Where to buy a house? SW London Zone 1-2, maybe 3 with good public transport.

(154 Posts)
SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 13:29:34

We moved back from NYC to London a few months ago and live in our flat in SW1 at the moment with our nanny and two children. Flat is large enough but we all dream of a house and a garden, so that we can possibly have a dog. Eldest daughter is just over two now and we need to think about pre-schools but also if we want to stay in the area. We would like to buy a house but buying a house that we like in SW1 is despite our high income nearly impossible.

Can anybody recommend a lovely part in SW London Zone 1-2, possibly 3 if there are good transport links to the City that has an excellent school?

lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 13:50:52

What's your budget? Are you thinking about private or state education for your children?

RatherNot Sat 23-Mar-13 13:58:02

Peterborough Estate in Parson's Green has big family houses, although they're usually around the 2.5/3 mill mark. Wandsworth Common (of which I know little) is another popular choice for families. Do you own your flat? If so, I'd stick with it for now as prices are rocketing at a far greater rate in Prime Central London than the other zones.

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Mar-13 14:42:28

There's lots of nice areas - Barnes, Wimbledon, Putney - all green and pleasant, near the river, good links to Waterloo etc, very family-oriented. It really depends on what sort of school you want I think, as that is the main restriction.

Dededum Sat 23-Mar-13 14:45:10

Earls Court. Which is really western South Kensington these days.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 14:46:34

We own the flat (mortgage free) and it is currently on the market for just under 6m. Budget should be around the same too but we are flexible for the right property. Before people have the shock face, the flat is in the family for ages so it is not like we paid so much for it.

We were thinking of going ptivate but I am open to good state schools too. Wimbledon would be too far out. We were thinking of the Fulham/Parson's Green area before as it is still close to King's Road. Does anybody live in the area and can suggest good schools etc.?

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 14:50:09

Chiswick is nice, I really like Barnes, it has a great village feel train straight to Waterloo

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 14:53:55
LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 14:56:19
lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 14:56:52

That certainly opens up your choices grin - you could get a really lovely house in the Between the Commons area, probably overlooking either Clapham Common or Wandsworth Common for half that amount. You would probably be eligible for Honeywell or Belleville schools (my children go to one of them and there are lots of Americans working in finance there - I was at an event yesterday and out of 13 parents, there were two Americans, an Italian and four French so pretty international...). But there are also several private schools including Thomas's, Newton Prep, Broomwood Hall and Eaton Lodge (I think I have the names right). Depending on what part of the BTC area you live in, you'll either use Clapham Jcn train station to Waterloo or Clapham South underground straight into the City.

If you want to be closer to Chelsea, then there are some beautiful houses around Battersea Park - I don't know so much about the schools around there but there are several private options I believe.

If you want to research the area, search SW11 - Northcote Road is the main shopping street for BTC with a lot of boutiques, gift shops, cafes etc. Good luck.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 14:58:59

I just looked at the same house in SW6 too. House in Notting Hill is too modern. We like traditional houses.

lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 15:00:15

That house in Fulham is gorgeous - they either planned their sale well in advance and took photos last spring or it's been on the market a while... wisteria?

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 15:01:41

Lalalonglegs Thanks. We lived in London before, but always in Sloane Street and I don't know other areas so well that I could decide to live there, especially how good it is for children with schools etc.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 15:04:44


I like this house, was already in touch with the estate agent but haven't heard back from him despite asking for a viewing a week ago.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 15:05:53

Ideally the house has seperate accommodation for our nanny, for example an en-suite bedroom on the lower ground floor/basement.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 15:06:17

*separate not seperate

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 15:08:56

I like traditional too, I think it definitely warrants a visit in person. Looks fabulous and the garden is huge for central London.

I would love to live in Barnes though maybe too many modern touches but mixed with a period exterior

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 23-Mar-13 15:09:46

Clapham is good for the City via the Northern Line, chiswick or barnes would be a PITA. State or private schools?

And what about Greenwich? Too eastern?

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 15:10:53

I think you can find somewhere with a much bigger garden though, although the house is nice.

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 15:12:01

Barnes you can be in Waterloo in 20mins

RatherNot Sat 23-Mar-13 15:12:33

I can help with streets/areas around Chelsea, South Ken, Fulham and Knightsbridge but useless on schools. Actually, what about Kensington High Street area? Would you consider communal gardens (although they don't allow dogs) which would open up the garden squares as an option?

RatherNot Sat 23-Mar-13 15:15:51

Ellerby has nice houses but not many shops near it. You're better off looking on Peterborough Estate, IMO, as the roads are off New King's Road. Ellerby is off Fulham Palace, which isn't the best, despite the park nearby. Fulham Park Gdns HAS been on market for ages - can be a little dodgy there too. The problem with Fulham is that it varies enormously from street to street in terms of crime/safety.

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 15:17:30

I'm actually in love with the Barnes house, sadly out of my budget or I'd be snapping it up!

BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 23-Mar-13 15:18:26

So it's not SW but my vote with your budget would be for Maida Vale. Zone 2 and, I think, one of the nicest parts of London you could get this for your money as an example.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 15:19:04

Wow. Looks fantastic. We can't live in a too modern house, we have lots o antiques and like the 'old look'.

