Stay in N London or do the big move?

(26 Posts)
freddiefrogpercypig Thu 01-Sep-16 14:40:15

Live in Muswell Hill. Work in city. Have 2 preschool kids. Love it here. However thinking of moving out to tun wells as 1) secondary schools (though mh also good) 2) fab countryside nearby 3) lots for kids and adults to do 4) commute not bad to city 5) get larger home
However love it here as great range of parks and the woods, fab primaries, easy commute, friendly, safe, villagey.
Are we mad? We have a small 4 bed here on outskirts. We could get a large 4 bed with garden there. Friends going from mh now but hope id meet more through school. Know one good friend in TW.
Are we mad? Is the lure of countryside and space not all its cracked up to be? Will I miss muswell hill? Is the commute from TW too much. It's tricky as not quite sure what I'm soon with my work but working on assumption I'll need to get into London part time too.

bojorojo Thu 01-Sep-16 14:59:31

I live in the countryside a mere 35 miles from central London.

You really must evaluate very carefully what you want. As your children are pre-school, you will need to be in residence on the deadline day for primary school applications. If you are not, you will be a late applicant and may not get your local catchment school. Kent is also Grammar schools - is this what you want? Where will they do if they do not get into one?

What do you want from the countryside? Do you want TW, or do you want a village? I favour living in a town because there is so much more on offer that will be easy for your children to get to when they are older and more friends will be local too.

However, villages are pretty but it is likely you will spend more time in the car. I do not have a shop in mine and I can go for days without hardly seeing a soul. Walking the dog is a big bonus. If you want cafes and Mums groups, often small villages cannot supply much in terms of a socal life. If you want to help out at the local Church and becomes a pillar of the village society, then a village is a good idea.

Evaluate the commute. How easy is it? Are there seats? What about childcare in an area you do not know? Is it readily available? I think the lure of the countryside above all else is not entirely sensible if you are happy where you are. Great if you are a country-lover and stay at home to enjoy it, but it does have serious draw-backs. What sort of person are you, deep down?

superram Thu 01-Sep-16 15:29:12

I have decided to stay in west London-though would love to
Live in whitstable. Not ready for slow down in pace, travel 10 mins to work at moment-moving out would increase travel costs hugely. We have a life here, great schools-I would be wary of grammar system personally but it does suit many. We are going to move out when the kids leave home.

freddiefrogpercypig Thu 01-Sep-16 16:00:13

We were thinking TW really as do like a bit to do, but then there is really lovely countryside right on doorstep. However do have hampstead Heath and woods near mh which kind of counts! Just be nice to go for some proper country walks without it being a massive effort to get there.

freddiefrogpercypig Thu 01-Sep-16 16:02:38

I think I am thinking perhaps it's better for kids to grow up out of London hence the countryside thing. Plus I do love it too! But enough in TW to do that don't feel so isolated (as much as you could be in the southeast!)
But then mh is as good as it gets really for kids in London....

Stokey Thu 01-Sep-16 18:03:09

I wouldn't leave MH, it's a lovely area and you have lots of country type features on your doorstep like the heath and woods, and it's very easy to get out to say the Cotswolds.

If you feel your small 4 bed is too small, could you get a larger but scruffier house in the same area and do it up gradually? I have friends that have just swapped a "done" 4 bed small terrace for an undone 3 bed semi, which was the same price but has bigger floor area.

Also IMO country is good for primary age kids but by secondary, you end up just ferrying them around a lot, and they'd rather be in London. And if you move, you can never afford to move back (my biggest fear).

Sprig1 Thu 01-Sep-16 18:04:39

You don't sound like you really want to move!
How will you sort out childcare if you move to the country? It's difficult to find places that have long enough hours and it only gets harder once they go to school. If I was you I would stay put where you are in London at the moment. It sounds like you have a great quality of life. You can always think about moving when it is time to think about secondary schools. In that time chances are London property prices will have increased much more that those in the place where you might buy so you will do even better out of the move.
PS This comes from a countryside dweller who would never live in London!

wobblywonderwoman Thu 01-Sep-16 18:06:51

The grass might not be greener - loads t do in London. I used to live near MH and its gorgeous

Didiusfalco Thu 01-Sep-16 18:07:18

If i lived in a 4 bed in muswell hill there is no way you would shift me to TWs!

ChipmunkSundays Thu 01-Sep-16 19:19:07

Another one saying no way would I move from a 4 bed in Muswell Hill. Love it there. You don´t sound as if you have any very serious reason to move? It would be different if you were in a small flat with expanding family.

PotatoBread Thu 01-Sep-16 19:21:25

I'd stay in Muswell Hill too - it's a great area to raise kids in

EssentialHummus Thu 01-Sep-16 19:29:26

Another one who wouldn't move. But: check school catchments carefully. Last time I checked - admittedly a while ago - there were some black holes around schools with tiny catchments. Do you need more space? Could you move to (whisper it) East Finchley so you don't lose proximity to the Heath but gain in transport links what you lose in Waitrose and Marks?

