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Talk to me about Edinburgh...

(50 Posts)
WineandDine Wed 21-Dec-16 20:48:36

I'm new here but would love some advice on moving to Edinburgh as DH has just been offered a job in the City. If all goes to plan we'll move up early/mid next year.

We're looking for a family friendly area with a good community vibe up to around 7/8 miles out of the City Centre. DH will be commuting via public transport but would also like the option to cycle weather permitting!

We have a DS (16 months) so schools will be a big consideration in the not too distant future but for now somewhere with toddler groups, coffee shops, restaurants/pubs and maybe a leisure centre/soft play closeby would be great.

We're in the cramped South East at the moment in rented accommodation having sold our house in the summer. Budget would be up to £375k and for that we're hoping for 4 beds with a garden. My parents are in the borders so somewhere fairly accessible to them would be a bonus too.

At the risk of sounding like a complete twat idiot, we're currently a bit spoilt with an M&S, Waitrose and some nice little shops and cafes really closeby so it would be nice to move somewhere with similar offerings if such a place exists!
So far Fairmilehead and Balerno are on our radar but believe the roads around there are a bit of a nightmare? Also not sure how far out budget will stretch there...
Any recommendations for other areas to consider would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Wed 21-Dec-16 21:20:10

Have you looked on properties on ESPC for your budget?

For things like Waitrose, lots of cafes, restaurants etc. your looking at places like Stockbridge or Morningside, but you wouldn't get a 4 bed house on your budget there. Lots of families in areas closer in to the city live on tenement flats - these can be really spacious lovely properties with lots of local facilities and green space on your doorstep.

Good catchments add a premium to properties - a recent article suggested in the region of £80K, though we moved to a property this year that was £40K more expensive than an identical property built by the same developers in the next door catchment.

On espc you can search by school catchment - try searching under Boroughmuir (where fairmilehead sits), The Royal High (north west of the city, lots of family homes) or Currie Or Firhill (further out, but you'll get more for your money) to see what your budget gets you? In your shoes, I'd rent for 6 months to give you chance to get to know Edinburgh and explore some areas. Stockbridge, Morningside and Bruntsfield are all lovely.

The great thing about Edinburgh is it's not very big and not much is that far away. I didn't live in a brilliant area before, but it didn't stop me enjoying all Edinburgh has to offer for families. We moved for school catchment though.

The South provides v easy access to the borders and the bypass. You'll find a half decent leisure centre in most areas. Traffic into the centre is hellish from most directions in rush hour but I wouldn't say fairmilehead is worse than many places.

Fairmilehead isn't too far on the bus from bruntsfield and morningside, though £375 wouldn't necessarily get you a 4 bed house. You might fare better in nearby buckstone though.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Wed 21-Dec-16 21:21:07

Excuse my typos! I do know the difference between your and you're, honestly! smile

Isadora2007 Wed 21-Dec-16 21:22:06

What about silverknowes or Davidsons Mains? Will have a quick look to see if I can find you a link to something.

Isadora2007 Wed 21-Dec-16 21:27:52

This Area is lovely and family friendly and park and beach close by as well as good links to centre of city via bus and car etc.

Falalalafffffffttt Wed 21-Dec-16 21:39:22

What about Musselburgh? It's on the coast, handy for the bypass and south, good transport links to Edinburgh and cyclable. Musselburgh has a few lovely cafes and pubs, a large tesco and a very new community health centre.
I've also heard good things about Preston Pans. You'd defo get 4 beds for your budget, you're on a direct bus route into town (including night bus) and good community. Not sure about cafes and shops out that direction though.
You could also try Gilberstoun, which is near brunstane and Portobello. It's a newer estate with great access to train into town and down into borders. You're not far from the seaside and close to Fort Kinnaird shops.
I'm just thinking of neighbourhoods which might fit your criteria but if you wanted to sacrifice a room you could definitely get a 3 bed on your budget in places like willowbrae, Duddington, Portobello or Corstorphine. These are all close enough to town to cycle, on good bus routes and have decent primary schools plus a few pubs/cafes/shops.
Like poster above said though, it's a compact city so easy to get around and the buses here are excellent. I also drive and other than rush hour it's really not too bad. West of the city is not a great commute IMO in because you're mixing with traffic coming in off the m8.

