Author Topic: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?  (Read 2180 times)

mubington

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Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« on: August 02, 2017, 11:26:14 AM »
Where are your favourite areas in the UK for low cost of living?

Personally I am looking at the following priorities:

- 8Mb download speed.
- Low crime
- Won't crash too much if house prices dip
- lively economically active community
- Peaceful and quiet.
- relatively liquid property market in case i want to move
- Not too touristy.
- good scenery and dog walks
- water near by, lakes, or river or sea.
 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 05:27:37 PM by mubington »

Monkeytennis

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 12:32:29 PM »
Sounds like Dorset to me, if you choose the right part.

Koogie

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 01:12:02 PM »
North Wales, Llandudno ?

I like anywhere on the Gower myself but it can be pricey and is overrun in the summers.
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TartanTallulah

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 01:49:45 PM »
North-west Cumbria, where I live, is very LCOL. Houses are extremely cheap and tourists are sparse even just a few miles outside the Lake District. We've got the 'lectric in, and the 'phone, and even that newfangled World Wide Web, though otherwise the place is like a step back in time. Mountains and lakes in one direction and the Irish sea with pleasant beaches in the other direction, endless good walks, and having a dog is almost compulsory. It's quiet, and you can get right away from traffic noise and light pollution. It would be reasonable to say that if you want to work you'll have no problem finding a job. If you don't want to be tempted to spend money, you're in luck because there are hardly any shops. The people are very WYSIWYG. Crime is comically low in comparison with urban areas.

BUT it's a bit of an economic backwater, road and rail links aren't brilliant, the hospitals are perennially failing and you have to go outside the county to see a specialist for some medical conditions, Ofsted generally hasn't been all that impressed with the schools, you won't belong until you've got three generations of your family in the graveyard (though "not belonging" doesn't mean that you'll get the cold shoulder), everyone knows what everyone else is up to, there's some hideous rural poverty, it's not very ethnically diverse and there's a lot of toe-curling casual racism. It's often damp and cold and the sun doesn't come up for six months of the year. And the mud ... oh, the mud!

My family and I moved here from a busy inner city area a few years ago and we've never looked back.



SpreadsheetMan

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 01:53:52 AM »
I personally intend to choose rural North Norfolk. Not the Chelsea-by-the-sea parts, but inland a bit. It's more MCOL really, but a nice part of the country with good weather.

Downsides are a bit flat (not as bad as you might think though), not-so-good internet and lack of mains gas outside the biggest towns.

If I was thinking of proper LCOL then north Yorkshire (Teesdale) / south Durham (Weardale) can be pretty nice and is very cheap.


cerat0n1a

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 02:16:24 AM »
Seems to me that you've been asking this question for a few years now, Mubington. I think the honest answer is that there are lots of places outside the south of England that match your requirements (and even more in Europe) and you need to bite the bullet and just pick one.

Living in East Anglia, I also very much like North Norfolk, but it's not that cheap (and is full of retired people...) Other beautiful places with low house prices that I like would include much of Shropshire & Herefordshire, South Cumbria/North Lancashire, North Devon, the Northumberland coast, many areas of rural Wales & Scotland.

Download speed I think you have to look at a house by house basis. We have superfast broadband and live a couple of metres from the cabinet. Friends in the next village have no broadband and no 3G - they have a satellite connection - and that's less than 10 miles from supposed tech hub Cambridge.

skip207

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 02:38:49 AM »
North Wales can get very busy with tourists and house prices are very fickle depending how the economy is doing.

I would look at North Yorkshire, Cumbria or perhaps northern parts of Lancashire.



shelivesthedream

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 02:46:01 AM »
Posting to follow! Does anyone have any thoughts on areas of Devon? COL, quality of life, touristyness?

cerat0n1a

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 03:55:24 AM »
Posting to follow! Does anyone have any thoughts on areas of Devon? COL, quality of life, touristyness?

I lived in Devon for a few years and loved it. Moved away because I doubled my salary doing the same work elsewhere. In general, similar comments to Tartan Tallulah's about NW Cumbria. It's a big county with many places having very different characters. Ivybridge is a commuter new town, Bideford a fading seaside resort, Totnes is where people who think Glastonbury is a bit too mainstream go to open healing crystal shops or sell didgeridoo lessons, Sidmouth is full of elderly retired people. Even Plymouth, a city with some rough areas and a lot of rundown military housing estates, has a physically fantastic setting and quite a lot going on culturally. I can't think of anywhere in Devon that isn't within walking distance of beautiful countryside.

Some parts are extremely expensive (look at house prices in Salcombe or the South Hams), other beautiful places (e.g. Lynton/Lynmouth on the North coast, villages around Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor, or the Bere peninsula) are very reasonable.

