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Old Oct 6th 2017, 2:55 am   #1
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Default Moving back to UK - where to live?

Hi All

Found this website and thought I'd ask the community for their thoughts on the matter.

Any advice or recommendations greatfully received!

I've been living abroad for 14 years, but for various reasons now need to move back to the UK with my wife and daughters.

I'm originally from London, but we could never afford to move there now. Also, to be honest, I wouldn't want to anyway. I,d like to find us somewhere to live in the countryside, but still have the possibility of an hour or so commute for work. Being close to the coast would also be a bonus. While the prices up north/Scotland/Wales seem good, most of my family and friends are scattered around the southeast, and it would be good to be relatively close to them (3 hours or so maximum drive).

We will have around 200k for a house.

As a kid, I always thought Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall were great places, but maybe they are a little too far from London??

Hastings?

Norwich?

Plymouth?

Sussex?

Wiltshire?

Still have another 6 months or so until we move back, so trying to do as much research as possible.

So in a nutshell, can you guys and gals give me some recommendations for places that fit the following criteria please:

1: We could afford a 2/3 bed detached house with a garden in a countryside setting (can be run down as I can re-build / renovate myself over time) for about 200k

2: Has a decent job market within an hours drive

3: Decent climate/ Friendly locals / Decent schools

4: Not more than 3 hours drive to London

As I said, all thoughts and recommendations much appreciated.

Cheers,

Albert

Last edited by AlbertS; Oct 6th 2017 at 3:08 am.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 6:11 am   #2
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

What type of work will you be looking for?

Most areas within a three hour drive to London would cover points 1 to 4 (South Wales is only a 2.5 hour drive up the M4 to London)

Where you are going to be able to find a job is going to the most important aspect of where you can live.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 7:32 am   #3
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

The biggest aspect will come down to work. However, access to London in 3 hours can be pretty much all of England. I live in Scotland and family are in London and we can do a day trip with ease as a flight from Glasgow to Heathrow is on about £30.


Buying a house in a decent area for £200k in any of the areas you mention would be pretty hard. Maybe a small terrace. It is one of the reasons we moved north. We were originally in the SE (Windsor) when we came back last year and quickly realized that there was no way we would ever be able to afford to buy a house there. We are now in a picture postcard village in stunning countryside and houses cost a fraction of the SE
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 8:15 am   #4
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

You are not going to find a house be it terrace or otherwise in a good area for £200 000 in the South East. You may have to settle for a flat as your first step on the property ladder.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 8:28 am   #5
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
What type of work will you be looking for?
I don't really mind. Would like to do something outdoors if possible. Maybe become a postman, treesurgeon, park keeper or something like that. Although having said that, not sure I can make enough money doing those things. Might become an estate agent (boring I know!) or train up for british gas to do something like smart meter installations or boiler maintenance..

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Originally Posted by verystormy View Post
We were originally in the SE (Windsor) when we came back last year and quickly realized that there was no way we would ever be able to afford to buy a house there. We are now in a picture postcard village in stunning countryside and houses cost a fraction of the SE
I'd love to do what you've done - did you retrain or start a new career? What kind of employment options are there where you are? I'm not fussy about work really. Just want to find something with career advancement prospects, work hard and get a pension in 25 years or so

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Originally Posted by feelbritish View Post
You are not going to find a house be it terrace or otherwise in a good area for £200 000 in the South East. You may have to settle for a flat as your first step on the property ladder.
I've seen lots of houses for that money on Zoopla, but maybe they're not in good areas
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 2:21 pm   #6
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertS View Post
So in a nutshell, can you guys and gals give me some recommendations for places that fit the following criteria please:

1: We could afford a 2/3 bed detached house with a garden in a countryside setting (can be run down as I can re-build / renovate myself over time) for about 200k

2: Has a decent job market within an hours drive

3: Decent climate/ Friendly locals / Decent schools

4: Not more than 3 hours drive to London
I'm going to plug East Yorkshire where I am. £200k will easily get you a 2/3 bed house in a decent area. However, you'd have to decide what was the most important out of detached/rural/garden/near town centre/schools, as you won't get all of them for that money unless it's REALLY run down. If you stay to the west of Hull, there are several market towns (eg Beverley, Market Weighton, Driffield) plus nicer suburbs of Hull (Hessle, Willerby, Cottingham) where you can have a very nice quality of life, with cities and employment opportunities within an hours drive in Hull, York, Leeds, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Doncaster, Sheffield. Schools are fine. Locals VERY friendly, weather dryer than the west, cooler than the southeast but warmer than Scotland.

In the interest of fairness, I should also point out North Lincolnshire is similar, slightly cheaper, but flatter and south of the Humber so I'm limited on what I can say.

I can get to North London area in 3.5 hours drive if the M1 is clear, Hull Trains will also get you direct to Kings X in 3 hours or so.

Hope that helps!
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 2:43 pm   #7
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

There are good / plentiful jobs available in Scotland. I am a geologist and work for a large ground investigation company. Pretty much any job that exists in London exists in Scotland. We live in a tiny village which suits us well, but I am only 18 miles to Glasgow and about 40 minutes to Edinburgh. Lots of opportunities in either for work. The only down side is the weather. It is colder and wetter than England, and winter is very noticeably different. My village has a bit of a micro climate as well which makes it even more noticeable - when I drive to Glasgow with the car covered in snow, people stare! Our village had snow from November 4 last year and it was on the ground most days until end of March. But, I love it and that suits me.


