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  • 1 Post By jeram
Discuss Hi! I think we found a house! in South and the South East of England - (HIC 1 Aldershot) on Rear Party; Hi Everyone! It has been a while since I was on here. I hope everyone is well. Anyway, I go to university and it's been incredibly hectic between that, the kids, as well as preparing ...
  
  1. #1
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    Hi! I think we found a house!

    Hi Everyone!

    It has been a while since I was on here. I hope everyone is well. Anyway, I go to university and it's been incredibly hectic between that, the kids, as well as preparing for the move. We (for those I haven't spoken with before) are US Navy that are being stationed in Portsmouth, UK. My husband will be part of an exchange program, so he will be working for the Royal Navy. We move in July/August.

    I found a house- It's in Southsea, Portsmouth. It looks great. The realtor says it is a great family neighborhood, but since I can't come out there prior to moving, it makes it a little difficult to judge for myself. I know some areas around Portsmouth have issues. Is anyone on here familiar with that area? Or are there ways I can look up the area? Thank you!!!
    Petal likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Feisty one's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome back

    Do you know what catchment area you are in for the Primary school (assuming that may be something you asked about).

    If so, I always found the Ofsted reports on the school generally gave a good reflection of the area, Ofsted | Home page

    Also, searching on Zoopla > Search Property to Buy, Rent, House Prices, Estate Agents for houses for sale will give you an indication of area, the higher the prices, generally, the better the area.

    I do know someone that lives near Southsea, but he's currently deployed, so a little hard to ask and get a quickish reply from...
    Shit happens.... and in the forces, shit happens faster!

  3. #3
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    We will be in the Cumberland Primary area, which has a good rating for its Ofsted.

    My goal was to find a safe place close to DH's work. The house we are in now is 40 miles (yes, 40 miles) from his work. The other areas around bases are REALLY not safe. We would like to be in town. We have a tendency to turn into hermits, and I would really like to not do that.
    Last edited by jeram; 14-03-2014 at 01:46.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Feisty one's Avatar
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    I'd remove the address from your post, best not to post on an open forum, there's lots of weirdo's on the internet!

    I'll ask around re the area and for info my OH is 50 miles from base (Portsmouth) but in a different direction.. so there's plenty that travel, but the distance for us was to find a place that's between his and my work, not because of safety reasons.
    Last edited by Feisty one; 14-03-2014 at 00:58.
    Shit happens.... and in the forces, shit happens faster!

  5. #5
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    Good point on the address! LOL. I apologize- I am SO TIRED. My son was up all last night. Poor little guy has been sick.

    There is a tendency, at least here, to have the shadiest areas be around military bases. As soon as you leave base there are strip clubs, pay-day loans, etc. There is a lot of crime in those areas. We decided to live out in the country... about 10 minutes from my in-laws... Perhaps I should have stuck with the gangs. LOL.

    I looked up the address on google earth. The area looked fine to me. The realtor said it is a family neighborhood, and that's what I wanted.

  6. #6
    Moderator Gonzo's Avatar
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    You must have been posted to some interesting places then because I've never lived at a base like that, ever.
    viros non paenitet


    "Wit is educated insolence."

  7. #7
    Senior Member egieoh's Avatar
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    I think the closest brothel to us here (in Germany) is about a 10 minute drive.... haha!

    Can't really comment much on many bases, but I used to live near 4 USAF ones and 1 UK one (well and training grounds just down the road) and to be honest, it wasn't anything to do with ay of the military lot as to how the area around them was.
    It was mostly just how the people, schools, facilities etc were. The town next to the UK base had some nice parts but was/is known for being a bit 'common', I suppose you'd call it. Just avoid a certain estate there and you're fine really.

    As for the US ones, it was mostly little towns and villages around them an they were all fairly nice. Closest strip club was probably the one 40 mile or so away in a big city!

    Not really helpful on your area, but just thought it might help understand the differences over here a little bit. Check out the Ofted reports as mentioned and have a look at the local council's website as well as a website for a local paper if possible. The paper will give a general view of the area with the things it has reported on recently.
    I know that one of my old towns has a website with a forum ad is on FB now, so might be worth looking up something like that too for people's opinions?

    Good Luck and glad you've found a house/area that sounds nice. Hope your son is feeling better now too
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  8. #8
    Moderator Gonzo's Avatar
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    With regard to the motorcycle insurance Bennetts is a good place to start. Very cheap for me on a ZZR6 so shouldn't be too bad for your old man.
    viros non paenitet


    "Wit is educated insolence."

