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How far would you walk to the station ?

(81 Posts)
fruitqueen Tue 25-Feb-14 16:06:49

In the midst of my hunt for accommodation for my DCs( aged 18 and 16) I have come across some wonderful properties. The problem is that they are always some distance away from the tube.Ideally, of course we would prefer a property which is next to it but this has not been feasible so far. So how far is too far to walk daily to the station if no other transport is available except the tube?

pearlbutter Thu 27-Feb-14 15:29:24

If you can afford a 250k property in London I think it would be a good investment, the way prices are going. Rents seem to be going up so it could be a lot more - and your dc would avoid the possible disruption of rental contracts, hassle from landlords (but of course then have to deal with maintenance themselves).

If they are in London they could avoid the cost of owning a car/parking and use zipcar or similar if it is just for occasional use.

Yes I think overground trains are better than the tube but runs slower than most tube lines.

A friend has recently sold a 1 bed ex-council flat for £250k in zone 1, it was for two young siblings who will be sharing by converting the living room into a bedroom. You could get quite a central property if you look at ex-council, which in zone 1/2 are being snapped up by young professionals so aren't as grotty as they sound.

apermanentheadache Thu 27-Feb-14 15:42:44

Uhgggh not a hostel . That is no way to live if you have choices. Halls of Residence are very different and can be quite fun.

mummytime Thu 27-Feb-14 15:54:50

Do not buy a car! They won't need it. (My niece sold her car as it was more of a pain than a use, and she was in her mid-twenties and doing a job which involved late nights). If you are there at weekends you can hire a car.
I would go for Halls of residence as that is where you make friends, otherwise they will be quite lonely and more likely to drop out.

fruitqueen Thu 27-Feb-14 16:57:41

I meant halls of residence but I understand it is only for the first year so after that, they would need to get out in any event.....pearlbutter mentioned ex-council flats in zone 1- where are these developments as i have not come across any?

pearlbutter Thu 27-Feb-14 17:31:43

They are usually the cheapest properties listed on Rightmove if you sort by price. e.g. (although that is more zone 2 but still quite central). Not the nicest area but not too bad and not unusual for students/young graduates to rent rooms in flats on those estates. I know quite a few quite well-paid grads (high rate taxpayers) renting/buying in ex-council flats as it's the only way to live fairly centrally these days.

littlecrystal Thu 27-Feb-14 22:11:47

pearlbutter the flat that you linked does not have a proper window!

scarygreenfairy Thu 27-Feb-14 22:29:48

Pearlbutter - I think (and hope) that flat on your link is illegal. There are no windows. What an absolute sickner. Sometimes I feel so ashamed to be British.

pearlbutter Thu 27-Feb-14 23:07:24

How strange! I hadn't really noticed that, there seems to be a kitchen window though. I assumed it was the council estate that you see on the Street View link, in which case it's unlikely to be illegal. It might be that the photos were taken against the window so you can't see them in the images. Anyway, it was just an example of the cheap but central type of flat that falls into the OP's budget. Plenty of others on Rightmove if they don't like that particular one.

Amethyst24 Fri 28-Feb-14 00:06:20

That flat looks like it's been converted from a garage or something. Bizarre. The floorplan shows skylights but no windows, although there is no sign of even skylights in the photos.

FWIW I'll be selling my ex-LA flat later in the year for about £250K. It's in zone 2 but only has one bedroom. I really think you'll struggle to find a 2-bed place for that price, OP, and I also wonder what your children think of this arrangement? If I were them I would far, far rather live in halls than be out in the sticks with a 2-mile walk to a tube station.

If they're moving to London from abroad, establishing a network of friends will be so important, and if I were you I'd prefer them to be centrally located, surrounded by other young people and with access to pastoral support that the university would offer, than stranded out in some area you don't know purely so you can get a return on your 250K investment and persuade yourself they're somewhere "naicer" than student accommodation.

(Do I win an award for "Longest Sentence Ever Posted on MN?")

Devora Fri 28-Feb-14 00:14:33

I walk 15 minutes to the station, 40 minutes train journey, then 20 minutes at the other end. I am 50 and have arthritis, and find this totally acceptable - but then I am a Londoner, and we do tend to walk more than elsewhere in the country.

I'm loath to encourage you to invest in property in London, but I guess it makes sense.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 28-Feb-14 00:15:42

A mile, I reckon.

littlecrystal Fri 28-Feb-14 06:46:32

I am currently 10 mins walk away from the station with 12 minutes train ride and 10 mins walk at the other end. Perfect.

Considered (or still considerinf) moving 20 mins walk to the station and 40 mins train ride and 10 mins at the other end and already scared of this.

dueanamechange Fri 28-Feb-14 09:48:50

I live in London and for a fair chunk of the year they will be coming home in the dark and it will be freezing cold. All transport is overcrowded, and it would be grim getting off a crowded train to still have a 20 minute walk in the dark and cold. I would be happy with no more than ten, when you off the train you just want to be in your own home in the warm asap.

Because all transport is so crowded changing trains is another thing that is awful. You just settle in and enter a zone with your head near someone's armpit, and then have to shuffle through a crowded tunnel system to do it all over again.