Greenwich is too far from our friends.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 15:20:43

Wow. Does the house come with the furniture too?

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 15:34:55

I think the juxtaposition of antiques in a modern interior looks perfect. Honestly I need to stop looking at the Barnes house, I love the area and it has fabulous schools smile

Dededum Sat 23-Mar-13 16:02:16

Yes South Kensington garden squares - some flats back directly on the gardens. barkston Gardens, braham gardens, onslow gardens.

Walk too Hyde Park, Holland Park, Kings Road, all the museums, big French community, great tube link to the city (30 minutes to Liverpool station)

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Mar-13 16:08:03

Barnes house is on a fairly busy road though but I would still vote for Barnes, lovely villagey feel, love being near the river - but there's no tube and it's not good for the Kings road. I find Fulham too built up with too much traffic and it's the same for the Wandsworth/Clapham Common areas.

Depends if you've got girls or boys as well, this would affect your choice of private school. Barnes and Putney have great state primaries but very small catchments so I'd still be choosing my schools and working backwards to the house.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 16:12:42

Thanks. We both work in Fleet Street, just by City Thameslink Station and it is close to Chancery Lane Station. South Kensington sounds good. I like that it is close to the museums and of course the parks.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 16:21:23

What are your opinions on the following properties?

Phillimore Terrace, Allen Street, London, W8 6BJ

Cornwall Gardens, London, SW7

Thurloe Square, London, SW7

Kensington Gate, London, W8 5NA

Last two are my favourites, but over budget. We would have to get a mortgage to finance it.

If you go a bit further out, to the fringes of Richmond Park, you can get this beauty

This is also a pretty good house, in Barnes, one of my favourite locations: here

And if you fancy only spending 2/3s there is this

East Sheen is also lovely: here

Another great East Sheen Property: here

Aside from the property in Barnes which is near the river for walks with dogs, Richmond Park is a fantastic location for dog owners. All the East Sheen Properties above are on the edge of Richmond Park

MintyyAeroEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 16:43:17

In your position, op, I would use a professional property search company.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 16:51:07

MintyyAeroEgg May I ask what do you mean with in your position?

MintyyAeroEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 16:53:21

With your huge budget. And your lack of any in-depth knowledge of London. They will be able to advise you on everything and take a lot of work out of the whole process.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sat 23-Mar-13 16:57:53

Buy the one in Fulham Park Gardens! Do! Do!

Dededum Sat 23-Mar-13 16:58:23


Don't like the Kensington Gate flat, very impersonal, the garden is not the sort of place that you would use.

I like the Allen Street house, nice garden, very close to Hyde Park. And the Thurloe Square property.

Look at SW5 as well.

South Kensington is very French, full of bankers (not a criticism but a fact) and can be quite impersonal. Not a strong sense of community which you would get further out. However loads of nannies so your nanny would easily create a social circle for the kids. And it is so handy, perfect for Chancery Lane.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:00:45

MintyyAeroEgg Isn't the whole joy of househunting to do it yourself? I also prefer individual opinions from people who actually live there or know the area e.g mothers on here than an opinion from somebody who is just interested in making lots of money out of it. I know Central London very well, but we can't afford to buy what we want in our area (SW1) with a garden that's bigger than a towel. I have lived in Central London for many years before moving to NYC and just prefer to live a bit more 'greenish' and less touristy without having a long commute. I just don't have the knowledge of where it is children friendly, where are good schools etc. because when I lived in London I didn't have children. My husband is currently still working in NYC but will work in the London office as soon as I return from my maternity leave. We both work long hours, he is usually in the office before 7am and not back before 9-10pm. If we wouldn't have our working hours I knew exactly where I would want to live. Reigate for example. But we can't have such a long commute.

Sorry, long reply. I am too bored being on maternity leave. :D

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:01:55

We can't buy anything before we have sold our flat. It is on the market for a few weeks now.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:02:37

Dededum Yes I know. Also there is nothing in our price range where I would easily fall in love with.

MintyyAeroEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 17:04:02

Fair enough, just saying what I would do if I was in your position. Feel free to ignore me!

Plenty of community in East Sheen. Train into Waterloo. Good schools. State and private.

Dededum Sat 23-Mar-13 17:05:06

The schools are maybe a problem, we left Barkston Gardens when DS1 was 4, we were a little shocked when DS1 didn't get into the local nursery despite our very close proximity.

lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 17:07:50

Kensington Gate is a whole house isn't it, I really like it and would love a garden square. The Phillimore one is also great but with private garden. Thurloe Square has a wonderful exterior but is very disappointing inside. I'm surprised that these addresses are as good value as they are (and I know it's all relative) but you can easily spend 2.5 million living somewhere such as Battersea so to live in the heart of Kensington for less than double that seems, well not exactly a bargain but ok <am about to get flamed I know>

lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 17:09:59

To be fair SW1X, you will probably find that you are competing with a lot of buying agents for houses in that price bracket and may end up having to hire one just to get to the top of the estate agency lists - didn't you say upthread that one agency hadn't called you back after a week?

