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moving to bristol

(32 Posts)
passionsrunhigh Wed 14-Sep-11 23:59:24

Would be great to hear from anyone who moved to bristol from London, or from the locals - we are looking at Bristol suburbs (redland, cotham, clifton) - seen a few flats, but I'm still unable to gauge the vibe/atmosphere as the visits are during the day and very short..From various posts I can see that Bristol is bohemian, but on the other hand many say it's full of snobby people (rich students - and presumably parents). Is it all very segregated socially? From I caught a glimpse of myself, it's not as modern as london in attitudes, and I live in a nice area of london, but it's very international, and not many people are openly snobbish. How is the attitude to europeans? Is it easy to find places to socialise. I know it all sounds muddled, sorry! but I just want to see whether it's a good place to live socially. I love the architecture and the relaxed vibe of these areas, just no idea what people are like.

redllamayellowllama Thu 15-Sep-11 00:02:53

We moved to Bristol from London 6 weeks ago and I love it. Have found people around us to be incredibly friendly; much more so than London. Is late, so I can't think, but are there any specifics you wanted answering?

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 00:28:18

thanks a lot for responding - didn't expect it so fast! Great to hear that you love it - it does seem a place with character, and nice to look at! Specifics, which of these three areas is the best, for neighbours mainly? So is it a myth that clifton is snobby? and can you recommend social places for newcomers (don't have children yet, of course parents can immediately find friends through baby groups). Which area is your favourite - did you spend long time choosing a place?

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 00:42:56

another (practical) question - are there travelcards that save bus costs? I'm used to Oyster in london - which makes london buses cheaper than in bristol! Even little train to Temple Meads is cheaper (or free if you book london-bristol) than a bus!?!

MrsSBrown Thu 15-Sep-11 07:19:52

lucky you! We live outside Bristol, but often visit. Think about parking when you choose though, as some places are terrible. I'd personally choose Henleaze (near the Downs, independent cinema, Waitrose, good housing with parking space. Or near Gloucester Road (I love Gloucester Road). I wouldn't touch Clifton with a bargepole - expensive and full of yummy mummies and posh students. (unless you're a yummy mummy yourself, off course wink

redllamayellowllama Thu 15-Sep-11 12:32:21

We live on the borders of Henleaze and I would second MrsSBrown - it's wonderful. The people I've met have been neighbours locally and through baby groups, but there is always lots going on and I've seen plenty of notices for book groups, pub quizzes, open mike nights etc etc. Gloucester Road equally lovely, a bit more of a laidback vibe I think, but we chose against because of the narrow roads and parking issues. Clifton also a bit much for us, in every way.

Not sure on the bus front as we walk to most places. You can get a day rider for £3ish I think. The lack of transport after being accustomed to London is a bit of a shock, but, most places are walkable.

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 14:31:50

Thank you llama and MrsSBrown - I didn't look at Henleaze as I thought it was far from the TM station - the areas i mentioned have the little train going through them to get to TM, but is it a bus from Henleaze and how long it takes - or can you walk? Is Gloucester rd classed as Cotham? I saw a great flat near there but price too high sad. Clifton we were thinking of mainly for convenience to get everywhere, and it seems a more secure area..no, I'm not a would-be yummy mummy (hate the sugary term) but i do like not to be out in deeper suburbs, clifton is lively. Is Henleaze a safe area, i.e. not high burglary rates?
Book groups sound good - maybe there aer dance places too smile

myron Thu 15-Sep-11 15:12:24

All depends on your budget - the more 'desirable' areas will be more expensive - Clifton & Redland. Gloucester Road is 'edgy' -it's quite long so there are so seedier stretches. The core of the Gloucester Rd area is Bishopston and prices vary which side of the road you are on wrt to school catchment so choose with care if sellability in a few years is an issue. I would rent in your position to get to know the area and specific streets more and to take your time in buying. Prices are dropping. Do you have DC? Are you sure that you want a flat? Clifton is pretty central so I would hesitate in calling it a suburb. Long Ashton, Sneyd Park, some parts of Westbury Village and Abbots Leigh have some gorgeous houses - in fact, Clifton has some fab houses but again, they're fairly expensive even compared to London prices. You should rent first...

CHST Thu 15-Sep-11 16:20:07

I would second renting first. We moved here in 2008 from overseas and I was ADAMANT that I wanted to live in Clifton. My husband chose a place with a relocation agent who was fantastic and he chose Westbury on Trym. You know I was gutted at first as I wanted to be close to the centre (was used to apartment living) but 3 years on and two kids later I can honestly say it was the best thing we could have done. I can walk to practically everything I need and hardly use my car. Parking is so much easier in the suburbs! Clifton is lovely for young professionals and students, not sure about for families as I don't have first hand knowledge. Anyway you really need to come and experience different areas of Bristol to get a vibe of where you would most feel at home. Buses are notoriously expensive in Bristol and not particularly reliable. Hope you enjoy Bristol as much as we do.

