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Where shall we move in SE London?

(38 Posts)
allovertheworld Wed 06-May-15 21:28:26

We're currently in a 2 bed flat on zone 1/2 borders, it's fairly big but as DC2 gets older we're starting to feel the squeeze. A few years ago the plan was to move out to Peckham where we have family but I would like a garden and a bit more space than we currently have. We can't afford those in Peckham now, but would still like to be fairly close to family there.

Commutes are to Victoria and the City; DC are 3 and 1; our budget is up to about £900k (though would prefer nearer £700-800k if possible so that we can remain flexible about one of us being PT while kids are small).

Was looking at Forest Hill/Sydenham because it seems you can still get space for your money. Anyone live there and can recommend? Or any other areas we should explore?

allovertheworld Wed 06-May-15 21:31:23

Oh, the significance of DC ages (if it's not clear) is that schools are a factor - we aren't in catchment of any decent primaries here (by which I mean reasonable Ofsted, good community reputation and involvement), and secondaries even worse.

applecatchers36 Wed 06-May-15 21:37:05

Got friends who have bought in Tooting, as more affordable & love it but not sure if that's too far out for you?

allovertheworld Wed 06-May-15 21:47:41

Hmm yes, good curries in Tooting too (apparently); I hadn't really thought of that area. Will off and rightmove it to see what is available.

applecatchers36 Wed 06-May-15 21:56:29

Yes they like all the Sri Lankan curry houses and proximity to Wandsworth common

TremoloGreen Wed 06-May-15 22:01:33

I live in that area - border of Sydenham/Forest Hill. I think you will get something good for your budget here. It's a very family friendly area, I think all the schools are outstanding or good, secondaries a bit more variable, but plenty of time to improve, given the way the primaries are doing.

Lots of green space, Horniman, Sydenham Woods, Dulwich Park, Wells Park. We've really enjoyed our time here, it's the nicest place in London I've lived, in terms of friendliness and community spirit. We're actually moving to Hertfordshire in search of different things, but if I had to live anywhere in London, it would be here!

CeeCee123 Wed 06-May-15 22:07:52

I live in Sydenham, can't recommend it highly enough. Absolutely love it, know all of my neighbours, real community spirit. Live in a lovely semi-detached house with a big garden, and yet we're only in zone 3. Can't beat it. With that budget, you'll get something really lovely. 197 bus will get you to Peckham in no time!

Malcojida Wed 06-May-15 22:14:42

Another advantage of Sydenham is that Penge East station (thameslink and trains into victoria) is only 10 mins walk from sydenham station. So if anything goes horribly wrong on the east london line or with london bridge you've got other options.

The high street is still a little scrappy in places but has a couple of cafes, a butchers, grocers, haberdashery, a little tesco. There's also a posh cafe in mayow park, a zip wire, playground and a fab new green gym.

allovertheworld Wed 06-May-15 23:04:10

I like the idea of big garden in zone 3...Any particular roads or parts which are worth looking at? I like this house (garden!) And it seems good for transport.

Zinxie Thu 07-May-15 10:17:50

Gosh, that house looks nice to live in! I don't know Sydenham whatsoever, but those views and that garden, the high ceilings and the space...lookin good!

WellTidy Thu 07-May-15 10:24:07

If you need to get into Victoria, have you considered Bromley? Train links from Bromley South to Victoria take less than 20 minutes non stop and run frequently. Bromley has a huge range of housing types, and it is very residential and suburban, with good schols, parks, etc.

Jackiebrambles Thu 07-May-15 10:28:50

I'm in Sydenham/Forest hill borders and we LOVE it.

Trains from Sydenham go direct to Victoria or London Bridge and there's the overground if you need to get to Canary wharf (change at Canada Water).

Bought a 4 bed place with lovely garden last year for less than £700k so with your budget you'll be able to get a great place.

Primary schools are good (and there's lots of them) - although my DC arent' of that age (yet!) this was one of the reasons we chose the area.

The green spaces/parks and sense of community are brilliant.

Apatite1 Thu 07-May-15 11:01:36

I live (well, will live when the house is finished) on the west Dulwich/Dulwich village borders and I recommend it, but your budget won't go far here. If you move towards crystal palace, you could buy a really nice home there. If you are considering forest hill, then I urge you to check out this adjacent area too.

CeeCee123 Thu 07-May-15 12:54:49

Allovertheworld - looks like a great house. Nice area too. The one thing you might want to watch are your school catchment areas. There are more schools north of Sydenham Road than South. Lewisham Admissions office are very nice and patient - if you call them with the house address, they should be able to tell you the distance as they measure it from various local schools. Or I saw a link on here a little while ago where you could map out school catchment areas.
Overall, the "Thorpes" (Queensthorpe, Bishopsthorpe etc) roads are very lovely and in a conservation area. You may not quite hit your budget though. Also - Lawrie Park Avenue/Lawrie Park Road is also very nice, but may also have a similar school black spot issue.
Once you start heading up North from Sydenham station - there are more schools in that area - Kelvin Grove, Elliot Bank (although they have a tiny catchment area), St Barts to name just a few. Also, north of Sydenham Road but further down towards Lower Sydenham has another good cluster of schools. Worth checking yourself - the estate agent will tell you that there are lots of good schools, but they don't really have a clue!

allovertheworld Sat 09-May-15 11:54:43

Thanks for the road advice CeeCee, we're planning a research trip/wander tomorrow so will aim to wander by those roads. Can anyone suggest other places or roads to visit to get a feel for Forest Hill?

