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Relocating for job in London. Help deciding where to look for houses?

(76 Posts)
notanotherunicorn Mon 22-Jan-18 23:52:53

Renting, not buying unfortunately. We are looking for somewhere up to around 50 minutes on the train into London, and no more than £2000 a month for a 3 bed house (ideally less if we can ever hope to buy a house in the south). We are in York, and it's a beautiful place I'll be sad to leave, but it's much too far to commute.
I have a few 'would be nice to haves' and a few 'must haves'.

It would be nice to find somewhere that either has a village/historic feel with great family facilities (even if it's actually in the middle of sprawling suburbia) i.e beautiful shopping streets(I'm thinking a bit like York) and a gorgeous large park with really good play equipment and space for picnics...not just some scrub land to walk the dog. Either that or we'd like somewhere with lots of countryside i.e woods and great walks on the doorstep.

Previously I've lived in Milton Keynes (not keen on going back. I found lots to love about it, the shops, the restaurants, the lake, but it wasn't really us.)
And Leamington spa. I LOVE Leamington and also Kenilworth, Stratford, Warwick, and would love somewhere closer to london that has a similar charm (the community, play parks, history etc), but DH is the commuter and he isn't willing to commute more than 45 minutes because he finds it stressful and we both want as much family time as possible.

What we must have are: Excellent state schools (great results and a safe environment), or maybe an affordable private secondary school for our eldest (definitely not more than around £6000 a term or we'll be living on baked beans). Our eldest is laid back/possibly not hugely academic so a grammar isn't something I'd want (on the other hand she needs to be somewhere that will get the best out of her and push her a bit). The youngest are too young to worry about yet!

I've had a look online and some places that looked interesting from photos: The chilterns area, Marlow looked lovely. St Albans? Guildford? Some bits of surrey i.e near Virginia Water. Kingston upon Thames?

Where else can you get to in under 50 minutes?

I've not idea where to focus our search, help!

Unfortunately Winchester (York of the south) and Leamington are too far out.

minipie Mon 22-Jan-18 23:59:26

Where in London does he need to commute to? As this makes a big difference - no point giving ideas that commute into Paddington if he will be working near Cannon Street for example

notanotherunicorn Tue 23-Jan-18 00:03:44

Oops sorry! near Oxford Street. I think Euston is the nearest station.

highinthesky Tue 23-Jan-18 00:12:06

Bloody hell you’re in for a shock. Similar charm to York, Leamington Spa etc on a budget of £2k pa. Let me see....

Oops sorry! near Oxford Street. I think Euston is the nearest station. Yep, one big shock.

People kill to live in Marlow btw. Something needs to give: your expectations, the length of commute, your budget.

highinthesky Tue 23-Jan-18 00:20:56

Ok, my response wasn’t that helpful.

Oxford Street is central and accessible from all directions. But your OH will have to be more open minded about lengthening his commute, and also the cost of it. I’d start the search with schools and take it from there.

Take a look at this article and then look at the classifieds. Wednesday is the day that the ES goes to town on property: www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/renting/londoners-respond-to-rent-hikes-by-moving-out-of-the-capital-and-braving-commuting-costs-a115086.html

myrtleWilson Tue 23-Jan-18 00:23:31

Is henley on Thames/ Wargrave do-able? Henley gives you more shopping/cafe/lifestyle options... your DH would commute (on train) into Paddington and then across - comes in around about 50 mins... Rightmove has about 4/5 homes (3 bed) under the £2000 mark in Henley

myrtleWilson Tue 23-Jan-18 00:26:03

apologies -I think the commute may be nearer to 60/70mins...

MinnieMousse Tue 23-Jan-18 00:36:16

Hertford is quite nice (although not exactly York). Choice of commute to Liverpool Street or Kings Cross, about 45/50 minutes, although then a few minutes further to Euston. You could get quite a decent house on your budget. Or also nearby Ware.

notanotherunicorn Tue 23-Jan-18 01:15:54

Looks like I have gotten too used to the cost of living up north. I was prepared for these answers. I'll look into some of those suggestions. Happy to hear more of these realistic options on our budget!