KatieMiddleton Sat 23-Mar-13 17:10:32

Holland Park, Richmond, Barnes or Chiswick. Lots on for families, lots of properties and lots of lovely shops, cafes and open spaces. I used to work in Holborn and you can train it to Waterloo, then take the 521 bus up to Chancery Lane and walk down Fleet Street in less than 45 mins.

South Ken is lovely and when I grow up I want a big white, stucco pile on Pelham Crescent but having lived near there the people would put me off while I had children. I want friendly types who like hosting and have no airs and graces. Those kinds of places have serious staff (house maids, butlers, cooks etc) and send their children to public school and I can afford neither! Plus I never saw a child who wasn't trussed up in public school uniform being ushered into a big car by the chauffeur.

I want to live somewhere where the dc can play with other children and get messy and where we a similar social status to the people around us - having a nanny is very common in the places i've mentioned and doesn't mean people are super rich.

If you want super rich folk then South Ken's your place! grin

I personally want one of those white stucco houses around Richmond Green, near the Theater.....

montmartre Sat 23-Mar-13 17:14:42

I would stick to W8 personally, somewhere just south of Kensington High Street, or near Queens Gate.

Dededum Sat 23-Mar-13 17:14:49

Oh yes my son, through our nanny, was friends with the Belgium diplomats son. They lived in a massive house in the Boltons, had nanny, gardener, cook, chauffeur, indoor swim pool, cinema. For said child's 3rd birthday they had a full size replica batmobile, batman and robin. My son was totally freaked out!!

KatieMiddleton Sat 23-Mar-13 17:15:13

Too many drinks of an evening Quint. Although I did once see the tramps play skins and strips on the green with a beer can. It looked jolly.

I'm in Richmond btw.

Today I saw a fabulous Georgian place in a local mag on Montpelier Row near Marble Hill Park and another amazing place in Petersham.

KatieMiddleton Sat 23-Mar-13 17:16:35

Drinks? Drunks.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:20:38

MintyyAeroEgg No I am happy for all opinions. Just tried to explain my reason for not wanting to do it. Mmh, so if I choose to use one what exactly do they do?

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:21:44

KatieMiddleton: yes, I don't like that too. We want to live in a nice area with nice people who you actually see once in a while.

How did you like the houses on my links? Is East Sheen/Barnes/Putney too far out for you?

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:23:22

I like them but I guess it is too far for us. I have a look later and see how long it would take exactly.

minipie Sat 23-Mar-13 17:40:24

wandsworth common/between the commons would suit you well i think. 15 minutes by bus car or train to Chelsea, lots of private prep schools, green space for the dog, lots of families resident and your budget will buy something very nice.

for example:

this one guide price is £5m, no nanny annexe but you could afford to do a basement dig out to your own spec. close to the tube, northern line to city.

this one not detached, a little smaller but does have basement nanny accommodation already done. this area (known as the 'toast rack') is stuffed full of Americans. bit further from the tube but close to train station to Victoria.

putney or Fulham to the city is a painful journey.

lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 17:52:36

minipie - you don't want the OP to move to Thurleigh Road, it's <<whispers>> SW12 not SW11 shock.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 17:56:15

minipie wow. Both houses are great. So much choice already.

minipie Sat 23-Mar-13 17:56:54

grin as an SW12 resident myself...

lalalonglegs Sat 23-Mar-13 18:29:29

me too - oh the shame of it

allaflutter Sat 23-Mar-13 18:54:15

go for w8 - possibly betweeen High St Ken (district and circle line - 10min to Sloane Sq.) and Notting Hill Gate (central line, v.quick to Chancery) rather than south of High St. Part of it is Phillimore estate, but also streets that are higher up the hill and off Kensington Church st. are nice. It's also between Holland park and Ken Gardens, and it's not QUITE as snooty/impersonal as S.Ken - and less touristy for sure. You are still near the museums and Albert Hall. And near Wholefoods. I've heard there are good private schools, don't know about state.

Fulham imo is crowded and very built-up with narrow streets and not near a great park unless you are a member of Hurlingham Club with nice gardens. Fulham broadway tube is hugely crowded and that line isn't always reliable. Though you are near the river/King's rd.

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 19:01:22

minipie love those houses, did you like my Barnes link?

My favourite thread in ages grin

Goodwordguide Sat 23-Mar-13 20:13:31

I know the street in PureQuin's Barnes link - it is gorgeous, a private road, next toPutney Common and v close the Barnes station - definitely what I would like but it sounds like you'd prefer somewhere slightly more central?

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 20:24:18

You are all fantastic and I thank you all so much for your advise. We just need to wait that our flat sells and for how much and then we can decide everything else. We are very happy to buy a house that needs lot of work done too. My husband doesn't want to live in South Ken, as it is full of snobs and he doesn't want to raise his children there. He says that and he was raised in SW1 :D

minipie Sat 23-Mar-13 20:50:13

LaVita, wow yes love the history and the decor of that barnes house. though the listed thing would annoy me as I like to fiddle with layouts in my head.

OP, the other area I would look at in your shoes is Chiswick - not sure what transport to the city is like but it's a smart family friendly area with green space and the river and lovely houses in your budget.

You could speak to one of the big agents who have offices everywhere, like Savills or Hamptons, they should be able to give you a good idea of what you can get in these various areas. though of course whoever you speak to will try to sell you on their particular area...

