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Chosing an Area to buy a house

(24 Posts)
Felsfish Mon 10-Feb-20 20:30:10


Looking to buy our first house outside of London. Have been reading up and interested in the Leighton buzzard and Milton keynes areas. The most important thing is that DH needs to be able to commute in to central London for work and the areas need to be suitable for familys with children as DD is almost 2 years! As first time buyers our budget is also limited so anywhere that would be budget friendly.


Felsfish Mon 10-Feb-20 20:33:01


Looking to buy our first house outside of London. Have been reading up and interested in the Leighton buzzard and Milton keynes areas. The most important thing is that DH needs to be able to commute in to central London for work and the areas need to be suitable for familys with children as DD is almost 2 years! As first time buyers our budget is also limited so anywhere that would be budget friendly.


ladybirdsarelovely33 Tue 11-Feb-20 18:13:07

You need to say what your budget is

Spanneroo Tue 11-Feb-20 18:57:23

How far is he willing to commute?

Felsfish Wed 12-Feb-20 12:25:51

Sorry the budget would be anything between 250,000-320,000 and he is hoping of a journey that wouldnt take more than an hour and a half at max.

Spanneroo Wed 12-Feb-20 13:29:38

I'm not brilliant on MK itself as I lived in the surrounding towns and villages, but it has great amenities, loads of clubs for the kids, great shopping etc. Its purpose built so can feel a bit weird (some call it 'soulless') but this doesn't make it a bad place to live. There are all sorts of green spaces, loads of cycleways and footpaths too. Nice areas within your price range: Middleton, Furzton, Grange Park, Shenley, Loughton, Kingsmead. I believe the rule of thumb is that estates with straight roads and those immediately surrounding the centre should generally be avoided.

Leighton buzzard/Linslade is nice. Feels a lot more like a 'normal' town, and has plenty if shops, green spaces and a leisure centre IIRC.

From the areas you've mentioned, I'm assuming you'd like somewhere with a station? Bicester is over that way, nice area, and within an hour's commute by train. If you don't need to be somewhere with a station, I'd recommend Towcester, Buckingham, Newport Pagnell.

There are lots of affordable areas in your price range within that commute distance. You could even go into Cambridgeshire - St Neots, for example.

Felsfish Wed 12-Feb-20 18:47:18

Thanks so much for all your info. Crazy enough ive never traveled outside of London so had no idea really where to start. This is great i will be looking into some of the areas that you mentioned! smile

Chanel05 Wed 12-Feb-20 18:55:48

We live in Essex (relocated) and DH commutes into central London every day. I absolutely love it here.

Kakfor Wed 12-Feb-20 18:57:39

This is a useful tool for commuters, it calculates the commuting time from anywhere for you.

There are a ton of area guides on this website. This one has average house prices, rental costs, you can compare schools etc.

Hope this helps.

Alsohuman Wed 12-Feb-20 19:06:19

We live in Cambridgeshire, it’s less than an hour into St Pancras from Huntingdon and St Neots. I know someone who commutes from Grantham - nice little market town with very keen property prices and 65 minutes into King’s Cross.

Blue5238 Wed 12-Feb-20 19:17:51

Which mainline station or area does your dh need to get to?

Felsfish Thu 13-Feb-20 08:56:14

He works on oxford street so he usually gets off on bond street and walks down.

sar302 Thu 13-Feb-20 16:03:41

Depending on what you want for your money, 320,000 might just about get you a small three bed house near central station in MK.

For the same money, youll get you a bigger, Victorian house in wolverton (next train station up), decent enough primary schools (not a great secondary school.) Train is about 50mins into Euston.

It's easy enough to live in east MK and drive to the station - but you'd have to factor in the cost of parking. You'd get more for your money in somewhere like Broughton for example, as you're not paying a premium to live near a station.

Not a fan of Leighton Buzzard personally, though many people like it, and the commute is shorter.

