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Want to move out of London with good schools - please recommend

(38 Posts)
CleverBaby Tue 11-Oct-11 00:09:01

Sadly, we have to move out of our flat.

With a growing family (we have 2 kids now) we want to buy a house but can't afford to buy a 3 bed house in London, our budget is 230K. Train tickets are also so expensive these days so I guess moving too far out isn't a good idea either.

We really like to find somewhere

1. With good primary and secondary schools.
2. That's commuting distance to London. (My husband works in London near Oxford Circus.)
3. Has a nice neighbourhood.

On top of all this we've found out that the deadlines for school admission applications are around January, what a nightmare!

I really don't know what to do. Please help!

Kick2down Tue 11-Oct-11 00:20:16

<Sits quietly in back, lurking.>

minibmw2010 Tue 11-Oct-11 08:05:59

Realistically the further out you go, the more you get for your money. In our direction (Essex) the towns that straddle London are all prime commuter towns and so cost less train wise but more house wise. We are in Colchester, so up to an hour on the train from Liverpool Street and £4k a year train fare, but houses far far more affordable (plus very good schools).

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Oct-11 08:15:43

Move to my end of Yorkshire, excellent schools (one local high school often has the best state A Level results in the country), 3 beds + garden will cost you less than £200K.

I made the decision never to live in or near London again when I was in my 20s, and have never regretted it,

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Oct-11 08:17:19

You'll have guessed I was being faceitious, but East Coast mainline is 20 mins away at Wakefield Westgate and LKX is 2 hours on the nosee from there. People do commute to London from here.

Sushiqueen Tue 11-Oct-11 08:59:29

We are doing exactly this. But we are moving a fair way out.

We are off to the East Midlands and I will be commuting into London. An hour into Kings Cross and then a hop on the tube line. It is worth it for what we get in other ways. More affordable housing, good schools and space for a dog for dd.

Bramshott Tue 11-Oct-11 09:05:44

That's a little bit of a "how long is a piece of string" question! I'd start by working out how far your DH is prepared to commute, and which general area you like before worrying about schools. I'd hazard a guess that most areas, particularly rural ones, have some pretty good schools.

threeisthemagicnumber Tue 11-Oct-11 11:05:15

I agree with Bramshot work out how far you're willing to travel and go from there.

Work out how much the train costs vs the cost of housing. When we were looking to move out of London, DH had a very complicated spreadsheet (!) that worked out train cost v house cost and it helped when thinking about areas.

Also, if there's any prospect of DH's job changing then factor that in to where you're planning to go. Once you've narrowed down a general area, you'll be able to find somewhere with good schools.

CrossEyed Tue 11-Oct-11 11:59:57

This book might help?

PanicMode Tue 11-Oct-11 12:41:39

We moved to Tunbridge Wells for exactly those reasons -but the commute is now close to 4k a year. May be worth staying closer in and saving on the commute! Other issue was DH was working close to Charing X and then moved to West London - so think about what happens if your DH moves jobs.....

narmada Tue 11-Oct-11 13:30:00

I would avoid surrey area - SW train season tix are quite expensive.

If I were in your position I would go for somewhere where the trains come into either king's cross or finsbury park so your DH could swap to victoria line and get to ox circus. I am thinking hertfordshire or buckinghamshire maybe?

NorthernNumpty Tue 11-Oct-11 13:36:42

I recommend Chelmsford, you should get three bed house for that sort of money, good schools, 40 min commute to Liverpool St so your DH at work in an hour. We chose Essex for these reasons, much cheaper than similar commuter areas in Kent and Herts season ticket about £3.5k

ajuba Tue 11-Oct-11 16:51:27

I would try and stick to areas which are on the underground. we live in watford, which is on the mteropolitan line, I commute to canary wharf. it takes me an hour and is much cheaper than using a mainline station. House prices not cheap but you could get a decent terrace three-bed for your budget. Very good schools too.

jeanjeannie Tue 11-Oct-11 18:13:51

We live a 30 mins commute from London (Bucks) but heck it's pricey! There is the grammar system to think about as it's not to everyone's liking and Chiltern Rail isn't cheap! Sorry - that wasn't much of a recommendation!

Itsjustafleshwound Tue 11-Oct-11 18:16:14

There is no way that £230K will stretch to a house in Surrey and trains are very expensive

LadyGrace Tue 11-Oct-11 19:31:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WomanwiththeYellowHat Tue 11-Oct-11 19:47:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FootprintsOnTheMoon Tue 11-Oct-11 19:47:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

CleverBaby Tue 11-Oct-11 22:44:27

Wow, I didn't expect replies so quickly. I'm beginning to love this website. I love you all !!!

I think a commute of less than 1.5 hours door-to-door would bearable, any more and my DH really wouldn't be seeing much of our DC.

As for commuting costs, about 4K would be our limit, especially with the train fares going up soon, of course less would be better smile

Such a tough decision... confused

RottenRow Wed 12-Oct-11 03:30:33

If you want Surrey for under 230k within an hour from London try Haslemere or Farncombe.

DadAndy Wed 12-Oct-11 10:10:32

We moved to Leighton Buzzard earlier in the year.
The train ticket is about £3.5k,
The fast train in to Euston takes 30 mins (Slow trains are 45 mins)
There's plenty to do around about, Milton Keynes isn't far away, with lots on
Our DS are too young for school yet, but everyone we've spoke to says the schools are good
Your budget might stretch to a 4 bed

auburnlizzy78 Wed 12-Oct-11 10:20:35

Second what LadyGrace suggests above - Hitchin or Baldock have excellent schools. Letchworth also good in parts and very fast into London (30 mins to kings cross). Nice place to live and I do the commute regularly, an hour 20 into Canary Wharf door to door

TootAndCommon Wed 12-Oct-11 10:30:22

I agree with FootprintsontheMoon.

Tbis is opposite a small 'outstanding' primary, has nice parks nearby, is an 11 min train journey from Central London or with loads of buses, and is within the catchment of one of the top 10% of it's type in the country secondaries, too

You may well be able to buy a bigger better appointed property in a few years, so getting an inner-London perch close to good schools could pay off. Unless you just fancy that out of London commuter lifestyle? Many do, but think carefully.

FrightNight Wed 12-Oct-11 10:36:50

Footprints too many brown people REALLY?????

TootAndCommon Wed 12-Oct-11 10:40:36

I think she was being tongue in cheek / ironic.

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