Moving to Hastings...

(104 Posts)
surreymumwithone Wed 19-Sep-12 09:28:31

Hello - I hope some of you Hastings Mum's out there can help me. We (me, DH and DD) are planning a move to Hastings from Surrey/West London and while I know that most people look on here for info on schools, my request is more for areas we can register an interest in with the estate agents as we've just come back from 10 days in Hastings and are a bit lost about where to avoid. A bit of background, DH will be commuting to London and has all of that sorted and I am a SAHM. Our Daughter is 4 and will be home educated due to disability and ongoing health issues. So we aren't looking at Hastings for work or schools, just for a lifestyle change and a better way of life for my Daughter who needs fresh air and all of the sensory wonders that come along with being so near to the sea. We love Hastings Old Town and had found a wonderful house, however as with most properties in the Old Town, it was next door but one to a pub and I'm just not sure we are ready for that with a little one. I don't know if it helps but we love the feel of the Old Town and Fishing Quarter, along with all of the roads at the top of West Hill. Obviously, sea views would be wonderful but more importantly is a nice area and parking as my Daughter is physically disabled and it would be great to not have to use a chair to get from home to the car. We are open to any area as we have no real restrictions and have a good budget for each month but we've found some conflicting information online about Hastings in general (from DO NOT MOVE THERE to best decision we ever made) so finding info on which areas to look at or better yet, which areas to avoid, has been impossible. I know that each town has good and bad and we aren't stuck up at all, its just worrying being blind and moving there with a child. If it was just the two of us, we would have loved the house next a pub and all that went along with that. I might be barking up the wrong tree by posting this here so if I am, I apologise. I'm just stumped. Thanks in advance smile

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 09:03:36

(though we might have to consider driving in the future if we want to live in a decent area with a good size garden...)

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:04:34

It is an area of deprivation and quite a lot of antisocial behaviour, there are some dodgy families living there. Which road are you looking at ? Some bits are OK but if you're near one of the "pockets" you'd be better not to go there.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:06:04

MaryKat, there is a bus that is 2 minute walk from that house in Hazelwood which runs down to Hastings station/town centre. It is a nice area and a very quiet cul-de-sac where your children can play in the road smile

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 09:26:08

Thanks for the reply OhDearSpareHeadTwo, I appreciate it (and sorry for the hijack, everyone else!)

We're considering North Avenue. It seemed nice to me. Not the poshest area, sure, but lots of families, near a great school and also easy access to the Downs. Have I got my rose-tinted glasses on perhaps?! It is one of the "pockets"?

Please be honest!

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 10:10:30

I wouldn't buy anything in North Avenue, sorry. Cavalry Crescent, Royal Sussex and Command Road are all "well known" streets for ASB and synonymous with trouble and they all lead off that road. Sorry but hopefully that might save you some problems in the future. It might be fine but I wouldn't take the risk

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 10:36:22

I come from an area in London which is very deprived, in places. (Fairly open crack dealing in the street, on my old road fro many years, for example, and people wandering around begging for money for more crack - until the dealers were all busted about 2 years ago).

Comparing the crime stats of that area of EB and my old area makes interesting reading! Eastbourne BN20 vs Clapton, Hackney

100 crimes recorded for August in BN20 compared to 1755 in E5!

Obviously, Hackney's much more densely populated, that site doesn't compare crime to population. However I wonder if coming from such a rough area does give me rose tinted glasses, a bit, when it comes to what I see as a much safer place in comparison?

We did consider Hastings / St Leonards, but decided against as it seemed silly to move out of one deprived area and go find another one!

Am we doing this here though?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 10:38:44

Sorry again for the hijack, people. May I offer you a link to this site as way of an apology!

It might be useful in choosing areas - it has info on crime stats by postcode.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 10:54:55

In that case North Avenue will probably seem like Primrose Hill grin.

You get much more property for your money in SLOS/Hastings - £200,000 will buy you a nice, big house in a nice area over there whereas in Eastbourne it will buy you a cupboard in a nice area...

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 10:58:18

And if you know the areas to avoid I would say that the Hastings area is no more deprived than Eastbourne. There's a lot more going on for families as well; a lot of money has been pumped into Hastings' regeneration in the last decade and it is now starting to show. I really love Hastings, despite being a born and bred Eastbournian - and am looking forward to moving over there in a few years.
There is a better selection of senior schools in Hastings/Bexhill/SLOS as well - including two single sex ex-grammars with very good reputations.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 11:16:04

If we had £200k, we'd have our pick of areas - more like £150K sadly!