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    I come from Portsmouth originally and know Southsea very well. I have to say the area around the dockyard isn't bad at all. Alot of it has been regenerated in the last 10 years. You have Gunwharf quays which has lots of shops, restaurants and is where the nearest cinema and bowling alley is. Old Portsmouth is lovely to walk around. There are parts of portsmouth that are a bit grim but you get that with most cities in the UK.

    Southsea is a really lovely area of Portsmouth. I don't know exactly where abouts in Southsea you are but I can't really think of a bad area. If you are near the seafront, it really is lovely and there is a lovely cafe along the eastern parade called the Tenth Hole which does fantastic cakes but can get busy at the weekends. Albert road, which runs through the middle of southsea is very vibrant and has a mix of small independent shops, hairdressers, estate agents, convenience stores with some restaurants, cafes and bars. I would say that while it is a very family friendly area it is not a suburb so you don't get the kids playing out like you do in areas outside the city. The only other thing is that I don't know which base your OH is going to be working at (there are several around Portsmouth) and travelling can take a while in the morning with traffic if he has to go off the island. I hope to move back to the area when I finish my degree (dependent on where I get my first job and boyfriend's posting) and Southsea or Old Portsmouth is where I would like to live so I am sure the house is in a lovely place.

  10. #10
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    Yes. It really differs by location.

    When my parents were stationed in Alameda, California the area was so bad that they were drive me out of the school catchment to private school. The houses were safe as they were on base, but the immediate surrounding area was bad. This was a real hardship on them. Dad had just finished med school and funds were severely limited, which should say how bad the schools and area were.

    Outside of Norfolk, Virginia, where we are now, it is bad. There are several bases in this area. Ben Moreell housing (they are all named) has issues with gangs, home invasions, vandalism, and shootings. New Gosport (the neighborhood we were originally going to move into here) in Portsmouth, Virginia- well I was asked if I have good insurance on the cars for when they are inevitably stolen or burglarized. Virginia Beach is not as bad. We chose Chesapeake as the crime rate is significantly less and we could get into a house immediately (VA Beach had a several month wait). Nellis in Las Vegas was fine as in it was typical for most of North Las Vegas, so it blended in. lol

    There have been bases with zero issues. Hawaii was great (DH was stationed out of Kunia and then Pearl). Pensacola, Florida was fine. We lived a walk away from base. The strip clubs seemed to hang around the other gate on to base. I'm not a prude, but I don't want to have to explain that just yet to my daughter (she is 5).

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    Yay! Thank you Medgirl! We are putting in our application. I just wanted to make sure this place wasn't too good to be true. Perfect rent (actually under budget by 300), energy efficient. It has everything we needed and most of what we hoped for.

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    egieoh, I mentioned some bases in CA and VA that have issues- and I completely agree with you. The bases are generally nice, but the areas surrounding them are impoverished. As for the strip clubs, well I know that they are just catering to the young military guys.

    Oh San Diego, depending on where you are, is bad for that as well.

    I really hope no one took offense. It is an issue we are having here and I wanted to see if that is an issue there as well.

    I did go on Google Earth. The area looks great. And I loved seeing all the independent shops, especially within walking distance! Speaking of, I love how I'll be able to walk or ride bikes with my daughter to school. Her current school is 12 miles away.

    I think the thing I'm most excited about seeing in the area would be the old warships. Those are going to be awesome! I am sad we will be missing the DDay celebration by 1-2 months! =(
    Last edited by jeram; 14-03-2014 at 14:11.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo View Post
    With regard to the motorcycle insurance Bennetts is a good place to start. Very cheap for me on a ZZR6 so shouldn't be too bad for your old man.
    That should make DH very happy. He was so sad at the prospect of losing his baby. lol

  14. #14
    Moderator Gonzo's Avatar
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    All I am going to say is thank god my husband would never be posted to places that you have described.
    viros non paenitet


    "Wit is educated insolence."

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    Yeah. I can completely understand that sentiment.

    Now there are some really lovely places as well. Just those were the bad ones. Pensacola has multiple bases- and since some of the hurricanes tore through the place- parts of it has been pretty run down. Our house was nice. The neighborhood was great. The hospital that I delivered my DD was fantastic. NAS Pensacola is right on the water. It has gorgeous white sand over blue water. Out in town there are some great restaurants.
    Hampton Roads (which encompasses Norfolk, Portsmouth, VA Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Newport News and Hampton) can be a nightmare, but there are song good places as well. The hospital in Portsmouth was where my son was born. They were really awesome. VA Beach has some beautiful beaches, and they have condos for service members and their families to rent that are right on the water. I just try to stay away from the crap areas, which means not living next to base.

    We are so excited to get over to Portsmouth. It sounds great. We put in our application for the house and as soon as we have our dates (still waiting on hard copy orders which should come anytime now) we can give them a date and hopefully the house is ours. I love it.

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