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We are considering relocating from NJ/NY area. We want to find a village that is commutable to Canary Wharf within 1 hr door to door. We have an 8yr old so awesome primary education is a must.

I prefer a place I can rent a house as opposed to an apartment or flat. Ive been living small for awhile, want to stretch out a bit. Ideal place would be somewhere the kids still play safely in the streets and they can walk to/from school.

We like to drive so dont need stuff right next door but would like easy access to shops and theatre etc. And of course want public transport to/from work.

It sounds silly, but I want a neighborhood that people go, "OH very nice" when I tell them where I live.

Does this exist?

RE: Budget... fairly flexible. I pay less than 1k pounds today in NJ for a 3bd flat but am okay with more ~15-1700.
 

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Look at train lines that go from London Bridge or Waterloo as you can pick up the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf from there. I guess Surrey. I had friends who lived in Dorking which was nice and probably in the 1 hour range.
 

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We are considering relocating from NJ/NY area. We want to find a village that is commutable to Canary Wharf within 1 hr door to door. We have an 8yr old so awesome primary education is a must.

I prefer a place I can rent a house as opposed to an apartment or flat. Ive been living small for awhile, want to stretch out a bit. Ideal place would be somewhere the kids still play safely in the streets and they can walk to/from school.

We like to drive so dont need stuff right next door but would like easy access to shops and theatre etc. And of course want public transport to/from work.

It sounds silly, but I want a neighborhood that people go, "OH very nice" when I tell them where I live.

Does this exist?

RE: Budget... fairly flexible. I pay less than 1k pounds today in NJ for a 3bd flat but am okay with more ~15-1700.
Two areas that come to mind are East Essex towards Southend-on-Sea and North Essex around Waltham Cross. Both have good links to CW with just one change at West Ham for Southend and Stretford for Waltham and would be around an hour's commute.
 

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Two areas that come to mind are East Essex towards Southend-on-Sea and North Essex around Waltham Cross. Both have good links to CW with just one change at West Ham for Southend and Stretford for Waltham and would be around an hour's commute.
Do you think these two areas have a nice reputation in terms of being a desirable place to live? I was drawn to Southend on Sea because we've been living in close proximity to water for some time and I really enjoy it as a place to walk and enjoy.

Also I want to find some place that has a lot of opportunity and programs for my son. He loves science and unusual sports like lacrosse etc. Its troublesome when we have to travel far to find programs for him.

Thoughts?
 

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Also, what do you guys think of the greeenwich area? specifically shooters hill etc... i keep seeing that come up with its nice parks and single family homes
 

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Also, what do you guys think of the greeenwich area? specifically shooters hill etc... i keep seeing that come up with its nice parks and single family homes
If you can afford it. You will get a lot more for your money in places like Essex and South Hertfordshire, though it involves longer commute.

The two places I've mentioned are just examples of many others that are just outside London. Southend is an established commuter town to London and provides family-friendly atmosphere, good schools and plenty of amenities, plus the sea of course. Waltham Cross/Abbey are older market towns, and offer plenty for a young family, more upmarket and much nearer to London than Southend. I'd be happy to live in either of them, and both have villages just outside with more open space, rural atmosphere etc. Southend, and nearby Basildon and South Benfleet are more urban, and though there are some less desirable areas, it's easy to avoid them by taking local advice.
 

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If you can afford it. You will get a lot more for your money in places like Essex and South Hertfordshire, though it involves longer commute.

The two places I've mentioned are just examples of many others that are just outside London. Southend is an established commuter town to London and provides family-friendly atmosphere, good schools and plenty of amenities, plus the sea of course. Waltham Cross/Abbey are older market towns, and offer plenty for a young family, more upmarket and much nearer to London than Southend. I'd be happy to live in either of them, and both have villages just outside with more open space, rural atmosphere etc. Southend, and nearby Basildon and South Benfleet are more urban, and though there are some less desirable areas, it's easy to avoid them by taking local advice.
It looks like Southend might be a bit more of a commute than we preffered. Was the "if you can afford it" Bit about Greenwich? I keep seeing homes around 1500pcm which is within our budget. Are there highly undesirable neighborhoods down there? What abbout amenities. It appeals to me because of the shorter commute, but what do I know?!

Waltham Cross looks like a great commute and a cute area... I definitely have to explore more.
 

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I would suggest when you look at the areas listed above, you check for local schools. If you are planning on putting your son into State (public) education, than you'll need to see what the criteria is for entering in a local school. London is different from the US, your child is not guaranteed a spot at the local state school. If there are places available, and you are the top of the waiting list, you may get a spot.

Many of the very good state schools in London have wait lists and can be difficult to get into, but not impossible. Since people move quite a bit, there are often spots opening up during the year. While it's different for each school, the criteria tend to be kids in care, kids with statements of special needs, kids with siblings at the school and then distance to the front door. I've had clients move here and luckily there were spaces open for their kids, and others who have had to wait for a bit before a space opened up.

Good luck with your move!
 
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