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!

likeatonneofbricks Wed 07-Nov-12 23:33:44

er..Wimbledon or Richmond are NOT easy commute distance into the City! Richmond is very charming and is by the river but sadly there is plane noise in most parts of it, though some are less noisy to be fair.
Hampstead is on the dreadful Northern line and also is chocoblock with school traffic at school hours! though I'm not sure about rail/overland into the City - there might be a newish one. Hampstead has a big Jewish upmarket community, so if that's what you aer after you may want to compromise on transport. It's a bit self contained but it's nice if you like an wealthy suburb vibe.
I'd go for Kensington (agree with Stealth, it's a lively High Street and very useful too - they have Wholefoods loved by the Americans!), Kensington Gardens and Holland park nearby, some fiendly independent delis/cafes, incl. Kensington Church street and the street off it.
Otherwise - cheaper but not far from there - Chiswick! Turnham Green tube or Stamford Brook, don't go further if you want a quick commute.
Parsons Green is very snooty and pretty much Tory, it also has middle class French community as there is now French school there. By American standards it has narrow streets and crowded housing unless you aer on Lion house type patch (wider houses), it's also young area (lots of renting by people in their 20s).

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 07-Nov-12 23:34:25

I actually lived down on Stratford road for a few years. I loved to walk up to Kensington high street and browse the shops on a Saturday morning, and take a stroll in Holland Park. I did (and still do) find it very crowded though. Especially as it is a very busy shopping street, and full of tourists to boot. The traffic is heavy, I sometimes felt I could not breathe on the way to work, walking along Kensington High Street in the morning.

It is nearly impossibly to find a table in Starbucks! However, the massive Waterstones next door make up for that.

likeatonneofbricks Wed 07-Nov-12 23:40:48

p.s. you can get a nice flat in Chelsea (not sw3 but sw10, and sw5 bordering Chelsea (the Boltons smile)/sw7 for 3m, not tiny shock, unless you call 2-3 bed flats with nice communal square gardens tiny! you can buy a studio in Chelsea for 350K, can buy a two bed (smalllish in prime Cadogan square with tennis court for 1.5m, so anything a bit further is not going to be tiny by London standards). OP never said they wanted a detached house!

likeatonneofbricks Wed 07-Nov-12 23:53:35

NotQuin, yes, I did that walk too and similar too <misty eyed>, it can be crowded, but so aer most nice aeras of London in rush hour! King's road in chelsea maybe a fraction less busy, but with solid traffic too. It's more cosmopolitan/transitory than Chelsea which can make it a bit less 'identifiable', to some it lacks character. But it's very comfortable for shopping, transport, Albert Hall, theatres, all the shops short taxi trip away.
I think Chelsea is more exclusive and intimidating to some, sw10 still has trad upper classes (not just by wealth) but would you want to live there and be looked down on? kind of, so is Hampstead unless you are an editor/theatre director or Jewish elite. I find parts of Chelsea and Kensington very upbeat to compare with the serious Hampstead though.
OP you really have to see these areas for yourself, it so depends on your taste.

likeatonneofbricks Wed 07-Nov-12 23:54:00

*similar ones

EverybodysSpookyEyed Thu 08-Nov-12 00:06:24

For good and numerous private prep schools you want hampstead and live in st johns wood or it's environs. You are just in zone 2 so easy to get into the city. Sjw is on the jubilee line so a quick journey to canary wharf too. Paddington is close by so heathrow is really easy to get to. And you have regents park/primrose hill on your doorstep

For £3m you can get a house. Not like one ou would be used to in LA though!

forevergreek Thu 08-Nov-12 07:15:46

Richmond is quick to the city though? The overground is 12 mins direct to Waterloo. Quicker than the tube from hammersmith to that area

greek I recognise your name from se other threads - do you have very little ones too?

I love the W8 area, I have lived in Fulham, St. John's wood as well and W8 Kensington proper has by far been the nicest and friendliest. May well be that this is where I have had my children so am more connected to local life, but its a great friendly vibe. Are you close to the Abingdon village???

kensingtonkat Thu 08-Nov-12 10:59:52

K&C has changed enormously. But granted, it depends on when you moved and how you'd like the place to be.

For the old school, everything changed when Barkers closed down and Whole Foods opened up. We'd never had pound shops and short lease stores in KHS and now the street is full of them.

If someone can find me a house off Abingdon Road for less than £4m I'd be amazed. Pitt Street you could do, on the OP's budget if you fancy living in a tiny house.

