Thornton Heath? With young children - would you?

(63 Posts)
Baalamooree Tue 10-Sep-13 15:58:37

It looks like we have missed the boat in SE London. We were set on South Norwood as it was relatively cheap, compared to the rest of SE London, but even that is looking unaffordable for us. We can stretch to £240k max and have 2 DC so we will need to consider primary schools in a couple of years. We need to stay in London for DP's job so as much as I'm tempted, it's not really an option.

We only know the Grangewood Park area and it looks nice enough. Does anyone live in Thornton Heath with young DC? Is there a reason it's cheap or can someone be wonderfully reassuring and tell me it's going to be ok?

lalalonglegs Tue 10-Sep-13 16:12:14

I don't think there's a real negative as such but it's always been considered a bit down-at-heel - lots of tired housing and dingy HMOs. It obviously lacks a village-y feel and isn't great for green space - there's Grangewood Park which isn't huge but not much else. I don't know anything about the schools.

Baalamooree Tue 10-Sep-13 17:01:17

I must admit, the lack of green spaces is of concern. I'm so used to going to the park I would hate to feel confined, which is probably why South Norwood was so appealing. Do you live nearby lalalonglegs?

MissDD1971 Tue 10-Sep-13 17:09:13

I live in Upper Norwood.

Grange wood area is ok, more residential but I know people who know the area and wouldn't feel safe in Thornton Heath but would in south Norwood. Whereas call me a snob but I don't feel overly safe in either!

There's a good catholic primary school nearby (friends DCs go there), football ground pain on Saturdays.

You should really go and see for yourself. No idea if its up and coming unlike south Norwood which is sort of finally coming up!

We lived in the Grangewood area for a while, with two teenagers and a toddler, sorry but absolutely hated it. The walk to CP is up that very steep hill and then church road can seem very long in the rain and the cold. Thornton Heath is dire and the walk up from the station is again horrible. I felt there was no sense of community there, although it would be unfair to say people didnt try.

I would look more at South Norwood.

How about looking towards Catford, I know it hasnt had a great press but a major renovation is happening there and its known to be `on the up` now.

Or South Norwood, Penge, etc?

chanie44 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:06:46

I'm in the grangewood park area. I quite like that its out of the way and it'd very residential. I know people say it isn't a nice area, but I'm doing the best I can for my family and most places in London are unaffordable anyway.

I think the big problem with London is that housing is very diverse so you have very expensive housing around the corner from cheap housing so in some ways, it doesn't really matter where you live.

I grew up in a rough part of London, as did OH, so I suppose we are 'used to it' iyswim.

I do like that fact that we have crystal place down the road and duke inch a short drive away. Plus Westfield coming to Croydon and central London 20 minutes away.

chanie44 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:06:46

I'm in the grangewood park area. I quite like that its out of the way and it'd very residential. I know people say it isn't a nice area, but I'm doing the best I can for my family and most places in London are unaffordable anyway.

I think the big problem with London is that housing is very diverse so you have very expensive housing around the corner from cheap housing so in some ways, it doesn't really matter where you live.

I grew up in a rough part of London, as did OH, so I suppose we are 'used to it' iyswim.

I do like that fact that we have crystal place down the road and duke inch a short drive away. Plus Westfield coming to Croydon and central London 20 minutes away.

MissDD1971 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:19:58

OP what about Addiscombe and places inbetween? If your budget stretches also try upper Norwood, crystal palace etc. there's an area near Beulah Hill which runs through to Crown point (Downsview rd etc) which is nice.

Can't think of nearby train stations but you do get X68 express bus which runs from Croydon to aldwych.

littlecrystal Tue 10-Sep-13 18:26:52

I live in South Norwood (near Country park) and it is OK. Diverse, but lots of nice people. It has very lovely and active community (on FB, too).
The commute and location is super convenient - dare I say the quickest commute to London City in London Zone 4!

If I am honest, I wouldn't want to live in Thornton Heath central, but if it is near Grangewood park or near the Crescent school that could be OK. So choose your spot carefully.

Though I don't believe that with the budget of 240k you are priced out of S.Norwood - really? Look at the Woodside, near Country park or off South Norwood Hill. You should be able to find something!

MissDD1971 Tue 10-Sep-13 19:00:38

As little crystal says Woodside is nicer. My nana once lived there in a private flat and a friend.

As another poster said Westfield should help when it's built!

MissDD1971 Tue 10-Sep-13 19:46:57

I mean a friend bought there too in a period flat conversion.

Baalamooree Tue 10-Sep-13 21:47:32

Ah, so the consensus is that Thornton Heath is a no-no. I had a feeling that would be the case. I have driven through it and, I have to say, I wasn't keen on the areas near the pond, the high street and the main route to Croydon but the roads off Grangewood Park seemed nicer. I guess I was hoping someone would tell me it's a hidden gem but if that was the case I probably couldn't afford it!

