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Need help making major life decision - where to live

(4 Posts)
specstest Wed 26-Oct-16 16:53:20

I've posted a few times here so not really sure if this will help me but need some outside opinion on what the best choice would be for my family as going mad going round and round in circles.
Background - moved out from London to Surrey when pregnant as at that point couldn't afford much where we were. Loved where we lived (Crouch End) and good access to our jobs and also back up to my parents in Suffolk. Also like the green space and near to Hampstead Heath. Thought where we were moving to was good choice as villagey size (Oxted), easy access back to London Bridge but near to nice countryside. Also most of our friends had also moved around the area or across to Tunbridge Wells or SW London. Immediately when we moved I knew we had made a mistake. It was hard as mixed up with having newborn baby so head fuck from that but now 3 years on and still don't really feel at home here. I've made a couple of friends but I just don't feel right here. I miss the buzz of London but also just things to do. It's a nice commuter town and suits many people but I really feel isolated here and a bit like a stepford wife when my husband goes off to work. It's such a shame as I really want to like it as it's so stressful having to move again but the thought of being here till kids finish secondary gives me the dread.
We've thought about what to do for 2 years! We now have a bigger budget (max 1.4 but this is really pushing it and a bit scary) Here is where we are at and where I need help deciding what would be the best choice...
1) Move back to Crouch End. We could get a small 4 bed I think near to some of the OK schools (but not Coleridge). I'm unsure because we don't actually know anyone here now, will it feel different and more edgy now we have kids, are we crazy paying huge money for a small home, will I miss the countryside and space I've now got used to? On the plus commute will be much better and we know we like the area. We looked at Muswell Hill and Ally Pally but felt it was too suburban (even though can get slightly bigger home). Also issue of secondaries as we'd have to go private or move again.
2) Move to SW London. We did think Teddington though now not quite sure as although this feels lovely it is suburban and commute not great and expensive still. Also wrong side to get to my parents. We do know people in Ted and SW London though, schools are great plus love access to Thames and parks as we are active people. Lots and lots here for families. Have looked at St M and Richmond but too pricey. Wimbledon felt too busy and expensive ditto Sheen though maybe should reconsider again? Kingston too busy and towny. But again unsure! Teddington is marginally cheaper than Crouch End.
3) Tunbridge Wells. We could get a lovely home here and we know a couple of friends. I like the access to countryside too and there is lots to do in town for both is and kids. Schools great. Not too hard to get to my parents. But it's not London. And commute longer than from Oxted. I did think maybe could get something here and in 10 years get a pad in London if we save? But husband thinks silly idea.
4) Stay put. The pluses of here are it's affordable though can't get period home, access to countryside, easy ish to get to Richmond Park, easy ish to get to my parents, know it, few friends here now, schools good though may have to do private at secondary. And just put up with feeling bored and dull!
Help me! Am going mad with this huge decision which should be a nice decision but I've let it overwhelm me. Am also v aware we have a healthy budget. I would give anything to just feel settled and at home somewhere.

specstest Wed 26-Oct-16 16:55:40

Work wise husband is in London every day pretty much and does quite long hours. I'm part time in London but ca work at home at bit. I'll be primarily responsible for the kids unless we go down nanny route.

NipSlipper Wed 26-Oct-16 16:59:24

1.4 million would buy you a nice family home in many, many areas of London. You have lots of choice.

Fwiw, I think Teddington is out of the frying pan into the fire. Its 'nice', but ever so dull and a bit 'identikit mums'...but depends what vibe you're after.

Crouch End/Muswell Hill still isn't edgy grin...promise...but if you moved slightly further out that way, you'd get more for your money with most of the benefits, plus possibly somewhere nearer a tube line for getting into London.

Have you looked at the London Borough of Barnet? Finchley, East Finchley...up round that way? Bigger houses for 1.4 million, near the Heath, on the tube, outstanding primary and secondary schools.

Can't comment on staying put (as don't know the area) or Tunbridge Wells - which seems really nice, but isn't London wink

specstest Wed 26-Oct-16 18:01:59

Thanks. Not looked at East Finchley. Will take a gander...I kind of wanted somewhere that had a centre iyswim hence Crouch End rather than Ally Pally etc.
Agree a bit about Tedd - it appealed as villagey and near Richmond Park basically, but otherwise I think it could be. It quite what we are after. I do think there is loads for kids to do though on SW London and a few of our friends are that way hence considering it. Argh. I guess we need to get priorities in order. Honestly I could write a book - I've visited most areas of London!!

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