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East London v. South East London

(45 Posts)
MadBusLady Tue 24-Jul-12 21:31:35

Can anyone sell Leytonstone/East London to me? We've been looking in South East in zones 2-4 but for somewhere that's supposedly the cheap quarter it seems bloody expensive. We have c£350k for a decent grow-into period house and the only major proviso is we'd like to be very close (as in under half a mile) to an East London line station into the City. That effectively rules out Brockley, HOP and Forest Hill which are very expensive near the stations, so we'd be looking at Sydenham/Penge. I think they both look fine, it's just still not great value. I have a sneaking feeling, and DP has even more so, that we've missed the boat a bit there.

So then we had a look online at Leytonstone (swapping East London Line for Central Line) and it seems much cheaper. Why? I know nothing else about East London except that I have a positive dislike of Stratford Westfield and (controversial though this may be) Walthamstow. So there isn't really any pull for me there at the moment, whereas there are lots of places in S and SE London I already like.

No DCs, so schools not an issue but we are very fogeyish mature and tend to like the same stuff that comes with family areas.

All views appreciated.

TheCokeMachine Fri 27-Jul-12 20:08:07

I'm going to hold up a hand for Walthamstow here. It may not be the prettiest or most affluent place in East London, but there are pockets of loveliness all over the borough.

I have lived here for 14 years, it has changed in that time. The council is crap (read that as totally incompetent) but the MP is great. We have lots of lovely bars and cafes, the market is showing signs of revival and you can get everything you need on the High Street - just not in a posh deli setting - you'll have to brave the spit and sawdust of the Halal butchers or wrestle your Bugaboo around the boxes in Orientex (I speak from experience, not piss taking smile)

There is a big arts scene and just loads of general neighbourhood stuff going on. Coppermill Lane is becoming popular, north of the Village towards Wood Street is full of people priced out from Islington. Go to any baby class in the area and you will meet an abundance of people who have moved further out East to get a garden.

Leytonstone is a kind of nothing nor something area for me, I'd rather park my buggy at Eat17 or The Castle than the Red Lion. Not to mention The Nags Head for a bit of oddness and cat adoration wink

GRP100 Thu 25-Jul-13 19:44:15

Walthamstow is a horrible place the houses are over priced and the so called "village" is laughable. The houses are tiny and very cramped and most have been ripped to bits nothing left in them they are just trendy boxes painted white inside and. The high st and Hoe street are very dangerous during the day and night. Leyton and Leytonstone are the good areas now where you get good value for your money, the people are friendly and it is fast moving up the ladder unlike W/stow that has had its day and the residents have been had too. So don't get pulled in by Walthamstow as it is not what you think. Leyton and Leytonstone have good housing stock and are of a good size with good gardens, mostly Edwardian and some Victorian, and you can park easy too. Good Luck.

GRP100 Thu 25-Jul-13 20:00:45

OH YES i forgot to mention that HRH Kathrine's grandparents lived in Leyton too, so not all that bad eh?

Spickle Thu 25-Jul-13 20:22:47

This is an old thread!

PerpetualStudent Mon 29-Jul-13 15:25:24


Wanting to bump up this thread and ask for more advice on the South East London end.

My boyf and I are currently looking to move out of our Stokey (typical!) flatshare and buy in either Walthamstow (or Leytonstone, after reading useful comments on here) or somewhere SE.
I have been visiting Forest Hill/Catford since I was a child, and used to live in Lewisham and Nunhead, so am very interested in these, plus all the Honor Oak Park, Peckham Rye, Brockley areas.

We've roughly settled on the idea(l) of a period, 2 bed garden flat and have an approx budget of £250,000 - what do people think, is it reasonable to expect to find something like this SE way?

I'm currently doing a fulltime PhD and we're aiming to have The Babies when I'm finished, so local community is very important - a coffee shop/pub to dash to when thesis is getting overwhemling, places to buy and eat tasty food and in the future, child-friendly stuff, nice schools etc. I also work as a children's drama teacher/youth theatre director/party entertainer, so somewhere my talents would be in demand would be good too!

Please, give me some ammunition to convince my North-London-centric bloke that there's life south of the river!

LittlePickleHead Mon 29-Jul-13 15:52:56

Forest Hill definitely fulfils all your demands but I think you'll struggle to get a 2 bed garden flat on your budget (we just sold ours for £315k!)

