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Moving to Birmingham with the family - where to look?

(193 Posts)
lilyblue82 Wed 06-Dec-17 13:45:43

Hello amazing mumsnetters,

We are moving to Birmingham from London in the Summer as husband will work at the University of Birmingham. I've never been there but I have started to have a look at properties, so I need your precious help and knowledge.

Considering South and East Birmingham and I wonder what is your opinion on Bromsgrove?

Budget is 400k but we can stretch. Looking for a 4 beds house. We want to be in a nice and friendly area with lots of family. Good schools are important as in Sep 2018 my son will go in Y2 and my daughter will start reception.

Thanks a lot for your help!


senua Wed 06-Dec-17 14:39:26

Bromsgrove is on the train line to the University so your DH can do an easy commute. Properties in Finstall and Aston Fields are popular due to proximity to facilities - station, good schools, sports, etc.

lilyblue82 Wed 06-Dec-17 17:43:14

Hi @senua, thanks! What is Bromsgrove like? Family wise and activity wise?


senua Wed 06-Dec-17 19:04:38

There are several sports clubs (rugby, hockey, tennis, cricket, tennis, football) lots of things like Scouts/Guides, a David Lloyd, an Arts Centre, a Leisure Centre. For more culture Birmingham has the CBSO, Bham Royal Ballet, ICC, NIA, art galleries, theatres and all the goings on at the NEC.
There is easy access to beautiful countryside. The crime rate is low. It is in the centre of the motorway system so you can get to anywhere/everywhere.
The grown-ups may find it tame after London but it is excellent for family life.

missyB1 Wed 06-Dec-17 19:08:33

We have friends who live in Bromsgrove on a family friendly estate of fairly modern properties called “Oakhalls”. I’ve no idea about schools though as their kids are in private.

Tatlerer Wed 06-Dec-17 20:06:43

Hello Val, we moved from London to Birmingham about 20 months ago and we love it!

We're in Harborne so very close to the University. I love it here. Schools are great (state and independent). I'm not sure on the property price situation for a 4 bed though- you'd have to do some digging.

senua Thu 07-Dec-17 09:05:05

Harborne is nice but expensive. If you are going Harborne-central then the lack of garaging / parking is a huge problem.

Both Harborne and Edgbaston are desirable and so sellers like to claim that they are within their borders; things get very elastic sometimes.grin As a rule of thumb, keep south of the Hagley Road.

AgnesSkinner Fri 08-Dec-17 09:02:25

Bournville might be worth a look too?

lilyblue82 Sun 10-Dec-17 18:28:37

Thank you so much ladies for your tips.

What's your view on these properties

@Tatlerer, would love to hear your experience

I'm absolutely terrified as I have no idea on where to look!

AgnesSkinner Sun 10-Dec-17 18:56:18

I used to live in Stanmore Road as a student 30 years ago - although being north of the Hagley Road it was classified as Bearwood rather than Edgbaston back then. Good Edwardian houses, and seems to have come up in the world as well (there was a posh brothel at the top end back then - we found out from the gas man). Was about a 25 minute cycle ride to uni, although it’s uphill on the way home.

Fedupwithchangerightnow Sun 10-Dec-17 19:03:31

Many University staff live in Selly Park. Easy cycle for your husband and good schools for your children.

senua Sun 10-Dec-17 19:13:23

Stanmore Road: no, it's north of the Hagley Road
Quinton Road: looks promising but it's been on the market since May
Norman Road: could be good, it's up the north end of the road - within walking distance of the station but not backing onto the line.
Meadow Brook Road: could be good. It's on the BVT (Bournville Village Trust) which is a big plus.

Laurence83 Mon 11-Dec-17 16:12:20

The majority of Erdington B24 is very pleasant and is routinely overlooked by many people who seem to be obsessed with South Birmingham (most of which is expensive and, in my view, overrated).

There are many nice roads with a variety of houses in the B24 area, including beautiful Victorian and Edwardian properties, 1930s detached and semis, period terraced houses, and more modern properties. Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, desirable roads include:
- Grange Road (large predominantly 1930s detached / semis; leafy)
- Holly Lane (mixture including very desirable period properties; leafy)
- Cedar / Beeches / Chestnut Drive (1930s semis - lovely and quiet)
- Poppy Lane (large detached properties, leafy and quiet)
- Greanside Road (1930s detached, lovely quiet, tree-lined street)
- Orphanage Road (large 1920s/30s detached / semis)
- Orchard Road (large and very elegant period properties; leafy)
- Edwards / Hart / Holliday Road (period terraced houses)
- Moor End Lane (predominantly 1930s semis and detached)
- Spring Lane (predominantly 1930s semis and detached)
- Deakin Road (mixture of houses, quiet and tree-lined)
- Rollason Road (mixture of large detached/semis, quiet, tree-lined)
- Jaffray Road / Crescent (elegant mixture of properties, leafy)
- Wood End Lane (mixture, including Grade II listed cottages, leafy)
- Woodlea Drive (modern detached)
- Dunvegan Road (1930s semis, quiet and tree-lined)
- Blossom Hill / Sandon Grove (modern semis)
- Berkswell / Allman / Ayre / Ewell Road (1930s semis, quiet)
- Arthur Road (mixture of large period properties, quiet)
- Goodison Gardens (modern semis, quiet)
- Pype Hayes Estate (modern semis and detached, generally quiet)
- Woodcote / Springthorpe / Silverdale Road (1930s semis, quiet)
- Kingsbury Road (mixture of properties, long and busier road)

All of the above are within the catchment areas of some very good primary schools, in particular St Barnabas CoE (Ofsted 'Outstanding'), The Abbey RC (Ofsted 'Good') and St Peter & St Paul RC (Ofsted 'Good'). Highclare independent school also serves the area and has an excellent reputation.