MoreProseccoNow Wed 21-Dec-16 22:23:22

Perhaps Cramond/Barnton? On cycle path to town/Forth Bridge, near city bypass for access to Borders, great primary/secondary schooling, on the beach. You'll get a 3/4 bed for that price. It's not exactly cosmopolitan though, if that's what you're looking for, but it's family-friendly & suburban. There can be issues with flight noise in cramond, but it's not such an issue in Barnton or Cammo.

WineandDine Thu 22-Dec-16 07:58:23

Thanks so much all, will be adding all of these onto a list to look into over Christmas.

Thanks for the ESPC link too Whatwould, really handy to be able to search via school catchment. Are the ones you mention generally the better ones in Edinburgh?

We could probably stretch our budget a little bit for the right place/area and think we would also consider a 3 bed if there was a bit of space to potentially extend in a few years time (not sure how big the houses are in the places mentioned but will take a look).

How about if we looked a bit further out? I've heard good things about Haddington and West Linton but think they're just a bit too far from the City. Anything in between those sorts of areas and the ones mentioned above?

Thanks for reminding me that everything is much more compact and accessible in Edinburgh. Can't wait for that. We're just outside London at the moment (but not far enough in for the tube etc) so everything is pretty hard with a buggy/toddler in tow and it's easy to forget!


MoreProseccoNow Thu 22-Dec-16 09:06:24

My sister lives in Haddington & commutes in by car. It is do-able, but there's just been an announcement about major works at Sherrifhall on the bypass, which will have a large impact.

You could also think about North Berwick, it's on the train line & is a lovely little seaside town with excellent schools.

Also be aware of the Scottish "offers over" system: you generally have to put in more than the home report value, and offers are legally binding so no gazumping, pulling out if you change your mind.

WineandDine Thu 22-Dec-16 13:44:41

Thanks More - again heard good things about North Berwick. Planning to come up in Jan to have a good look at the different areas so will add to our list!

The offers over system is all new to me but seems a bit more sensible than the English system. When something is listed with a fixed price, is that fairly self explanatory? I've heard 'offers over' properties generally go for around 10% more than the listed price in Edinburgh but should we expect a bit more in the more popular areas with good schools etc?

MoreProseccoNow Thu 22-Dec-16 14:15:22

Yes, generally a fixed price means that, although you can always try a cheeky offer via a solicitor. Offers over varies so much - it depends if a closing date is set i.e. sealed bids, in which case yes.

WineandDine Thu 22-Dec-16 14:56:42

Got it - thanks!

Quick question on schools and catchment areas. There seem to be a few houses in the Winton (?) area of Fairmilehead which don't fall into any primary catchments according to Rightmove. What happens in those situations? Secondary is Firrhill which is great but would we need to apply for non catchment places at nearby primaries?

(First time Mum here if you haven't guessed! blush)

Anyone know Newcraighall and of the schools around there?

Thanks again for all of your help and responses flowers

cedricsneer Thu 22-Dec-16 15:00:36

You'd be really struggling in North Berwick for the budget. It Dunbar is really coming up and you can get 4x the house for your money in Dunbar. 1/2 hr on the main east coast train line to town, easy to the borders and great schools.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Thu 22-Dec-16 15:02:30

Hmm, what street are those schools in that don't seem to be in catchment? They should be in one. I can't link just now, but if you go to the Council's website you can find school catchment maps.