WellTidy I have an irrational feeling that Bromley is too suburban as I had an aunt who lived there so in my head it is an elderly place. But perhaps will look at Rmove and see if I can be tempted.

vez123 Sat 09-May-15 13:35:20

Have a look around Honor Oak Park. It's one stop closer to town than FH. It's got a little high street with a sainsbury's, a florist, gift shop, deli, restaurants. Green spaces are One Tree Hill and Blythe Hill. Schools are Stillness, Dalmain, William of York, which are all good or outstanding. Very family friendly and very close to Forest Hill too.
This house is very close to Blythe Hill, also not far from the high street and close to all schools mentioned.

You should also check out the houses around the horniman museum. Great views and you could be in the catchment of Fairlawn school, one of the best schools in SE London.

MomOrMum Sat 09-May-15 19:22:46

With 800-900 you should be able to get something in the catchment for Fairlawn or Horniman in SE23. Just do a 200-250 m radius around each of those schools and wander around. The hilly roads behind the Horniman Museum are lovely! Canonbie, Ringmore Rise, etc. Very easy for Peckham on 63 or 363 buses.

MomOrMum Sat 09-May-15 19:27:39 seems prices are even crazier than I realised in those roads. Maybe try the catchment around Stillness or Dalmain? Duncombe Hill, etc. Especially the parts around Duncombe Hill that back onto the private forest!

allovertheworld Sat 09-May-15 20:13:21

MomOrMum it is crazy, isn't it? Feeling a bit crap about it as I think we should have moved a year ago maybe we would have got more for our budget but I had my head in the sand and thought we could make this place work for a few more years. Now I feel.pressure to move RIGHT NOW before prices get any loonier

TheBeanpole Sat 09-May-15 23:16:41

Have you considered a bit further down in Penge so you can be between Penge East and West stations? It gets both your commutes covered and the Victoria line is fast- 16 minutes ish (and also a quick bus to Peckham). This is lovely:

The area is a bit scrappy still but rapidly improving with new pubs and restaurants etc and Crystal Palace park is brilliant (and a 20 minute walk up the hill to CP for all the farmers' markets you can eat...). Not so sure about schools though as DD is too young for us to have looked at any and they are all changing quite rapidly: Harris dominates at primary and secondary. The neighbours all seem happy enough. At secondary Harris CP is very good academically if you like that sort of thing and you'd be in reach of Sydenham/Forest Hill if you'd prefer those. Alexandra infants is supposed to be fab but really tiny catchment.

dontcallmelen Sun 10-May-15 00:03:46

Hi op beckenham is lovely excellent transport, lovely high street, waitrose/sanisburys/lidl & m&s really lovely green spaces, excellent primary schools & really good leisure
centre, sorry I cant link rightmove etc
as phone, its a really nice place to live.

allovertheworld Tue 12-May-15 16:21:28

Just bumping this up again to see if anyone can give us any advice about Streatham? Heard food things generally but is it ok for families?

babydad Tue 12-May-15 21:42:27

Just moved out of Streatham Hill. Not through choice, but we wanted a minimum 3 bed house and the prices are ridiculous. Was in Streatham for 8 years and the change was phenomenal. The high street has changed into a very cool deli style and independent offering.
Schools are brilliant, which is why I think house prices and demand has risen as people get priced out of Balham and Brixton. Primary schools are particularly good with Hitherfield, Dunraven, Streatham Wells, Sunnyhill all been good or outstanding.
For your budget you would be able to get a 3/4 bed on one of the ABCD roads which is a conservation area.
If there is anything in particular you want to know please ask, I know the area pretty well.
Moved to Hither Green which is another area you should consider. Fab schools and brilliant transport links.

splendiferous Wed 13-May-15 00:19:38

Hi OP, your post and subsequent comments struck a bit of a chord and gave me flashbacks to my housing angst a few years back! so just wanted to offer a little moral support! FWIW think you should have quite a bit of choice for your budget in southeast London. Honour oak, Forest hill, Sydenham, beckenham, Bromley. Crystal palace, streatham all seem great places to live with decent transport links and we also considered them all ourselves. The 'best' area is such a subjective thing though. No matter what the budget there always seem to be compromises required somehow - house, garden, schools catchments, nightlife, commute time, walk to station, local shops etc - only you know what's most important to you and your situation. Sometimes I think there are just too many options also!

The area we moved to wasn't even on our list initially (we blindly wrote it off at an early stage as too far out), but things just sort of evolved as we went through the process of understanding our priorities. It took a while! Good luck with your house hunting and try not to worry..I'm sure it will all work out eventually. grin

allovertheworld Wed 13-May-15 10:00:26

Thanks splendiferous you are exactly right it's almost too much choice. It feels like our search basically extends across all of south London zone 3/4.

We've also just spoken to an IFA and it looks like we could push up to £1m so that means I'm going back to old areas I had discounted and wondering: what if? However I also know we're in an incredibly lucky position so trying to focus on the positives rather than get stressed. You're right the areas of compromise will become easier to spot once we're actually viewing.

babydad thanks for the info, I'm off to Streatham today to wander with the baby and see what I think of it. If I have questions I shall ask.

Thanks again to everyone actually, so helpful to be able to get real views on these areas not just estate agent patter.

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