Author Topic: Moving! Where to find area advice?  (Read 1472 times)

StiffUpperLip

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Moving! Where to find area advice?
« on: March 31, 2018, 12:38:47 AM »
We're planning a move this year and trying to find decent advice on areas, although it will depend heavily on where my new job ends up being as a non-negotiable is a short commute as I'd like to spend more time with my kids (2 and 5) and less on childcare.

(My work is pretty niche and the higher paying by a mile, whereas my husband can find work anywhere and is looking broader due to getting stale in his present role.)

We've been driving around and reading mumsnet etc for school advice and are presently looking at North Warrington (Culcheth, Birchwood) or Trafford (Sale/Timperley/Altrincham). Can anyone on here shed any light on how walkable, what the community is actually like etc?

I've seen a similar US based post which seemed v useful, especially in highlighting downsides so thought I'd see whether the UK community here could shed any light? Or offer alternative suggestions?

shelivesthedream

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 03:08:46 AM »
You can try this website for a general sense of how walkable the neighbourhood is: www.walkscore.com


cerat0n1a

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 06:53:15 AM »
We've been driving around and reading mumsnet etc for school advice and are presently looking at North Warrington (Culcheth, Birchwood) or Trafford (Sale/Timperley/Altrincham).

Not lived in the area since the 1980s, but some family members live nearby. Can't comment on schools/walkability.

Culcheth is a nice enough village, but I would think the main attraction for a lot of people is proximity to the East Lancs Road & motorway network (and also being near the huge business park at Birchwood.) Birchwood is basically a bunch of 1960s/1970s estates built as part of Warrington new town with the aforementioned business park plus shopping mall - basically where young families were allocated council housing in the 1970s, after slum clearance in Manchester. The area has a lot more facilities than the west side of Warrington, it must be said.

Altrincham is very much affluent Manchester commuter territory - often described as "stockbroker belt" or "leafy Cheshire." I'd imagine significantly more expensive houses than Birchwood.

LFH86

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 12:25:08 PM »
Hi there, I don't really have any advice for you but we are doing similar - moving to north Manchester from London. Again, I earn more than hubby so we are planning to move to near my job (15 minute cycle) and he's going to try freelancing and if that doesn't work out, look for something permanent in Manchester. We will be renting for a year or two while we get to know the area and figure out where we want to buy.

My family is in Cheshire so know south Manchester a little - Timprrley, Altrincham, Sale, Didsbury and Chorlton are all places people have recommended to me, but always with the caveat "it's not cheap though" (as it happens it's inconvenient for my work so was never realistic anyway).


StiffUpperLip

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 01:46:03 AM »
You can try this website for a general sense of how walkable the neighbourhood is: www.walkscore.com

Thanks for the tip @shelivesthedream, very helpful assessing different areas as you said!  Will be a good start to help us narrow down areas, combined with school catchment areas...

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 01:49:43 AM »
Thanks for the info @LFH86 and @cerat0n1a , if the areas are generally well though of as suggested it's good to know.

We were primarily looking at Culcheth exactly for the reasons you describe and it's proximity to potential jobs for me so I'll be in similar company!

Trafford areas do look more expensive...

UKMustache

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 02:08:13 AM »
Trafford areas do look more expensive...

I know this is a FIRE website, but I'd say the areas of Trafford mentioned are worth the premium IMHO over the other areas mentioned.

You've a good proximity to the city, public transport and amenities whereas the other is just good for the motorway network.

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2018, 10:58:26 AM »
Trafford areas do look more expensive...

I know this is a FIRE website, but I'd say the areas of Trafford mentioned are worth the premium IMHO over the other areas mentioned.

You've a good proximity to the city, public transport and amenities whereas the other is just good for the motorway network.


Thanks @UKMustache it's worth knowing sometimes the premium is justified and not just hype. If you know the area we'll are there nuances within the Sale/Timperley/Altrincham areas we should bear in mind when looking?

I'd rather not move the kids school more than once so it's important to me to choose wisely!

