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Advice needed - where can I buy in London/SE on 190k budget?

(56 Posts)
stargirl0412 Mon 15-Jul-13 18:34:47

Hi folks, I'm afraid I have a pauper's budget - single woman with no partner in a poor-earning profession (by London standards), but in my industry London is where the work is.

I've looked into shared ownership but I'm getting on a bit and think that shared o/ship is fine if you're in your 20s and 30s but not if you're older.

I have a decent deposit (around 70k) but combined with my income, it still won't get me much.

I really hate myself for admitting this because it sounds so snobbish but I just can't bring myself to buy an ex-local authority flat in London. The main reason (I think) is because ex-LA buildings just look so ugly and depressing.

I would also be worried about tough neighbours/drug problems/ gangs etc, not to mention the fact that you can be landed with enormous repair bills. (I've heard of people being asked to cough up 30k plus).

A colleague has just bought an ex-LA flat in Charlton but she is a braver woman than I am. blush

I can't afford Forest Hill and Sydenham, wouldn't dare live in Peckham, but would consider moving out of town into Kent, Essex or Surrey.

I'd like a two-bed, ideally, but realise I can probably only get a one-bed if I want to live somewhere decent.

Greenhithe looks affordable - does anyone have any advice about this place as I don't know it at all?

I can afford Belvedere and Welling, but hear that both are pretty grim. I don't want to move to a chav town particularly, but realise I'm on a limited budget.

Anyone got any bright ideas? I need to be on a train line no farther out than 45mins from London stations.


HeadFairy Mon 15-Jul-13 18:38:28

I have no idea what Abbey Wood is like, but a quick search brought up this Victorian house which is quite sweet. You could try to negotiate on the price a bit.

HeadFairy Mon 15-Jul-13 18:40:31

All the flats in your price range seem to be to the south east of London this has got 2 double beds, you could rent one out

I have a friend who lives in Charlton... it's not too bad you know. Greenwich park is around the corner.

Helpyourself Mon 15-Jul-13 18:43:36

Peckham's a million times nicer than Abbey Wood!
More central, better shopping and a complete cross section of society. Lots of families, trendy singletons, everyone. It's genuinely mixed socially, economically and ethnically. Abbey Wood is none of the above.
Where do you live now OP? What do you like doing?

BabCNesbitt Mon 15-Jul-13 18:52:35

Peckham's not that bad, you know! There are lots of gorgeous Victorian terraces on the streets south of Peckham Road and west of Rye Lane, and it's being hyped as 'the new Dalston' for its arty-type nightlife (though I'll leave it to you to decide if that's a good or a bad thing). Close to East Dulwich for restaurants, lots of shops for fresh fruit and veg, and Peckham Rye Common is lovely! And it's in zone 2!

(Disclaimer: I do not work for any SE15 estate agents.)

smokinaces Mon 15-Jul-13 18:57:27

Some areas of greenhithe are ok - ingress park is the new estate there. Some areas of Gravesend are ok too, and some walking distance from train station. Gravesend has the fast links to north london top, 17minutes. You also have ebbsfleet area, I'd avoid Northfleet but the new springhead park is ok, as is maritime gate and both 15-20 minutes straight walk to ebbslfeet station. Depends if you'd pay the premium to get the high speed.

Bexleyheath has some nice places. What about on the southern line, so into Victoria? Bromley, near Bromley south? Hayes is nice and a short bus ride from Bromley south.

stargirl0412 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:03:34

Thanks folks - some interesting suggestions. Those two houses look nice - esp. the one in SE18. However, Abbey Wood is on the forthcoming Crossrail route and would be a good bet for that reason.

The reason I don't like Peckham is because I used to ride through it late at night on my motorbike to get to my now exDP's flat, and I used to pray that my bike would not break down in Peckham.

I just found the whole atmosphere there - and the behaviour of other road users specifically in that area - very intimidating. Not a place I would want to walk around alone late at night. I would be fine living there if I had a partner living in, but as a single woman coming home late at night on a regular basis, Peckham is a big No for me. Sorry!

HeadFairy Mon 15-Jul-13 20:24:53

Forest Hill is nice... great views from the kitchen of this one!

HeadFairy Mon 15-Jul-13 20:26:34

this one looks quite nice, needs a bit of tarting up but the kitchen is good, and it's 2 beds

DizzyPurple Mon 15-Jul-13 20:27:54

Orpington and surrounds? Quite a varied area. Easy commute to central London. Lots of nice bits, don't believe everything you might read, most areas are fine!

