I’m in the process of looking for a new house, I need to be north of the city and for preference by a station. My ideal locations would be (following the cross city line out) Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, Four Oaks, Butlers Lane and Blake Street. However, as I’m limiting the search to detached houses only I’m coming up against the price barrier and can’t realistically afford any of those locations. Which brings me to the subject of Walsall. Does anybody live there? can anybody recommend it? I’m not far from the place but very rarely go that way.
One of my colleagues lives there and has travel pains seemingly every week commuting into Brum. Dunno how far she is from the train station at that end, to be fair, as she has to drive there. But sounds like that train line breaks down on a fairly regular basis.
Are you particularly invested in getting the train?
I live in Brownhills (about 5 miles east of Walsall, almost exactly between Walsall and Lichfield) which isn’t exactly convenient for trains - I’d have to catch a bus to either, and then get on a train. I used to live in Boldmere (about a mile away from the station) and funnily enough we moved here for almost exactly the same reasons as you - we wanted a detached house. We kinda lucked out when we bought, and I’m now living in a 5-bed detached house (and can probably get another 2 decent rooms with a loft conversion) for less than it would have cost for a 3-bed detached in the areas you mentioned.
Although it’s pretty useless for trains, the 937 bus stops directly outside of my house, and runs every 20/30 minutes (depending on peak time or not). I don’t get the bus frequently enough to warrant getting a weekly/monthly pass, but I do use the eDaySaver thing (which is actually pretty convenient) so it costs me £3.90/day to get into Brum and back (plus any other bus journeys I may choose to make during the day). Occasionally a bus goes MIA or is late (which is annoying) but generally I’ve had no problems getting in and out.
Sticking with the bus, but going closer to Walsall, there are quite a few routes that go from Brum to Walsall - the 51, X51, 934, and 935 for example, and they seem to turn up every 5 minutes when I’m stood at the stop. If you didn’t want to live in Walsall itself, you could always relay from Brum to Walsall, then back out again.
Oh, and free WiFi on the (newer type of) bus!
Thanks wallmari, I’ll give Brownhills a look.
I’m more invested in not using the car as there are obvious costs in doing that when working in the city centre
By coincidence it stops outside my house (Kingstanding Road), I use the 935, 936, 937 daily. I’m guessing from where you are the journey is close on a hour, which wouldn’t be best.
I take it you’re happy with Brownhills in general?
Thanks mattpointblank, that’s useful information to have
Yes, best part of an hour, but that’s a useful decompression time for me - provides a nice separation between “work” and “home”. In quite a few cases, I’ve come up with solutions to problems that have been frustrating me all day while on the journey - simply being away from the problem and being able to mull it over in a general fashion pulls me out of “problem solving tunnel vision”. Also useful for listening to music/podcasts/catching up on reading - there are always ways to make the time “productive”
As for Brownhills itself - it’s okay, I guess? Can’t say there’s a lot going on in the main shop area, but there are some nice takeaways in the area (that deliver!) and you’ve got Walsall/Lichfield/Cannock/Sutton that are only a few miles away at each cardinal point, along proper A-roads, if you need them. Right this second, I can’t think of anything that hits me as a “Ooh, they really need one of those round here” thing…
I used to live near the town center. The town center has everything from banks to nandos. Trains to birmingham takes about 15 - 35mins. Bus to new street is the 51 and x51.
I know this is not in your requirements, but have you considered heading further out? It’s nice out here in the Shire, and you can get to New Street relatively easily, if you don’t mind the commute (or if your employer lets you work on the train)
That’s my line. It carries on to Rugeley, getting cheaper and less convenient all the way. Some trains stop at Walsall. I’m not sure Walsall offers the best price-point. It gets nicer from Bloxwich North and the schools are better but it’s more village than town. (North Shire)
SORRY, slightly misleading: there are some very good selective schools in Walsall.
stevejalim I need to be within an easy drive of the MIL unfortunately, otherwise I’d be all for it
I decided to move to Walsall when I became single and had to get a place. As for a single person getting a flat in Brum is out of my pocket so I decided to move to Walsall. I don’t drive ( but planning to) so I got a place near train station. Train takes about 20 min to get to New street. I commute myself to Birmingham cc. If you drive living by m6 is crucial. You get get from junction 9 to town in 15/20 min, sometimes even 10 if you drive fast. So if you wanna get a house I would recommend looking not far from junction 9 or 10.
it could Wednesbury , Wolverhampton, Walsall. Alll cheap and affordable.
I’m further out along the Chase Line, where things get cheaper but the trains are less frequent. I was told today it can be standing room only in peak times and prices rise when you leave West Mids. Things should improve this year when the line is electrified and speed and frequency are promised to increase.