Opinion · Parenting · Personal · Rant

Postcode Lottery

Like so many people in their late twenties and early thirties, Husband and I rent our house, we’re not in a position to buy and social housing is nothing short of a joke, so we pay through the nose to live in someone else’s house.

Our lease is up in April and while we’re happy with our current location, we seem to be outgrowing our little bungalow and so looked into our options for moving. First, we looked in our local area; prices seem to have gone up a lot in the two years since we moved here – no great surprise seeing as no-one can afford to buy – it’s well and truly a landlords market at the moment.

The reason we live where we do is mainly because we’re in the catchment area of a really good school, so in terms of moving it only makes sense to stay within a catchment of an equally good or better school. This is where we’ve come a-cropper. The only school in the area which has better results than our local school is a mile or so up the road and the cheapest rental property within that catchment is £300 more per month than we pay to live here.

Our local school is something of an anomaly, it’s smack-bang in the middle of a council estate, and most of the private houses locally are modest homes, but the school had the advantage of an amazing headteacher, who sadly retired last year but did an incredible amount of work within the school and community. This means it’s one of those rare schools that’s able to offer great results to people from middle to lower socioeconomic groups, equally.

So, this leaves the options of either staying where we are, or moving out of town or even out of county. Husband and I have had wander-lust for some time, even considering Canada or Australia and would dearly love to give Sausage a better life away from the grind of living in a large town. But then, there are other things to weigh up. Yes, she could potentially attend a school with far fewer pupils, live in a rural setting and in a place with a lower crime rate, but does all of this weigh up against not seeing our extended family, not knowing anybody or anything about the new town, or just the general upheaval of starting again?

I’d love to hear from anybody who’s made a big move, whether you think it was a wholly positive thing to do and whether your kids have got over the huge change. Also, do you find this kind of class division in terms of education in your local area?

Answers on a postcard…just don’t ask me which town to send them to!

9 thoughts on “Postcode Lottery

  1. It is tricky isn’t it? We’ve not got close family nearby as my parents and brother moved out of the area, and husband’s family are in North Wales. We do have friends here though which makes a difference!

    I can’t speak for myself with a big move, but I do know a lady who moved to Australia with her family and they missed the UK and their family so much that they came back within a year, so I imagine that must’ve been a really tough decision.

    1. Wow, that’s a heck of a long way to go before realising you want to come home again! Although, strangely comforting to know that you can go home again, if you know what I mean?

  2. wow £300 more per month, thats a lot of money! we moved last january, the house we were living in was 4 bedrooms, we didnt need that many for me, partner and 2 boys. we rented it because our landlord lied to get us evicted and it was the only thing available, i was 7 months pregnant at the time and desperate. so this huge house was expensive to rent and heat but it was quiet and had some advantages. we moved to a house my parents lived in once. the pro’s: cheaper rent, nearer to schools and supermarket, we dont have a car and its a 2 min walk to town. downsides: its on a main road, its an old cottage with oddly shaped walls, noisy at night sometimes. i guess it depends on the area but i think we made a good choice, if we had moved much further away i know i wouldve felt lonely away from friends and family especially as i rely on public transport. hope you find something that works out for you

      1. its nice to have them not too far away, u never know what sort of emergency/illness could crop up or even just the need of a babysitter

  3. We left the County back in 2004 for similar reasons to your dilemma. You have me on FB so you know where I am and what county I’m on about. We personally wish we hadn’t done it and that we had stayed in our County.

    We are back now and have been for about 3 yrs and I can honestly say I’ll never leave this county again. We found moving away long distance is an isolating experience and we used to feel really bad on our kids that they had no local family like their friends did. It was really upsetting when they would come to us and cry that they had no cousins like their friends.

    We lived in the beautiful north Devon and the schools and area was outstanding but I felt a huge pull all the time (a bit of an anxious feeling). It disapeared as soon as I moved back.

    It does work for some people and if you do decide to move away then my advice would be to try and go some place that you have atleast one family member x

    1. Wow, I didn’t realise our county was THAT magnetic! I know what you mean though, we all have this idea that the grass will be greener, but as the old adage goes, that’s not always the case is it?

    1. Thanks for the advice, it’s much appreciated. I live about 40 minutes from my Mum at the moment but she goes to Uni in my town, so I do see her almost every week and even though it’s only for about ten minutes, it does make a difference to us both.

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