Where to live - SW London(38 Posts)
We're looking to move into London as both my DH and I commute at the moment and it is slowly destroying our will to live! We live in a lovely area and own our house, but we hardly see each other during the week and the trains seem to be getting less reliable.
I work in Battersea and DH near Borough (he currently walks from Waterloo and is happy to walk as part of his commute).
We'd like a 3 or 4 bedroom house, easy commute (as that's why we're moving!), walking distance to a supermarket and useful things like a bank, and preferably some green space nearby too. We'd be thinking about children in the next 5 years so things to do with children and primary schools are a consideration too.
We're very lucky to have some help from our parents so we're looking at around a £1.5 million budget. I'm aware of how incredibly lucky we are to have this but I'm also feeling the pressure of making good decisions with this money!
We've looked at Putney and Barnes so far. I like Putney but worried the trains will be totally crammed in rush hour (is that the case?) and DH wasn't a fan of how much traffic there is on the high street. So, any suggestions for other areas we should go and look round? It doesn't have to be SW London, that just seemed the logical place to start given where we both work.
I would base myself on the northern line, then DH can get the tube to work (or walk if you are far enough north) and then you can get the bus or cycle to battersea.
1.5 would buy you a 3 or 4 bed in oval, Stockwell, Clapham North and south, maybe common. Or if you wanted something edgier try Brixton (personally it's just a little too chaotic for me, but nice to visit)
Your DH will always get on the tube at Stockwell and probably Oval. At Clapham South and Common he might have to wait a few trains, at North he would need to walk/bus to Stockwell.
Lots of friendly communities around here, nice parks, cafes and independent shops.
Between the Commons in Battersea is an obvious spot, your husband could commute from Clapham Jcn to Waterloo or, depending on which road you lived on, take the tube to Borough from Clapham Common or Clapham South stations. £1.5 million will buy you a Victorian house with side return and loft extensions - they don't generally have much garden. Yes, the trains and tubes are rammed at rush hour - I think this would be the case wherever you lived though.
For my money, I would look at Vauxhall which is more mixed, has more interesting architecture and would be an easy commute for both of you.
Thanks everyone. Thanks pinkcardi - that's exactly the kind of local knowledge about the trains we need!
Oh and the market is flat, so everything is going for offers under asking and if you are a cash buyer you could pick up a real bargain (85 -90% of asking)
How far is your commute at the moment? Can you walk to your office from Clapham Junction? If so, would somewhere on the SW Trains line work then your OH can walk from Waterloo and if you go somewhere 15-20 minutes down the fast line you are fairly likely to have some chance of a seat depending on when you travel.
pinkcardi is correct - I forgot about Brixton. As it is the first stop on the Victoria Line, it is not rammed. It soon fills up though .
East Sheen, just down the road from Barnes & Putney has excellent schools, Richmond Park on your doorstep and a quieter feel. Direct line to Waterloo and can walk/bus to Richmond/Kew for district line. Or St Margaret’s is lovely, Marble Hill park, nice cafes, and if train issues you can hop on fast train to Richmond and walk.
In the catchment of Belleville or Honeywell is the obvious choice. Second choice, Earlsfield, in the catchment of Beatrix Potter (train to Vauxhall/Waterloo or cycle to Tooting Bec tube for Northern Line).
St Margaret's does sound nice, though.
Schools in Stockwell are interesting. Brixton's favourite school is Sudbourne. Clapham North has Macauley's and Clapham Manor. All have small catchments and M. is faith-based.
Brockwell Park in Brixton is lovely, you can walk through to Herne Hill super quick. Seem to be able to get most places easily from Brixton.
Why thank you Always good to know that my many years of South living are coming in useful for something!
Guess it depends what you want: leafy suburbs, cafes and spending time out of central London on the weekend then definitely places on the trains like St Margaret's.
If you think you might spend evenings out in London, or spend time there at the weekends then I think the tube is better. I can uber home for less than £10 and you can always find a black cab.