BendyBusBuggy Tue 23-Jan-18 01:20:50

Would you consider Essex? Schools are good and the commute into London isn't too awful.
Billericay or Chelmsford for example?

frozenlake Tue 23-Jan-18 01:25:19

St Albans is lovely, having lived both there and York. Looking on right move there are houses in your budget but I am not sur how they link to schools, we stayed there prior to needing schools. Knebwoth and area are nice and have good train links into London.

York has good train links into London too though, can you consider a commute from there?

Emily7708 Tue 23-Jan-18 01:27:07

Wanstead might suit you (E11) and is really nice. Tube goes directly to Oxford Circus

PaperdollCartoon Tue 23-Jan-18 01:28:22

45 minutes commute plus £2000 for a reasonable 3 bed... this is an unlikely combination. You’ll struggle in London proper on this, but suburbia isn’t a bad thing!
But definitely look at Walton on Thames, lovely area (one of the best places to live in the country apparently) 35 ish mins into Waterloo, good schools. Twickenham area would also be a great choice and great schools, but you’d have to up your rent budget.

Rainbowsandflowers78 Tue 23-Jan-18 01:28:39

Overton (a large village) is a 15 minute drive from Winchester and has a faster train to london - you can get in in 45/50 mins I think? Excellent primaries and secondaries nearby and house prices are cheap

Rainbowsandflowers78 Tue 23-Jan-18 01:30:14

Oh yes or fleet/working

Sunst4r Tue 23-Jan-18 01:45:25

Hersham and Walton on Thames are great areas. 25 min commute into Waterloo (and then Bakerloo line direct to Oxford Circus). Both have a village feel and are close to the Thames so lots of lovely walks. Gorgeous parks - Esher Common, Claremont Gardens. Good schools. Rental prices are reasonable too.

SabineUndine Tue 23-Jan-18 01:52:06

Don’t forget the cost of the commute. St Albans into St Pancras on Thameslink is only 15 minutes by fast train but the cost of the commute is about £450 a month.

nursy1 Tue 23-Jan-18 01:54:28

My sister lives in St Albans. It has all the things you mention and it’s on the right side of town for when you need to head back up north. If it’s too pricy you could try Harpenden. Further out is Bedford. Lovely park, nice river, fast trains. The schooling is mixed but with very good private schools ( lots scholarships)
I lived in Harlington years ago which is a nice village on that train line. Great schools but more rural. Also look at Flitwick perhaps.

Lalalaleah Tue 23-Jan-18 02:12:56

Letchworth / Hitchin tick all your boxes

nursy1 Tue 23-Jan-18 02:13:14

Forgot to mention Ampthill ( walkable to Flitwick station)
Gorgeous shopping street with restaurants/pubs and huge historic park with trees, playground

nursy1 Tue 23-Jan-18 02:14:34

And an outstanding school

Laineymc7 Tue 23-Jan-18 02:22:31

Have a look at East Molesey and Kingston upon Thames. Beautiful riverside areas with lovely village feel.

PurelyForResearchPurposes Tue 23-Jan-18 02:37:27

Horsham in West Sussex ticks all your boxes although probably add a few minutes onto the commute
Seriously take a look

Angryosaurus Tue 23-Jan-18 07:50:43

I would consider around Kettering. Fantastic parks in Northamptonshire. Gorgeous villages. Very affordable. Shopping a compromise but you can easily get to Birmingham. A couple of really excellent secondary schools and lovely village primaries. I think 50 mins to Paddington. I know loads who commute to London

elastamum Tue 23-Jan-18 07:54:57

Ampthill is a lovely small town and has a great state school. You can commute from Flitwick and you will get a seat on the train. St Albans is great but eye-wateringly expensive

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