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Perfect house but drive to school or more expensive ok house but walk to school

(26 Posts)
nikos Thu 09-Jun-11 21:27:14

That's the dilemma we have. Found a fantastic house, cheaper than other house but would have to drive 3 miles to school. Have three children so would be committing myself to driving for a long and most of their friends and clubs are near the school. Other house more expensive (although with low interest rates now might be the time to move up), not as nice as other house although fine but the children can walk to school.
What would you do?

nancy75 Thu 09-Jun-11 21:28:22

are your children already at the school?

Mollymax Thu 09-Jun-11 21:35:21

There is a lot to be said for being able to walk to school.
We live a car journey away from our school and there are times it would be great to be able to walk.
Depends on how much you dislike the house close to school. Are you able to do any work to it, to make it better?

Kitsilano Thu 09-Jun-11 21:36:11

How long would the drive take?

suebfg Thu 09-Jun-11 21:36:51

Personally I'd buy the fantastic house but we'll be driving over 10 miles to DS's school in September

bbbbob Thu 09-Jun-11 21:41:50

We're in the process of moving (fingers crossed exchange tomorrow).
We currently live 2miles from DC school/clubs/friends etc. Yes we could walk to school (and have done) but mostly we drive.
We are moving to a house 1/2 mile away from the school. I've done 4years of driving to and from school and I have about another 10years of it. I am sick of doing it.
I guess it depends how many years of driving you have got ahead of you?
DH & I have said that when youngest DC is at secondary school we will move again to the style house we prefer. Our new house is not our forever house but its location is ideal whilst we have young DC.

EdithWeston Thu 09-Jun-11 21:46:20

It's not just the distance - what's the route like? Bottlenecks? Alternatives for when they start up obscure long-lasting roadworks? And what would you do on the wet morning when the car won't start?

Ripeberry Thu 09-Jun-11 21:47:30

House every time. Why buy something you hate just to walk to school? You might end up driving anyway.

Ripeberry Thu 09-Jun-11 21:48:49

We live just under a mile from school but we drive each day as the road has a dangerous narrow pavement with traffic travelling at 60mph and then there is a main road with lorries.
So walking out of the question.

bbbbob Thu 09-Jun-11 21:52:02

Edith makes a good point. The route for us, if we walk is horrible. Hell, even when we drive it can take us up to 20mins to get there!
I suppose the difference for me is I do really like the house we are buying, and I accept that we'll only be there for a decade or so.

PonceyMcPonce Thu 09-Jun-11 21:55:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nikos Thu 09-Jun-11 21:59:11

The children are already in the school and there are a couple of children from the school who live in the village three miles from the school. The house close to school is about £35k more and is a nice big house, but the house three miles away has everything I was looking for in a house.
With the house close to the school, as the children get older they would be able to walk home themselves after school, grandparents could then come to our house to look after them when I am working so would free me up quite bit.
So not sure.

nikos Thu 09-Jun-11 22:00:58

Oh and route to school is very smooth, takes about 10 minutes

DisparityCausesInstability Thu 09-Jun-11 22:02:27

We used to walk to school - it was lovely, we'd often have nice chats, we always knew if we left at a certain time we wouldn't be late, we walked to school whatever the weather, the walk home was often when the kids would share their day.

We drive now and I miss walking, so do the kids, the roads are incredibly busy during school run. There are very few places to park around school, so having suffered the traffic we then have to park miles from the school and end up on the brink of being late and by this stage, I'm in a right old mood. I don't get as much exercise and there's no way my kids would be able to gain the independence I want them to have by walking to school bythemselves if we continued to live here (which we won't)

nikos Fri 10-Jun-11 07:52:19

It's so difficult isn't it? Think walking to school and friends might be the biffer pull, house near school probably better investment as well as very sought after area.

nikos Fri 10-Jun-11 07:53:25


Sushiqueen Fri 10-Jun-11 07:57:14

We had a similar dilemma. Found two houses we liked. One was in a small hamlet. Lovely house with real potential, fantastic garden, views etc. Dd is an outdoor child so would have been in her element. But it is a 2 mile cycle across fields to school or a 4 mile trip by car. Not on a bus route so would have ended up driving her everywhere.

The other house was on the the edge of a small village. House is nice and also has potential. Not such a big garden. But dd can walk to the school in the village and it is on a bus route for when she gets older.

if it had just been us we would probably have gone for the house in the hamlet as we don't intend to move again for a long time. But we had to think of dd as well so we have gone for the house in the village. She loves being able to walk to school and the bit of independence it gives her.

If you are working how will they get home if you move to the house further away? it is all the little things like this that have to influence your decision.

It was easier for me as I have moved so much that I never get attached to a house whereas Dh lets his heart rule.

nikos Fri 10-Jun-11 10:23:11

That's what I'm thinking. Less nice house but kids will be able to walk home as they get older. Means we are not tied to pick ups and my mum could wait for them coming home.

RunforFun Fri 10-Jun-11 11:08:44

Remember you are really only thinking of a few short years at primary school. My choice would be the really nice house all the time. I would hate to be living somewhere just because it was close to school.

When they get older its more important that public transport links are good as they can have friends all over the place.

nikos Fri 10-Jun-11 11:15:58

Just to clarify the first, middle and high schools are all close to each other so when we move close to the primary school, we would be able to walk to school until they finished schooling.

Bettyblackeye Sat 11-Jun-11 21:40:13

That's a tricky dilemma! Do you plan on picking them and dropping them every day until they finish school? Could they catch a bus as they get older? Also would it affect the catchment for the senior school. I would probably go with the house but live to regret it when I was tied to the school run for the next ten yrs !

Ragwort Sat 11-Jun-11 21:47:05

Walking to school, independence, meeting up with friends, the ability for grandparents to be involved would be much bigger factors to me than the 'niceness' of a house. I used to be obsessed with 'houses' but came to realise that a house is only four walls - where you live and the community you get involved with is, in my opinion, far, far more important.

You can always move to your 'dream' home when your children have left home.

We can walk to school, town, shops, (and countryside), leisure centre etc and its fantastic; I have lived in a beautiful home in the countryside but it was quite isolating and having to take the car out all the time really got me down. We would have had to be permanent taxi drivers for our DC for many years (and all the teenagers hated rural life anyway).

dustwhatdust Sat 11-Jun-11 22:07:01

choose the house near the school - you won't regret it , i promise !

I live in an ok house ( which we've improved hugely since moving in ) 5 mins from school and high street , we can do so much without using the car.

Impromtu invitations to play after school, my DS 9 is now walking to school sometimes , so much more relaxed.

no stressful parking problems , we always know how long it will take to get there and with petrol so expensive nowadays ... need i say more .

Isthreetoomany Sat 11-Jun-11 23:24:36

We are currently in the slightly smaller house close to the good schools rather than a bigger house further away. I love being able to walk up to the school so easily, and it's great that DDs friends mostly all live very close by too. I think it makes us feel more part of the community. It means that we can manage with just the one car which would have been impossible if we lived further out. Knowing exactly how long it will take to get to school in the morning is also great.

I also believe that the house itself (although a little smaller) is actually a better investment as, in our case, we are living on the rural-ish outskirts of a very lovely town whereas the bigger house further away would have been in an area that I now (rather snobbily!) think of as a bit of a dump in comparison to where we live.

dustwhatdust Sun 12-Jun-11 00:02:09

ditto to isthreetoomany, she's said it much better than I , except for the bit about the area !

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