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 21:19:09

Yes, I know Chiswick a little bit. I know two people there. One lives close to the Park Club, the other one right on Turnham Green. Lovely but too far to commute to the city.

Dededum Sat 23-Mar-13 21:28:45

Oh yes your DH is quite right. Totally agree.

RatherNot Sat 23-Mar-13 22:03:05

I'm a Londoner (more or less) and live in South Ken - I don't find it full of snobs by any means but it's perhaps devoid of locals, which can make it feel a little transient. I understand your reluctance to use a search agent, OP, so perhaps your best bet is to spend some time in the various areas mentioned above and simply see how you feel - then do a few viewings to get an idea of the market and local architecture - 6Mill in SW7 will only get you another flat, whereas a couple of miles down the road it will get you a lovely family home.

abbyfromoz Sat 23-Mar-13 22:20:49

I live in Battersea (just over the bridge). It's lovely here. Will be looking at St Thomas for DD (2) but i also like Parson's green & Barnes.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 22:32:08

Battersea sounds lovely. We could still send our children to a school close to where we are at the moment. I will have a look on RightMove right now.

abbyfromoz Sat 23-Mar-13 22:35:26

We just moved a few months ago (previously in Nottinghill) we have 2 doggies who love the park. DH and I run along the river (when not freezing our bums off in the snow!) good schools, lots of families and 5 min walk to Kings Road. Very happy smile

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 22:39:52
abbyfromoz Sat 23-Mar-13 22:48:54

I am pleasantly surprised... Having moved to London 8 years ago Clapham and surrounding area was previously considered (for lack of a better word) a bit of a dive. I'm pretty sure most would have described it as expat/student heaven- now days it's all nappy valley. A lot of lovely prep schools and Northcote Road has become more upmarket. Even the surrounding council estates are mostly private occupants now days (such is the demand)...I don't think there's anywhere in zone 1 & 2 that doesn't have an estate nearby. But you know- we are all advocates for our own territory! wink

bunnymother Sat 23-Mar-13 22:49:45

I would buy near the Central Line. Without a doubt - takes you straight to the City. Which means, I think, W8, W11 and W2. W8 or W11 would be my preference. Especially as Notting Hill Gate has both the Central AND Circle and District lines. Google maps will show you how many communal gardens and public parks are in the area. Maybe consider a house backing into a communal garden in W11, if possible? That would be my pick. Good luck!

bunnymother Sat 23-Mar-13 22:50:31

Before I go, not all Tube lines are equal - apparently lots of breakdowns on the Northern line. Central and Jubilee lines are newer.

thornrose Sat 23-Mar-13 23:06:22

Trying to get on the tube at Clapham Common or Clapham North in the rush hour was a nightmare when I did it. Having to rely on the Northern line is a real pain.

SW4 wouldn't be my first choice with your budget.

I would not go for Clapham with your budget, would not want the Northern Line.

I would not live anywhere near Kensington either, not with kids.

I lived in Kensington for 2 years, in Stratford Village. I walked up Allen Street, down High st Ken every day, to go to work In Church Street. I literally thought I was going to suffocate from car fumes.

KatieMiddleton Sat 23-Mar-13 23:47:55

I'd look at routes in to mainline stations. They tend to be quicker and more comfortable. I would not want to be on the Northern line because it's so unreliable and the central line is hellish in rush hour.

It is really quick from Waterloo to Fleet Street on the bus. Or you could walk from Farringdon.

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 23:52:20

Pure We don't have to spend the whole amount for the property. Could use something to decorate the new home to our liking. House is relatively close to Clapham Junction, so it would be only 10 Minutes to London Bridge from there, right?

SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 23:52:45

I really need to open a London map and have a look.

MintyyAeroEgg Sat 23-Mar-13 23:53:46

Or consult a property finder wink.

LaVitaBellissima Sat 23-Mar-13 23:54:17


SW1XMother Sat 23-Mar-13 23:55:40

Katie, City Thameslink is right around the corner.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 00:02:49

I think this is going to be a tricky one.

DH would not mind to move more to the country side e.g Sevenoaks as the fast train from there to London Bridge is only 28 minutes or so. Shot me when I am wrong.

What we both don't want is an area where everybody seems to be in a competition with each other e.g biggest/best/most expensive house/car/etc. but I would still like be in an area where we could easily get to the museums (NHM and Science Museum etc.) as our nanny loves to take the children there.

Anything on the Central Line would be perfect too.

I am doing some research now. wine

abbyfromoz Sun 24-Mar-13 00:13:47

SW1X- our friends made the move to Sevenoaks. They bought a new build (50's) detached home and are doing a massive refurbishment/extension at the moment. They love the area and have their girls in a really nice school nearby (walthamstow hall i think? With a view to sending them to the grammar later) have met a lot of lovely local families too and enjoy the weekend farmers markets... We looked at it a few years ago but as i don't drive i felt it may be a little isolated as we looked at a bigger house off the beaten track. Glad we didn't but will re consider if we have another DC.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 00:21:23

Thanks Abbyfromoz. I just had a look. Not only is there a train from Sevenoaks to London Bridge but also to Charing Cross and Cannon Street which is a big plus as we can walk from both stations too.

