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Aussie moving to Birmingham- advice on where to live!

(15 Posts)
DDM2018 Sat 19-Aug-17 23:14:38

Hi all,

My husband and I are moving to Birmingham in January 2018 for his job. He will be working at the children's hospital. I am due to give birth in April so I won't be working.

We are looking for a two bedroom place to rent and from my research harborne, Kings Heath and Moseley seem like popular areas. We won't have a car so I keen to live somewhere in walking distance of a bar, coffee shop and supermarket. Good public transport is also important.

Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you

Marmaladeorange Sun 20-Aug-17 04:21:03

Kings Heath/Moseley are both wonderful areas. Everything is within walking distance, town centre just a 10/15 min bus ride away. Beautiful parks, great pubs and independent coffee shops. Schools are good, lovely sense of community. It's got a really diverse feel to it, whereas Harbone is pretty middle class and more pricey. Everyone I know absolutely loves living here. Feel free to DM me if you want any more details or advice!!

KingsHeathen Sun 20-Aug-17 08:18:15

I agree, KH has everything you will need, commute will be 40m-1hr for DH, on the bus, as no trains. But Harborne has no trains either. Bournville and Cotteridge have everything except supermarket, but the do have trains.
What's your budget like? And how long are you staying?
All areas have lots and lots going on for new mums smile

FlossieF Sun 20-Aug-17 08:27:37

Hi! Harborne also has beautiful parks, great pubs and independent coffee places on the high street, and there are plenty of Victorian terraced houses or flats within easy walk of the high street. There are also plenty of play groups, and baby stuff (yoga/massage/sensory/music etc) going on. PP is correct though that renting is likely to be more expensive here than in Kings Heath or Moseley.

There are excellent primary schools in Harborne, but they are oversubscribed so catchment areas are small, and it is perfectly possible to live in Harborne but not get a place at any of its schools. So if you are likely to still be here when that becomes an issue, you'd be wise to take care in choosing where exactly you live relative to the schools.

Theoretically, all three of those areas are within 10/15 minutes bus ride from the centre of Birmingham, but that is only outside rush hour. The journey time will be very much longer at peak times, and that can get unbelievably frustrating. The buses from .Harborne stop very close to the Children's hospital, not sure about the Kings Heath and Moseley buses. Personally, I cycle in to town from
Harborne to avoid the dreadful traffic, and would do the same from Kings Heath or Mosley if I lived there.

You could also have a look at Bournville. That is a very leafy area - prettier than all the other areas mentioned above. It has an excellent primary school, I believe, and good community facilities. No pubs or bars whatsoever though, but better public transport. It has a railway station so you can get into town on the train, thus avoiding the traffic.

There are independent small shops including butchers and bakers, but I don't think there is a supermarket in Bournville itself (which probably contributes to the relative beauty of the place). There are supermarkets in neighbouring areas such as Selly Oak, and you could easily live in Bournville and be within walking distance or an easy bus ride of a supermarket.

Good luck!

SellFridges Sun 20-Aug-17 08:31:47

I'd say you should be looking at Harborne. Bus will take 30m in rush hour but drops close the Children's.

Saying that, I always recommend Cotteridge so will do again. Train links are fab. Useful shops. Some good rentals around close to the park and Stichley High St. There's a good pub down there, as well as a bakery and coffee shop.

KingsHeathen Sun 20-Aug-17 08:35:18

Plus, most UK people use online grocery shopping nowadays, particularly if they have babies. All the big supermarkets will cover the areas we're discussing.
Re parks and Harborne- you can live near a park, or you can live near the facilities... we lived near the high street, and it was fab... but a mile to the nearest park which was a hassle.
Easy to get to the Botanical Gardens on the bus, though- they do a 12minth membership which is excellent, as the gardens are an oasis in the city, and throughout summer have live music at the weekends, and are safe place for small children to run free (no cars, no dogs).

DDM2018 Sun 20-Aug-17 11:01:28

Thank you everyone for your advice and suggestions! It's all pretty overwhelming, especially as we will be having a baby away from family and a health care system I don't know (but that's a whole different thread!)

I am very conscious about the commute for my husband, so maybe harborne would be more convenient although it does look more pricey! I think it's important that I am near a park, or somewhere to walk, join a mothers group etc.

KingsHeathen we are only staying for 18 months and ideally I wouldn't like to spend more than £750 pcm.

Thank you all again for your responses!

FlightlessBird Sun 20-Aug-17 16:22:50

Harborne would be my recommendation if I was in your situation - although £750 pcm might be a bit of a tight budget for somewhere near the high street.
It depends on what is more important, budget or lifestyle!

Somewhere like Northfield is cheaper (£650 ish for a nice 2 bed house with garden), good transport links to the center (train or x61 bus) but the high street is a little...sad. There are shops, cafes, a library and baby groups though!
I do enjoy living here but it's not as naice as Harborne.

Once you have decided where you're going to live, have a think about joining a NCT class. They are a little pricy but are apparently great for meeting other parents. Would be invaluable for you while you are on maternity leave with your new baby.

Marmaladeorange Sun 20-Aug-17 17:22:42

I really would suggest Kings Heath/Moseley over Northfield. Granted the commute to the hospital may be longer but Northfield doesn't have the friendliest reputation and has had several serious incidents of crime on the high street within the past couple of years. Plus there are talks of removing the 27 bus route which is pretty much essential for most people who live in that area.

SellFridges Sun 20-Aug-17 21:05:05

I wouldn't recommend Northfield, although your budget may price you out of the areas mentioned earlier based on that.

I'm back to suggesting Cotteridge I'm afraid 😃

KingsHeathen Sun 20-Aug-17 23:35:41

I'm afraid the commute from Harborne to BCH is awful, don't be fooled by the distance on the map! (Unless he's cycling)
Traffic down Harborne Hill is just nose-to-tail for ages, unless he's getting in for 7:30.

SellFridges Mon 21-Aug-17 08:24:33

KingHeathen is right. Traffic is crap on that stretch, similarly on the run from Kings Heath and Moseley. I would think about living close to the Cross City line. Much easier into town.

BackforGood Tue 22-Aug-17 00:05:33

'Northfield' covers a big area.
There are lots of nice parts to it - including those around the station.
Agree Harborne is nearer in miles, but it will take you / your dh longer to get into the City Centre through the traffic.
Prices are a lot cheaper, and, although I'll agree the High Street isn't the best - well, unless you enjoy browsing in Charity shops - there are lots of things for a Mum and new baby, and there's a lovely park, and, from the Summer, the new swimming baths and gym will open.
Kings Heath is nice too - suit you better than Harborne I think. However, dh would be reliant on bus only, as it's not near the train line.
Look around Cotteridge / Stirchley too - again, the High Streets aren't very 'high end' but lots of groups for a new Mum and baby and easy access into the City via the cross city train line. There is a nice park there too and easy bus route to places such as Canon Hill Park and the Nature Centre which are lovely.
Marmalade - they are consulting on re-routing the 27 and changing numbers, not removing all bus services, and it's hardly essential for most people in Northfield grin

KingsHeathen Tue 22-Aug-17 00:26:54

Thanks for the heads up re 27, MAIL uses that route frequently. Will pass that on.

BespokeProperty Wed 23-Aug-17 01:39:43

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