The northern end of the High Street offers an unusually large Co-op store which has been recently refurbished and offers a range of quality foods. It has a delicatessen, travel shop, florist and large clothing concession. The High Street also offers WHSmith, Boots, Walter Smiths butchers, a number of independent greengrocers, coffee shops and market.

St Barnabas is the parish church and is the hub of the local community, having seen extensive restoration work which has culminated in the opening of the contemporary Harbour Café - it serves wonderful coffee and fresh produce, whilst the church offers many events and activities, particularly for families.

Erdington Leisure Centre opened at Orphanage Road in September 2017 and offers a range of health and fitness facilities, swimming pool classes and sauna rooms. The lovely Rookery Park includes tennis courts, children's play areas, Italianate gardens and playing pitches. Rookery House, a striking stucco Georgian building, is being converted into luxury apartments in 2018.

The area has excellent transport links; Birmingham city centre and Sutton Coldfield town centre are within 15 minutes via train or bus. You can also be on the motorway within 5 minutes, such is the area's accessibility to pretty much anywhere.

I must stress that the B24 area is generally very different to that of the B23 area (the latter includes a number of less desirable estates, higher crime levels and poor quality housing / schools). I think this, and the previous decline of parts of the High Street, is the reason for negative perceptions of the area amongst some people.

In essence, Erdington is a very large area and the nice parts offer excellent value for money compared with other areas of Birmingham. It is well worth considering.

senua Mon 11-Dec-17 16:39:08

Birmingham is served by the cross city rail line: from the south, through the city centre (New St) and out to the north. "University", for UoB and the QE Hospital, is a stop on the CCL.
Many of the areas discussed here - Bromsgrove, Northfield, Bournville, Erdington - are on the CCL.

KingsHeathen Mon 11-Dec-17 16:43:16

Don't worry about housing; your budget is healthy enough for all but the most exclusive areas of Birmingham. Your problem is schooling.
The primary deadline is about to pass, and one cannot apply from an address one is not yet living at. You won't get both children in the same school in any area, if the school is even remotely desirable.

For me, properties 1 & 2 are out due to school availability. 3 has a decent school nearby, but it's a faith school (so for me is out, personally). 4 is also closest to faith schools (3 of them!) I think it's in catchment of Bournville Infant, but as their waiting list will be done on distance, you'll probably be so far down you can write it off.

Selly Park and St Edwards is a possibility if you're active Catholics.
Bournville perhaps, but you'd have to go for Cotteridge or Raddlebarn schools probably.
Harborne difficult due to needing to be so close to station Rd for a school place, and you won't get a 4 bed there for that budget.
Colmore in Kings Heath, perhaps? Does DH cycle?

Raspberry88 Mon 11-Dec-17 16:45:18

Not Birmingham itself but Halesowen is just outside and is pretty close and a very easy drive to the University. Compared to lots of Birmingham it's quite cheap and the schools are very good here too, there's an excellent secondary. Quite a lot of University staff live out this way.

lilyblue82 Tue 12-Dec-17 08:49:59

Wow, thanks for the suggestions. Definitely wide open my eyes. Another thing to consider will be my commuting to London so best to stay close to the station. Any other good areas where I could search? What would be the impact of hs2? What are the up and coming areas? Thanks x

senua Tue 12-Dec-17 09:40:03

What are the up and coming areas?

This is Birmingham, not London. We don't do "up and coming". Areas may go in/out of favour but we are talking glacial speeds.
I think that HS2 is due, pretty much, to follow the line (from Coleshill-ish) of the M6 into Brum. Nobody has recommended that part of town yet.

AgnesSkinner Tue 12-Dec-17 09:53:44

Well it seems like some the seedier parts of Birmingham of my student days have certainly upped and come!

Greebz Tue 12-Dec-17 09:59:15

Stirchley's a great place, according to my friend who has a young family smile

iseenodust Tue 12-Dec-17 10:08:34

Dorridge has a train station with direct trains to London. DB has brought his family up there and they've had a great childhood. Decent schools, cubs, tennis etc , totally a family suburb.

senua Tue 12-Dec-17 10:25:51

How often are you commuting OP? Whose commute is more "important" (for want of a better word) - DH to UoB or you to London?

KingsHeathen Tue 12-Dec-17 10:32:52

Well, Masshouse (circus, not Lane!!) will see massive price increases when if HS2 happens.
However, it's all 1-bed flats, no schools or primary healthcare, so....

KingsHeathen Tue 12-Dec-17 10:38:19

There's also the houses/flats on BelleVue/Lee Bank as was, but you'll not get school places from many of the houses, and they're all faith schools too (St Thomas', St Catherine's, St George's, SS Peter and John, etc etc).

TammySwansonTwo Tue 12-Dec-17 10:45:03

I went to Birmingham uni at the turn of the century - not sure what house prices are doing these days but I'd say Harborne, Selly Park and Edgbaston. Avoid the area between the uni and Broad St / Fiveways, after The Vale. Was pretty grim there back in the day, although I was mugged there so I may be biased.

If I could afford it I'd buy a nice converted building in the Jewllery Quarter, they have some lovely mews houses etc and last time I looked some were in your budget. Depends on the age if your child though I guess as probably not practical for a small child, and may not be what you want in terms of lifestyle but I would love it!

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