Puh, I feel like staying a bit longer in our flat and doing extensive research and looking at all the areas.

KatieMiddleton Sun 24-Mar-13 00:22:14

I have family in Sevenoaks. It is very middle England. Dh and I agree that it's nice but not for us. We like to be closer to the city.

If you like the museums then look at Richmond or Kew. The district line runs right to South Ken but you can also get a fast train in to Waterloo. Or look at Barnes. You can walk over the bridge to Hammersmith and get the Picadilly or District lines to South Ken. You could also take it to Holborn station. There are two mainline train lines from Barnes: Barnes and Barnes Bridge.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 00:24:55

Look what we can get for our budget in Sevenoaks shock

Maybe I really need consider moving out to Sevenoaks.

KatieMiddleton Sun 24-Mar-13 00:30:31

Yeah, but you'd have to live in Sevenoaks <shudder>

It's not London. I do love London.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 00:43:39

Yes, me too. I lived in many cities but London is by far my favourite.

allaflutter Sun 24-Mar-13 00:56:39

OP, you talk about Central line and the museums, but ignored my post about the area north of High St Kensington (w8) - or additionally Holland park (w11). Yes, the house wouldn't be as big as in the outer areas but everything is so easy to access from there, and you are near two nice parks.
Btw areas like Sevenoaks and Surrey are FAR MORE competitive and snobby than w8. South Ken is not as snobby as just foreign - lots of French, I like that, but there is not much community. In w8 there is more of a mix,someone on other thread praise Abington village as nice for community.
Train to Seveoaks is 30 min and hellish in rush hour (old trains, no seats), ditto travelling by tube to richmond (more like 45 min) even though the area nice.
Battersea is very nice if you are right by the park, but be prepared for a long walk to the tube in the rain/cold.

allaflutter Sun 24-Mar-13 00:58:28

'praised Abingdon', that should be.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 01:04:18

Allaflutter didn't ignore you, just forgot to reply. I really appreciate your advice. Thank you. I have a look now.

bunnymother Sun 24-Mar-13 06:27:49

Allaflutter is spot on.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 24-Mar-13 08:41:19

I'd say that the Northern line is pretty reliable at the moment actually - no less reliable than the Central, possibly better (apart from the occasional engineering closures at weekends).

But yes, actually getting onto it from the three Claphams is a nightmare at morning rush-hour, and that is a huge downside unless you start work at 7:30am. In the longer term the extension to Battersea will relieve a bit of the pressure, and make the commute from Battersea much easier (and push up house prices all along the extension), but it won't

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 24-Mar-13 08:42:46

..be open until 2020.

LaVitaBellissima Sun 24-Mar-13 08:43:44

I live near Richmond and the commute to the city isn't bad, 15 mins to Waterloo on the fast train.

Lots of fab schools around Hampton, Twickenham, Teddington too, although that's probably too far out although still only 30mins on the train.

You really dont want to move to SevenOaks just to get a massive old British Cold and drafty mansion. You dont need a house like that. My friend pays 2k per month in gas and electricity on a house half the size and has her cleaner 8 hours per week. My other friend complains she cant afford to heat her pool!

The more you say about what you want, the more I am thinking that Richmond, with either Richmond Proper, Barnes and East Sheen will tick all your boxes.

If you are already in London, hire a taxi for the day to drive you around, one neighborhood at the time. You will love Barnes Village and Richmond Village. Drive through Richmond Park from Roehampton Gate to Richmond Gate. Go up to Pembroke Lodge, admire the views. Go to King Henrys Mound (short walk from Pembroke Lodge), and look at St Pauls Cathedral (yes, really), go into Richmond and look at the shops and the cafes. You will find some major brands such as Ted Baker and Calvin Klein, along with your Zara home and your Laura Ashley. Go to the Slug and Lettuce for a drink while you watch Thames flow by, with its swans and ducks.

Then imagine daily life, for yourself at the weekend, and your nanny and your children weekdays.

KatieMiddleton Sun 24-Mar-13 09:11:05

Christ Quint I want to do all that... and I live here! I'm going to add... potter up Richmond Hill looking at the galleries, interior shops, boutiques and the cheese shop and popping in to The Lion and Unicorn the best children's book shop as rated by (former??) children's laureate Jacqueline Wilson. A walk by the river and a hot chocolate at the cafe in the Terrace Gardens or all the way to Petersham Nursery for coffee and cake also appeals.

At the risk of repeating myself, fast train to Waterloo then bus. Only someone with time to kill or who needs to travel on the cheap would go on the district line because it takes an age.

KatieMiddleton Sun 24-Mar-13 09:12:11

Oh and WholeFoods opening soon!

Off on a tangent, I had to take the train from Barnes to Teddington a couple of times the last month, and was amazed how fast it was.

Living in this neck of the woods, it is easier to go into Kingston for some major shopping than central London, you have John Lewis, and you you have the Bentalls Center, which is pretty fab for shopping, hand bags, designer clothing, linen etc. Venture outside, and you have coffee shops, the Theater, furniture shops, Clothes, Outdoor gear and sports shops, and also nice little shops such as Jo Malone, Radley, Molton Brown, The White Company, a nice fruit and veg market.

