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Seaford/Bishopstone vs Polegate/Willingdon, do any of you live in either? What do you think?

(10 Posts)
daisychainsarepretty Mon 21-Sep-15 11:54:11

Hi all, long time lurker here, this is my first thread.

My DH and I are currently renting a house in Lewes. We are quite happy here, however houses are so expensive our budget would not allow us to buy the kind of property we are looking for (we want a detached, long story), so we have decided to look in other areas and we have narrowed our choice to Seaford/Bishopstone and Polegate/Willingdon.

We have lived in Seaford before, but it was only for 6 months and it was a couple of years ago, so we know it, but not as well as we know Lewes. We have never lived in Polegate or Willingdon, we went there yesterday for the day and walked around to see if we like it. We liked it generally speaking, looked a bit sleepy but we can put up with it (we think).

Some info about us:
Married, no DC yet but we are planning to start a family in the next 3 to 5 years, we might want to also host language students at some point.

We don’t drive ATM, so we have to rely on public transport for commuting. We both commute to Brighton on a daily basis, sometimes DH has to travel to London (about once a moth to every other month).

We like peace and quiet, but not too much of it. We also need to live within walking distance of a train station and/or bus stop.

The info we need:
Our understanding is that there is virtually no crime in either Seaford or Polegate, are there any particular areas that we would need to be wary of when choosing where to live?

We have walked around in Bishopstone and we didn’t see any children at all, only elderly people. We don’t mind living among retirees, but we do wonder if the lack of schools and child friendly activities is something that will force us to move again in a couple of years. If anyone lives in Bishopstone and has DC please give us your input about your life there. Do you like it? Or is life too difficult with DC and no car?

We do not drive or own a car ATM, but we might in the future. How is the traffic situation if we were to commute from Seaford to Brighton? And from Polegate to Brighton?

How is life as a family with DC in Willingdon/Polegate? We walked past the school in Willingdon yesterday and we saw it is outstanding, but what things such as parks/fun things to do with DC, paediatricians/doctors/dentists etc? Would we need to go to Eastbourne every time we want/need to do something?

House prices seem to be slightly higher in Seaford compared to Polegate and Willingdon, however we have taken a look at the trains and it seems that Polegate has more trains to Brighton and London compared to Seaford (but it is more expensive to travel from Polegate). Any commuter willing to share their opinion? Also, Polegate is close to Eastbourne and the language schools, so if we wanted to host foreign students it might be easier to do it from Polegate/Willingdon rather than Seaford (catering to students studying in Brighton), am I mistaken?

Also, would you say that Polegate and Willingdon are up and coming? Or are they slowly becoming sleepier? Hope I didn’t insult anyone here, but we do know that Seaford has picked up a lot in the past few years (new restaurants and cafes, more families with DC around compared to when we used to live there…), we know nothing at all about how Polegate/Willingdon are as we’ve never lived in either.

Hope someone can give us more information. ATM we are leaning more toward Seaford, but I wonder if it's only because we lived there at some point and we feel we "know" it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

magimedi Mon 21-Sep-15 12:39:55

My DC are adult so no help with schools. I live near to Polegate (but not in it) & personally I prefer it to Seaford. Eastbourne has loads of language schools & they are always wanting host families - all year round & some stay for some time as they are adults doing up to 6 month courses.

Polegate has a GP surgery & I think Willingdon does as well.

Fannyfannakerpants Tue 22-Sep-15 06:44:14

I love seaford. I wish I could afford to live there but we had to move off the train line to afford a house. I think for a young family it has everything you would need; good primary schools, playgroups every day,lots of other young families. You can walk in to town and the train station is very convenient. There are a few nice pubs and restaurants for pre children. And when you do have a baby and you feel like you haven't slept for a year,there is nothing better than being able to walk to the beach. It's not lewes,you won't get that nightlife or shops or quirkyness there but I think it's a very good comprise. It's making me really sad writing this.

Flingmoo Tue 22-Sep-15 22:22:22

I live in Polegate and will reply properly tomorrow, just about to go to bed now so will see if I can sneak some MN time in tomorrow to give you my opinion! smile

daisychainsarepretty Wed 23-Sep-15 10:21:19

Hi again, sorry for the radio silence, mumsnet was down the day before yesterday and yesterday evening I came home late for work and was dead on my feet.

magimedi: have you lived in Seaford as well, or only Polegate? What would you say are the main advantages of Polegate compared to Seaford? (ATM we are leaning more toward Seaford, but I guess it's only because we have lived in it before so we feel we "know" it).