YY to communal apartments. Edwardes Square and Lexham Gardens especially.

kensingtonkat Thu 08-Nov-12 11:01:14

er, communal garden apartments.

CaurnieBred Thu 08-Nov-12 11:16:23

If you would like greenery but still be in London then you could look to North London at the Hadley Wood and Totteridge areas. Totteridge is on the Norther Line and Hadley Wood you can get mainline trains into Moorgate (the heart of the City of London) but can also interchange at Finsbury Park for underground connections on Victoria and Piccadilly Lines or mainline to Kings Cross/St Pancras for Eurostar.

And you don't have the same issue in North London with regards to aeroplane noise as you do in SW London.

kensingtonkat Thu 08-Nov-12 11:18:22

Is anyone really enjoying the property porn element of this thread blush grin? I can spend many a happy hour on Rightmove looking at W8 and W14 grin.

oohlaalaa Thu 08-Nov-12 11:24:19

I'd look at Westmoreland Triangle.

CaurnieBred Thu 08-Nov-12 11:46:50

How about these: Hadley Wood

noviceoftheday Thu 08-Nov-12 11:55:20

I am right with you Kensingtonkat grin. We are looking to move anytime in next 3/4 years, but if we found something we thought was "it" now, we would move. Dh is obsessed with looking at properties and I am normally telling him there's no point. This thread is sucking me right into checking out properties on rightmove, even though we have no intention moving back into town!

forevergreek Thu 08-Nov-12 12:02:53

We are very close but nearer the tennis courts entrance to holland park. 2 under 3 age wise

pootlebug Thu 08-Nov-12 19:27:34

Blackheath or West Greenwich. Lots of open space with the Heath and Greenwich Park and you'd get an amazing house at your budget. Biased because I live there but I'd still stay if I found an extra million or two down the back of the sofa!

1605 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:33:00

Quint I was referring specifically to SW11 (Northcote or Twixt the Commons is actually SW11 6) because it has the highest percentage of white British residents of any London postcode. It's something that bothers a lot of my clients though I'm sure it appeals to others hmm.

I agree Richmond, Wandsworth and certainly Lambeth (SW4) are much more multicultural.

1605 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:38:24

I'm not sure when the W8 residents on this thread bought their houses but - speaking as someone who actually works in the industry - I'd doubt very much whether a house in Abingdon village would sell for £3m today.

I've just looked on Rightmove for houses in W8 in case I was mistaken, and most of the listings are maisonettes, or situated on blighted streets.

Though having said that, I remember the days Kelso Place was considered "blighted". It's tripled in price in 7 years.

1605 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:44:08

Lily3 It's very hard to say whether there's a cultural divide between North and South. It's a truism that people almost never move from South of the Thames to the North, only vice versa.

In reality, there are pockets of the same kinds of people in demographic terms spread across London, and the character and snob value of areas change on a street-by-street basis.

A good relocation agent will do plenty of research on areas and use population data bases such as ACORN to ensure you're getting what you want. It's a lot of money, so you must ensure they do their due diligence in return for their fees.

1605 Thu 08-Nov-12 19:55:57

In London, a family house is considered anything undivided, over 1600 square feet, and with private outdoor space. Any smaller and you're just going to be really cooped up, unless you're from Manhattan or Bombay.

The number of bedrooms can be a bit misleading, and London floorplans are rarely identical even if the houses look the same on the outside.

mummytime Thu 08-Nov-12 20:25:39

I would use a good relocation agent, not just an Estate agent.
Do you want to use UK private schools? Or US style? Have you looked at schooling costs. You might also want to use a schools consultant.
For the latter look at where the schools are, which includes TASIS and the ACS schools.
Where do you need to get to? Where will you be working?
What kind of facilities are you looking for? How big a house?
How long will you be here? Is it permanent?
South, and North London have areas with different feels, as do East and West. There areas dominated by different expat groups, even (especially?) in some of the most expensive locations.

More space normally equals further out.

Primrose Hill, because of all panic said except a much nicer, friendlier and villagey feel (imo) than St John's Wood.

Oh and I have lived all over London; Chiswick, Fulham, Tooting, Acton, Denmark Hill and Islington. Good NW postcodes by far the nicest areas.

mamij Thu 08-Nov-12 20:41:13

I would agree with Richmond/Kew/Teddington/Hampton areas. Richmond and Bushy Parks practically on your doorstep and so close to the river. These ares are very mum and toddler friendly, lots of nice cafes and restaurants if you want to just have cake/tea and a catch up.

Also a (fairly) short train journey into Waterloo notwithstanding engineering works delays

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