Relocating to Herts (poss Stortford) - am I dreaming?(7 Posts)
Like the title says, we are thinking of relocating to BS this year. We would be applying for a (state) primary school place for DD1 next year. Our biggest priority is good schools, primary but probably secondary as well. DH will need to commute to London (Bridge or Liverpool St) and I will probably do a mix of working at home and commuting to London and Cambridge. We're looking at Bishop's Stortford primarily, also interested in Harpenden and Hitchin but I think they're even more expensive.
It seems like there's not much on the market right now so I can't get a good feel for whether we can really afford it - our budget is around £350k and we need 3 bedrooms. My understanding is that you have to live very close to the primary you want. We'd also like to live walking distance of the station. I've been looking around Northgate and Windhill (we're not churchgoers). Summercroft is also meant to be good, but I was advised on other forums that the area around there is not that nice (true?) Just wondered if what we want is totally unrealistic?
You could get a 3 bed terrace or semi in hitchin at a push for 350k. On the poets estate which is close to good schools and not far from the station. The poets estates are the ones off st michaels road in hitchin. The houses are a bit bland IMO ( sorry if anyone lives there ) but I think it is generally a nice quiet area with good schools..hitchin is lovely but the good schools are oversubscribed, like with most towns really. I think you would need to be registered with an estate agent and constantly ringing them as I think that is a popular price bracket and area. Hope that helps a bit x
You might struggle to get within walking distance of stortford train station, a lot of the housing stock within a mile of the station is either small two bed cottages or large period properties. If you were willing to push out a bit further than a mile of the station it would probably be doable, if you are happy live in an area that's more suburban new build in housing style. As for schools, generally there are no bad schools in stortford so personally I wouldn't worry too much about that, we were more concerned about getting as close to the station/town as possible. We needed a three bed too but had a budget of 250k max so ended up buying a two bed that we could extend as that was all that what we could afford (and actually all that was available) close to the station.
windhill is great <biased> - waytemore rd is a bit
monumentally dodgy, but scott rd is nice, the bit around the havers shops is ok too - this is a good street (v quiet) but v close to station too - www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-43443494.html
www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42809770.html also quiet, easy walk to station and windhill
have heard great stuff about northgate too, less so about summercroft. windhill is probably least 'desirable' primary last year, but is getting much more popular (for very good reason!).
Thanks for those links, v helpful! Wouldn't those houses be too far from Windhill to get a place though? I was under the impression that schools were very oversubscribed in BS so I was planning to move as close as possible to a primary school.
Vakant, with regards to buying a house you can extend, how does that work? Can you ring the council to get an idea of how likely planning permission is before you put the offer in? Was it something your surveyor advised on? We have bought a property before, but I'm starting to realise how clueless we were now!
Planning rules have been relaxed somewhat in recent years so if you just wanted to extend within permitted development limits then you wouldn't need permission (unless in a conservation area). So it will very much depend on the house and what you would envisage doing with it. For the house we bought, which is a Victorian end of terrace, we have converted the loft to get a master bedroom with en suite, dormer windows only to the rear and no more than 50 square foot added to keep within permitted development rules. The next project we want to do is to extend our kitchen into the side return and take out the walls to make one big living/dining/kitchen space at the back of the house leaving the main sitting room at the front separate. We intend to do this within permitted development limits too, I can't remember the specifics as I haven't fully researched it yet, but I think the limits are something like the extended space can only be a max of a 50% increase in square footage.
So basically what you will need to do is roughly decide how you'd like to ideally extend a certain property and then work out if you can do so within permitted development limits (these are easy to find by googling). If you did need to go down the planning permission route then I don't have direct experience of that but I guess a call to the local planning office for a chat would be the best way forward.
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