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Thinking about a big move

(15 Posts)
coravio Tue 02-Sep-14 10:34:28

I'm a 29yo mother of two from NZ. My husband was born in London and we are looking into the possibility of moving there. On most fronts, NZ is an amazing place to live. However we are both musicians and are feeling a little starved musically and culturally (have heard that London is pretty good on both those fronts!)

Obviously, London is not so good on other fronts. Sounds like I will lose many a nights sleep over schooling, rent and more.

I will be a newly qualified teacher (getting my diploma next year), with an honours degree and 10 years of previous experience in instrumental and classroom music teaching.
My husband is an electrician.

I've read countless charts on the internet, but it would be helpful if anyone could give me an idea of how feasible it is to raise a family in London with both parents working in the professions listed above. Since we are thinking of moving in over a year the children will be approx 8 and 5.

We do want to move back to NZ for secondary school, so that may make things a little easier with schooling.

Obviously WHERE to live would be a great start. Since both of our jobs do not have to be centered around the city, we are a little flexible there. However, we do want to be able to access the city easily when needed for music activities.

I'm coming to visit in 1 months time, so it would be great to know where I should nosey around. I've only got 4 days though, so the list will have to be pretty lean ;)

Thank you in advance for your responses, I've learnt so much from mumsnet already. Such a great community smile


TalkinPeace Tue 02-Sep-14 14:26:18

Most of southern England is within 2 hours of Central London by train for the cultural stuff
so find where you can get jobs and schools and a house , worry about getting to the South Bank of an evening later on.

coravio Tue 02-Sep-14 22:31:46

Thanks for the reply, probably getting a little ahead of myself. Have to start somewhere right? Jobs would be a good start.
What is the demand for teachers and electricians, I guess they are both fairly in demand?
Also, would you recommend living somewhere closer in with good transport and making do without a car. Or further out with a car?
2 hours does sound a little far, at least one of us will probably be hoping to be in the city 2-3 nights a week.
How much would you recommend to budget for rent? We don't need a big place...
Thanks so much!

lisaloulou84 Tue 02-Sep-14 22:37:46

South East London is pretty much the most affordable area to rent that's family friendly, try looking at East Dulwich, Forest Hill, Sydenham - you won't find them on a tube map, but the buses are less than 45 mins to central London. Lots of parks and good schools, very family orientated. Rent is approx £1300-£1500 for a 2 bed flat or £1800 + for a 3 bed house or flat.

coravio Tue 02-Sep-14 23:51:10

Brilliant, thanks lisaloulou. Am doing some internet sleuthing on East Dulwich atm. Am liking what I see. Cycle to the city sounds like a good option to use from time to time.

Sounds like its best to look mainly in South London? I haven't heard any recommendations for North?

Can't wait to come over and have a look around!

So far my shortlist will include:
East Dulwich (or nearby)
Richmond upon Thames (or will this just be too expensive?)

I'm really interested in places that have a great community, sometimes you can make do easily in a smaller house if you are in a dynamic area.

lisaloulou84 Wed 03-Sep-14 08:02:19

Richmond is very very expensive! I definitely think south of the river you get so much more for your money because there are less tube links but it's still very easy to get into the city and there's much more of a sense of community and more open spaces. East Dulwich is lovely but it is one of the slightly more expensive bits of its area. Nunhead, Forest Hill, Sydenham and Crystal Palace are all nearby and slightly cheaper but still lovely. Avoid Camberwell, Streatham and Peckham, these are nearby but less lovely.
Have a look at the East Dulwich forum which is the online community for the area and you'll get a feel for the place too. But basically a long walk up Lordship Lane from goose green and a nosey down the streets off it and a walk through Peckham Rye and Dulwich park will tell you very quickly when you visit if it's the place for you.

LightTripper Wed 03-Sep-14 08:40:37

I would have a look at Herne Hill and Brockley too.

For South East London you need to look at the overground rail network as well as the buses. The Overground can also be useful if you are interested in smaller gigs and arts events, rather than just the South Bank. It forms a ring around London and links you to lots of not v family friendly but arts active areas (e.g. Jazz clubs in Dalston, and lots going on in Peckham and New Cross these days).

LightTripper Wed 03-Sep-14 08:43:56

Sorry, I realise that was probably confusing.

When I say Overground with a capital O that just refers to a subset of overground rail lines (shown in orange on a tube map): but there are loads of other local rail lines that are useful in South East London (but don't show up on a standard tube map).

crazymum53 Wed 03-Sep-14 09:41:31

You really need to check whether your NZ qualified teacher status would be valid in the UK OP. I know qualified teachers from South Africa, US and Australia who have had to repeat their qualifying year in order to teach in the UK.
The other factor that you need to bear in mind is that the school year starts in September in the UK and most teaching jobs for September will be advertised the term/half term before i.e. from May. If your children have Autumn birthdays i.e. between Sept and Dec they will be in a different school year group in the UK.

PetraArkanian Wed 03-Sep-14 09:45:21

Richmond is crazy prices...although you can also charge a lot more as an electrician round there. Just over the river in Brentford or some of Chiswick can be cheaper...or go a bit further out (Twickenham/Teddington)

crazymum53 Wed 03-Sep-14 10:03:37

Looks as if they may accept your teaching qualification OP see attached link

Imperial Wed 03-Sep-14 10:06:39

Somewhere like New Malden is reasonably priced, becoming quite family friendly and the city is easily accessed on the Overground.

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Wed 03-Sep-14 10:07:37

Try even further out perhaps bromley/beckenham for example, they have good transport into town, 20 mins on the train into victoria. You woukd find a good 3 bed jouse for £1350 ish pcm or less.

Efferlunt Wed 03-Sep-14 10:09:05

If you like Richmond look at Kingston. Cheaper than Richmond but still very nice. Some fantastic primary schools.

coravio Wed 03-Sep-14 10:19:03

I really can't thank you ladies enough for your kind help! I'm starting to feel that this move might be possible after all smile

Before this thread, and from reading the forums I couldn't find many options of where to live (except Richmond) so I'm so happy to hear of many alternatives.

@crazymum Thanks for the heads up about the qualifications, and the link!

I'm looking at airbnb in case I can actually stay in one of these places while I'm there smile eeek getting excited.

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