2tired2bewitty Mon 15-Jul-13 20:33:04

Can i interest you in my 2 bed in Barking, under your budget and 10 mins from zone 4 tube? grin

stargirl0412 Mon 15-Jul-13 20:49:02

Head Fairy, that's really helpful - thank you. The only downside with the second one is that it's on a very busy and congested road (which I know well); The other one is lovely, but I'm not keen on the integrated lounge/kitchen arrangement unless it's within a much bigger space - Sorry, I sound a real fusspot!

Orpington sounds good. As for Barking, I hope I don't offend you but I asked the police in Barking what it was like and an officer told me that if he was buying, he'd look at Romford or Hornchurch, but not Barking.

I'm sure it's not that bad though - the police always see the worst in everything. Isn't that on the Crossrail route too?

GrandPoohBah Mon 15-Jul-13 20:54:47

Where do you need to get to in central London?

fuckwittery Mon 15-Jul-13 20:57:28

45 mins to where in London? I commute from leafy Herts and there are definitely some places you could buy for 190k a nice flat or small house, with 30 minutes or so to Kings Cross or St Pancras.

3birthdaybunnies Mon 15-Jul-13 21:05:20

Tonbridge - 2 bed terrace house for about 170. 35-40 min to london bridge, cannon st, waterloo or charing cross. Always felt safe at night, good road links, countryside within walking distance. Downside is last train around midnight.

dueanamechange Mon 15-Jul-13 21:06:31

I love this sort of thing, here I go:

If your compromise is losing the second bedroom, I would go for this, a nice neat simple ready to move in solution, good layout, Ladywell is really improving as people that can't afford Brockley, Forest Hill etc. are moving slightly across. Cafes on your doorstep. Make money renting the car space if you don't own a car as it is right opposite the station, to me seems overpriced:

Same block, needs a bit of work, shortish lease, but not too short, massive price difference:

If you really want something period, and with access to a garden, this is a really quiet road as it is a cul de sac, a bit quiet for walking home alone at night if that bothers you (I can get unnerved by that sort of thing, but not actually a bad road, mostly private owned but council housing at the cul de sac end), but would be fine on a motorbike:

If you could bring yourself to view an ex-council, you have a short walk to Blackheath from here, and has a private garden, private housing near here is very expensive:

Not quite sure why this is so cheap, but maybe worth enquiring about:

stella1w Mon 15-Jul-13 21:10:06

Penge.. Five mins from sydenham, forest hill, crystal palace,,lots of smaller affordable properties, great transport links..walk to beckenham.

stargirl0412 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:25:46

Wow, thanks folks! Penge - that is a great idea. Thanks Stella. Due a namechange - I like the first two and the ex-council one. You're right about the huge price difference between first and second in same block: lease extension would cost about 20k and you would need a new bathroom, £5k, and possibly new kitchen, 5k, so another 30k spent - but even taking that into account it would still be 20-25k lower than the first one (which is very nice, admittedly).

The last one you mention I suspect is a major surgery job as there are no interior pics, plus it has very small rooms. But cheap.

Other folks who responded: Tonbridge sounds a good possibility; and I need to get to London Bridge.

Anyone know Dartford well? Would you recommend it? Or Bexleyheath, Bexley?

3birthdaybunnies Mon 15-Jul-13 21:41:40

Not dartford.

Helpyourself Mon 15-Jul-13 21:43:33

Good point about Peckham. I'm rarely there in the evening and probably have rose coloured spectacles!

Helpyourself Mon 15-Jul-13 21:44:55

But I'm afraid I'm with 3bunnies on Dartford/ Bexley/ Bexleyheath!

stella1w Mon 15-Jul-13 21:46:36

I call penge the bermuda triangle of house prices. It has four stations within walking distance taking you to cannon st/london bridge/victoria plus the overground. Lots of buses, plus 176 all the way up to town, plus the tram to croydon, wimbledon, lots of shops, etc. And affordable.

littlecrystal Mon 15-Jul-13 21:47:39

I don't know whether you like period properties or purpose built, but for your budget plenty of choices in S.Norwood/Woodside area. Plenty of good spots, too - just don't buy close too close to the High Street.

littlecrystal Mon 15-Jul-13 21:59:00

Oh forgot to add the commute is 12 mins to London Bridge.

dueanamechange Mon 15-Jul-13 22:12:34

If you look further out, factor in rail prices if you commute.

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