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WWYD regarding smaller house, better area or vice versa?

(27 Posts)
littlecrystal Fri 07-Feb-14 12:03:00

I am selling my house and need to move quickly otherwise I will have to go to rental (and lose thousands for mortgage early redemption fee and rent etc. � not appealing especially that the house prices are constantly on the up!

Having 2 options at the moment:

House A: 3 bed, quiet corner of my original area. The house is of average condition, with the scope of extend, surrounding roads are lovely. The high street is grubby and yuck but there are signs of it becoming better (South London zone 4). Excellent commute and transport. Secondary schools are mostly Harris academies or not so good; but we do have good options for our 2 boys if we continue to pray religiously. The house is top of my budget.
Appealing: lovely house; excellent commute; close to our primary school and friends. Hesitation: have to pray to get into secondary schools, grubby high street, worried about potential dangers for my boys in their teenage years.

House B: 2 bed, detached apartment (with a flat roof) with a garage and small balcony (no garden). Lovely estate (London suburbs zone 5). This is the cheapest property in an expensive area. Not extendable, apart from the attached garage that could be converted into a windowless playroom/utility. Comfortably within my budget. In the catchment of one excellent secondary school (we also have an option to continue to pray). Commute will need a car on a daily basis. High street is Ok but a bit far. Generally rich area.
Appealing: nice estate; school catchment; very comfortable within budget; safer for boys. Hesitation: smaller space & no garden (I think I can live with it, but am I being harsh on my boys?); car needed; slightly worried that the excellent school will appear to be full of rich suburb snobs and less inclusive.

I work full-time and will always do so the boys will be by themselves while I am at work. In house A my boys would have more space; in house B they will have to share bedroom but the neighborhood would be very safe.

Any advice of wisdom? I am getting so stressed. My initial idea was the house B only and I was not even looking at my original area but I guess the space and beautify of a lovely 1930s terrace has made me think!

fraiserno Fri 07-Feb-14 12:15:49

My personal initial thought it that I would never go top of my budget however the cost of needing a car and running it and the time that all takes up too would make me go back to option A. I would however not be put off by snobs you may encounter at school for option B as there are just as many who are not snobs in snobby areas and vice versa for schools which are not in a snobby area ie snobs are everywhere and schools are expensive eg trips and activities for schools in rich areas can tend to be more expensive along with the amount of fund raising for charities IME. Difficult one think of the finances is the way I would go even if tempted very much by best house in a rich area as prices tend to increase greater usually I think anyway. Not much help am I!

LondonGirl83 Fri 07-Feb-14 12:24:30

How old are your boys? I think a lot depends on how long they could realistically share and how much time until they start secondary school.

littlecrystal Fri 07-Feb-14 14:44:32

My boys are 6 and 3. Before you say this, I know it is too early to look for secondaries, but generally I want to be in an area with a nicer community than I am now. This would be a permanent move and I anticipate boys sharing the larger bedroom indefinitely but they could also use the converted garage as a den. It does seem a bit awkward trying to think of how we will fit and if the teenager kids won't be enbarrased by this awkward House B. But I do believe it is doable.
I take into account the remark about more expenses at the posh school and car costs.

On the other hand House A is a beauty and while now on top of my budget, it should get easier when both kids are at school.

lessonsintightropes Fri 07-Feb-14 15:16:27

Tough call - we have the same one between Purley and West Norwood/Crystal Palace - and are sticking with the latter where we are now - but with the intention of moving before secondary school starts to be a consideration.

littlecrystal Fri 07-Feb-14 15:25:14

lessonsintightropes Ha, interesting! Our dilemma is between South Norwood and Shirley/Bromley border. If I had few more years to think about it, I would not rush. But I do need to get rid of sell my current house so have to make the decision asap.

Admittedly, if not the boys/school issue, I would happily buy House A and live there for a very long time.

BackforGood Fri 07-Feb-14 15:37:21

House A

NationMcKinley Fri 07-Feb-14 15:38:46

Littlecrystal you and I are neighbours and we too have exactly the same dilemma! South Norwood v Shirley and secondary schools for boys....... My view is that S.N is really on the cusp of improving a lot: I think for a long while it's been waiting to improve and now, with the over ground and people being priced out of areas like Dulwich, Crystal Palace etc our area and Penge, Anerley etc are going to get better. I agree that the high street and Portland Rd are shabby but I do think they'll get better. Harris CP is meant to be fantastic plus Shirley High School and Oasis have improved loads. There's also St John Fisher in Purley if you're Catholic. We had thought about moving right out but our eldest is thriving at a fab S.N primary so I think we're here to stay! grin

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Fri 07-Feb-14 15:44:31

Could you convert the garage into a second bedroom? Can't quite work out the layout.

We live in a lovely area, but in a home that's bursting at the seams. If we were to have a second child they would be sharing a room big enough for bunks and a wardrobe, which I'd feel was too tight a fit.

Is there any possibility of going for the flat to stay comfortable money-wise, with a view to upgrading later?

littlecrystal Fri 07-Feb-14 15:47:40

Hello fellow neighbours! <waves hand> S.N. does feel on the up, doesn�t it. With House B I am looking at Langley park boys obviously, and Shirley High as a back-up. With House A (in the area near Harrington tram stop) I am looking at several catholic schools (not very sure about Harrises and Shirley High is too far to get in). If we moved, we would have to drive back to S.N. for our primary school (2 miles so not too bad).

