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Moving to St Albans / Harpenden / Kimpton - Parking at stations?

(18 Posts)
WannabeCountryBumpkin Wed 06-Apr-16 15:18:50

Help needed smile

Me and my husband currently live in east London and want to buy a property in Herts and get away from the smelly sticky streets of London!

Really interested in St Albans / Harpenden and surrounding villages. I work in Covent Garden and need a decent commute (1 hour or just over) and my husband is freelance and works all over London but mostly from home (lucky him!!)

I really like the idea of being on the fast train line to St Pancras but property prices are squeezing us out of the towns and into surrounding villages.

We have a max budget of 400k and of course would love a 3 bed house with a garden. but are realising we may have to settle for something smaller as its just the 2 of us (for now!!!)

We recently visited Kimpton and found some affordable properties, its so beautiful there but im just a bit worried about driving to harpenden station as the parking looks like a nightmare - Does anybody know what its like in the morning?

If anybody could share their experiences of doing a similar move or if anybody has any advice on the area or the commute..... it would be SO SO helpful!

Thanks in advance smile

MiniMover Wed 06-Apr-16 15:28:51

We no longer live there but when we did, parking at Harpenden was horrendous. St Albans has more parking but it's still very full from just after 7 (or it was)

The benefit of St Albans is that you get more faster trains whereas the Harpenden one is (or was) just the slower ones.
Wheathampstead and Sandridge are just outside St. Albans and slightly cheaper. Also look at Tring and Berkhamsted.
I don't really know Kimpton but I always think it's a bit too close to Luton.

SearchingforSleep Wed 06-Apr-16 15:41:44

Have you considered Hitchin? £400k will go further in Hitchin than St Albans and most of the town is within walking distance of the station. 30 mins ish to Kings Cross.

NakedMum33and3rd Wed 06-Apr-16 17:56:01

Have a look at London Colney. Is easily bikeable to St. Albans and also loads of buses. You can get a terraced 3 bed in a nice street for around £400000 we just sold ours for just under that. It's a really great village and lots of good shops! Really easy to get on the m1 and m25 and round the corner from willows farm which is amazing if you have little ones.

RingUpRingRingDown Wed 06-Apr-16 18:38:02

From Kiimpton you'd be better driving to Luton airport parkway station - ample parking there.

zeddybrek Wed 06-Apr-16 22:29:37

By the time the train gets to St Albans or Harpenden it's pretty full unless you get a really early train. Sometimes it's hard to just even get on the train to stand. I would recommend giving the commute a go if possibly to get a feel.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 06-Apr-16 22:49:30

Walk to station in Hemel? - 26 minutes to Euston.

Or this if you want pretty

There's a couple also walkable (but obviously not massive houses) in Harpenden - a 2 bed cottage on station road for 385k

LaurieFairyCake Wed 06-Apr-16 22:50:19

This one in Harpenden is so pretty

feetheart Wed 06-Apr-16 23:00:13

I'd second Luton Airport Parkway - parking is fine and the train is emptier.
Ignore the Luton detractors, I wasn't born here and have lived in St Albans and worked in Harpenden. I know where I'd rather live. And the lovely 3-bedroomed semi opposite us has just gone for well under £350,000 grin
What about Wheathampstead or Kensworth?

wetlaurel Wed 06-Apr-16 23:07:59

I think parking is fine at Harpenden station until about 0745 ish. Worst in wet weather obvs. Re. seats, my DH always gets a seat and usually gets the 0738 which might possibly be slightly slower than the fast ones. Someone said there weren't any fast trains from Harpenden, not true, plenty are 26 mins into St P. Having said all that I think when you factor in the drive from Kimpton, the park, and the onward journey in London your commute will be way over an hour.

Sootica Thu 07-Apr-16 08:14:45

Bear in mind if you plan to have DC and return to work, after nursery drop offs if you can't get to the station early anymore to park can turn an OK commute into a nightmare! would second Hitchin and Letchworth. The trains at commuter time are non stop to kings cross in about 23-25 mins.

TheNaze73 Thu 07-Apr-16 08:19:13

400k won't get you much in St Albans or Harpo. My parents moved out of Wanstead to out that way & they didn't get much change from the East London house sale to buy the property up in Herts. Having been there for work, the earlier suggestion of Hitchin, was a good one

Rahgh Thu 07-Apr-16 08:23:56

We're just buying in market harborough, an hour to st Pancras and get get much more for your money!

MaybeDoctor Thu 07-Apr-16 08:24:25

Look South not north.
We realised that everyone in north London moves to H and you get a lot more for your money down south. Train lines into Victoria and London bridge.

Around my way a 3 bed is £330k, walking distance to station, lovely countryside and about 35-40 mins to London bridge.

Mamia15 Thu 07-Apr-16 08:31:57

What about Hatfield? Lots of housing near the station which means you can walk.

Hopalot Thu 07-Apr-16 08:45:23

Second London Colney. About 15-20 mins drive to st Albans station in rush hour and plenty of parking in the multi storey nearby. I go to London Bridge regularity at 10 am ( going today) and there are still quite a lot of spaces left. Takes me one hour door to door (will be even quicker when London Bridge station renovation is complete). Takes about 20 mins on fast train to st Pancras.
As pp said, great, safe place to live, great shopping and easy access to M25. Napsbury Park in London Colney is a lovely place but not sure if it's within your budget.

Triplepinch Thu 07-Apr-16 17:17:05

Hi there. I moved from Central London to St Albans about 8 months ago.

It is by far one of the best decisions I've made in my adult life - and I don't miss London as I still work there and can get to my favourite haunts whenever I want, day or night. This is the distinct advantage of living within walking distance of the mainline train station. 20 mins into St Pancras anyone? Crossrail will be live soon, so getting about town will be even easier from Farringdon.

Also, and no one told me this but is a massive bonus, it's a 35 minute drive to Heathrow (but you need to get your flight times right otherwise you can get stuck in horrendous traffic). Luton is even closer!

My advice to you is to be honest about why you want to move, because living in St Albans or Harpenden with all their facilities and very easy access to everywhere is very different to living in a village or suburb on the outskirts. Importantly for me, I consider it a safer investment as St Albans in particular is a high demand area (and always has been) for the bracket you're after, whereas Harpenden is more attractive to those who want massive houses with huge price tags to match.

Also BEWARE: Transportation is eye watering, and the traffic is terrible, so living outside may seem better on paper but I suspect the reality is something else. And no, you don't get a seat on the train, but so what.

From what you've mentioned I'd probably stick with St Albans, increase your budget slightly, move within walking distance to the station and buy a 2 bed flat

This one would be divine with a bit of TLC:

Triplepinch Thu 07-Apr-16 17:20:20

To clarify, the transportation costs are eye watering.

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