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Moving to London: House location for a young family

(108 Posts)
ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 10:07:37

Hi all, we will be moving to London from the Mideast in the first week of September 2012. Our kids are 4 and 7. The biggest worry right now is the house location. It should broadly be based on the following factors:

1. Not more than 20-30 mins commute from Paddington Station, which dh's office is close to (Kingdom Street).
2. There should ideally be very good state schools nearby.
3. Rental budget around GBP 1,500-2000 p.m. (we plan to rent for 6-12 months after which intend to buy).

Would greatly appreciate any inputs on the location. From some of the threads, I have gathered Ealing fits the above criteria. Any other locations you could guide us to, as the choice one sees online is just overwhelming. Thanks.

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:11:01

Anyone please?

Frontpaw Sun 24-Jun-12 12:13:44

Erm. Reading? I'd look along mainline stations from Paddington, unless you really want to be in town - but you won't get much for your money in London!

Frontpaw Sun 24-Jun-12 12:15:01

Or look along the central line (Lancaster Gate is about ten mins stroll to Paddington).

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 24-Jun-12 12:18:17

Do you want a house, or would you consider an apartment?

Ealing is nice but not cheap. What about Queen's Park?

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:20:48

thanks frontpaw, but we would prefer to not be too far from central london to truly get a taste of life there, hence would not consider reading.

while lancaster gate's location would be ideal for us, how do u think its schools are? good state schools and their availability are a strong consideration for us, also considering that we will be landing smack in the middle of September.

Frontpaw Sun 24-Jun-12 12:24:40

State schools are in 2 camps - not good offsted or really good buy very hard to get into. Possibly look further along towards Ladbroke Grove (North Kensington). Its a little beyond Notting Hill, and Queens Park is a good suggestion too.

Some of the rental sites do say what the local schools are and you can check them out on the ofsted sites.

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:25:09

Hi Rich, we are open to renting an apartment or house (around 500 p.w.) for now, since this is temporary phase till we purchase a house (not apartment) a year down the road. for purchasing, we have a budget in excess of gbp 550k.

how r the schools around queens park?

Frontpaw Sun 24-Jun-12 12:28:01

Are you church-goers?

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:29:12

Nopes, not church goers.

nkf Sun 24-Jun-12 12:31:14

Depends on how big a place you want. I think that a two bed flat in Crouch End is about £400 pw so withing budget and the primary schols are fine. But that might be a bit small for you.

kday Sun 24-Jun-12 12:33:46

Sorry to rain of your parade, but that budget is small for renting and or buying in central London. You could try Acton? State schools are very hard to get into and they go by borough - just because you are near a "good" one it doesn't mean you'll get in - first preference goes to kids in care of the local authority, then kids with special needs, then siblings or current pupils... then the rest. The borough has to find you a place in a school in the area, but it might not be the one nearest you or the one you prefer. Sorry.

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:34:40

NFK, does crouch end have a direct line to paddington?

yellowraincoat Sun 24-Jun-12 12:37:33

How about looking around the Barbican area too? Bit further east, but an easy commute to Paddington on the H&C/Circle and very central.

The Barbican estate itself is pretty groovy Barbican . Doesn't look much from the outside, but you're right next to the Barbican theatre, Museum of London,...if you moved there, I would be beyond jealous.

nkf Sun 24-Jun-12 12:37:36

Sorry. No. I forgot that bit.

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:43:14

Kday, thanks for the reality check. This is a major dilemma I am facing. Considering the immense pressure on good schools in central, it seems like I would have to decide our home location first based on our other (non-school criteria), and then look around to see if any of the schools are willing to accomodate. Rather than tie in our home to well-known school location, and then be disappointed to find out that none of the schools there can accomodate them. Perhaps, we could do with a mid-tier school in the first year, and we can buy our home subsequently based on better school locations.

Btw, how accomodative do you think any of the schools would be if we turned in the first week of september asking for admissions? Any policy for such overseas people moving in recently?

yellowraincoat Sun 24-Jun-12 12:43:17

This website is very useful for finding places you could commute from.

I don't think you're going to get much bigger than a 2 bed for your budget, by the way. And a 20-minute commute in London would be, in my experience, very lucky indeed.

You could think about Battersea - the prices there aren't so bad, but that's cos there's no tube. You'd have to take a train to Victoria (very frequent, very fast, under 10 mins if I recall correctly) and the tube to Paddington.

Remember to factor in travel costs, cos those are sky-high (£30 per week for zone 1 and 2 atm). You can always consider cycling, not as horrendous as you might expect in London and saves a packet.

ridinghigh Sun 24-Jun-12 12:48:32

yellow, thnks, barbican does look like an exotic option indeed! will look it up further now.

YoulllaughAboutItOneDay Sun 24-Jun-12 12:52:27

Do bear in mind that the average London commute is about 45-60 minutes (leaving out the people who commute from outside London as they will skew the numbers). I think your commute requirement may be the one that causes you the most difficulties.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 24-Jun-12 12:54:53

Not sure about the schools in QP- sorry, but have a couple of friends who have moved there and like it.

kday Sun 24-Jun-12 13:01:47

Willesden Junction or Kensal Green/Rise area might be an option. Good commute direct to Paddington and close to the more gentrified areas of Queens Park etc.? To be honest, I don't know what the process is for new arrivals after term starts - I'd suggest you pick a borough that interests you and then contact the local borough office asap. The borough will allocate the places for all non-church schools in the area and will be able to advise on the process. For example - this is the link to the borough of Brent (for Willesden etc). Remember, each area will have its own rules!

dreamingbohemian Sun 24-Jun-12 13:04:39

Yes, I think you'd do better to be more realistic about the commuting time. Nobody has a 20 minute commute, unless they're hugely wealthy and/or really lucky!

The Barbican would be fab. I'd definitely go with that if you can afford it.

yellowraincoat Sun 24-Jun-12 13:10:19

dreamingbohemian, do you want to just move in together in the Barbican? We could have bug screens and everything.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 24-Jun-12 13:12:29

I think if you mean 20-30 mins just actually on the train, then that's a bit more do-able, but on the tube, you usually have to allow 5-10 mins just to get from street onto train, or train up to street before you even start going tube to office or tube to home.

dreamingbohemian Sun 24-Jun-12 13:26:28

yellowraincoat, you had me at 'bug screens'


I will overlook the fact that you love looking at naked Rihanna. Let's get something with a balcony, right?

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