FWIW I really like Hastings / St Leonards too. If I didn't have DCs to think about, we'd have moved there in a flash, it's got an arty/boho feel in places which I like and which is lacking a bit in EB I feel. However our other main reason against is I need to get to Brighton, and the areas we liked to live as a family (e.g. Blacklands) weren't near a station so my commute would have been horrendous. We saw a lovely place on the Bexhill Road, fantastic garden. But again it was the commute that put me off, even before we got into looking at what the area was like.

We've been renting in EB two years now, and really like it. However we're currently in Upperton, which is lovely I think. Need to decide this week if we're going for the place in Old Town. I'm having a major wobble here!

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:34:38

how many beds do you need and how near mainline station ?

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:43:04

have you considered Polegate ? Property is cheaper there than in EB and you're on the Brighton line. You'll always get a garden although most of the houses are post war so if you like period property you would be unlucky

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 11:43:28

3 beds, but not box rooms! We looked at lots of lovely houses around the Whitley Road area, but the ones in our budget all had teeny-tiny bedrooms, and titchy gardens - we'd have to get rid of loads of stuff! We need two double bedrooms really.

The most important consideration for us is schools. We need to put DS's name down for a primary in January. In Eastbourne we want to be in catchment for Pashley Down, Motcoombe or Bourne (yes I know historically Bourne has a bad reputation, but the people I know who have actually had anything to do with it recently say they're very impressed. Ofsted rate it good also).

In Hastings we liked the look of Blacklands school, and there was one other (I forget which one now) but there were both too far from the train station and that ruled them out really.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 11:44:25

We did consider Polegate, but didn't see anything we liked - well not anything we could afford anyway!

BedHog Mon 01-Oct-12 11:49:51

I would say to all those thinking of moving to Hastings and wanting a nice area - please don't automatically discount flats. Many of the nicest areas - Blacklands, Alexandra Park, Upper St Leonards (Combermere Rd etc), The Green, Lower Clive Vale etc. are made up of enormous Victorian properties. A building which was originally a 7 bedroom townhouse with servants quarters, and has now been divided into 2 or 3 flats, will give you far more space and character than a small 3 bed terrace for the same money or less.

BedHog Mon 01-Oct-12 11:53:51

aufaniae - Have you looked at Lower Park Road in Hastings? Not sure if anything is available atm, but it's a 10 min walk to Blacklands, and about the same to Hastings Station, lovely houses too.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:56:12

Whereabouts in upperton are you living now aufaniae ?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:06:33

BedHog, not specifically - off to look at Rightmove now smile

OhDeadSpareHeadTwo we're not far from the station, our place is lovely - but it's rented and we're looking to buy. I'd love to buy this place - but that's not even a remote possibility!

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:07:48

One of the things we liked about the North Avenue place is that it's in catchment for Pashley Down, which is an outstanding infants school by all accounts.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:09:35

yes, Pashley is excellent. We live in South Street so not too far from you.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:16:38

There is a similar house to the one you're looking at, Aufanie, just up the road in Beechy Avenue here. Pashley is at the end of Beechy and it's not as dodgy an area as North Av.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:20:55

this is also a nicer area than North Avenue but in the catchment for Pashley/Motcombe etc

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:32:03

Thanks OhDearSpareHeadTwo, really nice of you to have a look for us!

The Beechy Avenue one is lovely - but only a 2 bed, we need 3 really.

I've seen the Filtching Road one before, but assumed that they probably wouldn't accept the offer we'd want to make. We've got £150K to spend, but that includes any renovations, and that place needs at least a little work to make it ours. So, it's out of our price range really I think.

It's only round the corner from the roads you've been talking about though, do a couple of streets really make so much difference?

South Street is really nice smile

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:35:21

BedHog there's nothing on near Blacklands at the moment sad - apart from this which is nicely presented but tiny bedrooms and bath.

The other school which gets a good OFSTED in Hastings is Little Ridge I think, but it's too far from the station for us.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:36:33

yes, they really do. The problem families all seem to be concentrated in one small area and it would be the areas around there that I would avoid.
It's really odd - we were talking about this very area on Friday in the office and saying that some of it is OK but that none of us that know the area would touch Central Av, RSC or the one I mentioned up thread.

No harm in making an offer - we made an offer once for £75k less than the asking price and it was accepted ! You don't know what the circs are, it could be a probate sale (from the decor it could be) and the sellers just want to get some money. What's the worst that could happen ? they can only laugh at you :D And they might say yes - particularly if it's been on the market a while. Sellers like FTBs at the moment as you have no chain

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