Moving to Lodon - where to live?

(172 Posts)
lily3 Wed 07-Nov-12 00:39:57

With a budget of £2-3 million and 2 toddlers in tow, what area of London would you live in? Looking for an area with parks and space, but close enough to venture into the city daily. We'd rather go out a bit farther to get more square footage as opposed to a tiny flat in Chelsea, for example. Thanks in advance!

kensingtonkat Wed 07-Nov-12 10:52:58

Another one who thinks Kensington is on a decline. In the last five years it's become a money launderer's paradise whilst the local high street and proper shops die. Most of the multimillion pound houses are empty. Flats are inevitably rented by young banker types on short contracts now, and a transient community is no help to anyone trying to make a proper home. It makes me so sad.

SW11 is Northcote Road. Would have thought that was great with toddlers? Though again agree with 1605 that it is very Home Counties and (the thing that puts me off) very old school Tory!

If you want somewhere with a Wandsworth vibe but on the tube and with a more cosmopolitan feel, think about Parsons Green, off the New King's Road. Would live there in a heartbeat if my numbers came up on the lotto.

kensingtonkat Wed 07-Nov-12 11:03:53

Holland Park & Brook Green & Hammersmith borders also a thought. You could have a stunning early Victorian house, a big garden and an easier commute than Chiswick, though a bit grittier in terms of neighbourhood. Key roads are Brook Green itself, Hammersmith Grove, Dewhurst Road, Boscombe Road.

Look on Rightmove.com. Start with your space requirements such as number of bedrooms and price £2m-£3m, and then come back on here and ask us about areas!

mrsshackleton Wed 07-Nov-12 11:04:01

If you want your children to go to the American School then it's St John's Wood/Maida Vale/Swiss Cottage - though you'll be looking at a flat with a communal garden (still lovely)

If you want them in the UK system, then much wider choice.

Gravenwithdiamonds Wed 07-Nov-12 11:05:44

And really consider the commute - I vowed never to rely on the District Line or Northern Line again after years of a miserable commute to the City but I like the overground to Waterloo. Lots of people in Putney cycle or use those electric cars (no congestion charge etc).

noviceoftheday Wed 07-Nov-12 11:07:56

Lily, it really depends on the size and type of home you want. How many bedrooms are you looking for and are you looking for a garden? We didn't stay centrally because we wanted a house with garden and weren't going to get that witthout spe

SW11 great, also known as nappy valley as there are so many couples in late 20s/30s with toddlers. It has a great vibe except, you can't find detached houses with garden in that price range. At best semi-detached but mostly terraced.

How important is it that you are central? North Kent and Surrey have very good links into central london with fast trains into central London. For £2m, you will get 5/6 beds detached house with decent size garden (150 ft). As you edge towards £3m, the house comes with more amenities such as bigger garden, swimming pool and tennis court.

Stamp duty tax goes from 5% to 7% so that adds £40k to the bill so you will find that there are some priced just below £2m.

kensingtonkat Wed 07-Nov-12 11:11:58

Think that's a typo, Novice. You meant £140k I think on £2m, I think.

kensingtonkat Wed 07-Nov-12 11:12:18

Thinking too hard

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 07-Nov-12 11:14:59

East Sheen is great!

Plenty of great homes from 1.5 million upwards.
Lots of private schools, such as Tower House, Kings and Ibstock for Primary. But plenty of really good state schools in the area too. East Sheen Primary, Sheen Mount, and Barnes Primary, are all rated Ofsted Outstanding providing excellent education. The area is very affluent, with some celebrities, screen writers, doctors, lawyers in the mix, and to be honest, many dont bother about private schools for primary, as the local ones are so good. You will therefore find that the local schools are a good mix of affluent and "normal" children.

You have easy access of transport into London. London Wetland Center and Kew Botanical Gardens nearby. Both are great for kids. In addition you are on the doorstep of the vast expanses of Richmond Park, and with Wimbledon Common a stones throw away.

Look on rightmove

If you look on the map facility, you can see the river, the parks, and schools.

lily3 Wed 07-Nov-12 11:15:57

Wow thank you everyone for all the info! We actually did meet a real estate agent but we found that she was so bias toward different areas, depending on the house she was trying to sell us. We got a very skewed idea of the areas from her, so I wanted to get a more "real" idea of what each place is like.

Renting first is an option, we will look into that.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair - How are you liking LA? We will definitely miss it! We live in the Bird streets, if you are familiar with that area. It's right above Sunset. Great view from up here! If we were staying in LA, we would probably move to Beverly Hills flats eventually just for a bigger backyard. I guess we are looking for the London equivalent, although we know it will be a smaller house (which we are OK with).

FamiliesShareGerms - We really don't have any other requirements except easy access into to the city and good private schools.

1605 - Thank for that info. That is interesting. What is North London like? Is it considered a nice area to live in? Middle class, upper class? Is there a "great divide" between North and South?

