Local Talk

Thinking of moving to Maidstone

(44 Posts)
Bearcrumble Wed 02-Nov-11 13:49:56

I've lived in South London all my life but we are looking for a new house and are going to have a look in Maidstone next week. I've registered with Page and Wells as they have a lovely house we want to see. Which other estate agents would you recommend?

Can you tell me what you like/dislike about Maidstone and which areas I should look at and which ones I should avoid.

We don't need to be near a station as DH works from home. I think I'd rather be in town than in a nearby village or it might be too much of a jump for me. I have a licence but I hardly ever drive - I hate driving but I realise I'll have to drive more if I'm not living in London.

I have a toddler and I'm due to have another baby in April - are there plenty of things for mums and babies to do?

Thank you!

WoTmania Thu 03-Nov-11 18:15:36

Most of the Estate Agents are worth a look. Geerin and Colyer are very good for service. We moved 3 years ago and they were great (a couple were a bit snooty, probably because DH and I look young for our ages hmm).
Housing stock is quite variable but ALlington is nice, and penenden Heath. you might want to avoid Parkwood.

There are a few (small) children's centres and some local toddler groups I've heard good things about. I also co-lead an LLL group in Maidstone.

Bearcrumble Fri 04-Nov-11 13:38:27

Oh that's great to know (about the LLL). I never got round to going to my local one with DS as it was a bit of a distance from where I live.

Both the houses that I really like are on massive main roads - Loose Rd and Tonbridge Rd which is a bit of a shame as I'd like somewhere a bit quieter. I am coming down to view a few places next Friday.

WoTmania Fri 04-Nov-11 17:06:53

We're on a busy road too. But, Tonbridge road is a nice short(ish, depends where on tonbridge road) walk into and has a frequent bus service.
If you end up moving be sure to look the LLL group up :-) I hope it all goes well.

WoTmania Fri 04-Nov-11 17:08:38

*into town

We are in maidstone, with a 18month old DD, we have lived here 6 years - it's ok, some rough areas but some lovely bits too, mote park is great, so is the river, they are doing up the high street so it is improving. The free childrens centres are pretty good, with lots of activities. The nice thing is we are close to london and the coast, with easy access to the countryside, but good enough shops etc if you want that too. Obviously has it's downsides, like every place - a slightly higher percentage of 'chavs' etc than other places, but if you avoid some of the rough areas it can be fine. Town on a saturday is an education though! (not as bad as the medway towns though!)
Tonbridge road and loose road have some lovely houses, but they are very busy roads. Closer to town you might find some nice terraced streets, like ours, up by the prison and boxley rd area there are some nice places, have heard vinters park is nice for newish (70's onwards).
Places to avoid - Tovil, although there are lots of new developments there which look nice, still think it is best avoided. Parkwood, definitely - that is the fork off Loose road which goes towards hastings. Anywhere around the Morrisons. We are much closer to town just near that area and it's alright where we are, but bordering on dodgy (near the park though, which is great).
Some of shepway is to be avoided too, not all though. check about parking - near us is a nightmare, most of maidstone is, unless you have a drive.

If you want to meet up I'd be glad to, know how it is moving to a new place, especially with young children, pays to know people.

Good luck!

Bearcrumble Fri 04-Nov-11 18:26:48

Thank you both so much, it would mean a lot to meet a few friendly faces, especially when finding my feet in a new town (I find the idea quite daunting). I'd definitely come to the LLL group.

Of the places we are going to see, the Loose Rd one is my person favourite from looking online - it's here: www.vebra.com/property/3222/22323087 - a friend pointed out it's 300 yards from a fire station so I don't know if I could cope with the sirens (one of the things that annoys me about where we are currently).

eandh Fri 04-Nov-11 18:38:09

Loose road busy but most main roads in Maidstone are ( I lived on to bridge road years ago but would much rather live on loose road) my children attends loose school (very very good school and although it has a 90 place entrant each year it's still a hard school to get into but you 'should' be fine if you are on the loose road ( this year the catchment only went 0.68 miles from school but there was a huge sibling intake 48 out of 90 places went to siblings ( inc my dd2!) good bus service on loose and ton bridge road ( probably every 20 mins or so) both about 10-15 mins from town centre depending on traffic.

Loads of lovely parks (and Leeds castle is about a 10 min drive away and buy annual tickets as fantastic walks and brilliant play area) loose has a sure start centre near the park and a preschool based in the brand new YMCA centre. Plus millennium park, mote park and lots of little parks hidden away.

Town centre okay few empty shops at the moment but generally good choice, house of Fraser, SuperDrive, Wilkos, boots, new look, mother pumpkin pat ch, pandora, jewellers, Jane Norman, 2 m&s, Dorothy Perkins, river island etc etc (and loads of banks of which I work in one!) supermarkets spread out but tesco sainsbury Morrisons etc and a huge Asia living (but not a food Asda)

I have always lived here and doubt I would move away ( we live about 20 min walk from town but the nice thing is that London is only an hour away on train, beach/ coast about an hour away ( loads of lovely beaches minnes bay, josh bay plus broad stairs etc) 15 mins and you are in the countryside.

eandh Fri 04-Nov-11 18:39:16

We go past fire station 4 times a day and I think we see/ hear fire sirens about once a month! (my parents live nearby and never hear them!)

