moving from London to outside london(26 Posts)
I am after some advice please. We currently live in a one bed flat in London fields with 2 kids. We need a Bigger place and we can't afford to buy anywhere in london
I work from home ( as a childminder) and hubby works in the housing sector, so we are looking for somewhere with easy commute to London. At the moment we are considering Milton Keynes, Dartford, and Romford as we only have a budget of 300k maximum.
Any suggestion please
Thanks babymamamama... Can't seems to find a 3 bed in our price range in that area
If your looking at Dartford I would go just outside unless you need good transport links. I'm currently in Dartford and all though some bits are a bit run down I don't feel unsafe to walk around at night and we've never had any problems.
Rochester? It's on the high speed link into London and a friend has recently moved there and likes it.
It all depends on which bit of London your DH works in - if West London, then Reading - but if East then somewhere else.
If you need to get to North London or East for work, how about St Neots?
Market Harborough is lovely, an hour on the train to St Pancras (and when thinking about door to door commute it is easy 15 min walk to station from most of the town).
300k would buy you something nice there too.
Thanks all for all your suggestions. I really appreciate your time. Hubby works in islington, so any station in central London should be good enough for connecting onward journey. I am hoping he won't have to commute to London for too long as he will look for a job nearby.
Luton or Bedford get you to Kings X v. quickly. Or you could look at Southend/Leigh on Sea: Train to Barking, then overground to Crouch Hill and you are near the top end of Islington.
I live in MK and love it - it's very family friendly and you can get a decent 3 bed house for that. Plus if your dh wants to get to Islington it's easy to get to from Euston by tube or bus.
I've posted before about why I like living here - so rather than type it out again, I've just copied and pasted from a couple of earlier posts. But shout if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
We live in Milton Keynes and it's fantastic for families.
Lots going on, nice houses, train takes between 30 mins and an hour to Euston, some great schools (albeit also some to avoid), loads of parks and countryside integrated into the town, decent shops, big cinemas, good theatre, fabulous arts festival every other year (it's this year, woohoo), lots of sports and clubs and stuff to do for kids and adults, easy to drive around, definitely worth checking out.
Schools - think you can apply for the Bucks grammar schools (people go to them in both Buckingham and Aylesbury) but in MK there are some schools with good reputations. ds1 is at a fab junior school that regularly wins national awards for all sorts of different things they do, and most importantly he loves going there and seems to be thriving. It feeds into 2 good senior schools. ds2 is at a decent infant school, again, really enjoys it and has some nice staff, they've really helped with some stuff he's struggled with and he'll move on to the same junior school as ds1 in 18 months time.
Houses - have just had a quick look on rightmove for 4 bed detatched houses under £375K (on the basis that you can negotiate down!), not sure if you want brand new first ownership of a house or a new home that's up to 5/10 years old rather than 100 years old, but even at £300k there are plenty in decent areas. There are some nice older towns around - Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell, Olney, for example, but lots of the grid squares within MK itself are based on old existing villages so you have the best of both worlds. Where I live, I live opposite a park, have 2 more within 5 minutes walk, the station is a few minutes walk away, there's an old village green, a Norman church, things like toddlers groups and the WI locally - and yet 5 mins in the car and I can be in John Lewis and the shopping centre or Sainsburys (underground car park handy when it rains!), Morrisons, Asda, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsburys/Tesco locals, and within 10 mins there's big Tescos x2, Costco, Waitrose, Ikea, Primark, loads of M&S, and more.
Lots of beautiful countryside within easy reach (often walking reach) of houses
Easy to drive around
Good links to london by rail and road
Fab cultural scene
Plenty of shops
Lots of national trust type places, museums, etc around to visit
Plenty of stuff for kids to do
Some decent schools and some great ones
Best of both worlds in that some of the old villages are incorporated into the city so you have the grid squares that are all self contained square 'villages' that have their own things going on
We moved from central London (having been there for about 20 years) and although we miss it in some respects, we do enjoy living here - and have a much higher quality of life than we would have done in London, now we have dc.