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 18:38:51

Renting is ideal to get to know the area, but it's such a pain to throw the money away! Been renting in london for the last year, and it's a drain - apart from when anything goes wrong you need to pester landlords who are often not responding..we have a lot of stuff too, so have to rent a 2-bed minimum, even though we don't have DC yet. Just though if we buy in pricier but popular place, it would be then easy to sell, or rent it out and then rent a house (or buy one)when i have a child - to me house is serious and would definetely need to study the areas for a while. And of course flats aer cheaper. It's just coming from london after 20yrs there, it seems easier to live more centrally in bristol, like redland/clifton. Though I'm sure, as CHST suggest that ther aer lovelier peaceful areas around - unforynately we rawe pressed for time as rental here ending v.soon! No, I didn't mean that clifton is a suburb as such - i meant it's lively to compare with deeper suburbs like Sneyd park (going by descriptions on property sites).
Myron, are prices really dropping? they are quite high now (still a lot cheaper than nice london areas in the centre - and most london suburbs aer dull and not picturesque like in bristol, I never lived in subs in london). But if they are falling, we have to try and buy in an area that's less likely to fall - any ideas which are less likely to fall?
I think I'll enjoy Bristol, would be nice to make some new friends after the move!smile

MrsSBrown Thu 15-Sep-11 19:32:25

somebody told me recently that Bedminster is up and coming - it's close to the station - but perhaps one of the posters who live in Bristol could comment.
If you're looking to be near Temple Meads I can't see that Clifton is going to be much nearer than anywhere else, but perhaps that's my personal bias - it just feels so crowded whenever I go there [with not my type of person].
I really like Fremantle Square, which is close in, also Sneyd Park.

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 20:32:19

That's the point - I have only been around during the day in the week - never crowded then, unlike Bristol centre which is always so full of crowds shock! I must look at Sneyd park - so many fans of it here! it's expensive though i think. The flat i really liked was on fremantle road - nice! but that one was too expensive (two floors and garage). And that's what i'm worried about in clifton - type of people - i hope it's not as snobby as london's Parson's Green (it's a joke over there, honestly!) so behind the times.

daisie4 Thu 15-Sep-11 20:50:09

I live in Clifton and I absolutely love it. We lived in Sneyd Park before we had children, and it is gorgeous and leafy but it does feel detached because of the downs. The reason we live in Clifton is because we like the convenience of walking everywhere. We have lovely bars and restaurants at the end of our road and the downs about 200m away. Parking is a pain, but I love the fact we know most people in our road and we always bump into people we know on Whiteladies Road.
Clifton does have students, but there are more student houses in Redland and Westbury Park has its fair share of them - Bristol has a big university so they are everywhere - I'm sure there are loads in Cotham too.
Its not full of yummy mummies, on average people do have higher incomes but they will have because property is more expensive. My children go to the local primary school, and many parents there live in flats because they'd rather be here in Clifton than in a house in Westbury Park or Stoke Bishop for the same price.
I guess what I'm saying is its wrong to sterotype an area and write it off - it really depends on what you value about your lifestyle.
A lot of the parents from our school have moved to Clifton from London.

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 22:14:00

thanks, daisie4, I don't know the place so stereotypes come from reading people's comments, and when I'm in bristol looking at flats, people are out at work or uni, so that's why I need input from the locals! have you always lived in bristol? I like your positive post - I do like clifton for exactly what you describe - walking everywhere, beautiful buildings, parks nearby and nice delis etc. It's good to know that it's not full of the stereotypical 'posh', but a mix of types. I've seen quite a few young girls in punk-style outfits there, quite a few hippies around, but it's all ok as far as it's a mix.

