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Thoughts on areas of the UK that have cheap £150k detached housing?

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  • Heres_the_dealHeres_the_deal Forumite
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    I’ve narrowed down some places that I would welcome comment on from those who live there. For example, in Northumberland: Ashington, Bedlington, Billingham, Blyth, Coxhoe & Stocton-on-Tees. I’m aware some of the ex mining towns carry a reputation, but these houses are on newish estates not dissimilar to the estate I currently live on.

    Elsewhere, in the north-west, there is Longtown, Gretna and similar villages, towns close by.

    For Wales, I have a good idea of what it would be like having lived in a few places around Dyfed.  I did look in Pembrokeshire at one point, but the prices were increasing week on week.  Welsh speaking would not be an issue for me, as I always wanted to learn the language when I previously lived there: Do as the Romans and all that.


  • gld73gld73 Forumite
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    Scottish Highlands.
    Depends where. The Highlands is a massive area (Highland Council area is about a third of Scotland's land area) ... I'm in the Highlands and you'd get a 2 bed semi for that sort of price where I am.
  • GDB2222GDB2222 Forumite
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    As you get older, you also need to think about hospitals. Do you want to live an hour's drive away from your nearest A and E?
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • amandacatamandacat Forumite
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    I’ve narrowed down some places that I would welcome comment on from those who live there. For example, in Northumberland: Ashington, Bedlington, Billingham, Blyth, Coxhoe & Stocton-on-Tees. I’m aware some of the ex mining towns carry a reputation, but these houses are on newish estates not dissimilar to the estate I currently live on.

    Elsewhere, in the north-west, there is Longtown, Gretna and similar villages, towns close by.

    For Wales, I have a good idea of what it would be like having lived in a few places around Dyfed.  I did look in Pembrokeshire at one point, but the prices were increasing week on week.  Welsh speaking would not be an issue for me, as I always wanted to learn the language when I previously lived there: Do as the Romans and all that.


    I have recently relocated from Cornwall to County Durham and am in temp accommodation while I scope out the area and decide where to buy.  I can comment on Coxhoe as far as I’ve visited  and viewed houses but I’ve not lived there so my input may be limited. 
    Coxhoe- the new development looks fine, a bit scruffy in places. There are some very rough looking areas nearby in Coxhoe but as with a lot of County Durham- places can look rough due to older and run down housing but doesn’t mean they’re bad areas to live, just not visually attractive. There was a lot of rubbish about, broken glass in the park. There are a few shops and takeaways and you’re right on the A1 so good for commuting. I know a couple of people who live there and they say it’s fine with a good community spirit but quite a lot of anti social behaviour, one friend lives near a park and said it’s constantly full of glass and rubbish left mainly by kids and some kids kicked her gate in for fun but you probably wouldn’t get that in the new estate as it’s not opposite the park. There is a Coxhoe Facebook group and that’s quite a good read to understand the issues. There’s a nice walk there, as well. 
    I’m currently staying in a town that has a terrible reputation (I won’t name it and offend anyone) but I’ve had no bother here whatsoever, it is a mixture of new build areas and older areas and while not pretty on the eye, isn’t a bad place to live as long as you chose your area carefully. 


    House buying timeline: (Already sold/staying with family)

    8.2.21- offer accepted on no chain property 
    10.2.21- solicitors instructed and EA sent memo of sale
    22.2.21- broker submitted full mortgage application 
    26.2.21- mortgage offer received 
    4.3.21- solicitor letter received confirming content of my mortgage offer and that searches had been applied for
    8.3.21- received property information form, fixture and fittings form and land registry plan. 

    31.3.21-Home buyers report undertaken. No issues on survey and they agreed that it was worth the intended purchase price

    6.4.21-Solicitor update to say still awaiting response to some enquiries

    17.4.21-Letter received from solicitor with overview of findings so far with enquiries/respect of the property

    24.4.21-Letter confirming searches back and content of searches, solicitors advise once final two enquiries are answered we can agree exchange dates

    29.4.21-Chased solicitor to see if final enquiries are back, they advised they are still not. Spoke to EA who spoke to seller's solicitor and they said that they have had fresh new enquiries to answer from our solicitor and not to expect to hear until w/c 17th May. Conflicting info between both solicitors!

    5.5.21-Contract/mortgage deed/land registry forms received for signing. Still no mention of these outstanding enquiries.

    8.5.21- signed paperwork above posted 

    12.5.21-Phoned solicitor, they have the signed forms but confirmed the seller's solicitor still haven't replied to the final enquiries

    14.5.21-Final enquiries returned, completion date set for 21.5.21


  • Luke86Luke86 Forumite
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    Interesting, I've been thinking the same. Same as you, location and travel isn't a problem. I've been looking in Worcester and West Midlands and if the prices weren't a joke last year, they certainly are now, most people can't afford them and move out as I was reading earlierhttps://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/238340-worcestershire-homebuyers-can-only-afford-20-of-the-countys-houses/
    I have friends that live in South & West Wales. Plenty of nice rural locations. If you go inland from say Merthyr Tydfil and Port Talbot (by Swansea), that's pretty cheap. 
  • edited 21 February at 12:18PM
    Heres_the_dealHeres_the_deal Forumite
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    edited 21 February at 12:18PM
    Some great feedback for me to digest. I really appreciate it.

    This past year I have put offers on several houses, seen two fall through at the last minute, and had untold issues with solicitors. When I started looking in March of last year I could buy a range of detached properties in my preferred area for between £150-£175k. Similar properties in the same streets and locations are now 'selling' (not asking) for between £180 -£210k. If there is one thing I've learnt from Covid: its 'Pandemics and Furlough' have an upward effect on the property prices in the areas I was looking to buy in.

