To be concerned about buying a house near a travellers camp?

(45 Posts)
drawohamme Tue 18-Feb-14 23:39:31

Before anyone gets the flame thrower out - I am asking about the effect it has on house prices etc, not about whether they should / shouldn't be there etc.

I am moving out of London (where I have been perfectly happy living with a huge great mix of different communities) and hopefully into a commuter belt village. DH came home tonight and said that a colleague of his had heard about where we were looking and 'warned' us about a big travelling camp in the area.

Was this person being an idiot or am I being naive thinking that we wouldn't be affected whilst we live there or long term financially when we eventually want to sell up?

Fairenuff Tue 18-Feb-14 23:43:40

Well, presumably that would be reflected in the price you pay to buy it, so it's all relative.

But you might find it difficult to sell on.

FoxesRevenge Tue 18-Feb-14 23:43:47

In an affluent area not far from me there is planning permission currently going through to allow travellers a permanent site. It is council owned land. The residents are fighting hard to stop it as they are worried about the impact on property prices. Being realistic, it will definitely affect them, as long as the attitude towards the travelling community remain as they are.

WooWooOwl Tue 18-Feb-14 23:44:06

Would you be prepared to say which area you are taking about in case posters who live there can give you their experience?

Preciousbane Tue 18-Feb-14 23:46:48

It will affect house prices, we had a traveller camp but only temporarily nearish to where we live.

ButICantaloupe Tue 18-Feb-14 23:47:09

Have you looked at the local papers to see of there are any issues?

Beamur Tue 18-Feb-14 23:49:45

If it does affect property prices, it might work in your favour if you're less bothered by the impact.
If it is a permanent Council run site, it will be maintained and looked after.

PatrickStarisabadbellend Tue 18-Feb-14 23:52:18

I live in a village with an extremely large traveller population. It's horrible.
My children can't play out without being beaten up, the park is a no go area.
Nobody can sell. The house prices have gone down so much. Our local school is losing local children because the violence is becoming too much.

Don't buy. You will regret it.

I should point out that before 5 years ago we had zero travellers in our village. The population is apparently now 2000+ travellers. I live in a village just outside of Chester.

WorraLiberty Wed 19-Feb-14 00:05:16

OP this is where local facebook groups/local online newspapers etc really come into their own.

See if you can seek out any online posts/reviews of the area made by residents.

I agree with the PP who said house prices will be relevant and that if it pushes prices down, you'll be taking advantage of that when you buy anyway.

We don't have permanent camps here but whenever travellers come and park in our local graveyard and sports playing field, crime rises significantly until they get moved on.

However if the camp is permanent, you might not get the same problem.

NigellasDealer Wed 19-Feb-14 00:07:43

yes google it as worra suggests, there is nothing that anyone here can suggest unless they have personal experience like patrickstar here, but it sounds as though that is miles from your intended new home.

Joysmum Wed 19-Feb-14 00:16:07

Do your homework. Whilst Zooplankton hasn't been perfectly accurate on the prices I've paid for all of my houses, it's been close enough. You'll be able to see how much roughly prices in the road you are looking at have changed over the years and compare them to other areas.

When I was looking to invest in my houses, I found it invaluable. I was able to work out which areas had dropped by the largest margin during the crash, and so which was the best investment.

pigsDOfly Wed 19-Feb-14 00:33:09

I think it rather depends how close the site is to the part of the village you're thinking of buying in OP. My daughter and her partner were in a similar situation to you. They fell in love with a lovely house in a small town and like you someone told them (the person didn't live in the area) that there was a traveller site in the town and they'd regret buying.

They looked into it and found out that the site was in fact right over the other side of the town and quite some distance from the house they wanted. They've lived there for nearly a year now and the site and its residents have had no impact on their lives whatsoever; nor does it seem to impact on house prices in the area when compared to other similar areas.

drawohamme Wed 19-Feb-14 03:06:14

Thanks everyone. We're currently looking at a few places in Redbourn. I've been having a good google and the site seems to be temporary - although it keeps getting five year extentions.
We bought a place in London near a football club and although we were told it was a big gamble it really paid off for us financially, kind of looking to try something similar.

Seems like it's been there ages so the house prices must reflect that, but I'll do more research about the impact. Half the reason we want to move is to be somewhere safer for our sonsmile

NigellasDealer Wed 19-Feb-14 03:08:50

nowhere is really safe drawohamme - wherever you go there will be some kind of danger.
for example where we live the crime rate is v v low but there is rampant drug abuse and alcohol consumption.
it is lovely and quiet but all likelihood of teens being stranded on a dark road with no pavement if they miss their bus....
etc etc

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 19-Feb-14 03:12:36


MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 19-Feb-14 03:17:10

Although I completely agree with what Pigs said.

fivefourtime Wed 19-Feb-14 04:52:07

Won't a drop in value only come about if a camp moves to the area while you're living there? If it was there before, then the effect on prices will be there when you buy as well as when you sell. On the other hand, if the camp moves away or is evicted while you're living there, the value of your house will actually rise.

