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to move away from my family?

(50 Posts)
maisiegreen Sun 29-Sep-13 14:10:29

My dh and I live in Gloucestershire. We've been here for 20 years, longer than I've lived anywhere, my husband has retired, and we (especially me) feel like a change of scene. Our house is too large for us and old (I.e. a moneypit) and the garden is also large.
So, we went on holiday in East Five and saw a house we really
Iiked. We could rent out this place and buy the other house but - we live centrally to our three adult children, and only an hour from my elderly parents. I so want to move, and part of me thinks we could do it, then the other half says no.
I do have a brother and sister, one of whom lives near my parents, but doesn't, understandably, want to be primary carer because of that, and one who lives in Peterborough. Both my parents are independent at the moment.
Anyway, any thoughts would be gratefully received.

maisiegreen Sun 29-Sep-13 14:11:07

Sorry, East FIFE

janeainsworth Sun 29-Sep-13 14:24:25

What's the attraction of East Fife?
You need to work out what is important to you about where you live, and what's not.
For some people it would be having a network of family and perhaps just as importantly, friends around them.
What about your interests? Would you be able to pursue them to the same extent if you moved?

wisewoman Sun 29-Sep-13 14:32:16

East Fife is beautiful, particularly the coastal villages like Crail, which is my favourite place to holiday. However, unless you have lots of experience of staying there I would think carefully before moving. Maybe you could rent a house for three months - over the winter - to see what it is like actually living there. I have been told that some of these villages are very insular and though great for a holiday are not very welcoming to incomers. Maybe, try before you buy! Then you don't have to make an irrevocable decision.

HildaW Sun 29-Sep-13 14:37:30

Be very careful.
Every time we used to go on holiday in the UK and rent a cottage for a week or two that particular part of the country all of a sudden would seem very attractive as did the often shabby chic cottage. However, in the cold light of day we always realised it was a bit of a romantic dream and we would get back to civilisation (or Thames Valley area if you will).

Fast forward to a couple of years ago and we did relocate to Herefordshire/Shropshire area having always found it was a great compromise retirement destination. But it was a long carefully planned move with a lot of thought as to distance from family/general amenities as well as the glorious green countryside and slower pace of life.

You have really got to think it through long and hard - include factors such as what happens if one of you can't drive? What if there is a health emergency with either you or a family member? What about how you will spend your time on dark winter days when the sun hardly shines? The list is endless.
Yes, the countryside is a lovely place to be but on a cold damp day when not even the postman calls you do have to be a bit resilient and self reliant. We love it here but do have a few plan Bs for when things can and do go wrong.

annodomini Sun 29-Sep-13 14:51:45

I fancied a house I saw advertised in the East Neuk, not far from where we used to holiday as children and close to my sister in Dundee; but when I thought it over carefully, I realised I would be further than ever from my sons, although at that time the GC were still to come (apart from Senior GD). Ultimately it's a question of 'the devil you know' and I downsized close to my old home, in an attractive small town, still a distance from the family, but an easy car or train journey.

Hebs Sun 29-Sep-13 15:07:33

I totally understand how you feel maisiegreen I needed an adventure, we moved 750ml to where we live now, We had never even been here until we came to look at a plot of land. We have lived here 8yr, it is still an adventure every day is different. There are some disadvantages, but the good way of life overrides them. Sometimes if we analyse things to much we would never do anything. One thing I have realised is you have to get on with your partner, because like a previous poster said, you do get long winter days. On the other hand we don't lock our car and forget to lock the front door, its a very safe place to live. its a case of swings and roundabouts

glammanana Sun 29-Sep-13 15:15:06

I also second the advice given as to try before you buy theme,things look a lot different when you are say just on holiday in an area we rented for a year before we bought when we moved abroad "just in case" I didn't settle with the difference in every day life,on a more realistic note what would you do when there is only one of you in years to come with no immediate family nearby,a thought I often had when away from my family.
We also toyed with the idea many years ago of moving to Northumberland one of the most pictuesque area's in the Country only to be told by people in the area that the area could be snowed in for up to 6/7 weeks at a time when weather really severe and the children would not be able to get through to Hexham for school.
Mind there could have been a good outcome I would live close to the lovely glass wouldn't I ? wink

Elegran Sun 29-Sep-13 15:50:53

Think about practical details as well as how atractive the house and the area are.

Is it on a hill?

What would it be like shopping for essentials (and treats) in the middle of winter? Is there a library? A cinema? A theatre? A gym? Local authority leisure classes in subjects that interest you, in the day as well as the evening?

How long would it take your family to get to you? For visits and also for emergencies - you are healthy now but that may change at any time.