Fannyfannakerpants: I feel your pain, we are in the same situation, i.e. we have to move out of an area we are happy living in only because of the house prices! We do like Seaford, however, and I must say I do miss the sea. Both DH and I grew up in seatowns/cities (abroad), and even though we are not the kind who likes to spend hours on the beach we like the fresh air. So we hope we will be able to afford something there.

However, if the only way to buy something that would suit our needs and that would still be on the train line would mean to move to Polegate I guess we'll just have to bite the bullet.

What we absolutely cannot compromise on is a detached house! I know it makes us sound spoilt, blush but we have a knack to always end up in properties that are quiet the first couple of months, then we get next door neighbours who do not need to get up at 6:00 in the morning. We have moved countless times throughout the years only because of this issue, but if we were to buy something then we'd be stuck with it if the neighbours stay up all night.

And I am not talking about people on benefits, one of our next door neighbours is an elderly lady who sometimes cannot sleep at night and watches TV in bed 'til the wee hours in the morning. As the noise insulation between our terraced houses is non-existant, we end up hearing her TV too. Before that we had a bunch of young people on the other side (we are mid-terraced), they were God knows how many and worked different shifts, so there was always someone talking/showering/you name it 24/7! Then they moved out and in moved people who also watch TV every night until 1:00 (they work nights, I cannot tell more because I'm afraid I'be outing myself!) I haven't had a decent night's sleep in months! (well, years!)

Mamushka: thanks, hope you can reply soon! smile

magimedi Wed 23-Sep-15 12:28:17

Haven't lived in Seaford but have visited it.

Have you thought about Eastbourne or is that out of your price range?

From Polegate the train into Eastbourne takes about 5 mins & from the station it is about a 5/7 min walk to the seafront.

Do you want to give us any idea of your budget?

Another plus about Polegate is really easy access to the Downs & all the wonderful walks (+ sea views) that you get there.

I am biased & I do think Seaford is a little 'down at heel' compared to Polegate but I don't know it well.

Am sure Mamushka will be back & she'll be able to give you a lot more info than me as she has young DC so will know more about schools.

daisychainsarepretty Wed 23-Sep-15 13:06:10

I did think about Eastbourne, but DH refuses to consider it because in order to live within walking distance to the station we would need to live too close to the city centre for comfort (a colleague of ours lives in Eastbourne city centre, he says that it's not so nice in the evening/night. He's single and 24-25 yo, so he likes to go out with his mates in the evening). I did look at a couple of areas further out (don't know what they are called, one is the one with the ASDA/TK Maxx), but that would translate into commuting by car, and our understanding is that the road Eastbourne-Brighton is hell at rush hour, and as said, DH refuses to consider it (and I must say I agree with him).

(-begins rant- Besides, we could only afford a flat or a terraced if we were to live close to the station, and we can't take living next door to other people anymore. Last night I finally collapsed around midnight, I woke up at 5 am (yes, I am THAT stressed out, not the least because we've started viewing houses last week and we've never bought in England, so lots of stress about the process) and couldn't go back to sleep. In the past five years I have been able to sleep max 6 hours per night on average (except during periods when neighbours have been quiet/next door house/flat has been empty, as said, we always end up near crazies, even though the rentals we've lived in have never been on the cheap side), I need between 8 and 9 hours of sleep in order to function properly. -end of rant-)

So the short answer is Eastbourne feels like too much of a gamble.

Our budget is 250k to 300k (absolute maximum, we have a mortgage offer in principle from the bank and that's what we can afford with the deposit we have). We are not afraid to do some work on the property if the price is in the region of 250-265k. We have seen a couple of properties where the work would be quite extensive, but only cosmetic (unless a survey would turn up hidden nasties) + kitchen and bathroom, and our budget would allow us to carry up at least kitchen and bathroom before moving in. If the property were to cost 300k we wouldn't care if the carpets and paint are tired, they could wait some years, but kitchen/bathroom and electricity would need to be newish, or at least not ancient, especially the electricity.