MrsSBrown Thu 15-Sep-11 22:32:01

sorry to have presented such a stereotypical view of Clifton - you're quite right about this. Perhaps it's because I've only gone at weekends, when it feels very crowded IMO. I just haven't warmed to it like I do to Henleaze, and other areas.

passionsrunhigh Thu 15-Sep-11 23:11:48

no, it's good to have as many opinions as possible - a share of truth in all of them! the streets are very narrow in Clifton village - and lots of flats, so it has to get crowded at w/ends..but nothing like the centre I'm sure.
What's cabot circus like, by the way?

myron Fri 16-Sep-11 00:16:30

I disagree that renting is throwing money away - it's definitely a dropping market even in Clifton - a lot of landlords are selling up/cashing in. You'll have the luxury of a considered approach when house/flat hunting rather than rushing into a purchase in a limited time period. IMO, house prices should certainly fall more than the amount that you will be paying in rent for 12 mths.

myron Fri 16-Sep-11 00:22:13

Last thought - remember countries are going bankrupt - Greece in today's news. It'll get worse imo - market confidence is volatile and faltering. House prices will fall following the stock prices. Unless you fall in love with your forever house, I would hold off buying - it'll be cheaper in the months to come. There will always be people who need to sell to realise their equity especially if they feel poorer and want to consolidate any capital gains.

myron Fri 16-Sep-11 00:27:26

Just looked at rightmove with propertybee. Actually, there seems to be loads of 'cheap' 2 bed flats being sold in Clifton - it's all the landlords selling up due to less demand for student accommodation (with the tuition fees going up hugely, it'll impact the demand for student housing if people stay at home to save money!)

passionsrunhigh Fri 16-Sep-11 01:35:05

"house prices should certainly fall more than the amount that you will be paying in rent for 12 mths."
shock you think they'll fall that much!? taking into account that we'll have to rent a two bed in good location? I mean, there's been a recession for a while now, but agents are saying that prices haven't dropped in bristol, that either they rose a bit or stayed same over the last year - or are the agents just 'giving encouragement', not facts? Is it just a hunch or are you professionally assessing?
I wouldn't say there are many GOOD cheap flats in clifton - I ve seen most of them by now (above ground floor) and unless they aer on a noisy street, then they are not big, so far haven't chosen. But agree that there are a few needing refurb whch means former student lets - and a few dormers. But what i mean, they aer not cheap.
But if it's a near fact that prices will fall that much, then yes we should think of renting -it's just there is no guarantees!
Funny how Greece is in crisis, but we sold our flat in london to the greeks who had the money to extend a very short lease - and rented the last year from other greeks who are getting rents from three flats in c.london - the landlords must be rolling in it living in greece despite general misery..Not that I think Greece by itself will affect everyone - but Uk has its own problems. Someone said on tv today that germany could sort greece out tomorrow if they wanted to forsake principles..

passionsrunhigh Fri 16-Sep-11 01:37:24

By the way, myron - maybe you can give me more accurate facts as to what prices were in same clifton/redland a year ago - if agents were wrong with their story - roughly in percentage, any higher than now?

passionsrunhigh Fri 16-Sep-11 01:39:39

though I can't quite see how students can stay at home - they don't all have parents living in bristol or nearby. They could opt for the halls of course instead of renting, maybe.

MrsSBrown Fri 16-Sep-11 07:02:49

Cabot Circus is mostly clothes shops. It looks good,but if clothes shopping isn't your thing you won't be going there often. [It's also sucking the life out of previous good shopping areas like Park Street and Broadmead as well, but that's a side issue]

myron Fri 16-Sep-11 07:23:12

I would install property bee with firefox - it tracks specific house prices on the Market. I no longer live in Bristol but did so for 5 yrs and still visit friends there. One of my friends bought a 3 bed terrace in 2006 and she would be lucky not to make a loss on it if she put it on the Market today. My point about some landlords selling up in anticipation of less student demand is from the fact that the huge rise in tuition fees in 2012 means that kids may well choose to study at a local uni and stay at home/save on rent. More rental demand from young professionals who don't have sufficient deposit to buy will not cover the gap in my non professional opinion - this isn't London.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 16-Sep-11 07:29:02

I'd hold off buying for now as prices definitely coming down. My Dad's partner started trying to move back in 2007, been a long saga. She has cash in the bank and has made an offer on a house but it's part of a chain. They don't have Internet access so I check what has come on every morning in case her house falls through. I was just looking at Rightmove at a 3 bed semi in a road she loves that is now 185k. The house she is buying is a two bed terrace that she's paying 190k and I'm beginning to get big misgivings about it and am this morning wondering if I should advise her to pull out as 190k was 10k over her budget and she's stretched herself. That semi would have been 230k or there abouts earlier this year. This is Bedminster which apparently the Estate Agents have been really hyping, not my cup of tea at all and I will admit to laughing when Dad told me how it is supposed to be up and coming (I say that as someone whose family are from there, Dad is in his 70's and born there).

I grew up just off the Downs close to Hiatt Baker Hall. If I was going back now with my family I think I'd look at Sneyd Park or Henleaze, possibly some of Redland around Redland Green.

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