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How do I gather my strength and move out of London...?

(17 Posts)
confusedperson Sun 11-Sep-11 20:02:11

We want to move out of London to little town in commuter's belt, and the sooner the better because the children are still small (3 and 1). However, I find myself so attached to a convenience of the current London location, used to certain shops, certain station, friends living around, that I really struggle to say to myself "This is it" and start selling my house in order to buy another one. As the primary school application process just kicked in and I am applying for local schools, I struggle to think how I am going to rip out my eldest DC from the school in few years to come and move him to where we will know nobody.
I know it will be for good and it is just an anxiety to get started, but how did you choose the best timing for moving? (which seems never right).

Sushiqueen Sun 11-Sep-11 20:54:59

It is hard and you always wonder when the right time is.

We moved out of London just before DD was born as we wanted the SS's to have a safer place to visit when they came to stay. One where we didn't wonder if the police would be paying their usual visit to the area on a Friday night and they could go off on their bikes and we didn't worry.

Now we are about to leave the South East completely and wanted to make the move before we had to apply for a secondary place for DD.

Children soon settle down, dd is now looking forward to moving. It may be easier for me as I went to 6 different schools before I started secondary, so the fear of moving isn't so ingrained in me (unlike DH).

I found that after I moved, I didn't miss going into London at all. I still work there and could pop into the centre if I wanted to. But we don't tend to go in that often. Too many other places to see and go to.

You need to check out the school position before you move. Will you be able to get reception place if you apply late etc. Once they get to juniors they can go over the class size but before then it is very difficult to get a place on appeal.

Good luck if you decide to go for it.

Amaris Sun 11-Sep-11 21:00:38

Before school seems like a good time, I am just moving my DD so that she has a couple of years of primary to get to know people. Kids make friends really easily at primary age.

I think deciding that that's what you want to do is the biggest step in a way, and then focus on the benefits of where you will move to, perhaps go to visit it more. There will inevitably be a period of being unsettled and making new friends etc. but unless you want to stay where you are forever you've got to get over that at some point so you might as well get on with it. The other thing that I've done before when thinking about moving is analyse as I go along everything that I do and think about what the impact of the move would be on it to work out whether it was a good idea. I moved out of London over ten years ago now, but still see my best friends regularly and have never regretted the move.

champagnesupernova Sun 11-Sep-11 21:05:54

Do it
I did it 3.5 years ago and am really happy.
Actually I am shocked by how little I miss London - small children are a good way of meeting people.
Best of luck

confusedperson Sun 11-Sep-11 21:38:13

Thank you guys, your encouragement is really helpful. I guess I am afraid of leaving my comfort zone behind. I went that far that I explored the area that I want to move to, I found properties on Rightmove which I liked, I went to look around them (I didn't dare bother an estate agency because my property isn't on the market). I could prepare my house for sale and put on the market within next week, and I believe that I will find a buyer relatively easy, given that my price is reasonable.
I am really afraid though that by the time I find my buyer, the property I like (one particular property in this case) will become unavailable during that time, and I will have a buyer but nothing to buy. It is just those fears stopping me.
I also think that I will be happy with the move. I will be still working in the City, and I don't usually go to central London at all.

Amaris Sun 11-Sep-11 21:47:51

Yeah I'm kind of in that position, went to look around houses to decide whether or not to move towns, found one I loved, got house on the market quickly and lost the house that I saw! But there are other houses, maybe something better will come up, there were things that were wrong about the house I lost that I was ignoring anyway! I was really panicking at some points, especially when the estate agent came round to take pictures, but I kept telling myself that I can stop this at any stage that I want, whereas if I don't even start it I'll never get to where I want to be! It's fine to accept an offer and say that you haven't got anywhere to move to yet. I've given up looking now until I have an offer. Or you could think about going into rented (I don't think I'd do that but it's possible for the right offer), but basically if you haven't found anywhere you don't have to move.

It does make you think that the whole house selling / buying process is completely mad though!

champagnesupernova Sun 11-Sep-11 21:48:08

As for the particular property you like, if that one goes, another one, the RIGHT one will be round the corner (everthing happens for a reason)
And if you're getting a London hit from working in the City, then that is def best of bothe worlds.
Which town are you looking at?

confusedperson Sun 11-Sep-11 22:06:21

Amaris, I can understand your madness! I cannot go into rented because I would lose my not-so-bad mortgage. I would like to ask whether you had any actual expenses for putting your house on the market up to this point?
champagnesupernova I would like to move to Rochester from South London. I hope you are right about "the right" property..

ladyasriel Sun 11-Sep-11 22:43:43

good time to move. I moved about the same time and through nursery/school am beginning to settle properly (coming up for 3 yrs now!). Still see the lovely group from the old place though!