When you live south west, it becomes the Center of your existence, and your wider circle becomes Hampton, Kingston, Wimbledon, and these are all some pretty fab areas! At the same time, Central London is within easy reach. High St Ken is 15 minutes drive from Putney were we live now, but equidistant to East Sheen. You can still go to the museums of Sout Ken, you just cant walk there. But that is a small price to pay for being just on the outskirts of the hustle and bustle and traffic.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 11:37:53


We need to be in the office well before 7am so we don't usually have the typical rush hour anyway.
I am tipping from my iPhone while BF so I get back to you later when the children are asleep.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 24-Mar-13 11:40:20

Oh in that case the Northern Line from Clapham Common/South becomes well worth considering, although you'd still need to change/walk in order to get to Chancery Lane.

allaflutter Sun 24-Mar-13 13:03:30

Pure, you do paint a nice picture, I agree Richmond village and along the river/around the green is very charming. But two points that put me off - plane noise (though you some areas are better as away from flypath - but these are further from station), and very congested narrow roads in Richmomd centre (mainly weekends and rush hour) and Sheen high st is a nightmare and very fume-y - most of the time in the day! Kingston too -= very busy with traffic, and slow to get out of.
But I love the walks along the river - we went from Richmond green all the way to Ham house (near Petersham nursery, as Katie mentions) and had tea and cakes in the Ham house cafe - great cakes at that!
I'm not sure it will work fr daily commute what with buses from waterloo - it does add time and OP has to be in so early. At least she would have to be a quick walk to the station, so Richmond Hill is out (unless she uses minicabs I suppose).
Btw Battersea is a pesk with finding cabs - it's virtually impossible to hail one near the park, when you are in a rush to get the tube, so would also need mnicabs!

abbyfromoz Sun 24-Mar-13 13:20:55

Allaflutter- get hailo app.

I'd vote for Richmond too, absolutely lovely.

You do need to speak to the estate agents direct too rather than look at the websites. Apparently for premium central London properties they usually get sold before they are advertised -- there's some sort of strange snobbish premium on snapping a place up before it's been announced to the hoi polloi. Sorry if stating the obvious!

redandblacks Sun 24-Mar-13 13:36:30

I would not look twice at Clapham with that budget tbh. Hillgate Village?

abbyfromoz Sun 24-Mar-13 13:37:49

It's called 'off market'. My husband deals with this (owns a property company). Prime London deals in a lot of off market acquisitions (within a higher value threshold) usually it's to do with keeping it in house- vendors not wanting it publicised (i.e if it's held in a trust, if it's a distressed asset or sensitive sale etc) this also means the seller is often ruling out non serious buyers and can be good for the buyer as if it's a distressed asset, the banks are more likely to write off the sale at a percentage given the buyer is of good status. A sensitive asset would usually be at market value and would usually be something unique where the seller is only willing to sell to a certain party.

abbyfromoz Sun 24-Mar-13 13:47:41

Sorry for the long explanation! Lol
I think what i am talking about is more acquisitions and development- the reason a normal agent would hold off some of the better properties from the general public is because they have a list of reliable buyers that they can guarantee won't mess them around (not in a chain, quick sale, cash buyer etc) and would rather see if there is any interest with them before advertising. So if you can prove you can get the sale concluded quickly then you are in with a better opportunity from agents.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 15:02:46

Thanks for letting me know abbyfromoz. I have a look at the Richmond area. Richmond would suit me well very for various reasons (German School etc.).

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 15:12:38
minipie Sun 24-Mar-13 15:32:51

Richmond is lovely (if traffic choked) but it definitely feels like its own self contained small town rather than part of London. And it's a long journey to Chelsea if that's important to you.

Trains from Richmond go to Waterloo not London Bridge so you'd need to change and get on the Jubilee line for a couple of stops.

for any area you are considering, it's worth testing the commute at the time you would do it.

Hanginggardenofboobylon Sun 24-Mar-13 16:04:39

If you work fleet st then Waterloo is actually pretty good, you can walk it or get one of about 4 different buses

bunnymother Sun 24-Mar-13 21:38:01

Re Richmond, I wouldn't live anywhere further than Zone 1 or 2 if I worked long hours in the City. Even if work provides a car to take you home late at night, its still a drag going so far. And it inhibits going out at night in central London (eg Soho), too. That's the experience of City workers I know.

Re Hillgate Village, its charming, but the properties aren't big and they don't have any real garden space. The houses in the streets closer to High St Ken eg Bedford Gardens, Sheffield Terrace etc are far larger. And, actually, some of the houses on Sheffield Terrace and Gloucester Walk back on to one of the few communal gardens in the area (most are over in W11 near Ladbroke Square, which is the biggest). See: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=sheffield+terrace+W8&ie=UTF-8&ei=6nFPUciRN5Cr0AWqkoB4&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg

If I was OP, I would definitely get a property search agent to help, as well as asking Mumsnetters.

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 23:54:21

Can somebody recommend a property search agent?