Funny that you think Seaford is "down at heel" (I think it too btw), I'm sorry to say that was my impression of Polegate when we got off the train blush, but we walked on what I assume is the main road, once we came to the areas where we had seen there are houses for sale it looked really pretty. And I really did like Willingdon.

I must say that Seaford has picked up a bit in the last couple of years, although in my opinion it will never be as charming as Lewes. That said, both Seaford and Polegate tick a lot of boxes for us, and what's the point of living in a pretty place if one is too tired/stressed out to enjoy it?

magimedi Wed 23-Sep-15 16:02:56

I think you are going to struggle with detatched and walk able to station etc in Polegate.

I also think that Eastbourne is not nearly as bad as your DH's friend makes out & it very much depends where you live in a radius of 15 mins walk of the station. Plenty of places within that area that are very quiet at night. But, again, you won't find detatched, but you will find some lovely flats.

I've just had a quick look at Seaford on Rightmove & it is deffo cheaper than Polegate or Willingdon.

I would also say don't dismiss a bungalow - there is often great potential for extending them & they are very popular when it comes to reselling & are often on somewhat bigger plots.

Flingmoo Thu 24-Sep-15 22:09:58

How is the traffic situation if we were to commute from Seaford to Brighton? And from Polegate to Brighton?

We did it for a couple of years, only just stopped last month as our office relocated to Burgess Hill recently. It took us around an hour to drive from where we live on the furthest side of Polegate, into Brighton city centre, that's leaving at 7am though, as we worked 8-4 instead of 9-5 to avoid the worst traffic! Personally I think it's worth the hassle although it depends what your priorities are in life. We wanted to buy a house and had almost the same budget as yourself, and in Brighton we would probably have only afforded a 1 bedroom flat, making it difficult to start a family, whereas in Polegate we have got a 4 bedroom detached new build house! Perfect for our little family as we now have a 1 year old. I don't care that we have a long commute to work because it's all worth it to come home at the end of the day to a lovely spacious house with a garden for our toddler to run around in. If I want some nightlife (ha, as if...) or anything else I can't get in Eastbourne area, it's easy enough to pop over to Brighton or even London which is less than 2 hours away by train (I'm going there tomorrow for a special networking event)

How is life as a family with DC in Willingdon/Polegate?

We like it here, its nice and quiet in our area compared to a town centre location. Not much to do within walking distance although there is a little library and there are primary schools which seem good enough but I cant give a really valuable opinion on this as DS is only 16 months old so we have a while before we consider schools.

What things such as parks/fun things to do with DC, paediatricians/doctors/dentists etc? Would we need to go to Eastbourne every time we want/need to do something?

Where we live a car is essential, although there are buses I bloody hate them due to poor frequency and reliability. We live 30 mins walk from train station so I suppose if you lived closer the train would be fine. No shortage of doctors, dentists etc. LOADS of fun things to do with DCs in the wider area, especially if you drive. Eastbourne has loads for families and there are so many nice parks and farms and historical places to visit within a 20 minute drive from Polegate, not just in Eastbourne but in other surrounding areas.

There are plenty of big out-of-town retail centres here with big supermarkets and garden centres etc. which I know sounds boring but it's very handy, only if you drive though of course.

I think you're going to struggle to tick all your boxes if you want to be in walking distance of a train station, a detached house, and close to many amenities and attractions. Having a car really solves all those problems though as it's so easy to get around to all sorts of places from here.

I really like Seaford too, you'd be nearer the sea but a bit further away from all the shops and other amenities that Polegate benefits from. Personally thought Seaford is more expensive than Polegate but maybe I was wrong, or its changed.

As you can probably tell I'm really happy in Polegate and would not choose to live anywhere else right now. I've also lived in Hastings, Brighton and Burgess Hill and we've been here in Polegate since January 2014 so I still remember what it was like living elsewhere and I much prefer it here!

Fannyfannakerpants Fri 25-Sep-15 17:33:00

I'm afraid that even in a slightly more dubious road, there is not a chance of getting a detached property. You would need to double your money and then still be in luck. Our budget was the same and we couldn't afford a semi with garden.
We did look at a couple of detached bungalows in Polegate for that price but they needed complete renovation and we're on the main roads.

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