I was hoping to get some advice on where we should be looking to buy a house.
We are hoping to start a family in a year or two and looking to buy a place now.
My husband and I work in the city. I am hoping to go part time but I will probably need some childcare assistance from my mum who lives in Hounslow.
Not really keen on moving to Hounslow but there are some nicer areas nearby such as Chiswick, Twickenham, Whitton etc. These areas are pretty pricey so I am not sure from what I have seen whether we will have much choice here. Looking ideally for a 3 bedroom maisonette or house (don't seem to be many available, a lot more 2 bedrooms or 5+) but may have to settle for a 2 bedroom instead. Ideally looking at 400-450k but we could go to 500k but his would be really stretching ourselves I think. All the talk of the property bubble bursting does worry me a bit, particularly as Twickenham seems to be overheating.
Another area I was considering was Ashford, which is probably not as nice but ok for commuting, affordable and near Hounslow.
Ultimately in the next 5 years we would hope to be looking to have a second child and buying a 4 bedroom in a good area with good schools so I guess whatever we do buy now would be somewhere we stay short term.
I'm leaning towards the 2 bedroom places in Twickenham at the moment but I have friends who have 2 small children in 2 bedroom places and they seem pretty desperate to move into a 3 bedroom house. Not sure how bad it is because I haven't experienced it!
Would be interested in hearing peoples advice or thoughts really if you are familiar with these areas or have suggestions for any others that may work for us.
Twickenham is lovely, great for kids. Careful re school 'catchments' though as distances can be quite short due to lots of families.
Re bedrooms. My experience is that it's the size of living space and how much overall storage a place has, opposed to bedrooms, that matters. With 2 DC I'd take a spacious 2-bed over a 3-bed with small living room/ kitchen.
You could get more or your money in Whitton, Hampton or Isleworth which are still close to Hounslow. Don't know Ashford.
Hampton has fantastic infant schools which would do you until you move on. But trains are slow.
Whitton schools didn't used to be so great but I don't have recent information. Good train link to London.
In Twickenham you'll struggle to get a large two bed under £500 as it's going a bit bananas (we are looking round there ) If you did find one it'd be titch which might get awkward for a young family.
Echo previous poster about being very careful where you buy in Twickenham re infant schools especially. St Margaret's end particularly bad. My mum is on the appeals panel for them and it's heartbreaking, all these kids being made to travel miles to some random distant school cos there's just no space.
I know Ashford and Twickenham and would prefer Twickenham tbh.
If you're prepared to go further out, to Ashford, then have you considered Staines and Egham instead? Still not too far from Hounslow and you would get much more for your money than Twickenham. Not quite the same scrum for school places when the time comes.
Twickenham would be lovely but I think we would probably have to compromise and get a smaller place. I guess it's still a possibility as we are open to upsizing in 5 years or so when we look to have a second child and hopefully in a stronger financial position.
I did also consider Staines at one point but figured Ashford was closer to Hounslow so might be a better option, but it may be worth looking in to if it is considerably better than Ashford.
I've often heard Hampton being mentioned as an alternative for more affordable housing but I am not sure where to look. Places within the vicinity of the station seem fairly pricey? The parts closer to Feltham I would imagine to be not as nice. 45 mins into Waterloo isn't too bad if we could find something good there and it wasn't too far from my mums.
Really appreciate all your messages by the way. Very helpful stuff.
You won't get anything for that budget in Twickenham. Hampton is slightly more affordable but on a slower train line. Feltham is not great, and is more mixed, but you'll get more for your £.
Ashford has some lovely streets and a useful high street (almost all independent shops). Ashford, Staines and Egham all cost about the same, and are all on the Weybridge-Waterloo line that goes via Hounslow.
I don't think it's particularly wise to plan to stay in a house for only five years. The stamp duty is enormous compared to 20 years ago, when you may have been able to recoup costs in five years.
Have name-changed so as not to out myself
Ashford is a great place to live but don't tell anyone!
It's one of those places where if you scratch the surface you will find lots going on (scouts and guides, sports clubs, churches etc) , lovely people, fantastic primary schools, and access to some decent secondaries.
You should be able to get a decent 3-bed house within walking distance of the station for your budget.
And there is much much less aircraft noise than Twickenham.
Happy to answer any questions!
Everyone who is saying Hampton, could you tell me which parts are affordable. Is it the part near Feltham which is around a mile away from the station or can you get affordable housing closer to the centre?
Great to hear feedback on Ashford. I wasn't sure whether the primary schools were any good. Are there parts of the area you would or wouldn't recommend?
@NonDom's point about not moving after 5 years that's what I have been thinking if avoidable it would be better because of costs involved. My husband doesn't seem to concerned about it. Our ultimate aim is to move into a 'family home' in Surrey by the time the kids are approaching secondary school age at least. This is going to be our starter home so we will move once more at least after we have brought this place.
Do a Rightmove on Egham for your budget. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Ashford, Staines, Egham, Sunbury are Surrey(in case you hadn't realised).
Do you need to be walking distance to the station? If so the roads either side of the high street (Church Road) are a good bet. Village Way and surrounding roads are quiet and pretty. The other side of the high street is more urban, and parking can be tricky in the roads near the station but there is lots of choice of Victorian houses of different styles and sizes. Or out towards the A30 or towards Feltham there's plenty of family houses, again lots of styles and sizes.
My friend lives in Whitton, and really likes it. There are baby groups, shops and a swimming pool not too far (I think). She gets into London quickly. Her only gripe is the mayhem when there is rugby at the stadium - as well as the internationals, there is stuff like the Army V Navy match, and pop concerts too.
She doesn't moan when she's attending one, though. Lol.
We used to go clubbing in the Cabbage Patch. Happy times.
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