Bearcrumble Fri 04-Nov-11 18:41:09

Oh that's good to know! Thanks

eandh Fri 04-Nov-11 18:41:11

Def avoid park wood and mangravet, parts of shepway and senacre and tovil ( as in the council estate but other parts of tovil such as tovil green, tovil mil and new developments are fine ( we live in one of the nice parts and have n trouble and in a lovely estate)

eandh Fri 04-Nov-11 18:42:07

No trouble that was meant to say ( stupid iPad keyboard)

eandh Fri 04-Nov-11 18:42:57

Oh and may be a bit early but weds 30th nov loose school have an open afternoon 3.45 to 5 if you were around that day!

Forgot about Mangravet eandh, good to know that some parts of Tovil are ok - always thought it was a pity that it all got tarred with same brush, some of the houses are lovely, nice to know you don't get any trouble.

Bearcrumble we hear sirens all the time, and we are no-where near the fire station, it's because of the one way, they all have to come past here. you get used to it.

Loose is lovely, we have lots of friends that have family there or have bought there.

that house is gorgeous! very jealous...we could afford about a third of it...

Bearcrumble Fri 04-Nov-11 20:41:19

It may not be there by the time we've sold our house + flat though... ours have only just gone on the market and it's so quiet at this time of year.

WoTmania Fri 04-Nov-11 22:39:36

That is a gorgeous house. There are quite a few around thoguh so something will come up if that's gone. Totally agree with eandh on areas etc and having lived in CHatham for a few years the won centre is lovely (I went to maidsotne college for A'levels so have a fondness for the local cafes).
If you end up in Loose the LLL meetings aren't that far.

fluffygal Sat 05-Nov-11 08:54:30

Thought I'd add my piece although you've had good advice about areas!I moved to maidstone 5 years ago but my husband has lived here all his life.I would say areas to avoid: parkwood,shepway,senacre,tovil (coombe road area,tovil green is ok). Nice areas: allington,bearsted,barming,penenden heath,vinters park. We moved in september to allington as its got the top primary school in maidstone, and it is easy to get onto the motorway or into town. We moved from Fant,which is just off tonbridge road but walking distance to town,I liked it there too but no suitable houses to stay there when we were moving. Everyone has different criteria for moving house,but the one reason why I didn't look into the Loose area when we moved is having to be stuck in traffic trying to get anywhere,like into town or trying to get to the motorway. It can get very congested between town and Loose. The town has decent shops,yes there are some empty as everywhere at the moment but it has everything I need (except a MAC makeup counter!). Lots of restaurants and bars and clubs if you want a good night out too.

Bearcrumble Sat 05-Nov-11 11:53:07

Thanks for the info re traffic and Loose - is it bad at all times of day? It's not like we have to get out in the rush hour every day as DH works from home and his meetings in London are normally lunch or afternoon time.

eandh Sat 05-Nov-11 12:08:06

Fluffygal do house of Fraser not have mac counter?

eandh Sat 05-Nov-11 12:09:09

I drive to school and from via loose road ( I work in town so head straight from school drop off to work) and it's not too bad probably about 20 mins from fire station to town centre on a bad day 10 mins on a good day

fluffygal Sat 05-Nov-11 23:10:53

EandH No they don't, and apparantly never will, I have been told by someone there was a hoo-ha of some kind which means MAC will never be in Maidstone! Nearest one is Bluewater but I have a friends friend who orders it for me at a cut price!

Also OP, in Maidstone at the price range you are looking at I would expect to get a detached property and a drive for that type of cash. I know theres a garage and 'adjacent' parking, but would still expect more.

Also, on estate agents, when looking I found Ward and Partners (Matt Cheeseman especially) were great and do have the monopoly of the market. They rung me up and let me know when ones were coming on the market that might be of interest. Just be careful as when it got to the offer stage, the manager (not Matt) lied to me and said there were other offers on the table when there were none (vendor confirmed!), which is dodgy and illegal! But when looking Matt was the best out of all the estate agents I saw. Geering and Colyer are nice (especially Donna), I was selling through them and Bairstow eves. Just try to register with everyone and look at the rightmove website.

Bearcrumble Sun 06-Nov-11 08:40:57

Thanks Fluffygal there's at least 4 I'd like to view on the Ward and Partners site. There's a 60s house right in the centre of Loose village with views over the green that looks really interesting.

I already checked that they stocked my brand (Laura Mercier) in HoF.

Nipplebuster Mon 23-Apr-12 16:51:39

My husband commutes from Loose and doesn't complain - beleive me he would if there were a problem.

Dawny1 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:27:18

Can any one tell me is lansdowne avenue in maidstone a good area to live in as me and my husband are looking at moving there and don't know the area at all.

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