ChippyMinton Mon 25-Mar-13 07:33:42

OP - you have given away waaay too much personal information on this thread. I seriously recommend that you report it to MNHQ and ask them to delete some of your messages smile

I'm enjoying the links though - some of those properties are gorgeous. Hope you find something suitable. Personally I'd avoid anything under the Heathrow flightpath, which rules out some of Richmond and Barnes.

bunnymother Mon 25-Mar-13 07:45:38

None of the info makes OP uniquely identifiable IMO. OP - your HR department may have the names of property search agents, if they relocate people between offices. Good luck.

PanicMode Mon 25-Mar-13 14:14:35

SW1XMother - I'd try Tracy Kellett or Henry Pryor - or see the link below.


SW1XMother Mon 25-Mar-13 18:15:35


I don't see a reason why I should ask MNHQ to delete some of this post. There is nothing to be embarrassed etc. about it. I think.

ChippyMinton Mon 25-Mar-13 19:00:39

Nothing to do with being embarrassed confused.
Your first two posts basically identify your home address.
Am I the only one who has noticed this, and is concerned?

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 25-Mar-13 19:06:46

You are not the only one who has noticed Chippy but op seems very gung-ho and "lets get everyone on board" about all this.

ChippyMinton Mon 25-Mar-13 19:13:13

Thanks Mintyy smile
I was worried that she hadn't realised.

abbyfromoz Mon 25-Mar-13 19:25:10

Loads of people there. It's one of the most densely populated areas in London...i think she'll be fine.

SW1XMother Mon 25-Mar-13 19:48:39

Do you know how many people live on Sloane Street? I might also live just off Sloane Street and lots and lots of people live here. Many bankers too. Even if it does out me I don't have a problem with it at all. Otherwise I wouldn't have posted on here in the first place.

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 25-Mar-13 20:11:12

I know Sloane Street extremely well. I know Chelsea very well too and I know a lot about property in that area as well, as it happens.

However, op has stated that she has an x bedroom flat in a specific road on the market for x amount of money. It is easily searchable.

If she isn't bothered then that is fine.

DoYouMrJones Mon 25-Mar-13 20:27:17

It's all a bit mad if you ask me.

buyingagent Mon 25-Mar-13 20:50:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BranchingOut Mon 25-Mar-13 21:21:45

Personally, I think you are a bit nuts trying to do that long commute from the W or SW postcodes. How about something to the north?

Primrose Hill

audrey01 Tue 26-Mar-13 14:18:46

"for example:
[Thurleigh road] guide price is £5m, no nanny annexe but you could afford to do a basement dig out to your own spec. close to the tube, northern line to city.

minipie - you don't want the OP to move to Thurleigh Road, it's <<whispers>> SW12 not SW11 shock. "

@ Lalalonglegs - What is wrong with Thurleigh Road SW12? I thought it's one of the best roads in Between the Commons - quiet, relatively close to the amenities of Clapham Common and the Northern Line tube (which I cannot say for some BTC streets with the SW11 postcode).

redandblacks Tue 26-Mar-13 14:21:59

Clapham, Islington, Canonbury, Barnsbury ..... really dull choices for that budget I'm afraid. I would choose Richmond over all of those or look elsewhere

BranchingOut Tue 26-Mar-13 17:40:58

Seriously, there is a lovely 5 bed house for sale on Canonbury park north. You could cycle to the City in 15 mins, go via the Overground to Moorgate or even walk in 40 mins if you felt like it, and buy a lovely holiday home with the change.

Upper street on your doorstep and a park 5 minutes walk from your door.

greenfolder Wed 27-Mar-13 08:04:51

i do love mumsnet- 132 messages trying to sort out someone that has, apparently £6m but not the wit to instruct an agent, property finder or some such and hasnt the wit to consult a map. and is willing to consider state schools. haven't enjoyed a thread so much in ages.

onamissiontomakeithappen Wed 27-Mar-13 08:22:36

greenfolder so true! but that's MN for you a mix of all walks of life, this thread possibly of the more affluent...

greenfolder Wed 27-Mar-13 10:38:22

mission that is the joy of it i suppose. i live in a nice market town, 30mins from euston, you could buy the nicest house in town and still have £5mill to live on for the rest of your life! it takes all sorts no doubt- never been a fan of the phrase "first world problem" but i think this might just be it.

onamissiontomakeithappen Wed 27-Mar-13 11:01:01

lol, judging by this thread it is a bit like that!! reminds me a little of "Houswives of Beverly Hills, New York etc hard to watch.." oh the drama of the "West is Besties".. Kirsty Allsop would be able to help you OP although I'm not sure they'd ever air an episode of Location with a £6m budget!! wink
anyway greenfolder think we just might have killed this thread... was fun to read nevertheless!

SW1XMother Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:10

Greenfolder, we are not rich by all means. Flat was inherited and has been in the family for a long time. It increased a lot in value over the last decades. We don't even own a car at the moment.

I don't see why people should consider going private when there are excellent state schools in the area. I am not English and don't understand the crazy competition for school spaces at all. In my country your child goes to the local primary school and is then placed in one of three schools depending on his academic

SW1XMother Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:17


redandblacks Wed 27-Mar-13 18:20:58

sw1xmother - you don't have to justify your financial position to anyone - you are certainly not the only mum in London (or on MN) owning property of that value with children at state school

SW1XMother Wed 27-Mar-13 20:08:18

Thanks redandblacks. At least somebody understands. All I asked for was locations.

