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Commuter towns, anyone any ideas? Not so great budget...

(62 Posts)
airyfairyland Fri 13-Apr-18 18:25:43

Soooo. Me and my husband have form for very last minute plans in life. We have gained and lost from this attitude but overall it keeps life interesting...

The current life plan is to sell our house asap and move to London along with dd who will be going into year 1 in September.
We are currently in a commuter town in Essex and have grown tired of its TOWIE ways and the fact we fit in so well.

The problem we’ve found is our budget isn’t very good for London. £700k tops and the most difficult thing that we’re finding is finding a school that doesn’t look like dd should still be an egg before we apply.

We aren’t too fussed about a fancy property on the basis we are hoping to end up living somewhere way more interesting than where we currently do ( currently a completely non diverse area that everyone’s lived here forever kind of thing).
Can anyone suggest the lovely areas they live in /dream of. We could potentially afford more if I worked but I am still trying to figure a way of working and the need to support my even more disorganised h who often forgets to mention he’s in say New York tomorrow for a week (I don’t really mind that overall as his travel is normally booked 24 hours in advance anyway)
We need to be within an hour tops of London (he’s in the city now but anywhere in London is good as can always move jobs) more ideally 45 mins or less with some kind of good school nearby. Dd is in private school at the moment, wouldn’t say no to state but think it’s easier to move private at this stage rather than worry about catchment areas.
Phew long post, apologies.
Help my rather scatty family move please! Or maybe mention we should probably plan this better...

Blacksquirrel Sat 14-Apr-18 09:19:56

Hertford? Hitchin?
Might be over budget but you don't say what size house you are looking for

glorious Sat 14-Apr-18 09:22:11

You could have bought our large 3 bed terrace in z3 South East London for that recently. Near two outstanding primary schools. Does it have to be a computer town?

glorious Sat 14-Apr-18 09:23:37

Oh sorry or several preps in striking distance (though not that close).

Or what about Woodford on central line? A bit TOWIE in parts but not overwhelmingly and more accessible private schools.

GreenEyedGoose Sat 14-Apr-18 09:26:34

We are 20 mins to Victoria and 30 to London Bridge direct zone 3 SW London and you'd get a good house near good school. We are in catchment for outstanding primary and secondary.

FiloPasty Sat 14-Apr-18 09:38:44

I’d say SW London too, Hampton, Twickenham, Isleworth. Very close to the river, lots of green spaces and very easy commute to central London & heathrow. Lots of good private schools and state options.

nonwonderwoman Sat 14-Apr-18 09:47:53

Reigate is a lovely commuter town - plenty of excellent state and prep schools too. Such as the Hawthorns in Bletchingley.

MovingAgainOhWhy Sat 14-Apr-18 10:51:23

I'm confused - your title says 'commuter towns' but you say you want to move to London? Which is it- or both?

MrsPatmore Sat 14-Apr-18 10:55:28

Blackheath/Greenwich area of South East London? Very good links to the City/Canary Wharf.

airyfairyland Sat 14-Apr-18 13:11:28

Wow thanks for all the replies!
So now we have on our list since this morning
Bishops Stortford
Sawbridgeworth
St Albans on the list but more expensive for property
Richmond sure as if we’re gonna get a house for £700k there
Hemel Hempstead
Clapham

We love love Greenwich and blackheath and know the areas very well from having friends live there but the problem there was the schools. Seems it may be an issue getting into year 1.

Be great to get into an excellent state school but seems like dd was born in a busy baby making year! Have contacted some schools yesterday and awaiting replies.

We currently live in a 4 bed semi but it’s very very quirky and quite tight on space so we’re not overly fussed re living in a spacious apartment vs a house but ideally not a squished up place if that makes any sense. Ie even though our house has 4 beds the lounge is 11x9. That’s not great! Has incredible views and we often have random offers to buy it from friends and friends of friends though so hopefully our property shouldn’t cause too many problems selling it. We are finishing some decorating works now and then it’s all go!

Only 3 of us. No intention of any more kids and h hardly ever here so just somewhere that isn’t teeny tiny but still able to have people round without knocking heads

airyfairyland Sat 14-Apr-18 13:15:39

Ooo SW, don’t know why but we haven’t really looked there, h works by St. Paul’s and Liverpool Street is an easy commute and walk however he will probably love jobs at some point so don’t want to buy based around that

airyfairyland Sat 14-Apr-18 13:15:49

Move not love?!

airyfairyland Sat 14-Apr-18 13:18:28

Oh and re moving to London would happily live in London but the ease of getting good school places and house prices are against us hence the well maybe we need to take a step back and consider commuting but from a different area/county
No family to stay near etc

titchy Sat 14-Apr-18 13:22:26

I'd suggest SE London. Cheaper, more diverse and easy travel to City. London population can be quite transient so don't be disheartened by lack of school spaces now. That can change very quickly once you're at a permanent address.