But, houses are very nice, warm and the people very friendly. At the moment we are renting at £400 a month for a nice cottage. We will buy hopefully not too much in the distant future and they are selling at about £130k.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 2:50 pm   #8
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

Folkestone is still very affordable and is a great place to live. We moved here from Dartford 10 years ago. Our choice to rent (some of the cheapest rentals in the SE) but plenty houses in the 200k bracket. Good fast train to London. Driving to outer London just over an hour. Easy to get to Europe....I could go on and one of the warmest driest parts of UK!
http://www.actualcoolkent.com/?p=746

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Old Oct 6th 2017, 6:41 pm   #9
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

I would recommend Sussex. Brighton is amazing but if you go just outside properties are a lot more affordable.
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Old Oct 6th 2017, 11:42 pm   #10
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

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Originally Posted by TropicalTeacher View Post
I would recommend Sussex. Brighton is amazing but if you go just outside properties are a lot more affordable.
Brighton is not. full on druggies from getting off the train to walking to the sea front .done it seen it.
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Old Oct 7th 2017, 7:34 am   #11
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

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Originally Posted by TropicalTeacher View Post
I would recommend Sussex. Brighton is amazing but if you go just outside properties are a lot more affordable.
200k will not buy you a family home anywhere in E.Sussex, and particularly not within commuting distance of Brighton.

IMO, the OP's objective isn't achievable anywhere in the south of England. He should look north.
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Old Oct 7th 2017, 9:47 am   #12
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

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Originally Posted by yellowroom View Post
I'm going to plug East Yorkshire where I am. £200k will easily get you a 2/3 bed house in a decent area. However, you'd have to decide what was the most important out of detached/rural/garden/near town centre/schools, as you won't get all of them for that money unless it's REALLY run down. If you stay to the west of Hull, there are several market towns (eg Beverley, Market Weighton, Driffield) plus nicer suburbs of Hull (Hessle, Willerby, Cottingham) where you can have a very nice quality of life, with cities and employment opportunities within an hours drive in Hull, York, Leeds, Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Doncaster, Sheffield. Schools are fine. Locals VERY friendly, weather dryer than the west, cooler than the southeast but warmer than Scotland.

In the interest of fairness, I should also point out North Lincolnshire is similar, slightly cheaper, but flatter and south of the Humber so I'm limited on what I can say.

I can get to North London area in 3.5 hours drive if the M1 is clear, Hull Trains will also get you direct to Kings X in 3 hours or so.

Hope that helps!
Thanks Yellowroom

Interesting information. I see a lot of reasonably priced property up that way. I will get up there for a snoop around when I get back early next year.

Many thanks for your input.

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Originally Posted by verystormy View Post
There are good / plentiful jobs available in Scotland. I am a geologist and work for a large ground investigation company. Pretty much any job that exists in London exists in Scotland. We live in a tiny village which suits us well, but I am only 18 miles to Glasgow and about 40 minutes to Edinburgh. Lots of opportunities in either for work. The only down side is the weather. It is colder and wetter than England, and winter is very noticeably different. My village has a bit of a micro climate as well which makes it even more noticeable - when I drive to Glasgow with the car covered in snow, people stare! Our village had snow from November 4 last year and it was on the ground most days until end of March. But, I love it and that suits me.


But, houses are very nice, warm and the people very friendly. At the moment we are renting at £400 a month for a nice cottage. We will buy hopefully not too much in the distant future and they are selling at about £130k.
Prices and environment sound great, but I think the weather would just be too much for my wife as she comes from a tropical climate. Nonetheless, I still haven't written Scotland off, just need to buy shares in a thermal underwear company first

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridie55 View Post
Folkestone is still very affordable and is a great place to live. We moved here from Dartford 10 years ago. Our choice to rent (some of the cheapest rentals in the SE) but plenty houses in the 200k bracket. Good fast train to London. Driving to outer London just over an hour. Easy to get to Europe....I could go on and one of the warmest driest parts of UK!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TropicalTeacher View Post
I would recommend Sussex. Brighton is amazing but if you go just outside properties are a lot more affordable.
Thanks guys, around Hastings / Folkestone / Eastbourne is looking like a solid possibility. Plenty of reasonably priced family homes in the area and close to London.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Editha View Post
200k will not buy you a family home anywhere in E.Sussex, and particularly not within commuting distance of Brighton.

IMO, the OP's objective isn't achievable anywhere in the south of England. He should look north.
Thanks for your input. However, there are plenty of homes within that price bracket in the area on Zoopla.
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Old Oct 7th 2017, 10:33 pm   #13
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

Cheshire/Knutsford is my recommendation (and goal). Very nice and somewhat affordable.
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 10:45 am   #14
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

I'd personally recommend the Milton Keynes area. If you were to choose one of the smaller villages on the outskirts on MK, you'll have countryside living, alongside only being 10-15 minutes drive from a thriving town/city and only 35 minutes train ride into Central London. Wavendon, Woburn, Little Brickhill etc. are all really nice places. You may be slightly stretched for the budget you are looking at though.
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Old Oct 19th 2017, 7:37 pm   #15
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Default Re: Moving back to UK - where to live?

Albert

You say "UK" but I notice all your choices are in England !
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