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 19-Feb-14 05:05:45

House prices drop for a reason in situations like this. I would seriously consider how you feel the impact could affect the day to day lives of you and your family.

Talk to other residents and seek out concrete examples of the changes new people have brought to the community as pp mentioned above. It may be that they have settled well but you don't know what lies ahead. The council really don't have as many powers of control as some would like and the police can be very reluctant to become involved.

For me there would be too many uncertainties around the future. If you do buy and find yourselves unhappy because of the site you will find it very difficult to move on.

PlainBrownEnvelope Wed 19-Feb-14 05:16:50

The problem may not just be the price but the liquidity of the asset- i.e. how easy is it to sell on?

I would be wary of sinking a lot of money into a house that had something about it that would make a lot of people rule it out regardless of price (e.g. stream in back garden, on main road, upside-down layout etc). Many people would not consider a house near a traveller camp even if well priced relative to other houses.

thedogwakesuptoodamnearly Wed 19-Feb-14 06:34:54

There are a couple of long-term traveller sites in our village. Very occasionally there are a few fights between young lads. Sometimes horses get pegged out on the verges for grazing. I'm sure fights happen in most villages, and the horses like carrots. Most of the time there is simply no issue.

sixlive Wed 19-Feb-14 06:40:46

It can have a huge impact on the schools in the area. No it is cheap for a reason the London market is so different, areas in the country don't just suddenly go up in value.

DarlingGrace Wed 19-Feb-14 08:03:05

It depends on the site and the sort of Travellers they are. Roma are very different to Irish. The Irish are very well integrated into our society now, and really don't conform to media stereotype; their children are well educated, go to college, and frequently university. They really aren't as they are portrayed on 'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding'. Well the ones round here aren't.

They do keep themselves to themselves. They aren't likely to come round rustling your chickens and nicking bikes from your dive.

But also people often don't move on from past gossip. There was a large site in the next town, the children all went to the local comp, until they dropped out in Y8/9, which used to be quite common. Most of that camp has dispersed, there are two families left, if there are any children in that comprehensive, they aren't immediately noticeable. But people still talk about the 'pikey school' hmm. So gossip can be 20 years old and still have an effect on an area.

drawohamme Wed 19-Feb-14 08:28:38

Thanks again everyone. I think I need to do my homework.

I'm very much live and let live and I know where ever we go there will be dangers for my son. TBH my biggest concern is road traffic safety whilst he's little.

I grew up in a small town where everyone was afraid of anything different and when I moved to te big bad city I realised ninety percent of the concern was nonsense. I just thought it might be the same thing again.

However now I'm potentially sinking money into a place I realise people's perceptions are as important as the reality.

CMOTDibbler Wed 19-Feb-14 08:36:29

The area where I live is traditionally somewhere there are a lot of Roma, and I can immediately think of 7 privately owned sites within a few miles of where I am. You never hear of any trouble from these sites.

We also have some new age type travellers who come through at certain times of year with traditional (but much dirtier than the roma would ever consider) horse drawn caravans who camp on the side of the road. They cause a bit of a mess, but never go on private land.

We had friends who used to live in Redbourn. They moved a few years ago but only because they couldn't afford a house the size they wanted in Redbourn and from how they talked about it I think they would have stayed if they could afford it. I've never heard them mention a travellers shoe and they certainly didn't have any issues selling.

But yes, do your homework as suggested.

Shoe? Site thanks dyac!

vestandknickers Wed 19-Feb-14 08:41:26

Do you have children? If so, my main worry would be the impact on local schools.

Homebirthquestion Wed 19-Feb-14 09:03:22

It'll probably be fine but as a pp said, I wouldn't buy a property which will discount a large number of buyers from your future potential market.

We've done it, it's a pita and so we 've discounted any future houses if there's any kind of shortfall about them.

Ours was a very quiet but ex-council block of flats next to our terrace. They were all privately owned but lots of people told the agents they wouldn't consider our property even though they knew they were now privately owned.

SapphireMoon Wed 19-Feb-14 09:12:48

What is your concern about schools vestandknickers? My children attend a primary with a high percentage of children from the traveller community.
Not an issue with us. Lovely inclusive school.
There are some unpleasant people who avoid the school because of the traveller community.

vestandknickers Wed 19-Feb-14 09:20:13

It depends how stable the traveller community is Sapphire. If a high percentage of children move on it can be very disruptive for a school.

