Where to move in London?(61 Posts)
After many years of renting in London we are looking to buy our first place and start a family. I work in clapham, and DP near bank. Our budget is around 650k, though we could push to 700k for something that ticks all the boxes, and we are also happy to get our hands a bit dirty with a project. Over the next few weeks we are planning on visiting a few areas to get a better feeling on where to go.
We preferably would like a house with 3 beds. Though a flat with outdoor space will work. Bar that we are quite flexible. DP would like to keep his commute to 45 mins, and I'm happy with upto an hour. Our families are from the north, so it would be nice to be near the north/west of London, but that is by no means a firm requirement! We'd like to live in an area with lots of things going and a decent high Street.
Shortlist so far:
Honor oak park/forest hill
West harrow/harrow on the hill
Are there any particular roads in these areas to focus a search on?
And please feel free to suggest any other areas!
I think, with the exception of Honor Oak/FH, those areas would be a major pain to get to Clapham from. You should still be able to buy a house in SE23 for that budget though.
I live in Clapham with in-laws in Yorkshire - we visit quite often. We can get to the M1 in half an hour if we set off early so, unless you are doing the journey very often, I wouldn't prioritise the journey to the motorway with an easy commute to your offices.
I've moved to Honor Oak after living in East Dulwich and love it. We focused on the roads in between Honor Oak Park (the high street) and Forest Hill. Nice houses and quiet roads because they're closed to traffic one way, nice neighbours as well as I'm discovering! This little patch of roads mean you can also walk to Forest Hill in 15 minutes, but although it's smaller I prefer Honor Oak's high street as it's not as busy with traffic as Forest Hill, but you've still got a good number of restaurants (tapas place, great sourdough pizza place, really nice family run Italian place and an unusual/special Indian restaurant) within walking distance, a couple of cafes/deli, sainsbury's local etc. Also got the Honor Oak pub which re-opened last year and is nice for a drink/Sunday roast. You've got One Tree hill for a bit of greenery, and Blythe Hill Fields nearby. 15 minutes up the road you've also got places like The Brockley Jack studio theatre.
Forest Hill has also got loads of nice places, a new gastropub opened up recently called The Perry Vale - haven't been there yet but used to go to their other place (The Crooked Well) a lot which was excellent.
You can get a direct train to Clapham Junction (or switch at Surrey Quays on the overground). Takes around 15 minutesish to London Bridge at the moment but that should speed up a bit once they've sorted all the issues around London Bridge.
I don't know the other areas of London you've mentioned I'm afraid, but would definitely recommend SE23 as an option.
We are off to honor oak park/forest hill on Saturday to do a few viewings. Quite excited to see the horniman museum! Is there a distinct difference between FH and HOP BTW?
Will definitely roam around the high street. How is it east of the tracks there?
I used to live around Forest Hill, south of where you're looking though. I think you'll find your money will go further there than the other two places you're considering. All in all, it's a nice part of London to live. Links to Clapham Junction v good.
As for getting up North from there - my folks are a trip up the M1 - it can take an hour to get out of London, then plain sailing usually (3-4 hours) from the M25. Traffic around the South Circular can be particularly dreadful at weekends.
HOP is really part of FH, it just has another station, it's probably just an estate agent construct to refer to it as a place in it's own right (a bit like referring to Oval rather than Kennington). It does have a little parade of shops and is kind of uphill from the rest of FH. There are a couple of good nature reserve/ green chain areas accessible from there, but then FH south is close to Sydenham Woods and has the Horniman and the arguably more useful high street with the library and pools (and Sainsbos).
Look very, very carefully at catchment areas if state schools are a priority for you. All around Forest hill is nuts - I know a family who live at the end of Dalmain Road who were turned down for a place at Dalmain school even though they could see it from their house, for example.
We focused on the area East of the tracks (if you mean the railway line between Honor Oak Park and Forest Hill stations) but think both sides are equally nice! Devonshire Road and Garthorne Road both back onto the nature reserve which means you get a lovely green view out the back. The farmers market should be on at Horniman if you go this Saturday.
You could get a lovely 3/4 bed Victorian house in Leytonstone (E11) for that money. Really easy journey to Bank and I think clapham should be under 1 hour (central line then northern line). The high street is great, gazillions of restaurants and some nice family friendly pubs. The nicest bits are Bushwood (Hartley Road, Leybourne Road etc) and Upper Leytonstone (poppleton road etc). Both areas are very leafy and close to big parks & the high street/tube and I'm sure you could find something for 650, especially if you were willing to do some work.
FH was amazing. I am truely impressed.
We viewed a few places east and west of the tracks. We liked the roads near Devonshire Road and Canonbie Road, now just need to find something in budget. Doesn't seem like there are many places on the market, but we'll keep our eyes peeled.
We spent more time near forest hill, so next time we are planning to do some viewings closer to honor oak park.
