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Please help! have to move to near London from the north and its all so expensive

(49 Posts)
Darkchocolatedigestive Thu 30-Oct-14 17:23:00

Hello, I don't know if any of you have been in the same boat or can help. We currently live in a lovely suburb of south Manchester but my husband has just got a new job which will involved him working in London three/four days a week and I just don't think it is sustainable for us to stay up here. I've tried wading through Rightmove but just seem to go round in circles - I am reluctant to give up our lovely villagey suburb in a city with millions of amazing things for the kids to do and a bit of an alternative vibe going on, but London itself is so horrendously expensive I think we're priced right out - we' think we can run to £650,000 at an absolute push and with a horrible mortgage and would preferably need four bedrooms and a garden big enough to kick a football in. The thought of commuter belt brings me out in a bit of a cold sweat ( I grew up in Woking and although it was fine, I don't particularly want to return) - but perhaps we are only going to be able to afford something in slightly soulless suburbia. The other pressing point is that my daughter is currently in Year 6 and we are going to miss the deadline for school applications which is tomorrow. arghghghghghg! I also need two primary school places for my sons, so i guess that rules out anywhere massively oversubscribed. The primary school at the moment is outstanding and the high school good - and i don't want to move them to anything worse. I hate driving and love the walking public transport thing. Lewes looks nice but I'm worried the commute might be horrendous for my husband - he will be working in north london. The kids are very very happy here and I really don't want to drag them down to live somewhere without much of an identity. My parents still live in woking so ideally I'd be near them but unless I've missed somewhere, Surrey doesn't seem to have many lovely vibey independently minded left-leaning little towns. If anyone has any ideas I'd be so grateful.

MummytoMog Thu 30-Oct-14 17:26:13

You could get my house for that - five beds, big garden, zone 4, nice primary over the road. We're in Woodford Bridge. Can't help you out on the alternative vibe, although my mob of mothers is fairly alternative and full of 'creative' types.

Darkchocolatedigestive Thu 30-Oct-14 17:32:44

that's sounds interesting - would you recommend it as a place to live?

WhatKatyDidnt Thu 30-Oct-14 17:35:58

Have a look at Catford; you could get a nice 4 bed for that. Good links to central London and definitely not soulless suburbia!

specialsubject Thu 30-Oct-14 17:50:37

if it is north London for work then you must live north of the city. Just about doable from the south if the workplace is near a tube station on a direct line from the incoming mainline.

your politics and your mind travel with you, I really wouldn't worry about that.

alternatively - consider staying where you are for a year and he finds a flat or house share, compressing his London time as much as possible? Not ideal I know, but I don't think you'll like the move at all. And having moved the other way, I don't blame you! You'll certainly hate driving in the London commuter belt, the whole place is now permanently jammed.

7to25 Thu 30-Oct-14 17:52:59

Could he commute.
I live in Glasgow and plenty of people do 4/5 days a week in London.

bilbodog Thu 30-Oct-14 17:54:13

try going on the web site 'life after london' which gives advice to those moving out of london. information on there will be very useful to you moving into the home counties areas. When DH and I moved 20 years ago, out of London, we drew a radius around the train line he needed to get into London on and concentrated on that area. It is so much easier now with Rightmove. I am in Buckinghamshire and can highly recommend it if it is in the right area for you. There are some very expensive places and some not so expensive. Good luck!

thesaurusgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 18:00:28

St Albans.

Or the villages around Milton Keynes, so you can get on the Virgin line to Euston.

Do not move to SW London if your work will be in N London.

Darkchocolatedigestive Thu 30-Oct-14 18:03:06

thanks so much will have a good look at all the suggestions later this evening. I'm usually a very calm, it'll be alright in the end kind of person but i feel freaked by this one. We haven't ruled out the commute thought special subject, ideally we'd give it a year and see how it went, but we are slightly constrained by the whole high school thing as I guess it is pretty important to start at the beginning in year 7? Is it? I just don't know.

