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RAF Menwith Hill or Harrogate?

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mechtilde:
Harrogate itself is a very nice place (very popular with rather posh tourists), and has high rents as a consequence. You might find something nice but less expansive further out, but that said North Yorkshire is expensive anyway. Rents might be cheaper closer to Leeds or Bradford, but you have to consider that there would be commuting costs and time to factor in. It may not look far on the map, but the traffic will probably be a lot heavier than you might expect. Also that the road may well be narrower and with more curves than you may be used to (although that depends on where you're from)

I'm not sure what Skipton prices would be like, but they might be a bit cheaper.

One other factor is that you will pay a lot more for detached than for a semi-detached, and even less for a terrace. Depending on where you are a lot of the less expensive housing will be terraces, and this is the case in a lot of parts of Yorkshire, and some of the Victorian era houses can be quite large. Don't rule them out- I live in a terraced house near Newcastle (so about 1 1/2 hours to the north of you) and it suits us very nicely (two adults, two children, four bed terrace with two of the rooms in what had been the attic). That said, no matter what you rent you won't get as many bathrooms as US houses, and even with four or five bedrooms and they will be smaller than you are used to. Gardens are smaller too.

Whether you get a basement or not depends on the region and how high the water table is! We don't have one here, but when my DH lived in Huddersfield he did have one.

I should mention that it is a lovely part of the country. The tourists go there for very good reason. You are within easy distance of Holmfirth where Last of the Summer Wine was set, and Thirsk, where James Herriot lived. Within about an hour's drive you've three cities, some amazing old buildings, fantastic museums and galleries, and stunning scenery. Most museums and many art galleries in the UK are child friendly, and some of them are free or offer season tickets.

You also mentioned homeschooling- there will almost certainly be some homeschooling groups in your area, and some of the local museums and art galleries may have good resources. Whilst homeschooling is not common in the UK, there are people out there who do it.

You mentioned libraries and playgrounds- I've had a quick look and there is one in Harrogate and another in Skipton. This link is to the local council website http://www.northyorks.gov.uk with info on libraries and other local services. Don't forget that although you're in the middle of the country, you're still not that far away from the coast, and that can be a great day out- if you can get used to the idea of wearing coats and wellies on the beach! The nearest one will probably be Bridlington, but Whitby and Scarborough are also options. Whitby itself is worth a visit anyway- lovely place.

How much you have to pay for utilities depends a lot on what sort of house you have and what fuel you use. A well insulated property will save you a lot, and with a terrace you only have heat escaping through two of the walls rather than four. Gas heating is the cheapest, fuel oil is more expensive and electric is the most expensive. The only people I know who have air con in their houses are professional computer geeks who have to keep their equipment cool, and even then only in that room. Not that you really need it here...

I have gas heating and pay 140 per month for gas and electricity, but I do live in a very well insulated house. I have friends who pay a lot more. I can give you more of a breakdown of expenses if you want as there are local taxes, water charges etc to pay as well.

Elfmama:

--- Quote from: veryfluffy on June 27, 2013, 12:12:27 AM ---If you look on one of the property websites, eg www.rightmove.co.uk or www.zoopla.co.uk, you can get an idea of properties available (I'm guessing you want to rent, not buy).

For instance, around Harrogate it seems you can get an ordinary 4 bed semi-detached (we don't measure properties in sq feet, but count the bedrooms and reception rooms instead) for around 1000 per month. Four-bedroom detached houses with gardens seem to start at around 1400 per month, eg http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-38844523.html.

--- End quote ---
We left Harrogate/Menwith in 1989, so what I'm saying might be outdated.  Be aware that UK bedrooms do tend to be smaller than US bedrooms.  Our house in Harrogate was a 4-bedroom, but two of the bedrooms were so small that there was room only for a bed.  DD2 had to use the top half of a bunk bed so that her dresser and toybox could go underneath.  However, there has been a LOT of new construction since we left, and the houses could be more on the line of what US housing is.

You said that you'd like to go there for a vacation -- let me tell you, you can spend every weekend there doing stuff, and still not have time to see everything!  We joined both National Trust and English Heritage (they administer historic properties): between the two, there was something happening every week that we could take the kids to.  We loved it there, and would gladly have stayed for a longer tour if Uncle Sam had let us.

mechtilde:

--- Quote --- However, there has been a LOT of new construction since we left, and the houses could be more on the line of what US housing is.
--- End quote ---

They aren't. If anything they are even smaller- especially because a lot of new build are detached, even if there are only a few inches between the houses as they fetch more. So in order to get a detached house on the same size plot, they have to make it even smaller. Land, especially building land is very expensive here.

If you want a decent sized place you are usually better off going for an older property.

scotcat60:
I know gas is a lot more expensive... anybody know how other utilities compare?

By gas, do you mean petrol, or gas for cooking, heating etc.?

There are websites like comparethemarket.com/energy which will tell you how to save on energy bills, as some energy providers are cheaper than others, just as some phone companies will charge you different tariffs for you service.

mechtilde:
I can't really compare because I don't know how much it costs in the US or what units of energy you use.

Gas is what we call natural gas and use it for cooking, heating etc. Petrol is what we call gasoline.

Gas is still the cheapest heating option, followed by fuel oil, followed by electricity.

The utilities you have to pay for are electricity, gas/oil if you use them (gas is not available everywhere), water (this includes sewage). Rubbish collection, police, libraries, schools, roads etc are covered by council tax. For phones and internet you usually have to rent a land line and then have phone and broadband packages on top of that.

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