Amaris Mon 12-Sep-11 06:58:22

I spent about £75 on the energy efficiency certificate, which lasts for 10 years so I can use in the future (now I sound like the EA!) and then maybe about £100 on magnolia paint and other bits and pieces to touch up the house. That's it. EA is commission only if I sell and I'll sort out solicitor and mortgage when I get an offer.

I find going scary, but I also find the prospect of still living somewhere where I don't really want to be in another five years more scary! I've found as well though that as the time has gone on (it's only been about a month for me since I made the decision but house has been on the market for two weeks now) that my expectations about what I'll get for this house and what I'll buy where I move to have changed to be more realistic with research and experience, so what I want now isn't exactly what I wanted at the beginning.


Soopermum1 Mon 12-Sep-11 11:51:42

Do you really want to leave London? Trully? Your happiness is in the mix here, as well as schools, kids etc. If you are genuinely happy where you are, stay put, or move to somewhere that still has all the convenience that you enjoy now. It's a myth that everyone moves to leafy Surrey when they have a family. Do what suits you.

confusedperson Tue 13-Sep-11 07:04:09

Soopermum1 I don't care where I live as long as it is safe, commutable to work and good education, but also I worry for the sake of my children, who will be teenagers in 10 years to come.

SpringHeeledJack Tue 13-Sep-11 08:20:51

what Soopermum said

I found I panicked at the stage you're at, and was certain that I HAD to move out of London before ds got to school age, otherwise Unspeakable Things would happen, particularly when ds hit his teenage years

We couldn't, for a number of reasons- mainly because we couldn't move too far from ds' dad. Then I had another wobble before he went to secondary school. My fears- so far- have proved to be quite irrational and unfounded, and now ds is over half way through at a fab London comprehensive. We are moving soon, but rather than move to Kent (which was what I intended to do initially) we're only going down the road, to the next borough.

Interestingly I had friends that had the same panic with their 2/3 yo dcs, and moved out (and it is a panic; a lot of people seem to get it and there's an assumption that you will move - or at least consider it) and have found there are disadvantages to that, too.

I am really glad we had no choice, and had to stay put, now.

ChitChattingWithKids Tue 13-Sep-11 10:25:32

I think if you're really not sure about moving then you should rent in the new area. Buying can be an expensive mistake - far more expensive than a not so bad mortgage!

We moved out of London, and rented for 3 years while we saved up for a house deposit, and to make sure we really liked the area. We were then able to put in a competitive bid on a property because we were chain free, and because we were renting we were able to buy a property that needed work done to it and were able to get builders in to get things done before we moved in.

I'm pleased with where we live, and really believe it is for the benefit of our DSs. Great nursery, great schools - which can save a fortune in education costs if you live in an area that doesn't have great schools and have to go private. As others have said, young children can make it easier to meet other people.

confusedperson Wed 14-Sep-11 10:11:01

I admit that I am in the stage of panicking, and my DS’s are 3yo and 1yo, so I do fall into the category of “panicking” London families! On the other hand, I never wanted to live in London and it is only my job that ties me here, other than that I never go into central London in my spare time. I often see/hear statements of people saying “moved out of London and never looked back”. Admittedly, I do not want to move into a remote village, but I don’t see a big deal moving 30 miles away from London. Also, I am very keen to reduce my mortgage by moving. Renting would be a good option, though I would have to wait for another 3 years in order not to pay early mortgage repayment fees.

ChitChattingWithKids Wed 14-Sep-11 18:53:58

Couldn't you just temporarily rent out your property while you rented out of London?

Amaris Wed 14-Sep-11 21:15:46

Only you can really know whether it's what you really want to do. Look ahead five years - which decision do you think you would regret not making most? Do you know the area you're moving to? What are the positive things that would improve the quality of your life if you move as opposed to the negative things you perceive about London - I think it's better to do something for a positive reason rather than a "less bad" reason? What if you toss a coin to decide, which side do you want it to come down on? (I'm not suggesting that you actually make the decision according the the coin but I think it can be really useful to clarify what your gut feeling is.)

The thing is there is no way you can ever say this is definitely going to be best because you can't look into the future, you can only decide what you think the best direction is right now. Maybe if you're not sure let the thought mull around for a bit and an answer might emerge, you might just not be ready to make a decision yet, although in the longer term doing nothing is also making a decision to stay!

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