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I am completely unable to make a decision where to move from south London…

(15 Posts)
confusedperson Fri 12-Aug-11 14:29:35

I have been on Mumsnet for ages, trying to make a decision to move, and considering various options. Unfortunately I don?t have a large budget, max 200k and even a bit less if I am not lucky in selling my house.

- with two pre-school age children
- 3 bedroom house with a garden
- daily commuting to London City for work and up to 1 mile to a train station
- max 200k budget
- less crime than south London
- good state primary and secondary schools, because I cannot afford move again
- small/middle town location so no need to drive everywhere
- somewhere where I am not ashamed to say where I live
- south side of river Thames

I can compromise on:
- charm of the house (no need for period features)
- no need to be posh area
- no need to be all outstanding schools with tiniest catchments, I think good schools along with good tutoring at home will do

I?ve looked closer to London, like Bromley, Bickley, Chislehurst, Orpington, Sutton, Wallington, Kingston, Purley ? my budget too low. Have looked somewhere to Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Edenbridge ? either too expensive, or too far, or too villagey. Somewhere like Fleet journey to work is very complicated. So now I came up with this idea of Rochester (obviously choosing the location carefully), but is this one of places where you are ashamed to say where you are from? What about Crawley, Redhill? Any advice is welcome?

ogredownstairs Fri 12-Aug-11 15:36:30

I think it's a bit of a long slow commute to the City from Crawley unless you are near Three Bridges station, which goes into London Bridge. I grew up there and commuted for a while after university. Not exactly ashamed to say I come from there but it's not the prettiest bit of West Sussex, although it's surrounded by lovely countryside and gorgeous villages. I think your budget would probably give you quite a lot of choice though. Very few period houses as it's a new town, but the older 'new' ones mostly have decent gardens. Walkable if you are in one of the original neighbourhoods close to the town centre, eg Three Bridges, Pound Hill, Northgate etc. I would avoid the newer, further out bits e.g Broadfield and Bewbush (apols if anyone lives there, and I realise my info is from twenty years ago.) Schools are fine at primary and a bit of a mixed bag at secondary level - I think Hazelwick was the best one in my day, and Ifield the worst, although I actually went to school in Horsham.

aliceliddell Fri 12-Aug-11 15:45:34

Ashamed of Rochester? Are you mad? The glittering River Mudway. The glory of Chatham. The endless feckin hills. The sodding 11+. Average education scores are lowish, but primaries can be good imo. Nice parks in outskirts. Near coast. Near London. High speed train - 25mins to London.

confusedperson Fri 12-Aug-11 16:00:19

ogredownstairs, thank you, I will look into Three Bridges. There are some affordable options but the primary school reports look a bit screwed (?). Commuting wise it would be ideal though, not too long and not too expensive.
aliceliddell, I am not sure if I understood if you are joking or serious...

Ephiny Fri 12-Aug-11 16:13:41

I don't understand what you mean by being ashamed of saying where you live. I live in a not-very-nice part of London, but don't feel ashamed - it's not my fault it's the way it is!

Haven't lived in Rochester but have been there, and it really doesn't seem a very nice area to me. Good rail link to central London though, and I'd like being close to the North Downs.

What about Ashford? High-speed trains into St Pancras/Stratford now, not to mention Eurostar.

Why do you need to be south of the river? Because there are some possibilities to the north of London (Welwyn, Letchworth etc). And the Amersham area is absolutely lovely, not cheap though unfortunately.

aliceliddell Fri 12-Aug-11 16:16:15

Dear cofusedperson
This Alice's dp. I often have the same problem.
What she means is there's good and bad about Medway.

Blu Fri 12-Aug-11 16:21:22

I can see no reason why anyone should feel ashamed to say where they live, unless your address is HMP Holloway!

Awomancalledhorse Fri 12-Aug-11 16:24:22

Bexleyheath has the lowest crime rate in the Met, there are very good schools (looking to the future, if you have little boys, there is an excellent Grammar school) & the house prices are low, or somewhere further out in Kent like Ashford (fast trains) or Greenhithe?

Zoopla Bexleyheath Results

BramblyHedge Fri 12-Aug-11 16:31:34

High Wycombe

- daily commuting to London City for work and up to 1 mile to a train station - 30 mins to Marylebone - maybe another half hr to get to city?
- max 200k budget - is possible if not too picky
- less crime than south London - definitely less crime though some dodgy areas to avoid
- good state primary and secondary schools, because I cannot afford move again - grammar system at secondary and good primaries depending on area
- small/middle town location so no need to drive everywhere - railway station in town near housing

- somewhere where I am not ashamed to say where I live - matter of opinion but its not as bad as some say and has lovely surrounding countryside and has Bucks in the address :-)
- south side of river Thames - FAIL

confusedperson Fri 12-Aug-11 16:43:38

Awomancalledhorse thanks for Bexleyheath, never thought of this area and if I can get something below 180k that would be a big plus point for me.
BramblyHedge wrong side for me but thanks.

Blu Fri 12-Aug-11 18:46:39

Umm, competition for grammar school places is deeply cut throat - in Grammar areas you need to know that the non-grammar schools are also good.

Blu Fri 12-Aug-11 18:49:40

Why are house prices so low in Bexleyheath? confused

aliceliddell Fri 12-Aug-11 18:57:16

There are a few non-Grammars (allegedly comprehensive, but how can they be if all the grammar 'stream' are in grammar schools?) which are OK apparently. Ideally, I'd prefer small local comps, but where are they? Medway is OK really, not very exciting but that may be a good thing. I lived in Hackney before having dd and becoming disabled; wouldn't want to live there now, even without riots. Much safer environment here. And much less expensive for houses. Come and have a look?

wotabouttheworkers Fri 12-Aug-11 19:01:23

I do not know either Gravesend or Dartford but had a quick look and there are houses for sale within your budget but the places may not be for you. Likeways Grays, Rainham in Essex. Do not know anything about the schools, though, sorry. Good luck!

ThunderboltKid Fri 12-Aug-11 19:33:01

How about Burgess Hill/Haywards Heath?

Commute into Blackfriars from Haywards Heath really easily. Close to the south downs/lovely countryside. Low crime. Good schools.

We moved into a village nearby from Wandsworth and really like it so far.

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