WineandDine Thu 22-Dec-16 15:18:22

Thanks What - found the map and they are on Winton Terrace. Just outside of Buckstone catchment so looks like it would be Pentland.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Thu 22-Dec-16 15:49:31

Ah yes, Pentlands Primary and Firhill High. The land adjacent to that area is earmarked for a lot of new housing and a new primary school, so it's possible the catchment might change. Not sure though.

morningtoncrescent62 Thu 22-Dec-16 15:53:45

As is usual on these threads, I'm putting in a word for Portobello. It couldn't be more family-friendly - on your doorstep is the gorgeous sandy beach with nearly 2 miles of prom, there are loads of activities and facilities for children and the schools are good. It's also very friendly and welcoming if you're moving up from the south-east, which I did. There isn't a Waitrose, but there are plenty of specialist shops and cafes. There are lots of buses into the city centre (takes about 20 minutes, slightly longer in rush hour but not much) or there are cycle routes all the way. You might struggle to get four bedrooms on your budget, but you could certainly manage three.

Haddington and West Linton are lovely, but quite a long way out, and I wonder whether you might find them a bit twee.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Thu 22-Dec-16 17:00:30

I'd second Portobello - lovely beach, shops, cafes and good schools, less than twenty minutes into the centre of Edinburgh on the bus. Musselburgh is just next door to it, but the high street isn't that great IMO. Haddington and North Berwick are very nice but too far from Edinburgh for me - you want to be able to see a show or go for a meal in town without having to get a second mortgage for a taxi home. Newcraighall I wouldn't go near - partly because of the catchment secondary, partly as it's on a really busy road to a big shopping centre. There are a lot of new housing developments there but no shops, cafes or restaurants unless you count all the usual food chain places in the shopping centre.

If you want another seasidey place with a short commute and a lovely high street, South Queensferry is lovely, though I'm not sure whether you'd get 4 beds for your budget.

MoreProseccoNow Thu 22-Dec-16 18:22:05

I wouldn't fancy your chances with out-of-catchment primary placing requests for popular schools. They tend to be refused, even sometimes on sibling grounds, for in-demand schools. Edinburgh schools are bursting to the seams as the council "wisely" closed down schools when the birth rate dropped & now many schools cannot cope with existing placement requests, never mind external ones.

Also be aware that many good primary schools have not-so-good secondaries in catchment. The ones that spring to mind are Trinity, parts of Corstorphine.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Thu 22-Dec-16 21:12:15

Agree with moreprosecconow - you've practically no chance of an out of catchment placing request for a popular school st P1, so if looking for a long term family home then consider carefully both primary and secondary schools.

I still really would think about temporarily renting though to give you time to explore areas and think about priorities. For a small city it has plenty of diverse neighbourhoods to consider!

Groovee Thu 22-Dec-16 23:02:26

We live in Corstorphine. It's not where we thought we would end up but 19 years later we like it.

KingLooieCatz Sat 24-Dec-16 08:57:05

Putting in a word, as I often do, for Tollcross Primary, as depending on ages it often does have room for out of catchment. It's dwarfed by very popular neighbouring schools like Bruntsfield and Gillespies and the location has a more urban feel. It's a great wee school and close to a multitude of bus routes.

WineandDine Thu 29-Dec-16 09:10:18

Happy Christmas all!

We've been having a good look into areas and housing over the break and Portobello looks perfect so thanks for that mornington and TheGirl. Duddingston/Willowbrae also look lovely and fairly closeby so we will be adding all onto our list for January.
Doesnt seem to be much on the market house wise but I guess it's a quiet time of year and fingers crossed things will pick up closer to Spring.

Great to hear from someone who has already made a similar move too mornington - it's daunting but very exciting and we're looking forward to escaping the South East crush!

Will report back once we've had chance to look around a few areas later in January and thanks again for all the responses. I know this subject has been done to death so appreciate all of your worldly Edinburgh knowledge! flowers

Groovee Thu 29-Dec-16 09:40:20

We found that the week after new year was when the ESPC website popped up with a number of houses.

morningtoncrescent62 Thu 29-Dec-16 18:25:04

We found that the week after new year was when the ESPC website popped up with a number of houses.

Yes, that was my experience too. Look forward to hearing how your search goes, WineandDine.

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