FreetobewhateverI Sat 14-Apr-18 13:24:24

If you like Greenwich/Blackheath then you could go a little further south into Lee Green/Hither Green or even Bromley
There's some beautiful properties and you'd be able to get something on your budget I should imagine
School wise the Brindishe schools in Lee and Hither Green are fantastic but very over subscribed....that said if you don't mind private you've got Colfe's on the doorstep which could tide you over until you got a state place

mayhew Sat 14-Apr-18 13:26:44

Walthamstow if you want diversity, creativity and a fast journey to Liverpool St (20 mins). Your budget is plenty for a decent house and garden.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 14-Apr-18 13:32:54

You can’t get Greenwich or Blackheath houses but you can get the VERY lovely Hither Green which is 3 bus stops away from the Uber lovely Blackheath itself.
Here’s 2 great houses - the modern one backs onto the railway line at Hither Green (12/14 minutes to Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Victoria!) - seriously well connected.

The Victorian house is round the corner from the gorgeous manor park gardens and about 7 minutes walk from the same station. It’s a very posh few streets round the gardens - houses go up to 1.4mn.

I’ve put both the school lists up - the state schools are great for primary, there’s loads of private options. Blackheath prep (10 minutes drive) is really good.

I know the area really well - lived in Hither Green before I bought in Blackheath and I still miss the friendly shops and the amazing pizza van outside the station

starlightmeteorite Sat 14-Apr-18 13:34:02

Tonbridge has a very good train service, 45min to central London. V good grammar schools. Also Tunbridge Wells, but it is a little more expensive.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 14-Apr-18 13:34:21

The school list for the first house (can only upload 3 images at a time). This one is for the modern house.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 14-Apr-18 13:40:16

And 2 lovely flats actually facing the Heath less than 5 minutes walk from the top of Greenwich Park (where we are every weekend)a and even closer to 2 prep schools (also 5 minutes walk) - pointer school, Blackheath Prep.

GoGinny Sat 14-Apr-18 13:55:36

Definitely SE London. Abbey Wood and Woolwich Royal Arsenal have Crossrail coming in December which gives v easy access to Canary Wharf, the West End and Stratford. Both affordable with your budget. Woolwich is more diverse and closer to Greenwich/ Blackheath. Very up and coming. Abbey Wood is more surburban and has a lovely village high street.

Great schools in both areas.

MaybeDoctor Sat 14-Apr-18 14:11:30

On the whole you get more for your money south than north, east than west.

But you could look out along the Metropolitan line?

airyfairyland Sat 14-Apr-18 14:43:36

All good advice. Interesting about the permanent address and schools, to be honest we can stay private if we want mainly because we only have one dc but always thinking what I’d be spending the school fees on if we didn’t have them if I’m honest haha. But of course will stick with private if it’s better for wherever we end up.

We went to look at Hither green a few weeks ago. It’s strange because I’ve walked all over Greenwich/blackheath but never even heard of it.
We felt it was a bit run down but that could be us not having a clue where we were. (We aren’t the brightest people despite h having a great job and me being a professional once upon a time!!) so we ended up in blackheath having lunch ahhhhh.

Anyone got any nice roads in Hither green as it did look affordable. I looked up blackheath prep and colfes and was a bit intimidated by the comments on here talking about waiting lists to get in. I will email them as well now.
Blackheath is literally somewhere i would love to love but alas.
Thanks for the suggestions! We are now planning trips to everywhere to go and investigate the areas.

airyfairyland Sat 14-Apr-18 14:44:58

@LaurieFairyCake also thank you for the pics!

FreetobewhateverI Sat 14-Apr-18 15:35:06

The nicest roads are those which lay to the east of Hither Green station and run into Lee Green and Blackheath-so from Staplehurst Road pretty much all the roads around Manor House Gardens are lovely-lots of period properties
Around Lee station there's decent mid century properties although the roads running between Burnt Ash Road and Manor Lane while nice looking are used at rat runs

Hither Green west of the station and into Lewisham isn't quite as smart but as a whole there is a very strong community feel about the place-I've got relatives who live in the area and they love it!

With your budget you could consider the Culverley conservation area in Catford-the roads off the Bromley Rd like Inchmery Rd for example have some really huge victorian houses on them. Catford itself is a bit of a dive though whereas at least if you're east of hither green station you're walking distance of Blackheath

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