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I'm considering becoming an economic migrant from the South and moving to / buying in Lancaster. My job is decoupled from location and It seems I could buy something relatively decent there for about £150k, thereby diverting my current £1k a month rent from my landlord's pockets to my retirement fund. 

It seems perfectly located for great countryside, has good train links, and the University should ensure a decent vibe to the place. My brother did his degree there and really liked it.

Any opinions on the town as a place to live? Places to go for / avoid? Any other tips?

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I like it as it doesn't have the run down feel of a lot of North West towns, it has largely retained it's heritage look, and doesn't suffer from the problems that have lead to white flight in various East lancs areas.

150K might get you a flat but you won't get a particularly nice house for that. Make sure it's not liable to flood if we have another storm like last year.

You are right about the countryside, you can head East to the trough of Bowland and it's close to North Yorkshire and the lakes but you really need a car to make the most of them as the railways and public transport don't have the coverage.

I would consider Kendal or Windermere myself if my job didn't need me to be in Manchester area 5 days a week.

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Graduated from Lancaster in '89. Been back a few times. Uni, like most, has grown dramatically since.

The north-south gap has narrowed considerably. My parents old place in Bedfordshire was about 3 times the price of a similar property in Lancaster when I started there. Not so now.

I doubt you'd get much for 150K. The explosion in Uni places has lifted property places in many Uni towns and cities.

But as somewhere to live, yes I've thought about I too. Likewise York.

My gf (now wife) and I, loved it, didn't really want to head back south. But work forced our hand, we live in Berks.

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I lived in the area from 1992 - 2013. It's not a bad place to live. The main downside is transport, Lancaster has the dubious distinction of having a slower average traffic speed than London as there are only two bridges across the River Lune and public transport is rubbish. There has been a link road built connecting Heysham harbour with the M6 which may or may not have eased the traffic a bit (only opened a matter of weeks ago) - but if you need to commute for work, where you live will have a huge impact on the length of your commute. Surprisingly enough the areas that have easier access to the M6 are the most expensive ones & it taking 45 minutes to do 2-3 miles at peak times is far from unusual. The other downside is that unless your work is local, chances are you'll have a long & time consuming commute to other big cities. 

There are a few dodgy areas, the Marsh & Ryelands estates being the main offenders - putting distance between them & yourselves strongly recommended. Depending on commuting, you'll get more house for your money in Morecambe or Heysham - but whether the savings will justify the potential for hours stuck in traffic is something you'll need to consider. 

Take your time, shop around & do your homework and moving there could work out well. If you want any more specific info, please feel free to ask. 

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  • 7 months later...

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