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Bringing up growing family in a flat - too much of a squeeze!

(37 Posts)
goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 20:28:49

Live in zone 2, the most wonderful location. Great parks, schools, restaurants etc with everything such as swimming pools, galleries etc on doorstep. I don't ever want to leave. DP thinks you absolutely can't bring teenagers up in a small flat. We have 2 pre-schoolers and can't afford a house here. Would be looking at zone 4 or further for a house and not aparticularly attractive one at that. Out of London, something much grander...but I love living here.

Anyway, just after reassuring stories about older kids in flats. Kids have a bedroom each but one is tiny. Need positive stories!

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 20:29:50

That's supposed to be a question mark in the title btw

GoodLuckTime Fri 30-Sep-16 20:34:07

Think laterally? It's expensive where we are but you can get more space if you're prepared to consider ex local / busy road etc. Or other central areas. Eg east and south London zone 2 still cheaper than north and west London.

I know a family of five (kids 8, 5, 3) near us who were in a two bed masionette until recently. They wanted to move
But stay in the area. They've looked at various things that haven't worked out so are now renting a larger house around the corner from their two bed which they have kept and rented out.

Don't know the numbers but possibly the rent gap isn't too big. And they still get the equity growth of owning in central London

Mycraneisfixed Fri 30-Sep-16 20:49:32

So glad I moved away from London when DC were kids. Here we have all the things we had in London apart from the tube and theatres, and we never went to the theatre anyway. I love being near open country but only 3 miles from a big town. Near beaches, parks, short commute when working, friendliness of people in the area, no bad schools in this area. And a much bigger house for the same money. Trips to London to go to the Science museum and on the London Eye are enjoyed by all but nice to escape London and come home.
Londoners may be shocked to discover that there are great pools, leisure centres, restaurants and galleries outside London toogrin

Barbadosgirl Fri 30-Sep-16 20:51:27

Hmmm. Think it depends on the type of children. We moved from zone 2 to zone 3 (2/3 bed maisonette to 3 bed house, about 300-400 sq feet bigger and an option to extend and a garden). Our toddler is pretty energetic and we just needed more space for him.

We bought our house for pretty much the same price as we sold our flat- tiny bit more.

Some children are fine with less space.

SillySongsWithLarry Fri 30-Sep-16 20:54:28

We are a family of 4 living in a 2 bed flat in SE. It is hard but it's fine. We don't buy lots of stuff and make the most of the space around us (parks, woods, beach, less than an hour to London etc).

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 20:54:58

We are in a Victorian conversion and not against ex LA but would just rather not move! 3 bed terraces near us have a similar amount of floor space but I guess you can at least escape upstairs. We are all on on level - great with little ones but DP thinks may get cabin fever-ish with teens. You are looking at close to a million for a basic 3 bed terrace round here though.

allegretto Fri 30-Sep-16 20:55:46

Really? Lots of people grow up in flats and manage. It makes me a bit sad when people seem to think its not possible. We have 3 kids and live abroad where just about everyone lives in a flat so it definitely can be done!

allegretto Fri 30-Sep-16 20:57:23

Btw I actually found a 3 bed terrace here but it sold for a million. My oldest can now go to the park on his own which helps.

dementedma Fri 30-Sep-16 20:57:50

You can bring up teenagers in a flat. If they actually each have their own room, no worries! It's not easy and I would have liked more room for them but it is doable. DDS are in their 20s now and still share a room when they are both at home. We have 3 dcs and they have been raised in flats all their lives. They seem fairly normal.

NightNightBadger19962 Fri 30-Sep-16 20:58:13

Yes but teens will love living where you live, so you might hardly see them, plus you can go out more when they are teens.

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 21:02:56

Good to hear you're making it work silly.

mycrane I'm not a Londoner. Grew up in a city around 80 miles away. Nto the north. A great city objectively but one I couldn't wait to leave due to quite an unhappy childhood. Need to stay north of river so I can visit easily so can't do the popular move to SE London!

