Everyone has realised how amazing Greater Manchester is, which means prices and populations are soaring. So when it comes to settling down and raising a family it can pay to look a little further out.
When you see a Cheshire postcode you think immediately think, millionaires, footballers and massive houses - I can’t afford it. The average house price in Alderley Edge even smashed through the £1m mark this week, so we couldn’t really blame you.
So what if we told you it doesn’t have to be out of bounds for the average family? Macclesfield could just be what you’re looking for - stunning scenery and affordable housing.
The secret’s out.
Everyone has realised how amazing Greater Manchester is, which means prices and populations are soaring.
So when it comes to settling down and raising a family it can pay to look a little further out.
But don’t panic, it doesn’t mean you have to give up Manchester - God forbid.
In Macclesfield you get to live in the peace and beauty of the countryside but you are still just a hop and a skip from the buzzing city centre.
Adam Ramsden-Smith, from Gascoigne Halman, said: “I feel a big part of why families choose Macclesfield is because of the great schools, the range of properties available and the affordability of the properties on offer, this combined with the rural location and the access to Manchester city centre and the main line to London, makes Macclesfield a great place for families.”
Where are the best places to live?
You are really spoilt for choice, with the town centre and the lush, green surroundings, there is something for everyone.
A number of new developments have popped up in and around Tytherington and Victoria Road, ideal for those with a bit more money to spend.
Or if you prefer the quaint, terraced properties then you will probably be happier in the town centre.
Chapel Street, High Street and Peel Street - along with others - are perfect for smaller families on a budget.
While if you’ve got a bit more money to spend, then Cottage Lane, leading down to Swans Pool, has plenty of green.
As well as budget, schools are also a big factor for families and you can have your pick in Macclesfield.
The roads surrounding Fallibroome School and the private, Kings School, are hugely popular and boast some stunning homes.
For many, Macclesfield is the cheaper alternative to the more popular suburbs closer to the city.
One local estate agent even said that families are now moving to there, from places like Didsbury and Chorlton, to save money.
Having said that house prices in the area have risen by more than £23,000 in the last year, to £294,213 -so you might want to get in quick.
Smaller families can still find a bargain with terraced houses ranging from for just £110,000 to £180,000.
There are still savings to be made for larger families too, as the average semi detached home in Macclesfield is currently going for £236,518.
Richard Zammutt, sales and marketing manager at Belvoir, said: “Prices can range anywhere from £100,000 to £1m. For example you can pay between £110,000 and £180,00 for a two bed terraced property, and even in Manchester you wouldn’t really be able to get that.”
If you really want to spend big however, then the star-studded Prestbury is just a couple of miles down the road.
Types of properties available?
Being an old mill town, Macclesfield has hundreds of terraced houses right in the centre of the town.
But with increasing investment and development, there are now a number of newer housing estates, such as Tytherington, with dozens of large, detached homes.
If you prefer a house with a bit more character however, then you will be best looking further west, at the imposing Victorian properties on Prestbury Road and Victoria Road.
And it’s not just about houses, Macclesfield also has a mix of new-build and conversion apartments, perfect for professional couples looking to move out of the city.
Competition to get your child into the best school in the area is usually fierce however with numerous well-performing primary and secondary schools, close to the town centre, you won’t have to worry.
Fallibroome Academy is one of the most popular in the area and received an ‘Outstanding’ in its last Ofsted report.
As did St Alban’s Catholic Primary School, another hugely popular choice.
Edward Holmes-Naden said: “The schools are a big draw for the area, from primary to secondary. Especially Prestbury C of E which is a feeder school to Fallibroome Academy, Adlington primary School is a feeder to Poynton and Bollington Cross is a feeder to Tytherington, all of which are accessible to Macclesfield residents.
“You also have private schools such as The Kings school taking children from 3 to 18yrs of age, which is extremely popular!”
You couldn’t really be in a place that is more family oriented, if you tried.
As mentioned above, one of the big factors for families is the balance between Manchester’s buzzing city centre and the peaceful countryside.
Edward Holmes-Naden, director of Holmes-Naden Estate Agents, said: “It’s surrounded by countryside, with the Peaks close by and lots of walks too. There are also the Macclesfield Hills too, it’s just such a pretty area.”
On the last Sunday of every month you can also enjoy the Treacle Market, which, now in its seventh year, was named in the top ten farmers' markets in the UK.
For the more active then Prestbury Golf Club and leisure centre are just a short drive out of the town.
Mum and Dad can also enjoy a night on the town every now and again, as more and more chic restaurants and bars open up.
While film buffs out there will love Cinemac, an independent cinema in the town centre.
Edward added: “Macclesfield has improved a lot in recent years and there are lots of trendy bars and restaurants opening up now.
“It used to have a bit of a small town syndrome but it’s much more cosmopolitan now - it’s completely changed.”
What do they say?
Resident Duncan Hurren said: “Macclesfield is wonderful, it’s just 15 minutes from the country’s second biggest city and 20 minutes from the beautiful hills.
“There’s also a fantastic array of nurseries an primary schools, as well as some excellent secondary schools.
“The warmth of the people is also something as well as the surprising eclectic mix of people in Macc; I moved up here from Slough and I love it, I’m a big fan.
“It just has a warmth that you don’t often get on other parts of Cheshire.”
Macclesfield is a commuter’s dream.
Just 25 minutes from Manchester city centre and an hour and a half from London, by train, you have the best of both worlds.
Richard Zammutt said: “We deal with people who will work in London but come back here everyday.
“They can get a three or four-bed house here for around £250,000 whereas in London they would have to pay double that, at least.”
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending how you see it, motorways aren't the easiest to get to, which can make driving a bit of an issue for commuters.