The right parts of Hemel Hempstead are well worth considering. We've just bought here after renting for 2.5 years to see if we liked it after moving out of SE London ourselves. 25 minutes into Euston and so many facilities, plus lovely countryside. Don't believe the "ugliest town" crap from a few years back, and especially as there's a LOT of investment going on in the centre right now.
Having said that, MK is fabulous as well. I'd take MK over Dartford any day (used to live nearish Dartford before)
If you don't mind ex-local authority houses in areas that are now mostly owner occupied then you can get a 3 bed terrace in places like St Paul's Cray near Orpington there are some nice roads like Leesons Hill, Longbury Drive, Sherborne Road, Amherst Drive etc. zone 6 from St Mary Cray stn. If you do end up looking in the area feel free to message me about specific roads and I will give you my best opinion. Good luck.
I just bought 3 bed town house in Shirley, Croydon for your budget, very happy with some excellent schools. Had to overcome the fact that it isn't a period house, but otherwise good.
another vote for MK. Moved here two years ago, really like it.
@zigzap. Thank you so much for the information. We went to see a new development in Milton Keynes today called "Brookland" we love the estate but I fear is a little bit remote.there was no shops at all unless at the town center, also I fear as a childminder I may not get any business at all..what do you think? Thanks
Same situation here..looking to buy a house around London because jobs are in London. . Two kids 7 and 1 so looking for outstanding schools especially grammar school.. its driving me crazy where to buy??
Mandykaur123 a word of warning if you are planning to look in the Buckinghamshire (south) area, there is a shortage of school places like in a lot of the country and the chances of finding spaces in an outstanding school are very very slim.
Also think carefully about wanting a Grammar school area, with the new 11plus test here there are many children already working at Grammar school level that were told they did not pass the test and will have to go to local secondary schools. I also know of quite a few families that have moved here from London for the Grammar schools and were very certain that their children would get places in the Grammar schools but unfortunately didn't.
Bucks is a lovely place to live but due to the Grammar school system, I wish I lived somewhere else.
thanks for your information so which ares you recommend? ? are you living in bucks?
We live in Leighton Buzzard, just down the road from Milton Keynes. It's a smaller town with IMO, more character, but only 15-20 mins drive from all th shops etc in Milton Keynes. Train from here is 28mins to Euston.
The town centre is smallish, there's a waitrose, a few high street shops and quite a few independent shops and cafés.
Schools are good, the best catchments are on the Linslade side of town, or at the top end of Heath Road/Plantation Road.
Lovely countryside, and a really nice community. We've really settled down here and love it.
And the best bit, it's still affordable - a £300k budget will get you a nice 3 bed in a really good area, possibly a 4 bed.
OP, can I be really cheeky & ask how you've handled having two kids in a one bed flat? I ask because we've just had our 1st, & we are living in a one bed flat in South Tottenham. We're hoping to have more DCs, but not sure when we'll be able to upsize to a bigger flat - so I'd love to hear how you made it work? (Feel free to PM me if you don't want to derail your thread. Many thanks & best of luck with the house search!)
If you forget about the Grammar school issue, then south Bucks wise I think Marlow, Lacey Green, Princess Risborough, outer parts of High Wycombe are all nice places to live.
It really depends on what transport links you may need.
@perpetualstudent, we have a cot bed for the toddler and the baby shares a bed with us. We do have a huge hallway, so we keep all their toys and pram, and other things in the hallway. Space is tight but it's doable. Been to the council several times regarding been rehoused but nothing as of yet
Come to South East London! Loads of people needing childminders; child-friendly; lower-cost commute!
if you're thinking about Dartford, remember Kent has a selective education system. I know this is a big draw for most MNers, but I purposely avoided selective areas when we moved.
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