NationMcKinley Fri 07-Feb-14 15:59:12

Would you be in the catchment for Langley Park if you moved to Shirley? Iirc it's got a very small catchment. We need to move as our house is getting too small (3 boys) but at the mo we're a 5 minute walk from the eldest's primary school. If we move to Shirley then we'll have to drive and the traffic around Ashburton Park can be horrendous......oh the dilemma! I worry already about secondary schools too and my eldest is only 7 also holding out for John Fisher so like you will keep praying! grin I really like it round here though, I think there's a lot of great people and there seems to be a more arty vibe of late

littlecrystal Fri 07-Feb-14 16:11:05

NationMcKinley exactly, you start to worry about secondaries as soon as they get into primary! I wonder if our DC go to the same primary (TB?). I spoke with Langley school, they said if I live under 1 mile then I should be fine. I would have to drive through Ashburton park for the next 10 years but that would be before 8am, perhaps not as bad. Can I ask which side of S.N. do you live? I am near the Country park. Lovely area. Unfortunately my house turned out to be a nightmare. Gladly it has sold now.

nessus Fri 07-Feb-14 16:20:00

I am sorry to burst your bubble but S.Norwood is not likely to stop being a dive anytime soon. If you think the 'Peckham effect' is going to be happening in the near future you are seriously mistaken. Also if you are in S.Norwood you will not get Harris CP. You will get Harris aka Stanley Tech or Oasis aka Ashburton. Good luck to you on either fronts. Primary, if you keep praying gets possibility of Thomas Beckett. Don't go near St.Chad's.

With Shirley, would you be near the catchment for Langley for Secondary? And Marian Vian for Primary? That is the much better option IMHO. Your DCs are very small and can share for a few years before it becomes an issue. You won't believe the difference a distance of a mile can have on children's outlook of life...

BTW sounds like you know the area a bit but be reminded that parts of Shirley can also be grim but at least less chance of Your Dss' being 'jacked' as they walk to local shops to get mum milk.

nessus Fri 07-Feb-14 16:20:09

I am sorry to burst your bubble but S.Norwood is not likely to stop being a dive anytime soon. If you think the 'Peckham effect' is going to be happening in the near future you are seriously mistaken. Also if you are in S.Norwood you will not get Harris CP. You will get Harris aka Stanley Tech or Oasis aka Ashburton. Good luck to you on either fronts. Primary, if you keep praying gets possibility of Thomas Beckett. Don't go near St.Chad's.

With Shirley, would you be near the catchment for Langley for Secondary? And Marian Vian for Primary? That is the much better option IMHO. Your DCs are very small and can share for a few years before it becomes an issue. You won't believe the difference a distance of a mile can have on children's outlook of life...

BTW sounds like you know the area a bit but be reminded that parts of Shirley can also be grim but at least less chance of Your Dss' being 'jacked' as they walk to local shops to get mum milk.

nessus Fri 07-Feb-14 16:22:17

X-post!

NationMcKinley Fri 07-Feb-14 16:37:48

Ha! Yes, TB. DS1 is in year 2 grin. We're on Woodside Green so literally within spitting distance of the school. I would stay here but our house really isn't big enough in the long term. What about your DS2 though? Would you still get him into TB if you move?

littlecrystal Fri 07-Feb-14 19:00:44

nessus interesting because I found you linking to properties where house A is, several months ago in another thread. Has your opinion changed since you moved that one mile away? I do agree though that there is a considerable difference how I feel in one and another (I am trying very hard not to be snob!).

There is a sibling policy in our school NationMcKinley.

NationMcKinley Fri 07-Feb-14 19:17:06

Does that count if you move out of the Parish boundaries, though Littlecrystal? I've never looked into it, be fab if it does! Changes Rightmove search area

lessonsintightropes Fri 07-Feb-14 21:05:58

I did think you were close to us from what you described smile good luck with the hunt!

Thebluedog Fri 07-Feb-14 21:10:00

Having lived in both scenarios if now always go for the smaller house In the nicer area.

I had a lovely, big house just outside a really shit area and it was awful, we couldn't go to the local pub, schools were terrible, sirens, roudy locals etc.

We now live in a small, 3 bed semi in a lovely quiet area, I'll happily walk around the village with the DCs, local school is lovely so is the local shop and pubs wink and it's lovely and quiet at night, sleep with the windows open etc. I'll put up with only having one loo for all that smile

nessus Fri 07-Feb-14 22:52:36

OP, I was talking about the mile difference were YOU to move. Woodside end is better than Norwood junction end no doubt.

I know the areas you are talking about better than I would like. I know and have lived in the best and the worst of the area.

littlecrystal Sat 08-Feb-14 21:43:57

I have made an offer on House B. Feeling a bit numb and slightly panicking if it is the right decision (basically downsizing for a better area), but hopefully it will be the right decision.

BarkWorseThanBite Sat 08-Feb-14 22:13:35

Sounds like the right decision to me smile

nessus Sun 09-Feb-14 12:11:14

Fingers & toes crossed!!!

nessus Wed 12-Feb-14 10:51:08

Any news?

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