anyone live in/know anything about Caterham?

(20 Posts)
silverfrog Mon 09-Jan-12 12:39:55

could you tell me about it, please?

top things to know:

is it nice?
what is the commute like (London Bridge)
which areas to live in/avoid?
how functional is the town?
what are transport links like? other than trains - does traffic really snarl up? will we spend hours stuck getting out onto the motorway etc?

not too bothered about schools, as dd1 is in an excellent SN school, and I am no way moving her, so I need to do a lengthy-ish school run anyway, therefore dd2 might as well stay where she is too. although independent secondary options would be good to know about (some years away yet though, as dd2 only 5).

houses there seem to be about £100-150k cheaper than where we currently are, and so I am suspicious.

budget is about £650-700k, and we would appear to be able to get a lot of house for that money - why?

silverfrog Mon 09-Jan-12 14:33:45

bump - someone must know something! smile

Ladymuck Tue 10-Jan-12 10:24:12

There's Caterham Valley, and Caterham on the Hill. The station is in Caterham Valley, large Tescos near Caterham on the Hill. The commute for Caterham is OK, 4 trains an hour and you're at the end of the line, BUT a lot of people drive and park at Warlingham as that line is faster (probably 6 and 2 3s). But it is easier to park for free at Warlingham, less so for Caterham.

There used to be lots of nice leafy residential roads, but many of the larger houses, especially in the valley have been converted into flats which then results in a more transient population and fewer owner-occupiers.

It can be difficult getting through Caterham in the rush hour by car, so I would avoid the side of town which forces you to do that if possible.

LateToTheAprilParty Wed 11-Jan-12 12:05:10

Hi silverfrog, nothing to add I'm afraid apart from to say I'm in exactly the same situation as you. Looking at moving to that sort of area (ie south of London – in small flat in west London at the moment and expecting DS in April, hence looking at moving) and we can't work out why Caterham seems so much cheaper than other places nearby, especially since commute seems very do-able. Think we might be going for a recce this weekend – perhaps not to do any house viewings but just to get a feel for the area. Will let you know what we think. DH thinks it might be something to do with it being an ex-military town but I'm not sure if a) that's true and b) that makes much difference!!

silverfrog Wed 11-Jan-12 12:13:42

thanks for the replies.

ladymuck - we live on the warlingham line already (bit further down), so we know it's faster etc. I can well believe people woudl commute across - I was a little baffled by the length of the Caterham commute, but it's not too bad. especially as we have seen acouple of houses within walking distance of the station (thus negating parking fees etc)

interesting re: free parking at warlingham. will have to look into that.

the warlingham side would suit us both better - the faster trains for dh, and my run down to dd2's school would be less of a dogleg too. but woudl be more of a slog for me returning from dd1's school run - again, 6 and 2 3s smile
also back to getting less house for our money. and we have 2 adult children, 2 small children and one on the way! space is something we do need, ideally!

latetotheaprilparty: it's odd, isn't it? it seems so much cheaper. the town seems nice enough (haven't really spent any time there, but have been through a couple of times), and the houses/roads also seem nice. where we are currently (paying extortionate rent) is a much less functional town, for eg, and similar houses. 15 mins less on the train. but otherwise, can't see why it costs so much more here than Caterham confused

Caterham is seen as being not as naice as for example Oxted, it's a Croydon postcode rather than a Surrey one, and the secondary school is "worse" than the others locally. It's all perception though, as it has it's nice bits and it's not so nice bits. Can be problems in the winter though as the higher bits get cut off.

Think the house prices have a lot to do with snobbery wink.

Silverfrog, you must live fairly near me, further down the Warlingham line, in which case you've probably worked out how the sniffy attitudes can affect prices round here grin.

silverfrog Wed 11-Jan-12 12:23:25

had already noticed the Croydon postcode grin (in my defence, I always check, as have to ensure we are not moving out of LA boundaries, due to dd1's statement. so needed to check the croydon postcode still came under the right authority for us).

do you know which bits are nice, and which bits aren't?

we did a bit of a drive around last weekend, spotting the houses we had seen on rightmove etc, and noted the hills already - definite areas to avoid there, as being cut off doesn't appeal hugely.

silverfrog Wed 11-Jan-12 12:25:11

yes - dh and I are a bit mystified as to why the prices are so much more though.

we cannot find a house round here that is big enough, and not near either the motorway or the railway line (and by near I mean right next too) for under a million.


and while it is naice enough, it ain't exactly paradise grin

confusedperson Wed 11-Jan-12 12:30:01

I wondered about Caterham prices a while ago, and went to drive around. It was far too hilly for me!!