It is a long way from the rest of the country (120 mile tailbacks on the M5/A38 from Plymouth to Bristol are not unheard of on summer weekends and the A30 can be even worse.) The train line past Exeter gets washed out some years. Even getting around the county can be slow. The A39 along the North coast has some of England's steepest hills and is single track in places.

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 04:08:01 AM »
My advice is to continue renting, or buy somewhere that you know will rent out.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 05:29:22 AM »
Posting to follow! Does anyone have any thoughts on areas of Devon? COL, quality of life, touristyness?

I lived in Devon for a few years and loved it. Moved away because I doubled my salary doing the same work elsewhere. In general, similar comments to Tartan Tallulah's about NW Cumbria. It's a big county with many places having very different characters. Ivybridge is a commuter new town, Bideford a fading seaside resort, Totnes is where people who think Glastonbury is a bit too mainstream go to open healing crystal shops or sell didgeridoo lessons, Sidmouth is full of elderly retired people. Even Plymouth, a city with some rough areas and a lot of rundown military housing estates, has a physically fantastic setting and quite a lot going on culturally. I can't think of anywhere in Devon that isn't within walking distance of beautiful countryside.

Some parts are extremely expensive (look at house prices in Salcombe or the South Hams), other beautiful places (e.g. Lynton/Lynmouth on the North coast, villages around Tavistock on the edge of Dartmoor, or the Bere peninsula) are very reasonable.

It is a long way from the rest of the country (120 mile tailbacks on the M5/A38 from Plymouth to Bristol are not unheard of on summer weekends and the A30 can be even worse.) The train line past Exeter gets washed out some years. Even getting around the county can be slow. The A39 along the North coast has some of England's steepest hills and is single track in places.

My grandmother has lived in Devon for absolutely yonks, and I remember her cancelling a few trips up to see us because Dawlish just, like, fell down again.

Is there anywhere particular you'd recommend for not needing a car (decent public transport and/or extremely walkable and cyclable), being sort of Cambridge sized (in terms of population/what's going on) and being a nice balance between not being a decrepit, crime-ridden wasteland and not being the place all the rich, upper-middle-class Londoners retire to? It would be nice to be either near the sea or, maybe better, near one of the moors. Ignore employment opportunities for the moment.

Seems like the climate would suit me better in the west country than up north, being the delicate little flower I am.

cerat0n1a

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 06:26:30 AM »

Is there anywhere particular you'd recommend for not needing a car (decent public transport and/or extremely walkable and cyclable), being sort of Cambridge sized (in terms of population/what's going on) and being a nice balance between not being a decrepit, crime-ridden wasteland and not being the place all the rich, upper-middle-class Londoners retire to? It would be nice to be either near the sea or, maybe better, near one of the moors. Ignore employment opportunities for the moment.

Exeter is probably the only Cambridge sized place, is nice and has plenty going on and obviously a big stuent population. Not particularly cheap by Devon standards though. Many of the small market towns (Tavistock, Teignmouth to pick a couple of examples) are quite progressive (e.g with lots of fairtrade activity, independent shops winning awards etc.) but public transport typically limited to regular buses to Plymouth/Exeter. I suspect a lot depends on what you need the transport for - the last bus from Plymouth to Tavistock would let you go to the theatre, but probably not a night clubbing on Union Street, for example.

Beyond a couple of housing estates in Plymouth and a few of the run-down seasidey bits in Torquay, there is nothing that can be described as a wasteland. It's only really the South Hams that attracts wealthy Londoners and their yachts, but the county as a whole certainly has an above average number of retirees.

There are some excellent cycle trails in Devon (Tarka trail and the one between Plymouth & Tavistock along the western edge of Dartmoor spring to mind) but more for recreation than moving from A to B - it's all a bit hilly.

hred17

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2017, 08:13:58 AM »
I would also put my vote in for Cumbria. My husband and I lived in Penrith (just outside the Lake District) for 3 years and loved it. We only moved because our jobs took us South.

Admittedly, Penrith and Cumbria in general are very wet but the scenery is AMAZING, you have quick access to some gorgeous lakes (including Ullswater which is just outside of Penrith and our favorite), loads of walking trails, everyone has dogs, great sense of community (especially in Penrith from our experience), a decent arts scene, hills, close proximity to some other great little towns (think Windermere and others), a Virgin train station that will have you to London in 3 hours or Edinburgh in 1.5 hours, the list goes on. Also, we paid 400 pounds a month for a 2 bed maisonette in Penrith (2012-2015) so renting was very affordable. Housing prices vary but for the most part are very reasonable.

