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To move or not to move?

(14 Posts)
HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Feb-15 11:15:55

Having such a hard time deciding whether to put our house for usually pretty good (or at least efficient!) at making decisions but this one is going round and round in circles. In short...

Moved to our dream house 2.5 years ago. It's a smallish terrace but has all the space we need (we like cosy!) and lots of period features which is what we wanted. We knew we were going to have children and assumed (stupidly) that the primary school would be the one a 10 min walk away, which has a great reputation. We now have a ds and have found out that no, due to catchment areas he will have to go to a school much further away, which is not good at all and also involves a drive on a busy ring road.

This in itself means we will want to move before he starts school - no chance of getting into closer school it is already hugely oversubscribed.

Our issue is when to move. Ds has 3 years until he starts school but that being said, we are planning another child within the next 18 months or so and if at all possible, would prefer to move before I'm heavily pregnant or have a small baby.

So that would lead us to putting our house on the market within the next few months. We've met a few agents and know which one we would go with. But we are finding it so hard to actually take the plunge. Is this normal?! I think it's because we genuinely love our house. The area isn't great but we would have been happy to compromise on that, but the school issue is tipping the balance.

Another big issue which has arisen is parking. There's no parking on our road so we have to park in a smallish public car park two roads away. Not ideal with a child but we knew that when we moved here and have just got on with it. However in the last year they've built new houses which also have to use the car park so now it's incredibly difficult to find a space. Now more often than not I have to park in another car park which involves a 5 min walk home with toddler in tow plus bags etc and it's becoming a massive pain in the arse.

Anyway sorry for long story. I would really appreciate opinions on what you would do in this situation - get on with moving or sit right and don't rush into anything.

josephine1986 Mon 16-Feb-15 11:22:52

No words of wisdom I'm afraid, but interested in responses as we're in a very similar position , although we know for sure we want to change areas for school for dd (also has about 3 years til school )

LondonGirl83 Mon 16-Feb-15 11:28:17

School situations change quickly. Find out if your local authority has plans to expand any schools in your area and how that might impact your catchment areas. Our local schools have been massively oversubscribed for the past few years resulting in lots of bulges and some children having to travel some distance. However, by 2016, 10 new forms will be created in our general area (each form is 30 pupil places) by expanding some existing schools and the opening of new free schools. The situation will be very different very shortly so make sure you have all the facts before uprooting your family.

Brambles34 Mon 16-Feb-15 11:31:58

Have you seen a financial advisor about mortgages? We have one child (and one on the way) and we found out that as soon as we have 2 children we could wave goodbye to a mortgage because we would have 2 'dependants'. That's all we needed to hear to give us a boot up the backside to move because we knew we didn't want to be stuck in our very beautiful but small cottage for years.

HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Feb-15 11:46:26

Thanks london they are building a new school in the area where the existing school we want is. But it's on a development of 750 new homes so will mostly cater for that additional influx rather than freeing up the other school. We've spoken to the existing school about it but perhaps we should phone the LA directly?

brambles that's very interesting we hadn't known that. We're on a very good fixed rate mortgage at the moment which we would be able to port across so I think we would be fine for now but clearly things might change once that expires? That would be another reason to move this year.

josephine it's so difficult isn't it? Such an expensive mistake to make if you get it wrong, not to mention the hideous stress.

BackforGood Mon 16-Feb-15 11:55:39

Personally, I'd get on with it.
The parking situation alone could well make it difficult to sell. That would drive me potty!

Brambles34 Mon 16-Feb-15 11:56:30

We were told that even if you are in a mortgage now (which we are) when you move its seen as a 'new' mortgage and things are really tight now. My husband recently had a big promotion so financially we would be far better off, but that extra little person scuppers everything! Definitely worth checking it out as we assumed it would be an easy switch over but wasn't x

HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Feb-15 12:02:20

brambles argh! Thanks so much for this, that's def something we need to consider in that case. Hope your search is going well.

back yup, the parking drives me insane. I find myself not using the car because I can't park it when I get back - completely ridiculous!

mandy214 Mon 16-Feb-15 12:31:38

Couple of things. Firstly, agree with the "new" rules for mortgages - much more stringent. Also, make sure you check the policy relating to maternity pay. We moved whilst I was on maternity leave and quite a few of the mortgage companies (anyone affiliated with Santander IIRC) would only take my maternity pay into account regardless of the fact that I was intending to return to work on exactly the same terms and conditions as before.

I also think its easier to make friends / settle when you are pregnant (think NCT and ante-natal classes) and whilst you are on maternity leave with a baby.

Also, check when you have to apply for schools - this can be as early as the Sept / Oct of the year before he starts, so that would give you 2 years as a max rather than the 3 in your original post.

FWIW, I would ring the LEA and ask about catchments. Having said that, if you have a DS now and have another on the way, might you outgrow your house in any event? How would the parking work with 2 small children? I think (only my personal view) that "dream houses" pre-children are very rarely the same. You might find that you'll need to move in any event and it is probably better sooner rather than later. Good luck!

HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Feb-15 12:53:51

Thanks mandy agree with all you've said! The house would be fine for an extra child in terms of bedroom but obviously tighter than it is now, so it could be that in any case I'm underestimating just how much extra space two children need as opposed to just one.

My thoughts are that the parking situation with two children would be raw hell.

I think we know really we need to move and for valid reasons. It will be a wrench though and I'm so scared of regretting it.

meadowquark Mon 16-Feb-15 12:55:52

Regarding the mortgage, I have 2 DC and so the banks they childcare into account. It is very important to check mortgage affordability including the childcare costs.

As regards to your house... It is pitty but life is full of changes. When I bought my first house, I thought it will be forever house. It turned out not to be for various reasons, plus I worried mad what we are going to do for secondary schoola. So, although my DC1 is only 7 I decided to move, the secondary schools being the driving factor. However 5 months into proceeding my house sale and purchase, I just found out that some of my local schools losened admission criteria and so my move has just become more or less pointless as we know stand a chance for a local school. The result of it, I will have to pull out.

I am totally guilty of trying to live for the future but not in the present. Sometimes planning too far ahead just doea not work out!!

OP you need to think what you want now and leave the school until your DS is 3 or 4. If parking is an issue, then perhaps you will want to move earlier than that. But don't do it purely for school too long in advance as schools change. I just almost made that mistake and will have to disappoint my buyer, my vendor and fork out 3k in solicitors fees. Don't fix what ain't broken (yet).

meadowquark Mon 16-Feb-15 13:16:29

* sorry for typos, using my phone on the go.

LondonGirl83 Mon 16-Feb-15 15:58:21

I agree with the last poster. If the main reason you are moving is related to schools, I'd try to learn more and wait to see what the LEA have planned. If you really need to move anyway, then I suppose moving before you have your second child makes sense for the reasons already stated.

HoggleHoggle Mon 16-Feb-15 19:01:25

Thanks so much all. I will phone the lea and try to clarify where we are on catchment possibilities. I think we would be much more inclined to put up with the parking hell if all was ok with the school, and I don't think we'd move for the sole reason of having another child - they'll just have to fit!

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