swansea. Tenby and Brecon are nearby for day trips.

DancingLedge Sat 18-Mar-17 13:02:58

If I were making a big move with teenagers, I would seriously think about Scotland: 4DC =potential £120,000 saving on Uni debt.

NotDavidTennant Sat 18-Mar-17 13:06:32

Surely this depends a lot on what your job is? In many parts of the country jobs are much hard to come by than they are in the SE. People could recommend areas X, Y & Z but if there are no jobs in your field of work then it won't be practical for you to move to those areas.

bloodyfuming9 Sat 18-Mar-17 13:13:52

I don't think Wales charges Uni fees either. This would be a big consideration for me if I had 4 DC. Scottish education strikes me as being good usually...

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sat 18-Mar-17 13:14:24

Cheaper areas of the country are generally cheaper for a reason. And the main reason is the availability and salary-level of jobs. There's absolutely in point in dragging your teenage kids to Lincolnshire for instance if you can afford the size of house you need for now but can't earn yourself a decent living until retirement.

This is a move I'd be considering once your children are adults.

EustaceClarenceScrubb Sat 18-Mar-17 13:15:44

Wales do charge uni fees as far as I am aware. They don't charge for prescriptions.

Coldilox Sat 18-Mar-17 13:21:49

I'm from the SE originally, live in the Manchester suburbs now. Have a lovely 3 bed house for a fraction of what it would cost where I grew up. Our lifestyle is pretty good, far better than we could have afforded if we lived there. Doesn't take too long to get back to visit family, and there are good transport links from here into Manchester City centre, and also not too far from Liverpool/Leeds etc. But I guess it all depends on your budget

jacks11 Sat 18-Mar-17 13:27:30

There are lots of options, it would help to know what kind of location- would you like to be in a city, small town, suburbia, small town , village or rural? Also, what kind of price range you are thinking of? What is "cheaper" to some may not be others

I also think it depends on what line of work you are in to know whether that is something that may available locally, or whether you would consider working in any job with a similar income. Pay in the SE can be higher for the same job, so although you might reduce living costs it may not give you more disposable income.

For instance, I lived just north of Central belt of Scotland at one time. Pretty area, easy reach of Edinburgh/Glasgow is a nice area, decent schools (e.g. or in Perth itself is ok, though not sure what job market may be like for your line of work ( These are not the cheap end of the market, would think there would be cheaper available.

Edinburgh is beautiful and there are good schools- though by Scottish house prices it is expensive- but the surrounding areas like Fife and the Lothians have nice areas too (I don't know much regarding schools).

All depends on how far from family/friends you are willing to be and what kind of area you want to live in?

Willyoujustbequiet Sat 18-Mar-17 13:32:36

Northumberland. Stunning beaches and countryside. Very friendly locals. Newcastle on the doorstep. Property is cheap and some of the market towns are delightful with excellent schools.

jamdonut Sat 18-Mar-17 13:33:29

I'm on the Yorkshire coast (East Riding). We moved here from Hertfordshire in 2003. House prices are still pretty low, we have good comprehensive and primary schools not to mention the beautiful coast and countryside ( watch the Tour De Yorkshire!) We have never regretted moving here, and we moved because we were in a tiny 50% shared ownership flat, and needed more room ( five of us in a two bedroom flat!) We didn't have a cat in hell's chance of buying anything bigger where we were.
It is a different life to down South, but better one in my opinion.

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