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 07-Nov-12 11:20:36

1605 you have clearly not been to Richmond, and most certainly not East Sheen. wink

OP will struggle to find good quality upmarket housing for that budget north of the river in Kensington. I saw a very nice pad for 7 million near Holland Park. (my budget would be 10% of that, lol)

But in that price range, she CAN find newly refurbished modern looking high quality homes, with gardens, and parks nearby in Richmond.

More than in Wandsworth (where I now live having left a fab neighbourhood in Richmond behind)

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 07-Nov-12 11:25:05

[[http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-23473470.html This 6 bed house] has been for sale for a very long time. I am sure they are open to offers, being in the top end of the price range for this great area. Big garden, modern, and no need to spend hundreds on refurb.

Slightly smaller and a bargain at 1.9 million an 2.800 sq f.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 07-Nov-12 11:25:35

Sorry, epic link fail.

[[http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-23473470.html ]] This 6 bed house] has been for sale for a very long time. I am sure they are open to offers, being in the top end of the price range for this great area. Big garden, modern, and no need to spend hundreds on refurb.

Slightly smaller and a bargain at 1.9 million an 2.800 sq f.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 07-Nov-12 11:26:09

Sorry, epic link fail.

This house This 6 bed house] has been for sale for a very long time. I am sure they are open to offers, being in the top end of the price range for this great area. Big garden, modern, and no need to spend hundreds on refurb.

Slightly smaller and a bargain at 1.9 million an 2.800 sq f.

3 times lucky, eh?

BoerWarKids Wed 07-Nov-12 11:32:49

How about Greenwich or Blackheath?

Your money may go a little further as it's SE London. Wonderful place to bring up children and good transport links into town.

Gravenwithdiamonds Wed 07-Nov-12 11:48:31

I prefer south because it seems less of an urban sprawl. There are more commons and heaths rather than 'parks' and it's easier to get out London to eg, the coast or the airports. But traditionally north of the river is regarded as posher - I really don't think that a newcomer would notice any difference to be honest. All London areas have their own distinct character and it's a bit irrelevant whether they are north or south.

I feel a bit hemmed in if I'm not near the river so would vote for Barnes/East Sheen/Putney rather than, say, Hampstead or Crouch End. Greenwich is lovely but touristy and has some very dodgy areas.

noviceoftheday Wed 07-Nov-12 11:54:39

Interesting links Quint, we didn't consider East Sheen.

I also love Blackheath and Greenwich although the detached houses in Greenwich aren't in the nicer bit (from memory). Blackheath village is the South East london version of Nappy Valley. It's greener because it has the Common and Greenwich Park but SW11/Northcote Road probably friendlier (just my opinion though!).

Kat, I do mean £40k don't I? The properties on our road tend to not go over £2m because the taxes. Below £2m at 5% instead of above £2m at 7%. I am not well so I might be talking rubbish! confused

BoerWarKids Wed 07-Nov-12 12:00:35

OP, when you say 'the city' do you just mean central London or The City of London?

7 bed in Blackheath Indoor pool grin Good rail links to London Bridge.

kensingtonkat Wed 07-Nov-12 13:17:33

My maths is terrible, Novice, so I can't be sure. But yes, at £2m I think the stamp duty alone will be £140k shock

kensingtonkat Wed 07-Nov-12 13:18:54

Below £2m it would be £100k.

panicnotanymore Wed 07-Nov-12 13:28:36

St Johns wood (NW8) -right by Regents park, Primrose Hill, London zoo and Regents canal. The area is very American friendly with a large US expat crowd due to the American school on Loudon Road. Panzer on St Johns wood high street has all the US brand foods you might miss from home! I used to live there and loved it - it was a five minute walk to the Park, it is possible to walk/cycle into central London, or Bond street is two stops on the tube. I still rent out a flat there and I always have American tenants, and they always extend their stay by a couple of years, so must like it.

vez123 Wed 07-Nov-12 21:55:00

What about Herne Hill or Dulwich Village, SE London? Lovely green spaces, good links into town, fantastic period houses with big gardens for between 1 and 2m, see www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-35832511.html
Lots of good private schools nearby and some of the state primaries are fantastic.

Don't rule out Kensington. You can get a lovely house there for that budget, very close to holland park, schools are great, brilliant for toddlers (I have 3 of 5 and under and a 4th due in march). Lots of great mums groups, good transport, quite a big American contingent, good schools.... But hey I live herd and love it so I am biased. Look at www.rightmove.co.uk and search for property in W8.

Oh and by Kensington high street (next to holland park) there is a real villagey atmosphere. DH and I both commute to canary wharf and the city respectively and the transport links are great. 35 mins to the city, 40 mins to canary wharf.

I do think some if the comments about us Kensington types not shopping in it or using the area are a bit misled.... Really strong community and the Abingdon village is full of young families not empty houses!!!

forevergreek Wed 07-Nov-12 23:32:50

Stealth toddler- you sound like you live v close to me!

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