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Where to buy in central London for £500k?

(39 Posts)
LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 09:21:31

My DD will be studying in London starting next September and we would like to buy a flat in or near WC1, which she can use and also we can hopefully visit. Ideally we would prefer a 2 bed, but would consider a 1 bed (sofa bed in the reception room!). Do you think that we can achieve this on our budget - we could maybe stretch to £600k - £650k max, but would prefer to stick to around £500k. All advice and recommendations greatly welcomed!

pinkdelight Tue 06-Jan-15 09:41:14

Your DD is very lucky! Bet everyone will be going back to her flat after a night out in town smile

You'd get a much better deal if you looked on the south side of the river and it's really only a stone's throw to WC1, a lovely stroll across Waterloo Bridge. Have a look in Waterloo or around Southwark station, Borough, Vauxhall etc. Example of a two-bed close to Waterloo:

If you prefer to pay more to stay north, you can get compact one-beds around Holborn if you search hard and probably extend the budget over 500k. Often seems to be places in Red Lion Square, but don't know what the service charges are like. Worth looking at EC1 too, around Clerkenwell, again only a short walk to town.

LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 10:42:57

Thanks Pink. I love the South Bank and Borough Market etc but it is a long time since I lived in London - do you think that area is safe at night? Will definitely look at EC1 though.

pinkdelight Tue 06-Jan-15 11:27:32

Most of London is safe if you're savvy. I've been here 20+ years and lived all over, never had any trouble even in 'dodgy' areas. If anything I'd expect you're more likely to have trouble in impersonal touristy areas, from pickpockets etc. And some of the 'edgier' areas are some of the most coveted - the cool parts of Shoreditch/Hackney for instance. It's nice to have that edginess in London, isn't it? Esp as a student. Rather than the dead zones in the City where little happens at night. But essentially, yes, I'd say the South Bank area is as safe as WC1. If you're nearer the river rather than down towards Elephant/Old Kent Rd, then it's all pretty nice and, as you can see, even ex-LA flats cost a lot so they're not the rough places you'll remember.

LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 11:53:01

Thanks Pink, that's really reassuring. I used to live in th Barbican and that was considered a bit edgy/council estate at the time, which shows how long ago it was!

ScottishDiblet Tue 06-Jan-15 11:56:24

We just moved from a fantastic building called the perspective building which is right next to Lambeth north tube station and about 7 mins walk from Waterloo station. Fantastic location and we always felt safe there. There is an all night concierge service which also means it's very safe but I would look carefully at the service charges. That area is just fantastic and there are a few apartment blocks around there. How exciting for you and your DD. Best of luck! Ooh actually I imagibe this is way out of your price range but if you are looking at v v central maybe try Marconi House on the strand?

BelindaAllWorkedOut Tue 06-Jan-15 12:02:26

Linden Gardens W2 is right near the Notting Hill Gate tube. It's a fun street (lots of young people seem to rent there), and, as a cul de sac (actually an off shoot off a cul de sac), it's quiet, despite being just off the main strip. Right near Notting Hill, Bayswater and Hyde Park and Holland Park, as well as close to High St Ken. Being on the Central, as well as District and Circle, lines is great.

pinkdelight Tue 06-Jan-15 12:25:30

Ah, Scottish, if I could do an envy emoticon I would. I LOVE the perspective building. When it was being built, I was doing a course at Morley College and use to gaze out the window and fantasise about living there and meandering down Lower Marsh for my Sunday papers. Dream...

cestlavielife Tue 06-Jan-15 13:08:26

some where close to bus stop well lit road not too many alley ways to go down.

LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 18:27:18

Thanks very much for the suggestions, will be researching Lambeth and W2. I agree that DD would probably be happier somewhere a bit younger and edgier, but of course I worry about her safety - as I would anywhere TBH - but cestlavielife gives good advice. We have another 6 months to decide anyway so also wondering whether it's better to wait a few months as I'm not sure if there is a temporary lull in the market or a more serious short to medium term decline, but who knows - at the end of the day, you just have to get on with it!

Apatite1 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:08:02

Can you wait till after the election? Nobody knows what's coming at the moment.