We'll trek to harrow at some point to make sure we have a comparison! Thanks for all the advice
Crofton Park SE4 would be an area to consider too. The houses will be slightly cheaper than Honor Oak, but you'd still in walking distance of Honor Oak Park train station. You'd also have the choice of using Crofton Park station too. Admittedly trains are infrequent from here but you can get to Denmark Hill easily where you can change on to the Overground to get to Clapham.
Roads in Crofton Park I would recommend include Crofton Park Road, Manwood Road, Salehurst Road, Bexhill Road, Merritt Road, Darfield Road and Stillness Road (although Stillness Road is officially SE23).
Went to harrow today, south of the station was very nice. Definitely better value for money, but the commute is a bit longer than we want.
We will focus our search on forest hill and the surrounding areas.
alaska will visit those roads on our next visit.
What are the general thoughts on Sydenham?
Hey Raspberry - did you find a house in Forest Hill?
I live in Sydenham and I love it - everyone knows everyone else, can't walk down the street on a sunny day without having to stop and say hi to half the neighborhood. We live across the street from the kids school, could not be happier. Suggest you look at Upper Sydenham
Viewed quite a few properties now!
Pricing between estate agents is a bit silly... Variation of 75k on houses on the same road
More or less certain it will be FH/hop, just have to find a place with the least amount of compromises.
WHat is you budget and requirements (rooms etc...)?
Gosh I wish you could delete posts - I have now seen your opening post and you've got it all in there!
Over the last 3 months we have made several offers for properties in FH, but unfortunately no luck.
We were close on one, but it went to sealed bids. So we are in the dark on how far we were out.
As Christmas is approaching the market is slowing down, not many new properties are available, and only the overpriced stock remains.
We are hopeful in the new year, but the whole process can wear you down!
Sorry you've missed out so far. Hopefully you'll manage to find somewhere soon!
I hope you find somewhere soon. When I was looking for my first flat (also in London) it took me 6 months to find what I wanted in my budget. (I wasn't that fussy, all I wanted was a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room!)
I was getting pretty despondent towards then end then two places I liked came up at once.
It was worth the wait for me, hopefully for you too!
Been having a think about extending our search to .... Catford! West of catford station, south of the south circular.
We are happy to wait until Feb... But there is no harm looking further afield.
Hopefully over the next few weekend we can explore, but was hoping for some wise thoughts from here.
Looking at the pros vs cons:
+ considerably better value for money
+ Victorian property (as opposed to a 1930s)
+potential bakerloo extension
-we initially liked forest hill due to the horimann.... Being this far East reduces the "green spaces"
-longer to get into work
General consensus seems to be that it's not very desirable, and I've heard that it's "up and coming", though maybe thats just estate agent speak.
Additionally we are considering Sydenham.... Being one further stop down.
Any comments are much appreciated!
how about Hither Green? It's in between Lewisham and Catford. You would benefit from the huge amount of amenities in Lewisham, many streets are well within walking distance. Lewisham centre is going through an extensive regeneration programme.
There are two parts to Hither Green, East and West side of the train tracks. The east side is closer to Lee/Blackheath and is a fair bit more expensive and may be out of your price range. The west side is better value, a bit rougher around the edges (but in my opinion better than Catford), and you can still get a good sized three bed Victorian for 650k. You can still enjoy all the shops, restaurants and parks of the East side. Even on the West side, there is the beautiful Mountsfield Park, and a great primary school.
In my opinion, all of the mentioned areas such as Brockley, Forest Hill, and Honor Oak Park have upped and come and the prices are too punchy now.
Food for thought, hope of help to you.
I live in SE14, ten mins from Queens Rd Peckham which has a direct line to Clapham, and to London Bridge (8mins) or bus to Bank (25 mins dep on traffic). 3bed victorian terraces where we are are going on the market at £580-650. Similar houses in Crofton Park, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley are £700+
Catford would be a good option though and you can change at Peckham for the Clapham line.
Property search starts again! We are potentially looking one stop down from FH in Sydenham.
What is the general consensus on Sydenham? In particular the part south of the station, but north of Penge East?
I currently live in Peckham and it's great (can't afford to buy here unfortunately). I work near bank and it takes about 40 minutes. Possible to get to bank a variety of routes so you rarely wait long for a train in the morning.
Also overground to Clapham junction from peckham rye. It really is a lovely area. Lots of great places to eat and drink and decent transport links.
I would recommend. Being between Sydenham and Penge East gives you multiple transport options as Penge East is on a different line. Sydenham is great for families with more parks than FH. The area you mentioned means you are also close to Crystal Palace. Sydenham itself is changing all the time. It could do with a couple more decent restaurants but has a few good places to go out. High street is great with butchers bookshop diy store green grocers health food shop etc. feel free to pm me if you need more info
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