Ladymuck Wed 11-Jan-12 13:25:56

I think that the number of owner-occupiers (lower than for Warlingham or Oxted say) does make a difference to the area. Also if you are looking near the station, then the chances are that here are single yellow lines which are a pain during the day, to say nothing of the school run traffic to and from Caterham school. Make sure that you look midweek as well as at weekends. Somewhere such as Colburn Avenue looks civilised at the weekends, but is a carpark midweek! Caterham is also a boarding school so lots of overseas boarders head into the town early evening. Also it can be hard to get a flat garden in Caterham Valley!

We looked last year at Harestone Hill, but the Tupwood Lane developments seem to keep on growing.

VeryLittleGravitas Thu 12-Jan-12 14:58:16

Coulsdon, Sanderstead, Kenley and Hamsey Green are all nearby alternatives, Croydon postcode (so still greater London) and are quite naice in a bland, '30's, leafy, burby sort of way. Schools are v. good here...not so much further into Croydon.

Purley is also nice(as long as you stay away from Purley Cross and the hellishly busy town centre).

I currently live in Sanderstead, but I'm planing to move to South Croydon or Purley next summer, before I die of boredom.

sandyballs Fri 13-Jan-12 10:40:42

How about Chipstead? Slightly further on than Caterham but very very nice, just wish I could afford it!

silverfrog Fri 13-Jan-12 20:51:30

thanks all, will have a hunt around.

Chipstead is too far out. I need to get dd1 down to near East Grinstead for school, and dd2 across to Oxted. Woudl be a mammoth journey, and furhter on the train for dh too.

Same for Kenley/Sanderstead/Purley etc (for me, although closer for dh)

We have to live within a Surrey LA - not the postcode, but the authority it comes under - as there is no way (after 4 years of fighting and legal costs) that we are going to rock the boat with dd1's statement.

We've looked furhter down (eg Lingfield and Crowhurst) but nothing grabs us, and the overall commute for dh gets extended a lot. Currently he is under 1 hour door to door (inc 10 minute walk to station at our end, and 10 mins fromm london Bridge to office). so, we either need to be right next to a station if further out, or not go so far out.

my school run is what it is, and can't change for obvious reasons. we would prefer not to impact on dd2 too much (ie by changing her school) and there is nowhere near dd1's school that we would consider for her anyway.

so we end up with quite a restricted corridor of area that we can look at, and we have been going round in circles for a while!

I'm assuming you were initially looking in Oxted then? What about Hurst Green? Still as quick to London Bridge, but can be quite a lot cheaper than Oxted. Although looking again at your budget, there's not a lot of that size of house around, except round the green, and I haven't seen any For Sale signs recently.

tethersend Sat 14-Jan-12 10:10:16

I used to work in Caterham!

This was fifteen years ago though. I did a reverse commute from Honour Oak Park; any reason you couldn't change at east Croydon and pick up a faster train to save time on the commute?

Fifteen years ago, I thought it was like stepping back in time and very posh. Nice enough though- certainly can't imagine anything wrong with living there...

silverfrog Sat 14-Jan-12 12:36:04

we've looked at a couple in Hurst Green, but both right on the railway (literally).

Thanks tethers - I'll have a poke around there in the week next week and see what feel I get from the town etc.

I don't want ot end up living in a road which gets choked up with commuter parking (have that now and it is doing my head in, tbh) so that might be a killer. we'll see.

we're off to see some houses in Warlingham this afternoon, and we'll see what comes of them.

IShallWearMidnight - yes, been looking in/around Oxted for a while, but nothing really grabs us in our price range (with enough space, and a garden, etc etc)

silverfrog Sat 14-Jan-12 12:40:52

oh, re: changing at east Croydon - no real reason except it does add to the overall journey time and hassle <fussy>

seriously though, dh is <ahem> not in the full flush of youth, and has been commuting for ever - from within London, from far out, etc. we don't live in London as I wouldn't contemplate it, and so a nice straightforward hassle free commute is what we are after.

I was going to suggest South Godstone (there are some lovely houses out that way) but the commute involves changing at Redhill, so not a straightforward "one train in" journey. Plus your school run could be annoying, depending on whereabouts in Oxted you need to get to.

silverfrog Sat 14-Jan-12 16:40:02

we looked at a house in South Godstone this morning, funnily enough!. but for dh to drive to Hurst Green, then train form there (easier than a pants commute through Redhill).

It wasn't for us though (fab garden, but the house needed too much work), and othe rthan being near the camping shop on the A22, there wasn't much else about...

<back to the drawing board>

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