NotNowDarling01 Tue 06-Jan-15 19:35:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Namehanger Tue 06-Jan-15 19:39:30

Is she at Uni, or a bit older? If at Uni then be wary, my parents did the same for me at Uni. Reallly a very bad idea for loadssss reasons.

stonecircle Tue 06-Jan-15 19:43:53

Why is it a bad idea Namehanger? We were thinking of doing something similar for ds when he goes to uni - though not in London and on a smaller budget!

Namehanger Tue 06-Jan-15 20:01:05

Mine was a bigger flat, four bedrooms, it turned me into a Landlord, so my Uni friendship were a bit peculiar. Moved my boyfriend in, I even ended up defrauding the housing benefit (another time!) by saying people were paying more than they were.

Part of Uni, is sharing accommodation. Buying your kids Uni accommodation is quite controlling ! However maybe your relationships are more secure than mine and your kids are more 'sorted' thanI was.

Amethyst24 Tue 06-Jan-15 21:53:44

Honestly I think within zone 2, young and edgy won't mean unsafe. London is very safe for the most part, except, as said upthread, for the risk of pickpocketing in tourist areas - but I've read that the area around Russell Square is worst for that, and she will be there anyway for uni.

I'd be more concerned about how where she lives will affect her social life and experience of uni - she could end up being a bit isolated, or conversely she could end up with a reputation for having a party flat somewhere central and be a magnet for a social circle you and she don't necessarily want.

If she's going to be there for a few years it might make sense for her to live in halls for a year, even if you buy now and rent the place out?

SE1 is perfectly safe and there's loads to do there, but it's also at the very top of your budget.

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Tue 06-Jan-15 22:13:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 22:22:30

Thanks very much for suggestions - have been busy on Zoopla this afternoon. I think SE1 could be a better choice, but it seems a bit more mixed; the area near London Bridge looks brilliant. Are there any roads to look for or avoid?

I take the point about going it alone rather than being in uni digs, btw, but I think London is different because it is more diverse and spread over a wide area, and also the cost is much higher to rent.

MillyMollyMama Tue 06-Jan-15 22:24:50

Our DDs are living in our flat in Shepherds Bush. The best 2 bed flats there are above £500k now. You have to get used to London living. Nowhere is unsafe, but there are odd people everywhere!

LaRaclette Tue 06-Jan-15 22:25:16

Having said that, amd now looking at Hover's links, which look wonderful - and Kings X is being refurbished I think, and great transport links everywhere.

nikki1978 Tue 06-Jan-15 22:34:41

Bermondsey is a great area and you can get a really nice 2 bed flat for around £500k

pinkdelight Tue 06-Jan-15 23:03:53

Some of Bermondsey is a great area. There's some bits south of Jamaica Road, further away from London Bridge, that aren't lovely, but if you look closer to London Bridge you'll be fine. More than fine. A wharf apartment in Shad Thames appears to be gettable for c£600k.

stonecircle Tue 06-Jan-15 23:07:34

I take your point Namehanger. DS probably wouldn't want the responsibility either now I think about it - I was looking at it from my point of view and thinking it would be nice to know his accommodation was sorted. [Thinking of my own final year when we discovered that our flat had been sub-let without the landlord's knowledge and we had to vacate asap - two weeks into the year when every available property in town had been let!)

Somethingtodo Wed 07-Jan-15 00:06:48

I think that your DD should really go for uni halls in her first year for social and security reasons - think she will really miss out on the social life and making network connections (even if she doesnt hang on to these longer term).

All uni halls are all in W1 etc - I cant imagine any 18 year old wanting to live alone for the first time when leaving least let her do the first or second term in halls.

2nd year agree - buy somewhere central. But by then she might have a feel for where she would like to live. Also the weekend parent visits -- very uncool....would do this only during uni holidays. She needs to spread her wings and have/develop her own social life - not have her parents bobbing up and cramping her style !

LaRaclette Wed 07-Jan-15 09:32:03

Thank you very much for the further comments and I think Something and others make good points about DD learning to be independent of us and making friendships in hall, so perhaps it woud be better to wait a year. I suppose that, despite current indications that the London property market is cooling, if we leave it a year it might be even less affordable.

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