We've just got the go ahead on a mortgage and DP's mum is willing to give / lend a 20% deposit so we are going to start house hunting. We currently live in Peckham which we love but it's just not within our price range.
Parts of Walthamstow seem to have houses that are in need of some TLC but I have no idea what the place is like. We are planning on having a wander around next weekend but in the meantime, does anyone have any good / bad things to say about it?
I should say we ideally are looking for something that we can do up. The intention is to live there but since we are being lent so much, we could do with adding some value so we pay DP's mum back with interest.
I can't work out whether Walthamstow is likely to ever be properly desirable.
I live in Walthamstow and love it. What sort of areas are you looking at?
Things I like:
- transport links: Victoria line is very fast, there's the overground between Liverpool Street and Chingford and another overground between Barking and Gospel Oak. We don't have a car, and I get ridiculously sick on busses, so having extra options for the inevitable tube strikes / rail works is good.
- easy access to massive open spaces: Chingford is just at Epping Forest, Gospel Oak is at Hampstead Heath, Blackhorse road is a couple of stops away and you can get to Lee Valley from there.
- good local parks. Lloyd Park was done up about three years ago, and it's got a really impressive range of things (playgrounds, skatepark, gym, bowling, tennis courts). It's also got the William Morris Gallery, which is interesting.
- lots going on: I can't really clarify this in a sentence! But there feels like a lot of active groups and things like craft markets etc.
- new Empire cinema has just opened, and it is actually affordable instead of crazy London cinema prices.
- great restaurants: I mainly know the ones in the Village area, which range from gastro pubs to tapas
If you're having a wander round I'd say look at Orford Road (that and the surrounding areas are known as Walthamstow Village) and check out Lloyd Park. The bit immediately outside Walthamstow Central is nothing special, generic chicken shops etc, but there's useful things like a big Asda and Sainsburys.
I'm not sure if it's still the case, but last year Waltham Forest saw the highest price rises across the UK, so some people are finding it desirable! There's certainly been a lot of gentrification since we moved here about three years ago.
Consider Leyton/Leytonstone as well. They are feeling the effects of Olympic money and and influx of people looking for better value than Hackney, Stoke Newington etc. some nice areas, good access to open spaces and the Central Line, but a bit further behind Walthamstow (or parts of it at least) so may give you more opportunity to add value. Worth a look anyway.
I think quite a lot of people are already finding Walthamstow desirable, OP. For all the reasons PP have given, I think it's a pretty safe place to move to.
Having said that, is there still an issue with boys' secondary schools? Long way off, I know.
We looked at Walthamstow earlier this year. Ended up rejecting it mainly because of the weird split between the (very nice, very small and very expensive) "village" and the town centre itself (a bit grotty tbh), also the walk from the nicer bits to the tube station is long and didnt feel that safe.
We decided on Leytonstone in the end - it has a lovely high street, great access to parks, exellent primary schools and great transport links.
What's your budget?
Just realised that "rejected" sounds pretty harsh on Walthamstow and I feel bad! "Decided against" would be a better way to put it. Walthamstow is nice but Leytonstone suited us much better.
Thanks for the feedback.
I'd seen the varying prices and assumed some parts were more desirable than others. Our budget is potentially up to £500k but I think I'd feel more comfortable with £400-450k.
It's only me and DP at the moment so schools etc not our priority.
Will check out Leytonstone too, thanks.
Just out of curiosity, how expensive is 'the village'? The area is completely new to me so I don't know which roads are considered part of the village.
The Village is nice... It's trying to be a bit shoreditch-y imho.
I grew up in Walthamstow and have lots of friends there. I know it well and know there are areas to avoid and late evenings can feel daunting, however it's like that everywhere you go!
My mum still lives there near the Baker's Arms end which is where I grew up. It can be a mixed bag and we've seen some awful things happen (men walking down the street shouting with a metal bar, mum finding a bloody knife in her driveway, a gang of kids destroying her cat with their dogs ) but at the same time I have worked in a few of the pubs in walthamstow and have had little to no trouble. I also work late nights in london and find that i dont feel threatened or scared on my way home.
DH wasnt so keen on the place... He said that people walked around like they were gangsters all the time... If i was walking with him and a group of blokes were walking towards us, DH would have to get off the pavement so they didnt mow him down!
Again, on the flip side, there is a good gay scene (The Vic) and the wonderful old cinema is being done up (buddy holly, roy orbison, the beatles and the rolling stones all played there!). There is a good creative scene - the rose and crown pub has a little theatre upstairs and both venues hold open mic nights. I have frequently left the vic in the small hours and hopped in a taxi home alone with no problem! It's quite a community
I lived off of Forest Road for about 4 years and that was alright - there's a wierd area between the fire station and blackhorse road that i'd avoid - where the lord palmerston pub is. But Lloyds Park area is nice (friend just bought a warner flat there). The Village isn't much to write home about... Just trying to be posh... It's got some nice shops and pubs but IMHO not worth the extra cash to live there!
Transport is wonderful and there are 3 night buses that go from central london to walthamstow.
Hope that helps haha!
Bloody hell that is mixed. Don't like the idea of wannabe gangsters although have lived in Brixton and Peckham and Brixton definitely has some of its own wannabes.
I so miss the tube! Overground and trains just aren't the same.
Will be interesting to see if I feel at all threatened - that'll be the clincher.
Is Walthamstow within a budget of £450k-500k? I'm amazed. I thought it was well beyond that. I'm pleasantly surprised.
Find some friends or friends of friends who live there and have a wander round. FWIW, if I was buying now, I'd also look at the "naice" parts of Tottenham near Seven Sisters, also the Haringey/Hackney border, and have friends down near Forest Hill too.
thecat - oh dear, that doesn't bode well. Rightmove have properties on there but perhaps they're in the v v undesirable areas.
We've had Seven Sisters recommended actually. Another place to add to the list - nice to have someone second it as my brother suggested I avoid at all costs.
If you've lived in Brixton then Walthamstow is alright comparitively. It's better the devil you know, i think... I found Brixton more daunting when I moved to Vauxhall. But Brixton has more going on - better shops, the music venues, the market.
Walthamstow's market is pretty much just knock off supermarket stuff. I dont find it as interesting as like Brick Lane market - not as much character.
I also really dont want to sound like the most pessimistic person, but some of the old boys who i served at the pub had been mugged it seems like those who have been targeted (IME) are male. And we're talking blokes in their 60s walking home from the pub. We started insisting they got taxis, but even after they had been mugged, they were too stubborn.
Not sure about seven sisters... I always avoided being there late at night... Finsbury park is meant to be quite nice.
I'd recommend spending a day or two in walthamstow (there's a travel lodge by the station) to sample it in all it's glory!
I lived there for 12 years. It was great when we were a young couple commuting.
The High Street is a dump, and there is crime but no worse than most places. Avoid anywhere near Priory Court. And that stretch between Blackhorse Road and up Forest Road to the Tesco, also Higham Hill Road isn't nice although the streets on the other side of the allotments are okish but lots of shabby rentals.
The village is way overrated imho and I think prices have peaked.
We loved it before the supposed gentrification started. The council are approving way too much building work, thousands more residents but no improvement in services. Small roads, very expensive CPZs and congestion.
We went out to Redbridge once we had children as the schools and services are better. South Woodford is nicer by a mile, as are Leytonstone, Woodford Green and Wanstead.
North Ilford/Gants Hill is a good bet for profit due to Crossrail if you can put up with suburbia.
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