Hi my son is thinking of buying a house in Essex as he said he can get more for his money than Surrey (where we live) does anybody please know of nice places where you can get a 2 bedroomed house for less than £200,000 and also - and importantly - are there any places to avoid? He was looking at Kent too but not much within his budget Anywhere really though - Surrey, west or East Sussex, Kent, Essex or similar.
Thank you for any opinions.
Essex covers a lot of ground! I grew up in Essex.... now I live in Surrey!
I would avoid south and East Essex including Upminster, Pitsea, Southend, Shoeburyness. To be honest you are going to struggle for that budget unless you live in a rough area. The nice areas that spring to mind are Chelmsford, Saffron Walden and alike but house prices are similar to surrey.
Thanks for the avoid areas. Really don't want hm to live in a rough area so just going to have to keep looking I guess.
Have a look at Colchester. It's got so much going on and just an hour from London.
I live in Southend - it's not all rough. He won't get a house for that money but there are plenty of flats. It's a great first stepping stone into the property market. Prices are rising rapidly here though. My flat went up 5% in the last year and 50% in the last 5 years.
You won't get much for that amount to be honest, maybe a couple of years ago but not now. You have to get a lot of opinions really. I lived in basildon for 26 years and saw the horrible place it became. Sure you get nice streets and better areas, but the main areas such as town centre are not nice places to be around. Same goes for southend, the high street is very intimidating.
Also worth remembering that there are very big commuter routes throughout Essex and that affects house prices
The only reason for him to avoid Upminster, is that he would be lucky to be able to afford even a one bedroom flat there, probably would need nearer £400,000 for a two bed house.Having lived there, I would also say Chelmsford has its fair share of 'rough' areas. The thing is, people's idea of 'rough' it otherwise, is very personal and the only way to really find out is to visit at different times, check out schools, facilities, look at the general state of the area and check out local news sources.
FWIW, I do think your son will struggle to buy within his price range in an area that has good road and transport links as well as being somewhere he wants to live. My own dcs have all but given up even looking to buy here now - one is now renting ( 1 bed flat recently purchased by landlord for over £350.000) and the other (with potentially greater earning potential) still at home waiting for partner to earn enough so they can buy together.
Frankly, the housing situation for our youngsters in these areas, is a mess.
Does he intend to commute into London for work? If so I'd look at the commuter routes and work from there. Chelmsford and Colchester are nicer than south Essex.
Be warned that house prices around thst area have gone up about 10% each year for the last few years, although it's area specific.
On that budget I would say he'd have to go North Essex. I live in Colchester. It's lovely.
Thanks for all your replies he isn't limited to Essex it's just we're in Surrey and he works around the south east often London but can be Brighton or Portsmouth or Kent or elsewhere. He has to drive his van wherever he is working so doesn't need to worry about trains
I just want him to be able to live in a decent area. The reason for not wanting to live in a flat is mainly because a lot have high maintenance and service charges.
It is so unfair how expensive properties are in this area compared to other parts of the country which are just as nice
I second Colchester. Not sure about ashford there were properties around that price last year
Thanks think the drive from Colchester to Brighton would probably takes ages though. There are some places in Chatham that he can afford but think some areas there not so nice.
I think anywhere within the broad area you've mentioned will have its nice and not so nice areas. That's part of the problem when you move to an area you are not familiar with - you don't always have enough local knowledge to decide for yourself and of course, estate agents and vendors won't always be transparent because they are after a sale. I think it's going to be important to work out potential journey times for him for work. The QE2 bridge and the tunnel are often very slow moving or even closed if there's an accident. Essex roads, imo, are not as well maintained as those in Kent. The A12 , despite being the main road towards Harwich etc, is not good - a lot of dual carriageway but some single. The only motorways are the M11 and part of the M25. I love Essex, I grew up here, but I'm not sure I'd choose to move here now if I needed access to south of the river.
Hi Op not farmilar with Essex, but would avoid Chatham/Gillingham reasonable prices in Maidstone & I believe most of the area is pretty ok with good motorway access, lots of new developments around in & around Maidstone as well within his budget.
Thanks, Maidstone would probably be better if within his budget and good access to M25 and more central for his work. I'll have a look, I saw one there the other day but looking at google street view it was right by the prison 😳
So guess there are nicer places than others there.
Summerbreeze1 reading your post, I would suggest looking at Kent where properties can be found at the £200k region. Your son travels to south east areas or maybe as far as Portsmouth, so I would think travelling via the Dartford crossing to and from Essex every day is not worth the hassle. This one in Rainham, Kent doesn't look too bad (though I don't know Kent very well) for example.
If you don't like the idea of him living near a prison, definitely avoid Chelmsford! Personally, that alone would not put me off - after all, the criminals are on the inside! I'd be more hesitant about a lovely location near an open prison than one near a high security one.
Thanks yes you have a point. It was partly the fact that the front door was directly opposite a huge prison wall.
Anyway now he has kind of realised that he isn't going to realistically be able to afford a house so is looking at flats now. Hopefully he will be able to afford something in an area that will make his daily travelling ok. Just need to watch out for high maintenance charges as I know some incur these.
There are rough areas everywhere op. If your son is old enough to move out he will be able to discern the area for himself! He might find somewhere for that budget in westcliff, Hadleigh, southend, shoebury, south Woodham ferrers, pitsea and basildon. Personally I would avoid the two latter though.
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