Having separate bedrooms at that age will also add to their quality of life, and when you come and stay they can share a room and you get your own bedroom so you can go to bed when you are tired instead of waiting for them to get to bed first so you can fall asleep on the sofa. If they are in a 1 bed you will all be on top of each other and they will want you gone as soon as you have arrived if you stay for a visit.

If your kids need to get to UCL and LSE being on the central line would be best, looking east to Leyton or Leytonstone you could just about get a 2 bed I reckon reasonably close to a the station. Also close to Stratford Westfield for cinemas and stuff.

Something like this might fit the bill

They is a lack of supply in London at the moment which is driving prices up, what you can afford right now you might not be able to afford in a month so buyers need to act decisively at the moment.

fruitqueen Fri 28-Feb-14 13:16:27

If you had 250k to spare to buy a first property in UK for investment, and you had the choice of a 2 bedroom flat in really nice and safe surroundings eg in. Bath and another property somewhere in Zone 3 or 4 in London , but a 1 room flat. in a not so nice or safe area, which would be the better bet? Both from the investment point of view and a place to stay as a vacation home.

fruitqueen Fri 28-Feb-14 14:40:22

Ooops i meant to post this as a new thread but inadvertently posted it here....

cestlavielife Fri 28-Feb-14 15:18:18

for investment/rental/students close to tube is a must really

you can get quite central eg nw6 one bed (use living as bedroom for students sharing)

far out like leytonstone travel costs higher too
even if they students

scarygreenfairy Fri 28-Feb-14 15:21:31

ha ha cestlavielife - that top one has gone UP in price from 225 to 230 and now 240 (since Dec 2013) and they wonder why it won't sell.

CelticPromise Fri 28-Feb-14 15:28:02

I went to UCL and lived all over. You get more for your money south and can save on transport- you can cycle or get the bus from Elephant and Castle/Walworth/Camberwell. It's very convenient for LSE too and a bus pass is much cheaper than a tube pass.

I could recommend places further out that are chair with excellent transport links (eg Wealdstone to Euston in 15 mins) but I guess they would like to be central. I know when I was a student I thought zone 3 was practically the countryside.

fruitqueen Fri 28-Feb-14 17:56:52

Correct me if im wrong, but i was given to understand that the places u suggested celticpromise may somewhat be rough and as they will be living alone most of the time, i would like to know that they are relatively safe from crime and muggings .

CelticPromise Fri 28-Feb-14 18:05:01

It's not really as simple as that in London. Rough areas and lovely areas are all mixed up together really. You can find both along the Walworth road. I've lived in some 'lively' areas and never been mugged but it does happen of course.

What areas do you think might be suitable?

EBearhug Fri 28-Feb-14 19:37:26

as they will be living alone most of the time, i would like to know that they are relatively safe from crime and muggings .

They're going to university. They'll be going out with their mates, who will live all over the place. There's a good chance they'll get drunk and do stupid things.

If you want them to be relatively safe, the best thing to do is make sure they're capable of looking after themselves (household stuff, basic cooking and so on, budgeting, time management,) and are a bit streetwise. Where they live will only be part of the picture - they won't be home all the time.

Besides, you can live in a terribly nice area, and still not be safe from crime and muggings if you're unlucky.

fruitqueen Sat 01-Mar-14 03:50:52

Ebearhug-im not particularly worried about their skills of home management as they have already been living by themselves since 2 years ago when I had to leave for a job posting in another part of the region. But the comforting thought all that while was that they lived in a practically "no crime " area .(i know it may be hard to believe but in our 20 years being expatriates in this part of the world, and particularly in the area we have been living in, there has been no muggings , no car thefts , no robbery or burglary and no murders at all!)

I just received some good news! My company is willing to sponsor another 50k pounds when i told them my choices were very limited. So hopefully, 300k would make a difference in getting a small place in a nicer area? Was thinking perhaps Greenwich, Canary Wharf ,Wimbledon or Kensington or Fulham?
Appreciate all the great advice here as being away, have been out of touch!

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 01-Mar-14 04:14:03

I would recommend they go into halls for the first year: its very good socially. There is also pastoral care so an adult who is able to keep an eye out for problems etc.

Alternitively this would be quite handy. If they are studying and socialising in central London then they're already exposed to the risks of being there.

mummytime Sat 01-Mar-14 07:14:10

Crime in London even in bad areas is not that bad! Murder is still a very rare occurence in the UK, and is committed mainly by someone the victom knows.

I grew up in a "not nice" area of London and the only crime I suffered in about 20 years there was having my pocket picked once.

London does not have ghettos or enclaves, so crime exists in all areas. My DH suffered one attempted mugging (in his 20 years of working in London) on the Escalator's at City tube station, which is a pretty safe area of London.

For safety and acclimatisation and their own happiness I would strongly suggest you reconsider Halls of Residence. From there you could buy them a flat to share for their second year if you want. Or even buy it now and let it for the first year.

For students I wouldn't suggest any of: Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Wimbledon, or Fulham. Kensington is possible if they are at Imperial but your son's aren't. I don't think £300,000 is going to enable you to afford those areas anyway.

CelticPromise Sat 01-Mar-14 08:10:04

As I said above I could recommend some more ' suburban' places where you get more for your money, are closer to the tube, and could commute into uni eg further out on Piccadilly line or train line to Euston. None of the places you have mentioned are a very convenient commute to UCL or LSE and they would be unlikely to have student friends living nearby.

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