Considering move to Birmingham

(5 Posts)
pregogirl Fri 26-Jun-15 15:51:21

Hello there

I'm sure I'm not the first to create one of these threads! We are in SE London and are considering a move to Birmingham, so wanting to get some advice. We have family in North Shropshire, which is one of the main reasons for wanting to move. The housing market also seems a lot more friendlier! We had a look around the centre of the city recently and we loved it!

We have 2 children - a 5 year old and a 2 year old. My husband is self employed and would probably need to be in London 2/3 days a week on average.

We are city people - so would like to be closer to the centre, as well as an easy commute for my husband to New Street. We would like to be close to facilities, parks, shops, restaurants etc. From my initial research it seems the best place to look for a house would be in the South of the city - so looking at Harborne/Moseley/Kings Heath would be the place to look. I've read mixed things about Edgebaston and Selly Oak? Also what is the area to the east of Moseley like - before you hit the Stratford Road? (A34). Also what is Quinton/Bearwood/Smethwick like?

We would more than likely be looking at moving at the end of the year, so my son would be in year 1. What are folk's experiences of schools in that area and demand?

I've got another question about the Children's hospital but I will post that on another thread.

We will probably go and have another look around but I just wanted to do some research and get some opinions from some people who know the lie of the land.

Thanks so much in advance - much appreciated.

KingsHeathen Mon 29-Jun-15 11:08:30

Are you buying or renting? What is your budget? Y1 seriously oversubscribed.

pregogirl Mon 29-Jun-15 19:43:15

Hi. Thanks for replying. We are not sure at the moment. We are looking into a mortgage - budget probably £150,000 or if we land up renting initially it would be approx £1000 pcm. Would love a 3 bed.

Thanks so much - any advice appreciated.

KingsHeathen Mon 29-Jun-15 21:47:50

I'm afraid 150K won't get you anything in harborne/moseley/KH. Unlikely to find much in Selly Oak either. East of Moseley is very busy/vibrant, but you will have no chance of finding a school place, as the schools are hopelessly over-subscribed I'm afraid.
You need to be near a station really, and South birmingham (moseley/KH) isn't served by the train! Nor is Harborne.
Cotteridge and Stirchley are closer to trainmen, though he'd have to go up into New St first, and out again.
This is in Harborne (and slightly over budget). It is a very naice road, and close to Chad Vale Primary school, which is a good school if they have any spaces. It's the kind of area that professionals do move to/from for work though. It would be simple for DH to get the bus into city centre to station, however, it can take quite a while when it's busy (i.e. any time after 7:55am)

This one is Harborne/Edgbaston/Selly Oak border which is a bit of a difficult to classify area. It would be a short walk up to the University station for DH, and he would need to go into New St (5mins/3 stops) to change for London trains. Schools available would be St Peters (at a push, would depend on waiting list) Watermill (nice, one form entry, friendly school. High turnover rate as they take a lot of children whose parents work at the University or at the hospitals, so move fairly frequently), Paganel (not so nice, though I believe improved). Lots of the houses here are rented out to nurses/young professionals, and some to students.

There are other options, closer to city centre- the old Woodview area has been completely rebuilt, and there are lots of flats to rent there (2 and 3bed). the advantages are - v close to city centre (i.e. 10 minutes walk, even for DS), close to station (either Five Ways, into New St, or straight walk into New St). There are houses too, though I didn't see any on right move at the moment. The negatives are schools- the inner city schools are not wonderful, at least not on initial glance at performance tables. They have a lot of pupils with EAL, and on pupil premium. However, most of them have good rates of progress. I do know though, that as with most areas of Bham, getting a school place will be difficult, and you may end up travelling some way for school (though transport links from there are v good, road and bus) .

This is central Kings Heath and 20 yards from an RC Primary School, 20 yards from the high street, and supermarket, banks, medical centre etc. Equidistant between three other (non-faith) primaries. Positives- great vibe in KH, reasonable schools, fantastic parks, all very close, very walkable. negatives- well parking nigh-on impossible. School places very difficult, very over-subscribed, despite schools being three form intakes (Colmore, KH Primary, Wheelers Lane (two or three, can't remember) St Dunstan's two form). Other negative is the distance DH would have to travel to get the train. It can be over an hour into/out of city centre at rush hour.

This is central Bournville which is a v very nice area. 15 minute walk to station for DH (because you have to go round, cannot cut through), trains into Bham, then out to London on other line. Close to Bournville Infant School which is good, but will always have a waiting list. There's also Raddlebarn and St Edwards (RC) that are walkable (though longish walk) and easier to get into, but still likely to have waiting lists in Y1.

This is in Cotteridge which is popular and less expensive than B'ville. There's a school a short walk away, and one a little further (Stirchley) though neither is as sought-after as Bournville Infants. It's right next to a lovely park, and an easy walk to train station (though again, would have to go into city centre, and out again for london). There are lots of affordable options in this area though, and lots of MNers live in the environs. smile

Birmingham is weird though. There are some areas that seem perfect for families, with affordable housing... and then you find out you cannot get a school place anywhere, not because of over-subscribed-ness, but because there's no school confused. Other areas there are four or five schools within spitting distance of one another (and you can't get a place because they're all full!)

Happy to help if you want to know about specific streets/areas/schools etc. If you put a thread into chat, lots of Bham MNers will come out of the woodwork- they always seem very secretive, but very enthusiastic about recommending their patch when people ask! grin

summerpuddingandclottedcream Mon 29-Jun-15 22:45:50

Good post KingsHeathen smile

There's also Kings Norton - this house is a pleasant walk away from the station:

And it's not the only one in your price bracket in that area.

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