I didn't expect to be priced out of S. Norwood either! I've noticed the asking prices creeping upward unless it's a cottage (I always laugh at that description) which really would be perfect for me and DP but not now with a family. I suppose I am so set on owning a house rather than a flat - i've done my fair share of flat dwelling. I'm also priced out of Upper Norwood but Addiscombe is somewhere I had considered and now it's been mentioned I think I'll do some more research although I was a little concerned about schools.

Thanks again all, wish me luck.

pinkdelight Tue 10-Sep-13 23:22:14

Grangewood is nice compared to central Thornton Heath but its not great for schools. Closest one if probably All Saints which isn't a exactly big draw. You could try to get somewhere close to David Livingstone primary on spa hill. Should be something in your budget around there.

loraflora Wed 11-Sep-13 11:45:51

Thornton Heath in general is a depressing area which isn't showing any sign of getting better. Have you looked at Penge or are you priced out of that area too? If it was between the two I'd choose that over Thornton Heath and you're not too far from Crystal Palace Park if you want open space to walk around. I don't know Addiscombe so can't comment on that.

For DP's job, have you looked at commutefrom.com? That can also give you some more options for places with a bearable commute.

MissDD1971 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:53:08

pinkdelight - that's the area I mean - but more near Downsview Primary School - I don't know if it's called anything but more residential and backs onto back end of Streatham Common.

Not meaning to diss Thornton Heath but I'm not sure how safe it is, daytime is probably better. Even the Tescos there is grim. My ex-boyfriend lives off Grangewood Road (Ross Road) and he's posh (LOL) but seriously I'd consider something else. Also match days (Selhurst Park) are a bloody PITA I've known people who live in roads near stadium and they say nightmare.

MissDD1971 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:56:11

sorry OP just checked Downsview Road and it's Upper Norwood and too expensive. :-( sorry.

Have you thought about Norbury which isn't a million miles away either?

Theathdweller Wed 11-Sep-13 14:10:40

We live in Thornton Heath (and bought a 4 bed house for just over your budget).
The 1 big problem with it, as far as I'm concerned, is that it's a bit boring. The high street's completely dead! I've never felt unsafe and the travel's pretty good. And there are several good or outstanding rated primary schools in the area. I reckon as long as you're willing to travel/ walk to one of the nicer areas for nights out/ shopping etc it's fine.
In our street there are mainly elderly people who have lived there for years or families with young children. There is a bit of a local community on our road, i know most of my neighbours and wouln't think twice about knocking on several of their doors in an emergency.
There are 2 reasonably good green space close by, if we want something better we jump on the bus to crystal palace.
We won't be living here forever but it's really not that bad.

Theathdweller Wed 11-Sep-13 14:27:38

I just wanted to add that I've never really seen groups of teens hanging around (near where we live anyway). I reckon it's even too boring for them!
We used to live in an area considered much more 'up and coming' and i felt a lot less safe there, and were plagued with loud parties from various neighbours on regular occasions.

Baalamooree Wed 11-Sep-13 20:48:54

DP and I could live anywhere but with DC it changes everything doesn't it? I have heard that quite a few primary schools are good theathdweller and there's lovely housing in Thornton Heath (yes, really) but if it's dodgy, even though the joys of travelling home late at night are behind me, I'd probably feel uneasy. It wouldn't affect the DC (yet) as they are so young but I'd worry about DP strolling home late. Perhaps you could give me an idea of where you are?

As much as I'm tempted, it's not possible to live outside of London as DP has times where his job requires an early start and a very late finish. There are times we don't see much of him so ideally a shorter commute is better. Penge is too expensive (who'd have thought), I guess it's so close to Crystal Palace - I was hoping that the regeneration would extend to Thornton Heath grin

I'm seriously considering Addiscombe, I've visited the area once before and really liked it - it's very villagey, maybe a little boring, but as I said before, I'm hardly likely to frequent the local boozer - soon hopefullysmile

Thanks for all your advice, hopefully next time I'm on here it will be to ask about flooring!

Theathdweller Wed 11-Sep-13 21:35:16

We're one of the roads off of Brigstock road, not far from the library (which is great by the way, as is the leisure centre!)
I couldn't have lived here before DC's, I'd have gone mad! I've never seen anything dodgy. As I say, I've lived in much more sought after areas and felt less safe. Even in the riots Thornton Heath high street was left alone!
We have 2 1/2 decent playgrounds, tennis courts, a bowling green, outdoor gym and a really good park within 5 mins walk.

WhatKatyDidnt Wed 11-Sep-13 21:50:17

Have you considered Catford, East Croydon, Eltham? All have good links into central London and prices not too horrendous.

Willow33 Wed 11-Sep-13 22:22:22

Also have you considered Lee, SE12? 3 beds can be found there for £250k

PinkHat1 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:08:12

I grew up in Norbury not far from Thornton Heath. Yes there are some less desirable bits (near the pI wouldnt rule it out, if it is within your budget but would have a drive around the areas people have suggested to get a feel of the area.

PinkHat1 Wed 11-Sep-13 23:11:28

Silly iPad made me post well before I had finished!

What I meant to say yes there are less desirable bits like near the pond but try Grangewood Park. Also someone else mentionned Eltham, Catford and Lee also worth considering these areas too.

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