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Where to buy around Southeast or South of London

(37 Posts)
Honin Mon 09-Sep-19 16:39:18

We are currently renting in Beckenham, and really want to buy our first property sometime within the next 6 months or so, within the budget of 300K. Ideally we'd like a terraced house with a garden, but realistically, with our kind of budget, we most likely get a maisolette. I currently working between Blackfriars & London Bridge, while wife looking after our DS (8 yo). We are hoping to find something within 1 hr 15 mins travel time, family friendly, as well as good primary and secondary catchment area. Since I doubt my DS will pas the 11+, Grammar will not be our priority.

Here is a list of areas we've looked into, however, we could still really use your thoughts and suggestions!
- West Wickham
- Elmers End
- Carshalton
- Purley
- Wallington

After all, thank you all again!

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Mon 09-Sep-19 17:52:36

Somewhere between Carshalton and Wallington/Carshalton Beeches would give you great commute with direct trains to Blackfriars and London Bridge. Super lovely area to live with a very strong community, loads for kids to do + a vast refurbished leisure centre and library.
There are many excellent primaries. Secondary school-wise, you’d be in the catchment for Carshalton Boys’ Sports College. It has very good progress scores and caters for all abilities. I’ve worked in the school a number of times and the boys are well behaved and friendly- a nice place to go to school. You’d also be able to apply for Glenthorne - a National Teaching School in Sutton which admits all abilities but not on distance. Being on the Sutton side of Carshalton, you’d be in the catchment for Harris Sutton- a new school specialising in STEM with links to the Royal Marsden (next door to the school).
North of Carshalton Station is less regarded as an area (the St Helier estate), not attractive looking but you’d get more property for your money. It is actually a safe area (if you look at the Met Police stats) and the secondary catchment from there could be Greenshaw which is a highly regarded, high achieving comp.

If you feel that a grammar is unlikely, then further into Wallington can get tricky as there are no comps that way unless you’re Catholic in which case John Fisher would be a good option. If you aren’t Catholic, then you might get offered whichever comp in the borough is undersubscribed - Overton Grange is good so you’d be lucky. However, you could get Stanley Park which is the one bad school in the entire borough. Mind you, there’s a new head so hopefully it’ll be excellent again (used to be Best Secondary in England according to Times Educational Supplement but currently a shocker of a school).

If you move Purley way, then try to get your son into one of the primaries that feeds into Riddlesdown Collegiate.

Honin Tue 10-Sep-19 08:44:50

#JoJo Wow! That's really detail information, thank you so much for your time and suggestion! You are awesome!

OP’s posts: |
Lightsabre Tue 10-Sep-19 09:01:31

You would get a small mid terrace Victorian in Plumstead (up and coming due to Crossrail) - houses around Plumstead Common are nicer than the High St end. Or, further afield in Blackfen (DA15) or Dartford. If a flat, then Sidcup is nicer (but has the Grammar school system as it's in the Borough of Bexley or New Eltham (edge of the Greenwich Borough)?

Trains from Plumstead take approx 20 mins to LB and from New Eltham, 14 mins (on the fast line).

None of these areas will feel like Beckenham but are generally safe and green with good schools. For their relative proximity to nicer areas such as Greenwich and Blackheath and quick links to LB, then they're good value.

Alexalee Tue 10-Sep-19 09:37:21

I think in the areas you mention you would struggle to get a 2 bed maisonette for 300k.
Look towards plumstead and bexleyheath

JoJoSM2 Tue 10-Sep-19 12:01:27

There are 2 bed flats for 300k around Carshalton. Some will have gardens/communal gardens. There are also loads of parks so it’s almost impossible to be more than 200-300m from a park.

Plumstead and Bexleyheath are cheaper. There are some very good primaries but secondaries in Plumstead range from poor to average. Bexleyheath is a disaster for non-selective schools.

OP, you could also try around West Sutton and Sutton Common stations. Great catchments that way (Cheam High and Greenshaw + Glenthorne an option right o the doorstep), fab primaries. Trains not too good unless you can also walk to Sutton or Cheam station for more options. It’s quite affordable around there and popular with professional families but not nearly as lovely as Carshalton Village. Cheam Village is lovely and could be within walking distance. Sutton town centre is a bit tatty but has a decent range of shops to get on with.

Honin Tue 10-Sep-19 12:55:11

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. I agree there are more options around Bexleyheath for our budget, but like JoJo said, the secondaries there are what giving us second thought. Property type is important, but at the end of the day, I'd say the quality as well as the secondary school catchment area are our priority. Meanwhile, what thought do you guys have on Hackbridge? It seems like a fairly small town with lots of new development. Price there also seem more affordable.