While on the subject of health, how far to the GP, the dentist, the pharmacy? Where is the nearest hospital?

PRINTMISS Sun 29-Sep-13 16:25:09

We moved away from our daughter, but not that far. It was a financial necessity really. We used to live about 8 miles from her, now it is 50 odd, so an hours journey which is long enough I think. We bought this Park Home, when we were in our seventies, thinking we would not be around much longer, but ten+ years we are still here and have never regretted moving. Fortunately we are quite fit (although the other half has had one or two heart problems) so have managed to get out and make new friends, but to be honest there are times when I think of everything we left behind, particularly friends of long standing, and indeed the family. However they have now grown, and my daughter and son-in-law lead busy lives, so I think if we lived nearer, we would be a bit inclined to think that they could visit us more often, which they could not, because they are truly both busy. We did however move to a coastal town, rather than the country, so do have access to all the emergency services, something always to be considered when getting older, but good luck with your thinking!

Charleygirl Sun 29-Sep-13 16:29:58

Listen to the wise words of Elegran. I was born and brought up in East Fife, it is lovely in summer but a different story in winter.

Gally Sun 29-Sep-13 16:44:57

Maisie I am in a similar position to you only in reverse! I live in Fife and am, sort of, thinking about a move to Gloucestershire/Wiltshire to be nearer my daughters. I have gone so far as having a couple of valuations on the house but have now had an attack of the collywobbles and am full of indecision. I have been here for 33 years, so it's a big life changing decision to make. What I would say about moving to Fife, lovely as it is, is : it is much colder here - a good 5 to 10 degrees difference to the south of England, so do bear that in mind and, depending where you are looking in East Fife, it is a long way from anywhere, it sticks out into the North Sea (!), it is very windy, winter goes on for ever so summer is quite short and should you be unable to drive for any reason, rail transport is limited unless you are bang on the rail line to Dundee/Edinburgh although you do get free transport on the buses!

JessM Sun 29-Sep-13 16:49:52

And remember you may be perceived as a foreigner. There are lots of places where tourists are welcomed but "incomers" meet with a more chilly reception. No aspersions cast upon Fife. But it holds true in other places.
If you have a social life where you are, and your family quite near, then that is a lot to give up.
If you do buy, get something that is energy efficient - don't be lured by the romanticism of older ,less well insulated properties. They are colder to live in and much more expensive to run.

maisiegreen Sun 29-Sep-13 18:00:29

Thank you all for your thoughtful answers. (Perhaps we should house-swap Gally?) Now that my dh has retired, I feel very restless, but he's enjoying being at home all day, (though he does understand my feelings) I feel that after almost 2 decades of living in a village (East Fife would appear to have a lot more to offer) I've done it. If you want anything interesting, you have to drive into Bristol, 45 minutes away.
We don't live that close to our children, our daughter's in Devon, and our sons are in Birmingham and Gloucester, and perhaps we could Skype. Part of me feels it's stupid to stay in an area just because it's central.

Iam64 Sun 29-Sep-13 18:14:05

I'd second the good advice already given. We have lived in our present house 25 years, longer than I have lived anywhere. I couldn't move until both my parents had died, as for a number of years they needed a lot of looking after. We also have adult children and grandchildren in our area. After lots of searching, and thinking, we decided to improve our house, and stay put. We're lucky to have a city within half an hour, and open countryside on the doorstep. Another major issue was health care. I started to need specialist health input in my 40's, so a similar department was important. When we looked at health care in our favoured areas, it just didn't match up to the specialisms we have within a short drive from home. Enjoy your decision making - it's great fun whatever you decide in the end.

merlotgran Sun 29-Sep-13 18:36:41

I understand how you feel, maisie. After a recent visit to the Isle of Wight which was my home and where most of our friends are now living, we had an attack of the wobbles and felt sure we would only be happy if we sold up and moved back. DD1 lives two miles away and said she would support us if we decided to go but we could tell she really wants us to stay as we have provided her with lots of support since her divorce and are very close to the grandsons.

So....we have done a complete turnaround and are about to re-apply for planning permission for a three bedroomed extension which we let lapse ten years ago. DD is paying a lot of money in rent for a tiny cottage which is damp and mouldy in the winter. We worried about her health last year as she was poorly for months.

If all goes to plan she will have her own 'wing' and the only communal area will be a large kitchen/diner. We will keep our own side of the house with the rooms we are already using so, hopefully, everyone will be happy!!!

DD will pay us rent - obviously less than she is paying at the moment and will contribute towards heating, water etc. We feel this is the safest arrangement as DH is not keen on her partner so we don't want anyone else to have a financial stake in the property.