We are living in the States at the moment (boo!) but plan to return permanently to the UK in the next few years and we will either look to settle in Cumbria or Scotland when we do.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 08:31:23 AM »

Is there anywhere particular you'd recommend for not needing a car (decent public transport and/or extremely walkable and cyclable), being sort of Cambridge sized (in terms of population/what's going on) and being a nice balance between not being a decrepit, crime-ridden wasteland and not being the place all the rich, upper-middle-class Londoners retire to? It would be nice to be either near the sea or, maybe better, near one of the moors. Ignore employment opportunities for the moment.

Exeter is probably the only Cambridge sized place, is nice and has plenty going on and obviously a big stuent population. Not particularly cheap by Devon standards though. Many of the small market towns (Tavistock, Teignmouth to pick a couple of examples) are quite progressive (e.g with lots of fairtrade activity, independent shops winning awards etc.) but public transport typically limited to regular buses to Plymouth/Exeter. I suspect a lot depends on what you need the transport for - the last bus from Plymouth to Tavistock would let you go to the theatre, but probably not a night clubbing on Union Street, for example.

Beyond a couple of housing estates in Plymouth and a few of the run-down seasidey bits in Torquay, there is nothing that can be described as a wasteland. It's only really the South Hams that attracts wealthy Londoners and their yachts, but the county as a whole certainly has an above average number of retirees.

There are some excellent cycle trails in Devon (Tarka trail and the one between Plymouth & Tavistock along the western edge of Dartmoor spring to mind) but more for recreation than moving from A to B - it's all a bit hilly.

Independent, slightly hippie (organic but not crystal healing) market town sounds right up my street. I should have been more specific about the public transport thing, sorry: what I meant was, I don't want to get in my car to buy a loaf of bread, go to the library, or go for a nice walk. I'd have to be OK with owning a car somewhere like that, but I wouldn't want to be in it often. I know the arts scene is likely to be a bummer anywhere outside a city. Le sigh. We might just have to become NT Live connessieurs. It's also not the retirees that are the problem - it's the high concentration of rich ones such that everywhere becomes very expensive and lifestyley (lots of shops that don't sell anything useful and nowhere you can just buy a multipack of socks). Happy to go somewhere a bit grimy as long as it's reasonably safe and reasonably green.

Anyway, at the moment I'm mainly looking for somewhere to fantasise about! But I like to plan my daydreams. :)

Is there anywhere online one can check internet speeds on a map? Like the phone network coverage maps you can get.

TartanTallulah

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 08:37:26 AM »

Is there anywhere particular you'd recommend for not needing a car (decent public transport and/or extremely walkable and cyclable), being sort of Cambridge sized (in terms of population/what's going on) and being a nice balance between not being a decrepit, crime-ridden wasteland and not being the place all the rich, upper-middle-class Londoners retire to? It would be nice to be either near the sea or, maybe better, near one of the moors. Ignore employment opportunities for the moment.

Exeter is probably the only Cambridge sized place, is nice and has plenty going on and obviously a big stuent population. Not particularly cheap by Devon standards though. Many of the small market towns (Tavistock, Teignmouth to pick a couple of examples) are quite progressive (e.g with lots of fairtrade activity, independent shops winning awards etc.) but public transport typically limited to regular buses to Plymouth/Exeter. I suspect a lot depends on what you need the transport for - the last bus from Plymouth to Tavistock would let you go to the theatre, but probably not a night clubbing on Union Street, for example.

Beyond a couple of housing estates in Plymouth and a few of the run-down seasidey bits in Torquay, there is nothing that can be described as a wasteland. It's only really the South Hams that attracts wealthy Londoners and their yachts, but the county as a whole certainly has an above average number of retirees.

There are some excellent cycle trails in Devon (Tarka trail and the one between Plymouth & Tavistock along the western edge of Dartmoor spring to mind) but more for recreation than moving from A to B - it's all a bit hilly.

Independent, slightly hippie (organic but not crystal healing) market town sounds right up my street. I should have been more specific about the public transport thing, sorry: what I meant was, I don't want to get in my car to buy a loaf of bread, go to the library, or go for a nice walk. I'd have to be OK with owning a car somewhere like that, but I wouldn't want to be in it often. I know the arts scene is likely to be a bummer anywhere outside a city. Le sigh. We might just have to become NT Live connessieurs. It's also not the retirees that are the problem - it's the high concentration of rich ones such that everywhere becomes very expensive and lifestyley (lots of shops that don't sell anything useful and nowhere you can just buy a multipack of socks). Happy to go somewhere a bit grimy as long as it's reasonably safe and reasonably green.