You would probably be able to get a lovely period flat in catford for that though - and the council have recently announced their regeneration plans so it could be a good bet for the future

PerpetualStudent Mon 29-Jul-13 16:25:06

Thanks LittlePickleHead - you confirm my fears about Forest Hill, interesting to know about Catford... As long as any regeneration doesn't touch the Catford Cat (childhood memories!)

LittlePickleHead Mon 29-Jul-13 20:24:38

Well they have bought the shopping centre so it's days may be numbered...I'm sure there would be some kind of petition though. You never know, it might be turned into some kind of monument wink

MadBusLady Tue 30-Jul-13 19:31:35

I'm the OP, and I am sitting in my lovely house in... South East London. smile We could easily have gone for Leytonstone, it was really just a question of a house coming up. We're very happy here, as it turns out.

Perpetual you will get lovely ex-LA flats in Brockley/HOP/Forest Hill for that budget (2 or even 3 beds), some in 30s buildings which are well worth looking at IMO. Or come a bit further south.

Your ammunition needs: I could go on about the leafiness, Crystal Palace Park, all the cafes and vintage community organic this, that and the others etc, that stuff does exist. Take your boyfriend for tea and cake at Patacakes in Crofton Park, have a little walk up the fabulous Blythe Hill Fields or One Tree Hill, go for a pint in the Sylvan Post in Forest Hill. And one thing that's vastly different down here is how easy it is to get to lovely countryside - we can be in Kent market towns or up on the North Downs Way in 35 minutes.

But this is my take on it - and it's highly subjective, so I apologise in advance for any offence. The underlying reason we left North London is that it's for old people. wink By which I mean, people who are in some sense established, who got in on the ground floor years ago. There's nothing new there any more, all the community garden groups have been started, all the farmers' markets have been going for years, all the ice cream parlours have been opened (I tell a lie, somebody did open a new ice cream parlour in Crouch End when I lived there - an Islington banker!), there's a Pitcher and Piano on every street corner. It's all very comfy and moneyed and it feels like all the excitement and buzz happened there about 15 years ago, and the people who live there still remember the past glories and big up how "funky" it all is - but all the new young arrivals get is colossal housing costs.

SE London has stuff that's starting to happen now. We feel like we can build our lives here, we might open businesses here, and get involved in community stuff that isn't already being run by an older generation. North London's a great place to rent when you first hit town and get your bearings. South London (or East for that matter) is where you strike out.

Levantine Wed 31-Jul-13 12:13:28

Madbuslady, that's really interesting re an area being established or not. There is lots in SE London that is starting up and so many opportunities to get involved. I like the way you put that.

PerpetualStudent Fri 02-Aug-13 12:40:09

Thanks Madbuslady, I think you're right on the North London thing too.

Glad to hear you're happily settled SE way. Our search/research continues - went to see an Abraham flat (like a Warner flat, but with the 1st floor door tucked away at the side - the things you learn when flat-hunting!) in Leyton yesterday, and had a little wander up Leyton High Road - not amazing, but somehow felt a bit more livelier/welcoming than our visits to Walthamstow.

Seems to be shaping up that, for our budget, if we're set on a period conversion or a Warner-type flat, going East is our best bet, but if we're more open to newer and ex-local authority places (personally I love those 1930s blocks and even don't mind the less lovely Ex-LA 'maisonettes', as at least they - seem - to have spacier layouts than some of the crampt period conversion places)...

So now just a case of watching what comes up - Madbuslady - any estate agent tips for those areas?!

MadBusLady Fri 02-Aug-13 13:07:44

We bought with Acorn and had probably a better experience with them then we've ever had with any other agent! They were great - very helpful throughout the process. Robert Stanford seemed ok too from our contact with them. KFH and Pedder didn't really seem bothered and I never did figure out how to get to the top of their call list. KFH have an annoying habit of leaving properties up on their site long after they've been completed on, never mind gone under offer.

I know the area of Leyton you mean, I always liked that little bit (just from walking round it). Depending on which end of it you were in you'd be a reasonable walk from Leytonstone high road which is nicer than Leyton IMO.

This is on rightmove at the moment and it's quite a long way under your budget - I draw your attention to it because there were a couple of 3-bed places with balcony in that building for around £190k about a year ago - so presumably now the 3-beds will still be within your budget. The block is a little utilitarian but I like that style too, and it's so near the centre of everything, it's probably where my fantasy flat purchase would be (DP doesn't get that I still look at rightmove).