Isn't it funny how at our age we suddenly feel the need for a 'big change?'

Charleygirl Sun 29-Sep-13 18:57:30

Merlotgran Could there not be a problem sharing the kitchen/diner, no matter how large? Would it not be possible to incorporate a kitchen for your daughter and family in her "wing"?

harrigran Sun 29-Sep-13 19:04:01

I have two homes one in the north east and one in the north west where we were considered as " offcomers " when we first arrived. Think carefully about retiring to an area that is not familiar to you, it could be very lonely. We have updated and refurbished the house that is closest to amenities and we will spend our later years there. DD lives abroad and DS is 45 minutes away.

merlotgran Sun 29-Sep-13 19:58:48

Charleygirl The important thing will be to get the extension finished so she can move in and pay less rent. I don't see any problems sharing a kitchen to begin with but there will be an option to enlarge a small lean-to utility room at a later date when more funds are available should we start arguing over 'territory'.

We have worked together in the past running my catering business so we know how not to tread on eachother's toes......I hope.

Penstemmon Sun 29-Sep-13 21:11:33

We are all so different! I could not imagine moving away to a remote area where I did not know anyone. I knew we needed to move from where we were and I knew my town loving DH would not have considered a remote area. We made a list of 'must haves' and 'definitely nots' which kind of defined an area. I think if you can move when still working or able to get out and about easily that is best as you have the most opportunity to get to know people and places locally. We live right next to a station that will take us into London quickly if we feel like city time, an hour to the coast and two or three nearby market towns nearby. We are settling in and beginning to feel as if we belong to our new community smile Good luck in finding your ideal next home...

HildaW Sun 29-Sep-13 21:30:29

Feeling restless is very common (been there got the T shirt). The trouble is that its difficult to pin down just what it really is that is causing the unease. Sometimes its the dreaded 'empty nest' or down scaling work commitments (either you or partner) changes in health and in our relationships with our nearest and dearest. It can be one thing, it can be a combination of all of the above and something else that we can't quite put our finger on.
All I know is that moving house can seen like a really positive and exciting thing to do when life has become a bit humdrum but you really have to do it for the right reasons and bare in mind that it will affect a lot of people now and in the future.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

Eloethan Sun 29-Sep-13 21:52:31

We've been to lots of places where we think oh this is lovely, what about moving here, but then we think of the practicalities - being away from friends and family and familiar faces in the neighbourhood, having good amenities and knowing where everything is. Also, as others have said, the climate is a big consideration.

Should family circumstances change, it could be a worry if you're a long way away and you might feel uncomfortable about not being able to help more. I'm only 60 miles away from my mum and it would be much easier, and better for her, if she lived closer.

I'd think about it very carefully. A place that is nice for a visit isn't always the best place to live.

Ariadne Mon 30-Sep-13 06:19:12

We planned and researched and visited here a lot before we moved. I've said it all on another, similar thread. We are very happy and settled, but do have DD nearby. We also thought a lot about the future (we're 67 & 69) and what we might need in terms of health care, shops etc., and eventually found what we wanted, where we wanted, with all the boxes ticked.

There are some beautiful little villages round here, but, as Theseus often says "It's a long way to Sainsbury's."

thatbags Mon 30-Sep-13 06:55:04

Ah, the riches of choice! When we moved to Argyll DH was in Gasgow and I was in our house in Oxford with DD3. At the point when we decided it was time to buy a house in Scotland, he asked me for my list of must haves since he would be doing most of the looking (it's not easy to house hunt in Argyll from Oxford). My list was this: a fireplace and a primary school within walking distance (DD was five years old).

I think it's possible to want to tick too many boxes and thus to lose one's sense of adventure.

Gagagran Mon 30-Sep-13 07:05:55

I'm a great list maker so before our move to the south coast in 2012 to live 1 mile from DD, we made a pros and cons list. As well as all the practical things it's important to consider the hassle factor (and there is a lot involved in moving house). It can be a positive thing as it acts as stimulus to have a major clear out of accumulated and not needed "stuff" and makes for a clear eyed assessment of what a new house should contain. Compromise is always going to be a factor with that element though.

Like others have said, we also visited our area a lot before moving, kept an eye on the properties coming up for sale and prices (thanks Rightmove) and looked at what services we might need as we aged and which were available. It all felt very familiar when we did move and we already had some connections through DD. We have no regrets and have settled really well.

I think moving to a new area with no family near by is quite a different matter and that would not be for me but then I am not an adventurous person.

Think carefully and do your research would be my advice but I suppose at the end of it all, if it doesn't work out, you can always move again!