SW1XMother Wed 27-Mar-13 20:10:20

Greenfolder, it is easy to look on a map. But I asked for personal experiences of certain areas etc. we can't buy anything anyway until our flat is sold.

minipie Wed 27-Mar-13 20:38:37

For some reason any thread where the OP is well off seems to attract snide comments. I have no idea why, it's one of the more unpleasant aspects of MN.

OP ignore the digs and good luck with your search.

regarding schools - be aware that most good state primary schools in London either have catchment areas the size of a postage stamp (eg, in Wandsworth, you have to live <400 metres away to get into some primary schools) or give priority to those who can demonstrate regular and long standing church attendance.

many private primaries operate on a first come first served basis, which means you need to get your child's name down as soon as possible (many people sign their babies up at birth...)

just warning you!

drjohnsonscat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:52:12

I grew up in SW London suburbs and with your budget, I think you could do better. Mainly because you work long hours and being stuck on South West Trains late at night is depressing. That would have me ruling out Hampton, Teddington etc - you'd be looking at an hour and a half to get to the city from the stations that don't have a "fast" service. I now live very centrally and that's because I grew up doing that commute and hating it (school in town)

The schools are good out there but I'd be looking at somewhere more central (Highgate, Hampstead, Belsize Park, Dartmouth Park) or even W1 (Marylebone, Fitzrovia etc). Not sure how you feel about a garden - I have a tiny, tiny one but I don't care because I never get on the tube so it evens out.

drjohnsonscat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:55:36

PS agree a good property finder would really help. I have no experience at all so cannot recommend from personal experience but will happily point you towards the people I know at one London property finder who are in your price range - pm me if you want the info.

bunnymother Wed 27-Mar-13 22:14:22

A good property finder should also be able to tell you / show you the communal gardens, which can be life changing in central London where no one really has a big garden. Most of these gardens are locked, so you need a key to access them. The ones I know of / have been to are in W11, W8, W2 and also in Marylebone, near Regents Park.

greenfolder Thu 28-Mar-13 09:45:53

i am sorry but we are not rich by all means when you have six million pounds worth of flat that you inherited. just for a giggle, what is rich to you? and i have no issue with people having wealth in the slightest bit. just find your thread really entertaining.

SW1XMother Thu 28-Mar-13 10:55:58


I don't have to justify my financial situation to you at all. I didn't inherit it but my husband.

I'm glad that it entertains you so much. Your life must be pretty boring IMO.

redandblacks Thu 28-Mar-13 13:26:59

Second the point about communal gardens - with very young children, it is really lovely for them to have acres of green space to themselves but after about the age of five, no amount of it would compare to a communal garden where they can explore and play safely with other children from the same road. Being with siblings in their own space or having the odd playdate does simply not compare. I would put communal gardens at the top of my list for your budget

Dededum Thu 28-Mar-13 14:30:46

Yes but loads of communal gardens are heavily landscaped and have rules like no ball games and don' like their gravel being scuffed.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 14:34:37

Friends of mine who live in Maida Vale seem to have the perfect solution - they have their own bit of garden which is gated and the back gate opens onto really lovely communal gardens.

redandblacks Thu 28-Mar-13 16:00:29

have rules like no ball games and don' like their gravel being scuffed

True, but I have very fond memories of pushing the boundries with those!!!

DoYouMrJones Thu 28-Mar-13 22:47:31

Agree with whoever said this post was giving away too much information. But then it's the Internet and the OP could have made it all up. She certainly doesn't have any concerns about it being all over the net.

OP if I were in your shoes I'd opt for Kensington. Have fun ;-)

Deaglan Fri 21-Jun-13 13:38:37

here's a place I'd personally love this one, huge plenty of room to lose all that energy and a nice big garden


I would love to be the agency selling either yours or this one as they are so beautiful, I Live in Highbury & islington area its close to the tube, close to upper street where all the foodie places (one of my favorites is Gem their turkish kebabs are wonderful)

the secondary school has recently been completely reformed by a new headmaster who has been getting much better grades and I think recently won an award. so I was thinking for the future that would be a good place . for the moment I've heard some good things about the Ambler primary school, for healthy conscious and size of classes.

if you wanted to look in richmond I'd suggest phoning Dawn from HomeXperts.

we're franchisee's of homexperts and she is one of our best countrywide, I'm sure she'll be happy to talk about the area and suggest a few things.

and if your house is not getting a great deal of viewings perhaps I can take a look and help you?

(yes I know self promotion is bad but if you don't ask you'll never know)

Deaglan smile

EasterHoliday Fri 21-Jun-13 13:49:22

can you stretch to St Johns Wood? Hamilton Terrace type of thing? get more space, detached house for your budget. no sense spending that much cash to get a terrace with small proportions...

there's actually a fantastic house for about £4.5 on Elgin Avenue at teh moment - I always wanted to own it! detatched, beautiful character red brick with large garden (has a banana tree on it). Trouble is whether you want to be the best house on the road or move up to Hamilton and be one of the cheaper houses on a better road.

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