Country living not really for me. barbados can I ask where? I know it sounds superficial but I have to be near somewhere that has a bit of a buzz.

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 21:09:19

demented I agree! DP gre up in huge detached house and just can't see it working. As I see it, if they need space as teens they can study in the library, will have hobbies outside of home etc. We don't have space for bikes and practising instruments will be tricky..but....

Landoni112 Fri 30-Sep-16 21:11:54

Stay! Even if you change your mind in a few years time your flat will have probably earnt more than you in value in that time.
Chances are your teenagers will want to stay in London anyway esp as they halve their own room.
Then you can retire to a mansion in the countryside if you wish.

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 21:20:26

Ha, Landon, that's what I think! There might be a few difficult years when they're 13-18 but I hear those years are difficult anyway! Flat is making a daft amount of money just by existing in zone 2 but once you sell up and ship out you can't get back in!

Cakescakescakes Fri 30-Sep-16 21:35:59

I spent my teenage years living in the back end of nowhere. I would have given my eye teeth to have lived in a city with all the activities and opportunities there. Cities are fantastic places to raise kids.

Cakescakescakes Fri 30-Sep-16 21:36:33

Which is why I'm living in a small 2.5 bed house with my two DC with no plans to move (not London but another city). Love it.

DollyBarton Fri 30-Sep-16 21:37:34

I lived in Japan for many years. Almost everybody brought up 2 kids in tiny flats with a high quality of life. Your lifestyle could more than make up for the lack of space.

Wiifitmama Fri 30-Sep-16 21:41:31

Teens take up waaaaay less space than preschoolers! They no longer have toys. All they need is a bed, a desk and a place for their tech! (Should just say, I only have boys so have no idea of girls stuff!). We are zone 2 and location is everything for teens. They can go anywhere they want on their own. Total freedom. I have eldest teen in very small room but high ceilings. He has high bed with desk and chair under, chest of drawers under, and wardrobe just at end of bed. One book shelf on opposite wall. No room for anything else but he does not need it. I have two others (aged 12 and 8) sharing a slightly larger room. That IS a problem. The 12 year old needs his own space. But there is no way on earth we are moving further out. We are doing some renovations and tiny extension (conservation area so major limitations) that allows us to make shared bedroom larger and then split it into two small bedrooms. SO long as they all have their own space, they are happy.

Wiifitmama Fri 30-Sep-16 21:43:14

I should have also added about instruments - all three of mine play them. Piano is in lounge. Guitar in eldest bedroom. Melodeon in shared bedroom. Recorder is another. They play all together as trio and use the lounge. No problem at all and we have music teachers visiting on and off too.

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 21:53:17

cakes I love cities too. We only have links to London or my hometown and hometown not in the running so London it is!

wiifit I feel the same. We have huge parks nearby for sports and exercise and kids will just have to play compact instruments! Our third bedroom will be similar. Single bed, small desk and chair, single wardrobe and small set of drawers.

Barbadosgirl Fri 30-Sep-16 21:56:56

Tottenham- it has buzz! We were in Finsbury Park before and honestly would have stayed if we had a less active child. Houses of this size there are about £1.3m! It was actually probably more the lack of outdoor space which was the issue. I see him legging it down the hallways and tipping his toys all over his playroom and we defo did the right thing for him and us but, say had we had a chilled toddler like my bestie does, we probs would have stayed in our flat.

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 22:03:03

Ah, barbados hadn't thought of Tottenham. Around Seven Sisters always seems nice. my two are quite active too but we're lucky to have a garden, albeit a small one.

Wiifitmama Fri 30-Sep-16 22:07:46

goteam - you have location, a bedroom each, and outside space. Its the holy trinity! Why on earth are you questioning moving?

goteam Fri 30-Sep-16 22:10:32

Not me wiifit but DP thinks it can't be done once the kids get older. I am on a mission to convince him otherwise!

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