If you buy in MK, pay attention to school catchment areas - they're strict. And avoid the estates in the centre.

Alsohuman Thu 13-Feb-20 16:51:18

This is what your money would get you in Grantham

Where I live, a walk from the station

MikeUniformMike Thu 13-Feb-20 20:16:31

Luton might be an option. I don't know the area.

Felsfish Thu 13-Feb-20 23:46:02

Thanks guys for the info. Still finding it difficult. How on earth does anyone chose where is the best place to live when you havent visited none of them. My parents will be leaving the country permanently and its important to us that our DD is not too far away from her family on DH side, at the same time as having an easy commute to work for DH. His family is based in Buckingham so maybe leaning towards MK a little. Does anyone know if its an easy commute from bletchley into central London or whether it is even a nice area?

blue25 Thu 13-Feb-20 23:51:08

Have you actually visited Milton Keynes? It’s a marmite place in my experience and personally I hate it and couldn’t live there.

Moving there from London can be a shock to the system as in comparison it’s very soulless and dull.

pisspants Thu 13-Feb-20 23:59:06

I would definitely spend a weekend going to the different options as like pp says MK is marmite.
As your daughter is more school I would take a look at the primary schools and use that as a basis for possible areas.
L.B is a great place to raise a family but it has a 3 tier school system which doesnt suit every child but this may have come to an end by the time your daughter is middle school aged.
Other places not mentioned are Flitwick/Ampthill. They are very close to each other and the station is kind of in the middle. Ampthill is a very nice small town and is on the Thameslink line.
Aylesbury could be an option also and the new Berryfields development is right next to the Aylesbury Vale parkway station.

OxOwl2 Fri 14-Feb-20 06:08:50

Before you move out anywhere, think carefully about what will make you happy long term and what kind of childhood do you want your DC to have. How many DC do you plan to have? Cost of commuting is huge - you must factor that in. If you are spending almost 6k a year on rail fares that is 500 pounds extra a month on a mortgage. For some people, it is much better to find an ex council flat in London close to work, amazing museums and brilliant primary schools. Others prefer nature/villages/country works and dogs and some are happy in suburbs - basically want a bit of both.

Felsfish Fri 14-Feb-20 08:28:38

The only reason to move out of London is due to the fact I am 24 and live at home with mum and dad on a part time job, mum and dad are selling the house to move country and we cannot afford a house in London. We wsnt 2/3 children so would prefer to have the space of a house even if it is small.
We will most likely have to go to spend a weekend as i feel it would be a huge shock. We would have no family in London as all our family once mine have moved is based in buckingham and DD has cousins roughly the same age as her there. We were looking for MK as its close to buckingham and a quick commute. But we are open to any suggestions of other areas not to far off. Baring the cost of commute in mind now also and the suggestion of an ex council house if we really cannot find anywhere suitable out of London. Thanks

Winterfishing Fri 14-Feb-20 08:38:12

I second Aylesbury, and Berryfields which has tons of new builds available and I hear really good things about the primary school.

Trains take just over an hour to Marylebone which is very walkable to Oxford St.

Be aware though, if you have children going through the school system, it's grammar or basically a load of shit schools with no choice, and most of the aspirational / bright children stripped out. Milton Keynes has a more comprehensive system.

Shopping in MK is fab. The roundabouts are nuts.

Notonthestairs Fri 14-Feb-20 08:48:53

I think you need to think about which London mainline train station would suit your husbands commute best AND which gives decent access to your family. Then you go along the Trainline checking average house prices etc.
That's what we did.

MikeUniformMike Fri 14-Feb-20 09:02:57

Slough is commutable and on the mainline to Paddington. It will be on the Elizabeth line. Some parts are in Buckinghamshire.

OxOwl2 Fri 14-Feb-20 19:30:44

I agree with mikeuniformmike- given the requirements you have described definitely consider the cross rail route. It will go up further and given your age this is likely to be a first rung of the ladder purchase

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