SapphireMoon Wed 19-Feb-14 09:23:47

The community is stable but some do travel for work and the school is as supportive as it can be.
I like the diversity of our school which seems to produce children who accept and treat all as equal as of course we all should.

trampstamp Wed 19-Feb-14 09:26:30

If you have children it will be a issue some schools near traveller sites are half empty and because of the constant coming a goings of children it can be very disruptive also the schools tend not to perform well as it's well know children from these coummites have lots of educational issues

SapphireMoon Wed 19-Feb-14 09:30:03

Our school is full but does suffer from snobbery type avoidance by some.
Hope their children grow up more forward thinking and less narrow.
Some attitudes make me cross.

Damnautocorrect Wed 19-Feb-14 09:34:24

I live in a town with a few traveller sites, the kids attend the local school with my son. In fact a lot of BFGW has been filmed here. Honestly say, so far no problems at all and I don't expect to have. Schools lovely, kids happy. But the sites been here a long time so everyone's integrated around and with them. I can imagine a new site would hit values and could cause problems (on both sides).

LayMeDown Wed 19-Feb-14 09:51:49

The issue is not the house value. If the site is well established it will already be priced into the value. The issue is the ease of resale. You will probably find it harder to sell than another house even if competitively priced, so you will take a while to sell it.
IME though unless you are actually overlooking the site it shouldn't impact you that much in terms of value or resale. Certainly one the other side of the town wouldn't bother me at all.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 19-Feb-14 10:08:54

I don't think you can generalise. We have a traveller site on the edge of our small town, and a fair few pass through doing seasonal farm work, following the harvest up the country. Apart from very occasional scuffles between local lads and travellers passing through there is zero trouble and everyone rubs along very happily.

I'm aware that in other areas it's not necessarily like that and there is more conflict between settled and traveller communities. I think you need to find out as much as possible about the specific situation in that area before making your decision.

Preciousbane Wed 19-Feb-14 12:06:55

I agree about local gossip continuing for years. The next suburb to me had dreadful flooding many years ago. Huge new flood defences built, all ok but house prices there still reflect people's nervousness.

Marcipex Wed 19-Feb-14 12:13:07

My Inlaws have a traveller camp on the route between their home and the railway station.
My teenage nieces can not walk to or from the station alone as the girls from the camp ambush passers-by to beat them up. Even little traveller girls join in with the older ones.
I wouldn't go there. My Inlaws want to move but can't afford to.

MadIsTheNewNormal Wed 19-Feb-14 12:26:50

I don't think this country has a 'tradition' of having any Roma - they are very much a new phenomenon here. I think you are probably referring to British Romany people. They are the ones who are often well integrated, fairly well regarded in the local community on the whole, usually law abiding, and sometimes well educated.

I doubt you'll find very many Irish travellers who are even in secondary education until 16, never mind further education, and even less higher education. They don't tend to integrate well and frankly given the experiences of most people who have lived around them for even the shortest time, it's no wonder people think twice before buying a house near one of their camps.

brettgirl2 Wed 19-Feb-14 14:09:21

I dunno we had a traveller site about a mile from our house. It didn't seem to negatively affect prices while they were here. It was an eyesore and is but you only found it if you looked for it. We never had any trouble. Schools point is just racist imo.

We have a planning application now for a much small site up the road, not bovvered tbh.

elastamum Wed 19-Feb-14 14:19:10

I know lots of people who live in Redbourn. The site has been there for years, so not really temporary and is likely to be there forever.

As far as I am aware the site isnt a problem. The children go to the local schools and the site is well run. Most of the people I know in Redbourn are very happy there and have been there a long time. The place has a good community feel, some good play space and nice pubs!

Property in Redbourn is a fair bit cheaper than Harpenden or St Albans, but not far from both, so has access to great shops, resturants, schools and transport to london.

But do your homework if you have school age children. Depending on where you buy in the village you might get secondary places in Harpenden (wonderful) or Hemel Hempstead (not so wonderful)

elastamum Wed 19-Feb-14 14:21:15

My friends DC wander around the village and get buses into Harpenden or St Albans all the time. Seems very safe to me smile

Ubik1 Wed 19-Feb-14 14:25:10

I've lived near settled traveller sites for years without knowing they were there.

You'll only know if it's an issue if you ask around the local area.

DomesticDisgrace Wed 19-Feb-14 14:59:04

I was in your exact position a year and a half ago.
I'm usually very liberal etc but I'll be totally honest, my dad is a taxi driver and any experience I had ever had of travellers were bad.

With a heavy heart I bought the place anyway because I couldn't afford anything else and other than the travellers it was ideal. Well it was the best move I've ever made, I haven't regretted it for a second. They keep to themselves, there's never been any trouble at all, we don't even see them.

CerealMom Wed 19-Feb-14 16:07:45

I know Redbourne very well. It is a sought after place to live and the site barely registers.

Why Redbourne OP? We might be able to find you other lovely local places if you're still concerned about the site.

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