Moving to the Area, advice needed, please

(15 Posts)
Texascake Wed 19-Feb-14 08:55:15

We've unexpectedly been told that my Husbands' job may be relocating to Henley. We currently live in Chester in the suburbs and I've never even visited Oxfordshire. We need to make a decision sharpish and I'll be visiting the area next week to try and narrow things down a bit.

We have a daughter (10) and a son (5) so primary and secondary are important, but will be state school rather than independent.

We're used to having a local shop, pub, cinema and supermarket within 5 to 10 minutes. We are happy to live in a non-character house if that gets us more space for the money. We have upto about £500k to spend, ( currently a large 4 bed detached here) but we're well aware that goes further here than it will near Henley. As I'll only have a day really to look around, I'd love some suggestions of where might suit us. We're happy to look at villages or suburbs, we do live in a 'nice' area at the moment. DH has a commute of upto about 45 mins at the moment, so would consider anything upto that really.

So, if I only have a limited amount of time, where should I look? In an ideal world I'd rent before buying, but with our Daughter and school applications I'd think that'd need to be in the same area we want to live long term.

Feeling very daunted at the moment, so any and all advice would be much appreciated.

I think I may need brew cake and wine, though not necessarily in that order! Thanks in Advance!

Oxford2 Thu 20-Feb-14 08:20:33

South Oxfordshire is a lovely place to live. Good choice of Market Towns and smaller villages or really rural locations. Generally good schools - easy access to major road routes. Super countryside and wide range of leisure facilities.
House prices are slightly higher than average - but if you know where to look - it is possible to get good value in your chosen location. When are you due to visit the area - happy to meet up - if it helps.
Best wishes

LocalEditorOxford Thu 20-Feb-14 19:52:21

Hi - WSS^
Henley itself is lovely, but yes, the property prices are quite high. Next nearest with the facilities you mention would be Wallingford, which is lovely, and 10-25 minutes away depending on traffic/which part of Henley/Wallingford. Benson is also in reach, slightly fewer facilities but still nice and cheaper to buy in. Cholsey ditto. Both Cholsey & Benson within easy reach of Wallingford's facilities.

If you go the other way I suppose you could look at Maidenhead, but I'm not qualified to comment on that side of the border!

I don't know much about the Henley suburbs, but I'm guessing you could find something a bit further out from the centre.

If you let me know when you're coming this way I could point you in the right direction as I live in this area myself.

LocalEditorOxford Thu 20-Feb-14 20:40:28

Ewelme is a little smaller, but has an excellent primary school I believe (Wallingford has 3 ditto) and is situated between Henley, Wallingford and Benson, so you'd have access to their facilities and there's a lovely 4 bed house on for £435k

Love a bit of property porn, me!

Texascake Fri 21-Feb-14 09:14:42


I'd just like to say thank you for all your help, it's been a whirlwind of a week. I'd spoken to my Father yesterday who suggested Wallingford and having looked at the schools and rightmove, it does look like that area might be just right for us.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you've taken to research/reply. (And yes, I had spotted that housegrin)

I now need to convince my 10 year old daughter that it'll be great....... Needless to say, she's devastated at the idea of leaving...... So any suggestions about where I could take her for a couple of hours next week which might sway her would be much appreciated. (She loves horses and singing if that makes any difference).

Also, very roughly, how close to asking prices do houses sell for in the area? Here there is a bit of margin priced in, but I know the housing market is very different as you get further south.

Thanks so much for everything!

LocalEditorOxford Fri 21-Feb-14 13:50:50

Not entirely sure - think it probably depends on condition of house, chain etc - You could always try offering under the asking and see what reaction you get!

Will ask around about horsey and singing activities - think there'll be something to suit her either way though. Lots of choirs and horses round here.

Have you had a look at the Cornerstone in Didcot it's about 15/20 minutes from Wallingford and has heaps of great activities on. They're doing Hip Hop dance today and they have loads of theatre workshops and so on which might suit her. Didcot also has an excellent girls' state secondary school. I've heard nothing but good things about it.

Texascake Fri 21-Feb-14 14:55:10

Cornerstone looks good, thanks for that. I'll take a look at Didcot while we're out and about next week.


LocalEditorOxford Fri 21-Feb-14 15:13:24

Right - done some asking and have heard good things about both these stables:
Blewbury Centre
Checkendon Stables

Blewbury is on the way to Didcot from Wallingford, Checkendon are just beyond Henley - hope that's useful!

Texascake Fri 21-Feb-14 15:19:32

I don't know what to say, I really can't tell you how much I appreciate the trouble you've gone to. I'll look into those two straightaway.

Thank you so, so much.

LocalEditorOxford Fri 21-Feb-14 16:16:15

You're very welcome! Do come back and ask again if you need to

WifeintheThames Sun 23-Feb-14 18:53:19

Hi Texascake - we recently moved back to England from abroad (Texas in fact!) and have ended up in Henley with DD 12 and DS15.

I know how crazy it is to uproot your entire family and move them - lists lists and more lists are the answer. And don't worry too much about the kids - they are more resilient than we ever give them credit for. At the age yours are, home is wherever mum & dad are.

If you want a brew while you're down here looking around then do let me know - I'm not working at the moment so free most days.

Are you, in fact, Texan? <nosy>

Texascake Thu 27-Feb-14 20:53:41

We visited this week, I have to say the area is absolutely lovely. Henley is beautiful, but I suspect rather out of our price range. Wallingford was lovely too with a really comfy feel to it. I really like the fact that there are so many independent shops.

We had lunch in Catherine's cafe in Wallingford which was very child-friendly and reasonably priced too.

So, I think we'd be happy in Oxfordshire, just waiting on official confirmation now.

You've all been so very kind and helpful, I truly appreciate it, and will make sure I pass the goodwill along. For the record.....I'm not Texan, or even from the US(sorry to disappoint)


LocalEditorOxford Thu 27-Feb-14 20:59:06

How exciting - glad you liked the area and felt happy here - Wallingford is a lovely community to be part of. Did you find any houses that might be possibilities? We love a bit of property porn on Mumsnet! smile Do post a link... please?

LocalEditorOxford Thu 27-Feb-14 21:09:43

PS - do add a review for Cath's Caff <-- local nn ;)

Good for there to be reviews from people other than me in case they think I just do it for free cakes or something!

Texascake Fri 28-Feb-14 22:41:19

No property porn I'm afraid. We were looking generally rather than at particular houses. We need to sell this first and renovation needs to be completed before that can happen. I will be heartbroken to leave my hand painted kitchen..... With island..... And range....... Sob! Couldn't bear to start looking at stuff in case we fell in love with something and then couldn't shift this!

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