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Manchester: City Centre + Surrounding "countryfied" Areas

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Hello all,

I've been a very occasional lurker on this site for a while but this is my first post, so please be gentle. I'm looking for some advice. My situation:

  • I bought a city centre flat (2 bed with parking) some time (~10-15 years) ago, have really enjoyed it, but decided I need to move this year due to (i) needing more space (ii) wanting an outside space e.g. garden or balcony (iii) wanting to buy something more expensive before I get too old to be able to get a mortgage.
  • I put my flat on the market at the start of the year, have just accepted an offer that was good (right price, cash buyer)
  • I haven't seen a new property that grabs me yet, nor have I locked down my search to 1 or 2 areas, although I'm starting to get a feel for it.

I'm looking at either buying:

(1) Another city centre flat, a 3 bed or 2 bed with enough room to have a small office area, with parking and a balcony. I'd prefer a conversion with original features (beams, exposed brickwork etc.). In terms of location, I would prefer gay village running north up to Spinningfields. I don't really want north of the river in Salford, or behind Piccadilly station, or outside the Mancunion way.


(2) An old cottage-type character/ quirky property somewhere on the outskirts of Manchester. Again, needs 3 bedrooms or 2 with enough room for a study area, needs parking. Would like to be in a location with a village type atmosphere. Needs to be commutable into the city centre i.e. close to a train station and easy to drive in.

Budget is up to £450k. I don't want to rush buying, I would rather take my time and get it right, so I'm happy to rent for 6 months if I need to.

Any advice from people out there who know Manchester, in terms of what locations to look at, what would make (or not make) a good investment, and any things I should watch out for ?

3-bed city centre flats are a bit of a rarity it seems. I saw a nice penthouse in Leftbank at £450k, but didn't have balconies and the service charge was a shocker, £350 per month ! I've had a look at Lymm, Alderly Edge, Marple Bridge and Hebden Bridge so far: Marple Bridge seems the best out of those for me.

Thanks in advance for any advice and pointers.

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Hebden Bridge is very much a retirement village for rich old hippies as far as I can tell. Tolerant of different lifestyles (known as lesbian capital) although not overtly so. People I know who live there, love it.

Great if that's what you're after, but not likely to be particularly cheap place to live and possibly screwed by demographics in 15-20 years time. Still with your budget you might not worry too much the ongoing costs.

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Closer to 15.

Bought at the right time then. Marple bridge is very nice, we considered it last year but the commute became too much when job moved away from stockport area requiring car commute. If you work in Manchester though the train from there is not bad. Couple of nice pubs & bar there, an Indian restaurant, gorgeous countryside on the doorstep. Pricey as you'd expect, we were looking at little stone cottages, but with your budget should find something substantial with period features.

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