Anyway, at the moment I'm mainly looking for somewhere to fantasise about! But I like to plan my daydreams. :)

Is there anywhere online one can check internet speeds on a map? Like the phone network coverage maps you can get.

I suspect you'd love Tavistock :-)

I was intrigued to note on a recent visit that house prices in rural Devon are comparable with those in the Middle of Scenic Nowhere even though the infrastructure seems generally to be better.



Crash Hamster

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2017, 09:59:41 AM »
I'm just going to throw in a low-key, understated vote for somewhere round Pershore/South Worcestershire.

Top end of the Vale of Evesham, pleasant climate, nice little arts centre in Pershore, there's the Severn (and the Avon) to explore, not too far from Bredon Hill/the Malverns/Cotswolds  and lots of really good public footpaths. take the minor roads and it's pleasant to cycle, too

Wychavon Disrict Council is really 'on it'.

Downsides: principally, the 'big' hospitals are failing (though Evesham is excellent) and they're building and building and building, often with rather less thought than they might do. Also, the Severn floods...

I doubt we'll move when our RE happens.

cerat0n1a

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2017, 10:21:50 AM »

Independent, slightly hippie (organic but not crystal healing) market town sounds right up my street. I should have been more specific about the public transport thing, sorry: what I meant was, I don't want to get in my car to buy a loaf of bread, go to the library, or go for a nice walk. I'd have to be OK with owning a car somewhere like that, but I wouldn't want to be in it often. I know the arts scene is likely to be a bummer anywhere outside a city.
I suspect you'd love Tavistock :-)
[/quote]

Seconded. I lived just outside Tavistock (and coped OK without a car). I think if anything it's even nicer now. McDonalds closed down the same year that the place won best food town. Tavistock Wharf has a certain amount of culture going on. It does rain a fair bit on the edge of Dartmoor though and it can feel like you're in a little bubble at a remove from the "real world".

Nice small market towns - Bromyard, Herefordshire? St. Davids on the Welsh coast? Bishops Castle in Shropshire? The Guardian "Let's move to" series can be quite good for this kind of thing if you don't take it too seriously - easily findable in google by typing "let's move to sedbergh" or whatever. 

former player

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2017, 03:17:21 AM »
Superfast broadband is all over Cornwall now (thanks, EU).  Overcooked house prices are along the coasts and for pretty country cottages: if you are happy with something more basic/inland the prices can be surprisingly reasonable. Penzance/Newlyn has the "independent/hippieish" vibe.  There's a lot of fine art going on (Tate St Ives) limited theatre (Minack).

Rightmove came up with this ex-council house with sea views by Newlyn harbour-

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-49551549.html
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skip207

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2017, 09:30:11 AM »
Yikes.  I guess to London folk that might be super cheap but that's about 3 times the cost of a similar property where I live.  I am sure the view is better but wowzers. 

former player

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2017, 10:16:44 AM »
Yikes.  I guess to London folk that might be super cheap but that's about 3 times the cost of a similar property where I live.  I am sure the view is better but wowzers.
Yeah, not the cheapest.  Here's something very similar with the views for "only" 140,000.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-49295589.html

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shelivesthedream

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2017, 04:13:52 PM »
I live in London. That's like half price sale prices.

londonstache

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2017, 07:34:23 AM »
I live in London. That's like half price sale prices.

THREE bedrooms? Close to 75% off...

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2017, 10:42:21 AM »
I think I'd struggle to find a liberal, almost hippy-ish place that is truely LCOL..... personally I'm no a fan of the small town environment, but maybe that's because I've only experience the negative side of them, where they hate any sort of divergence from the norm.

mubington

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2017, 03:26:09 AM »


Is there anywhere online one can check internet speeds on a map? Like the phone network coverage maps you can get.

I've found this map of openreach speeds, quite useful to find pockets of good internet in rural areas where coverage is patchy. You can also select virgin etc if you want.
 

http://maps.thinkbroadband.com/#!lat=54.94403922415721&lng=-3.4433727642018597&zoom=9&type=terrain&speed-cluster&tbb-fibre-speeds

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 04:05:39 AM by mubington »

SpreadsheetMan

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Re: Best LCOL area to buy in the UK?
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2017, 05:42:05 AM »


Is there anywhere online one can check internet speeds on a map? Like the phone network coverage maps you can get.

I've found this map of openreach speeds, quite useful to find pockets of good internet in rural areas where coverage is patchy. You can also select virgin etc if you want.
 

http://maps.thinkbroadband.com/#!lat=54.94403922415721&lng=-3.4433727642018597&zoom=9&type=terrain&speed-cluster&tbb-fibre-speeds

That is interesting. Anywhere I want to live in Norfolk has rubbish broadband speeds - doh!