Having done both I prefer being more central but that's certainly not the case for everyone.
Do watch out for aircraft noise from Heathrow, takes some getting used to, particularly the 4.55am ones!
Thanks everyone. Lots of ideas - we really need to get out there and have a good look around, but just haven't had time yet! I think we are probably looking for something on the quieter side so might end up a little bit further out like East Sheen or St Margaret's.
Oh yes aircraft noise is another concern to add into the mix!
Stockwell definitely. Much better connected than eg Wandsworth and you'll get a lot more house. Less posh than some of the places listed here but some of those are too nice for my liking, iyswim. Loads of places you can buy a £7.50 loaf of bread and not enough properly useful shops.
Vauxhall also great but very urban. On the upside, lots of central London in walking distance. Downside is all the noise and dirt you would expect of zone 1. I love it but lots of people don't.
If you're looking for somewhere quieter, then you might like bits of Wimbledon or look further out to zone 5 or 6, e.g. Kingston or Surbiton etc. My part of the world would also be good for your commute with trains into Clapham Junction, Elephant and Castle and London Bridge and it's very green and quiet so a very nice change from central London. However, you'd need to go for a massive detached house to spend 1.5m around here (Sutton).
Thanks JoJo - yes, it's not compulsory to spend our maximum budget! The issue is that, while we're further out at the moment, we're on a fast train line, so some Zone 5 and 6 places wouldn't actually reduce the commute time or not by very much. I'll definitely take a look though.
I suppose it’s a difficult one to weigh up, being close to central London whilst having peace and quiet and a high street that isn’t too manic.
Out of the areas closer in, ‘Between the Commons’ is fab and the Northcote Rd doesn’t have much traffic at all. It’s between 2 commons so might feel relatively quiet and green.
Bits of Wimbledon towards the village should also fit the bill but it’s very dear around there.
Have a look at the flight paths over East Sheen and St Margaret’s - they’re very close to Richmond which is fab but notorious for plane noise. The commute also starts to get a bit long if you want to be close.
Stockwell and Brixton and both busy and personally I’d find them way too rough although they’ve been ‘up and coming’ and are better than they used to be.
Absolutely depends on how urban you want. We opted for urban, something we have not regretted. Savings in mortgage and fares went into school fees, but the extra time is also valuable. And yes, I would do a trial run on the train. It can be near impossible to get on at Wandsworth Town or Putney.
Depending on where you need to be in Battersea you might look down the railway line towards Tooting. Depending on the ages/sex of your children it can be worth considering Graveney/Burntwood catchments. Unless you plan private, in which case you are spoilt for choice in Battersea, Clapham, Putney etc.
We are in Isleworth, which is a little further out on the SWT line into Waterloo, past Putney and Chiswick. I suspect we are too far out for your desired commute time, but 1.5 mil would buy you an absolute mansion (4+ beds and a decent garden), plus it is quiet and very family friendly - but you still have Richmond and Twickenham on your doorstep at a fraction of the price. I can get to Richmond town centre quicker than some people who actually live in Richmond! You will always get on the train at Isleworth, even in the peak of the morning rush, and you will always get a seat. We do get some aircraft noise - but not constantly, and to be honest I barely notice it now. You will get some aircraft noise anywhere in the SW London area though.
I second the issues with trains at Putney and Wandsworth - I go through every morning and they are always rammed at that point.
I would definitely consider St Margarets or East Sheen. Transport links from St Mags are better - and 1.5 mil will still get you something lovely.
Balham, on the Northern Line and overground, in catchment for Telferscott Primary. Lovely Tooting Common and Lido, nice high street.
If Brixton, practically on the doorstep for Sudbourne
You really do want to be close to a good primary school. And allow for the 'last distance' to get smaller. N.B Rightmove's School Checker is dangerously inaccurate. Misinformation in both directions - excludes schools they should include and vice versa. Loom at the LA Schools Admissions Brochure available online.
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