    As for being near an hospital, yes I do and already have to travel over two hours to get to one for specialist treatment. Its one of the reasons I want to move. Ditch the hospitals and live out my  life in less stressful way. Quality over time is what I'm seeking. 

    The UK is trillions in debt, seeing deaths in many thousands, and yet house prices still go up. I'm not an economist, but one day I hope to understand why.
  • penguineaterpenguineater Forumite
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    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker

    I’ve narrowed down some places that I would welcome comment on from those who live there. For example, in Northumberland: Ashington, Bedlington, Billingham, Blyth, Coxhoe & Stocton-on-Tees. I’m aware some of the ex mining towns carry a reputation, but these houses are on newish estates not dissimilar to the estate I currently live on.

    Elsewhere, in the north-west, there is Longtown, Gretna and similar villages, towns close by.

    For Wales, I have a good idea of what it would be like having lived in a few places around Dyfed.  I did look in Pembrokeshire at one point, but the prices were increasing week on week.  Welsh speaking would not be an issue for me, as I always wanted to learn the language when I previously lived there: Do as the Romans and all that.



    I've been looking in this area for houses similar to your needs for the past year or two and Billingham seems to offer the most for your money, at least from the photos and listings I have seen. Sometimes there will be decent houses in Cramlington as well.

    Most 3 bed detached ~£150k properties are about 1,100 or less sq ft / 100 sqm which is quite small however Billingham houses seem to be a little bigger and larger gardens.

    I recommend going on RIghtmove and drawing your desired living areas on the map (or draw over the entire map) and then filter by price, detached, etc and check it daily - depending on how large your search area, there might be 50+ houses added each day!
  • sgunsgun Forumite
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    I’ve narrowed down some places that I would welcome comment on from those who live there. For example, in Northumberland: Ashington, Bedlington, Billingham, Blyth, Coxhoe & Stocton-on-Tees. I’m aware some of the ex mining towns carry a reputation, but these houses are on newish estates not dissimilar to the estate I currently live on.

    Coxhoe, Billingham and Stockton aren't in Northumberland. None of those other towns are lovely, the new build estates are full of tiny, crowded soulless boxes, the ones I have been to have very little in the way of facilities. Of all of those I would go for Bedlington as its a bit smaller and has just feels a bit nicer. I personally don't mind Blyth and you can get an awful lot for your money but it can be pretty rough (not always a bad thing, people are just used to looking after themselves and they do it well).
  • diggingdudediggingdude Forumite
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    When you say Wales, it really does depend where you mean and what you define as 'rough'.

    We live in mid Powys, which is one of the largest, but least populated counties. North and South have much, much better transport links than the centre and thus more expensive. But the central area is stunning, overlooked and very reasonably priced (especially coming from the home counties). You do however, have to get used to travelling to do pretty much anything and the community is close-knit as a result (or insular depending on your point of view). There's not many nicer places to be locked down, ;-) 

    I love this area, but coming from Essex it did take me a while to get used to the hours journey in any direction to access the facilities we were used to. But now we don't mind at all and don't really need to do so much. There are a lot of outsiders discovering our town and putting down roots.

    Having said that, we do feel our kids will be at a disadvantage as they get older than if we had moved an hour North/South instead. There is no choice of high school and college is a 2 hour bus journey over the border. Brecon/Welshpool would give a much better choice. On the same note, employment is not great in terms of career choices. Pretty much everyone I know works for the Council or Tesco, but the cost of living is much lower than we were used to. I fully expect our brood will move away.

    I don't know your situation but we had initially wanted to move to the West coast. We decided against it as we felt our children were too old to be placed into Welsh Medium education and there was pretty much no other option. Similarly, LA work (my career) was pretty much a non-starter without Welsh language skills in Ceredigion and Gwynedd. So we looked further East and Powys CC rarely require it. I must stress we began learning Welsh as soon as we moved and our kids attend a dual stream school so are getting a grounding in the language. Had they been younger we would have not hesitated to have them educated in Welsh from the outset. But something to consider depending on your family/work situation.

    In terms of 'rough', as an example Merthyr Tydfil has a reputation and I can't comment what it is like to live there. But pre-lockdown we would travel there frequently for cinema, shops, restaurants - it has pretty much everything a well-serviced town should have. It's not pretty but I certainly don't think the reputation is justified. And the Beacons are on your doorstep, with Cardiff/Swansea very accessible.

    So in a nutshell, cheaper areas will have their compromises. But it does not necessarily mean they are undesirable places to live.
    I was about to write pretty much the same thing. I work for the council in Powys but live across the border in Shropshire. You can buy a three bedroom house in these areas for that price but along with the compromises as you listed. I really don't like the term undesirable though. I've moved from an area where you can get a rat infested flat for £250000. I would call that far more undesirable but anyone who has an option to choose where they live. Where I live a lot of the houses are cheaper because the population are either millionaires or they employ people on minimum wage to work on there millionaire estates and businesses. With the exception of the London catchment area local employment is the biggest determining factor on house prices I think
    An answer isn't spam just because you don't like it......
  • GDB2222GDB2222 Forumite
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    The UK is trillions in debt, seeing deaths in many thousands, and yet house prices still go up. I'm not an economist, but one day I hope to understand why.
    A lot of buyers are not limited by affordability of their mortgage, but by the deposit they have managed to save up. For them, saving £1k stamp duty means they have £1k more deposit, and they can get an extra £9k mortgage (at 90% LTV). That may unravel when the stamp duty holiday ends. 
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
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