TheSpottedZebra Thu 30-Oct-14 18:08:30

Where in North London? If commuting by train, being handy for the right line will save soooooo much time.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 30-Oct-14 18:10:12

My Aunty lives in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. Its a place i really like. We visit with our DC and enjoy Stanborough Park and getting the train into London.

You can get a 4 bed detached for just under £500k rightmove link

The only point worth mentioning is when we stayed with our cousins as teenagers we used to go to Old Welwyn to find a pub as a new town with possibly Quaker routes it didn't have lots of pubs. I think there are some in town now though.

tethersend Thu 30-Oct-14 18:10:57

I agree that you should consider staying where you are, particularly as rail links are improving, but you sound as if you would like Hitchin.

Market town, good schools, 25mins into King's X, nice alternative vibe. Not cheap, but not as expensive as London.

I wouldn't move to Catford.

porgie80 Thu 30-Oct-14 18:12:27

I would say don't live in actual London- while I loving going there for shopping, to see things and the general buzz I couldn't live there. Crowded and unfriendly- and ridiculously expensive. I lived there childless for 3 years and I wouldn't do it again in a million years. Maybe if someone offered me a flat off Sloane Square- but even then i'd be tempted to sell to make a couple of million to spend on a country pile.

We are in Reigate, Surrey- not the best place on earth but DH gets to work in 45 minutes, we have a large 4 bedroom house with a big garden for our dogs and my office shed. Keep in mind though that a commute can also be very expensive and obviously further out you go the more expensive it is. is a great website- put in the station you want to travel to daily and the amount of time and it will give you different places you could buy property and how long it would take you to reach your destination.

tethersend Thu 30-Oct-14 18:12:42

I'd also choose Hitchin over Welwyn- some would disagree, but Hitchin is more cosmopolitan IMO.

porgie80 Thu 30-Oct-14 18:13:59

Oh and OP- we have a very similar mortgage to what you are looking at (£645k)

dreamingbohemian Thu 30-Oct-14 18:14:14

I'm not sure I would uproot your whole family, with such a great setup, if your DH only has to be in London 3 days a week -- especially as it's a new job, which he might end up not enjoying anyway. He could take the train down early on Monday morning, be back late Wednesday -- would that be totally impossible? I would at least try it for a while and see how it goes.

I really do sympathise, we just went through a whole process of deciding whether or not to go back to London or stay where we're happy (we decided to stay). The schools are the real killer, anyplace with good schools that are no problem to get into is just crazy expensive.

porgie80 Thu 30-Oct-14 18:16:46

But surely living in London 3 days a week would be ridiculously expensive- thats what, at least £300 a week on hotels?! (assuming you want to stay somewhere decent and central)

CrispyFern Thu 30-Oct-14 18:22:46

St Albans I concur.

marmaladegranny Thu 30-Oct-14 18:26:08

A couple of ideas - East Kent (maybe Ashford or Faverham or their surrounding villages) could be do-able as the high speed train runs into St Pancras for north London.
If you decide to stay put and DH spend 3 - 4 days in London there is a web site for renting a room Monday to Friday only which would be far cheaper than a flat or hotel

sillymillyb Thu 30-Oct-14 18:30:13

I was coming on to say hitchin / ware / St. Albans sort of area. Honestly I would totally steer clear of south London if he is working north, it would be almost as quick to commute from Manchester smile

WhatKatyDidnt Thu 30-Oct-14 18:43:29

Oops, sorry - I didn't see that your DH will be working in north London. If you want London rather than Home Counties then Palmers Green could work. Not too far from Crouch End which would probably be right up your street but way too £££.

porgie80 Thu 30-Oct-14 18:44:32

But would what I assume a middle aged/nearly middle aged man who is married with children really want to be in a flat share with students and people in their early-mid twenties? I hope not..

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 30-Oct-14 18:50:41

Bedford? Villages around it are v nice

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 30-Oct-14 18:51:20

NorthLondon is too vague to be v helpful though. It's a big placesmile

thesaurusgirl Thu 30-Oct-14 18:55:01

Monday to Friday flatshare costs £800pm or so in Zone 2, you'll usually be living with a family, usually staying in their loft extension, so a decent amount of privacy and quiet.

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