MrsCaptainWentworth Thu 01-Sep-16 19:29:26

No way would I move. We moved from north London to a village in Hertfordshire - we were MAD & I would move back tomorrow but DH & dcs like it here. There is one bus an hour to the nearest town but it takes so long I end up ferrying them everywhere. Don't do it- the countryside is not all its cracked up to be.

freddiefrogpercypig Fri 02-Sep-16 10:23:28

Wow ok am hearing you all loud and clear! Ha ha. Doesn't everyone move when they have kids though? It's def the lure of open countryside plus a bigger house which is tempting me. But perhaps grass is not always greener.

YelloDraw Fri 02-Sep-16 10:44:08

Wow ok am hearing you all loud and clear! Ha ha. Doesn't everyone move when they have kids though? It's def the lure of open countryside plus a bigger house which is tempting me. But perhaps grass is not always greener.

Nope.

People move because they can't afford enough bedrooms (or to buy at all!) or a place in a decent catchment area and don't fancy Little Pascal getting stabbed.

If you have enough cash to have a house in London, in a nice area, with good schools, that is big enough, and a small garden - why the hell would you want to move? London is the best place on earth for children, teenagers and adults. Only downside is they will probably never move our of the family home ;-)

You can get the train out to the countryside for long muddy walks.

HeadDreamer Fri 02-Sep-16 10:50:27

Not in London myself.

You only go to the country side in the holidays and weekend. Either one or both of you need to go to work 5 days a week. Do you think it is wise to have a easier 'commute' for leisure time or work?

TheTedium Sat 03-Sep-16 10:19:59

I live not far from you. Don't do it. North London (where you are in particular) has everything, all the lovely parks for the kids, Heath, Kenwood, Highgate Woods, excellent transport so when they are teens (and it goes quickly) they can do their own thing in and out of the city. Great shops, motorway transport links etc. Refurb your house and get the kids into local schools.

Babymamamama Sat 03-Sep-16 10:25:30

I wouldn't move but if you're set on it could you rent in Kent rather than burning your bridges with n London. Then you could return if it didn't work out?

NotYoda Sat 03-Sep-16 13:38:41

I wouldn't

I think I'm right in saying that Secondaries near you are good.

Primary goes quickly, and London is great for teens

Itscoldouthere Sun 04-Sep-16 19:45:09

Don't do it! I did and regret it, had a 4 bed house in MH moved 3 years ago.
Things have changed and my DP who was working from home now works full time in London. The commute is a bore and costs over £5000 per year.
Mind you if you have small children you will connect with the community through school, we have teenagers, they have no local friends, no way of going out without me as taxi driver ( we live in a village) you have to drive everywhere. The beautiful countryside gets boring, even my dog is bored as he hardly ever meets other dogs who want to play.
We have an amazing house, great for parties, but not many friend here, my friends are all in London. My DP loves it here but he gets all he needs of London in the week, I miss the buzz of city life. I'm moving back when the teens have finished school (2 years) but we will have to get a small flat as we are no longer able to afford a 4 bed in MH 😪

taxworries Mon 05-Sep-16 13:54:04

Tis may have been said already (in a rush) but have you thought about the real commute time? Friends moved there with two preschool kids and after a stressful year or rushing back and forth she gave up work - phone calls from nursery saying X is vomiting with a bug, collect them right now where just too stressful when she was a good 1hr 20 away - 50 min commute then 30 min tube/walk/crossing station faff.

MaybeDoctor Mon 05-Sep-16 14:00:32

Well, we moved from a similar bit of N London and have never looked back. Small commuter town is what had worked for us.

Why not rent and try it out before you need to get into schools?

Finola1step Mon 05-Sep-16 14:09:42

We are in TW. Moved down from East Dulwich when eldest dc was 3. It was a great decision for us. Dc go to a very well regarded, sought after state primary. Great community feel etc.

But I sense a big, big issue on the horizon. There has been a huge increase in the number of primary aged children in the past 5 years or so. Lots of bulge classes, new primary schools, expansion of current schools. And still it isn't enough. With no clear plan, from what I can see, of what will happen at secondary level to accommodate all these extra children. Put simply, there will be more and more children in Tunbridge Wells who can't get into the fab secondary schools.

So if schools are your big draw, think very carefully.

freddiefrogpercypig Tue 06-Sep-16 08:19:08

Thanks all - looks like we may stay put

cestlavielife Tue 06-Sep-16 17:52:20

yes stay...you forget that in the countryside you cant go and walk where you like, not like you can in muswell hill/highgate woods/hampstead etc . you have to stick to footpaths etc which may not be easily accessible ie you might have to go drive to park in a car park to access them.

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