This is not pretty but a bit of a bargain. Veh naice leafy location.

Southeastdweller Fri 02-Aug-13 13:18:05

I live in a certain part of south east London that's been mentioned here and it's a bloody crap-hole with no nice parts - just some bits are slightly better than others. It's cheap - very cheap, relatively - and you could buy a huge house there but it's cheap for very good reasons.

Goping to PM you now.

MadBusLady Fri 02-Aug-13 13:18:16

Actually never mind that. Come further south and have a little HOUSE. Veh naice leafy area again, although a bit of a walk from the station.

Blossom8 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:58:57

I agree with GRP100, I don't rate Walthamstow at all and cannot see why house prices there have gone sky high! We have just bought a house in the Barclay Estate area of Leyton (nicer part of Leyton) and so far we like it. More house for your money for sure and easy to walk or take the frequent buses to Leytonstone tube! We previously lived in a flat in Upper Leytonstone.

Again Leytonstone has it's nicer part (being Upper Leytonstone) which is reflected in the price. The Cann Hall area is the less desirable part of Leytonstone, I lived there whilst growing up. With your budget of £350K, you should be able to get a house in that area but if you were thinking of buying in the Bushwood and Upper Leytonstone area, 3 bedroom houses start "from" £400K!

I have always felt safe having lived in Upper Leytonstone for the last 15 years. Alot of big houses have been turned into flats and you get alot of renters in the area. To me it is a convenient place to live, near the 24hr Tescos, tube, hospital and green spaces. Hopefully over time, the high street will have more investment and make it more attractive!

Why don't you look at the Barclays Estates area of Leyton. You should be able to get a decent house with your budget. Near transport and open parklands, next to a hospital and it seems to have a real community here. More house for your money! Personally I would chose this area over the Cann Hall area.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Wed 07-Aug-13 20:07:08

Come to south east London (Lewisham) while you still can.

hackneybird Mon 19-Aug-13 21:40:57

I moved to walthamstow from n16 in Feb and after an initial wobble, I really like it. We live near Wood Street which is probably a bit nicer and leafier than the St James/Coppermill Lane end. Wood St itself is coming on in leaps and bounds and has a lovely vintage indoor market.

There are lots of young families in our area as well which gives it a nice feel. I have been really struck by how incredibly community minded people are here in general though, it's brilliant and so easy to get involved. Try searching for walthamstow and E17 (or the hash tag awesomestow) on Twitter and you'll see what I mean. I think that people here are making things happen and creating initiatives for the betterment of all, much in the way that the OP describes in her area. Plus Stella Creasy our MP is amazing.

I can see why people think its a bit of a dump though, some parts are still quite scruffy and its a bit chicken shop heavy in parts. People here are complaining about the 'gentrification' of E17 but my word it has a long way to go before it becomes another Crouch End! It is still very down to earth and 'normal'.

I am very pleased we moved here and it was the right move for us as we are still close to lots of us friends that are still in N16.

We did think about SE London but actually couldn't afford the areas we liked, but I think if we had moved there we would have liked it.

I am hearing good things about Leyton too. Whether you choose East or SE I think you'll be fine.

Good luck! It's such a wrench making that decision and then actually moving, I'm so pleased we finally did it and its behind us.

MummytoMog Tue 20-Aug-13 10:25:04

We got a five bed house in Woodford Bridge, opposite a lovely primary and a massive park for the same price as a three bed terrace in Leyton in a nice area. It's a slightly longer commute, but worth it for me. Prices aren't quite so cheap as they were, but we like it.

StainlessSteelBegonia Tue 20-Aug-13 12:24:25

SE London is changing pretty rapidly at the moment. When we bought in Sydenham 10 years ago it was really off people's radar - I still remember telling coworkers in Canary Wharf where I was moving to and seeing looks of completely blank incomprehension on their faces. (Sydenham? Where's that?)

Ever since the Overground opened we're suddenly surrounded by couples & young families who've moved south looking for houses. There's always been a community feel here, but now it's manifesting in ways I've always associated with the cool parts of East London - pop up shops, supper clubs, craft collectives, and so on. All we need now is one of those "cool" WI chapters to start and we'll be away.

DH now wants to move to Bucks in search of a bigger garden and I'm REALLY resisting. It's just started to get really interesting around here!

Blu Thu 22-Aug-13 15:21:59

Fast rail lines rather than the tube:

on fast Themeslink line


or this



Dulwick, fast train to Victoria

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