UKMustache

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 01:32:19 AM »
Trafford areas do look more expensive...

I know this is a FIRE website, but I'd say the areas of Trafford mentioned are worth the premium IMHO over the other areas mentioned.

You've a good proximity to the city, public transport and amenities whereas the other is just good for the motorway network.


Thanks @UKMustache it's worth knowing sometimes the premium is justified and not just hype. If you know the area we'll are there nuances within the Sale/Timperley/Altrincham areas we should bear in mind when looking?

I'd rather not move the kids school more than once so it's important to me to choose wisely!

I'm about 15 miles away, but I've lived here a long time so while I've not got direct experience I have known people that lived in all the places you mentioned.

I know that areas of Wythenshaw (not nice) are often marketed as Sale, you should be careful to avoid those.
Greater Manchester Police have crime maps available online, you'll be able to see what I mean if you stick a couple of postcodes in.

If you use google maps to plan out routes, you can change the time of day to see what the anticipated journey times and pinch-points are for your commute or school run during rush hour

The tram network is pretty good (I understand) to all the locations listed, though work on cycle lanes is also improving all the time too.  If it were me, I'd likely rank the three in order of preference to 1) Altrincham (Hale / Bowdon side) 2) Sale 3) Timperley.

To throw a spanner in the works, other areas to consider would be Bramhall, Knutsford and Wilmslow.
Knutsford is lovely with a good community but is further out.  Wilmslow is a bit flashy (sports cars and footballers) but has decent schools and good transport links.  Bramhall is a bit like the mix of the two, but with lots of 1970's detached houses (ugly but functional).

Hope that helps, any specific questions please feel free to ask.  I'll say if I don't know the answer :)

StiffUpperLip

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 03:07:10 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed advice @UKMustache, I seem to live on Rightmove and AA Route Planner at the moment!

I'm really torn between the micro commute of Culcheth and the greater flexibility of the Trafford areas in case if changing/developing kids interests, potential change in job security/contentment in the future... the question may end up being one of longevity in that we would really like to settle in one place and build a life.

I had discounted Bramhall as it's a lovely area but the state schools don't inspire confidence (from what I can glean online so far, no personal experience or specific advice to support this).

Knutsford and Wilmslow are both lovely but probably too long a commute... might change based on job prospects... heads back to AS Route Planner and Rightmove to check out even more permutations... :o)

Manchester

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Re: Moving! Where to find area advice?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2018, 04:11:28 AM »
Hi there, it's funny reading this thread.

I was born in Wythensawe, brought up in Sale, went to school in Altrincham and Knutsford and now reside in Urmston but work in Sale.  So I know the area quite well.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask on here or via personal message.

Out of everywhere you've mentioned Sale would be my choice.  It has 3 tram stops, it's a nice neighbourhood, good bus routes, canal path straight to town, brilliant schools etc.  The downside is how expensive it is.  I live in a big 3 bed semi detached house in Urmston, with a nice garden, driveway, 2 living rooms, conservatory etc which is valued at 250k.  250k would probably get you a small 3 bed terraced in Sale.  To ge a similar house to mine you'd be looking at 350k+ in Sale.

Urmston has been a brilliant second choice for us though.  It's right near to the trafford center, we have the soccerdome, ski slope, sky diving center all within a 20 minute walk or 5 minute drive.  They're building the tram network to the TC which should boost house prices near by and might reduce traffic.  The rail network is alright, direct lines to the city center and Liverpool/Warrington.  There's supposedly going to be 3,000 new homes built in Carrington (which splits Sale and Urmston) which could influence house prices nearby.  It's a 15 minute comute to the industrial park which is one of the biggest in Europe.  Manchester seems to be BOOMING at the minute.  There are new sky scrapers going up left right and center.  New businesses coming here.  Investment on public transport.  I honestly think it's the most exciting place in the UK right now.  You get all the entertainment a big city can offer (football, concerts, parades, nightlife) and then you have the lake district, yorkshire dales, north wales, penines/peak district as well as cheshire all within a couple of hours drive.