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Tue 10-Sep-19 13:27:51

Hackbridgr hasn’t got a town centre lol It’s just the station + housing. There’s a Sainsbury’s Local. I think one of the new developments will have a Lidl. Beddington Park is fab and quite close. Other amenities you’d need to go elsewhere for.

Have you been round the different areas in person, OP?

Honin Tue 10-Sep-19 13:50:21

LOL, no wonder why I can't find much on google map! Ye, we've doing some travelling around, Sutton, Wallington, Carshalton, Purley, Orpington, St Mary Cray, Kenley, Bexleyheath, Bromley... We are thinking head down to Tonbridge & Tunbridge wells soon. Or maybe Crayford as well.

OP’s posts: |
Lightsabre Tue 10-Sep-19 14:26:08

Tonbridge is much cheaper but the you have to weigh that up against the cost of a train season ticket and it's also in Kent (Grammar school system). Bromley has good schools and is almost comprehensive as the two Grammar schools are 'super selectives' so attract pupils from all over. Orpington and St Mary's Cray have good rail links but can be rough in places.

JoJoSM2 Tue 10-Sep-19 14:29:28

Oh god... Stay away from Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells for non-selective schooling. Disaster. Anywhere in Kent. About 20-25% of children go to grammars and the rest go to comps, 99% of which are very low achieving (about 20% GCSE pass rates with awful progress scores).
Bromley isn't a great spot either unless you're more towards Hayes - in the catchment for Hayes School.
In Orpington, Darrick Wood is decent.

One other place that springs to mind is Coulsdon. Decent schools, town centre smaller than Beckenham but has a Waitrose and an Aldi + a bunch of smaller shops, zone 6 with trains to London Bridge and Victoria. Lovely setting and not too pricey.

Another spot could be Ewell. Ewell West is on the Waterloo line, zone 6 but you'd be in Surrey. Ewell Village is pretty and you'd be in the catchment for Glyn, which is an excellent boys' school.

Can you tell I've spent too many years working in education lol

JoJoSM2 Tue 10-Sep-19 14:32:46

I'd say the best borough of Bromley schools tend to be more Beckenham way.

Lightsabre Tue 10-Sep-19 14:41:29

Or try SE9 Eltham? You can get a two bed ex LA house for your budget, some with extension potential. There are a couple of good comprehensive secondary schools in this area.

JoJoSM2 Tue 10-Sep-19 14:59:37

Aren’t there quite a few recent news reports of stabbings in Eltham? I don’t know it but seems a little dodgy?

Honin Tue 10-Sep-19 15:04:19

#Lightsabre I agree with you about St mary Cray, we stayed there for 2 weeks before moving to Beckenham, and can't say we enjoyed it... We did went & see around Eltham, but wife didn't enjoy the surrounding much.

#JoJo, I did hear about Kent schooling system, but didn't think the non selective are that bad... In regard of Coulsdon, would you recommend Coulsdon Town or South?

We like Hayes and West Wickham area, but both seem very expensive. Langley Park is what we hoping for IF we stay around Beckenham area, but then again, god knows where DS will end up if he doesn't get in...

OP’s posts: |
NetballHoop Tue 10-Sep-19 15:24:12

As JoJoSM2 said, Ewell is nice. There's this place for £300K:

JoJoSM2 Tue 10-Sep-19 15:48:29

I think the two stations in Coulsdon are very close together so whichever works for your commute.

If your wife is keen on somewhere nice to hang out during the day, then I think you should consider the stretch between Sutton town centre and Cheam Village (where Cheam station is). The two are only a mile apart. You'd have all the trains from Sutton and your wife would have Cheam Village. There's a large Little Waitrose and a Sainsbury's Local + a bunch of independent cafes, restaurants and shops (bakery, greengrocer, butcher etc). Nonsuch Park is lovely with a nice cafe + a weekly Park Run, British Military Fitness etc. Another spot popular with SAHMs is the David Lloyd health club (indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, gym, classes, cafe etc).
Your son would be in the catchment for Cheam High with is an outstanding, high achieving comp. It's coed. Also tennis, cricket and rugby clubs that way if he's/you're sporty.

Honin Wed 11-Sep-19 08:36:48

Thanks again! We are going to plan a weekend to have a walk around both Coulsdon and Cheam to get a feel of the area. Meanwhile, so much schools website to surf through...

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Wed 11-Sep-19 11:23:38

OP, don't know if you've used the above before but it's very handy. I'd discount anything with very poor attainment and progress. Any school that is at least average could be of interest (they will have very academic top set and might offer fab extra curricular activities so worth researching further). Some will obviously be very highly academic.

Honin Wed 11-Sep-19 12:03:40

This is awesome, never tried it before, but will definitely have a look! Many thanks JoJo! You are a star!

OP’s posts: |
Honin Mon 14-Oct-19 15:34:47

Hi all, we have finally find a place we like, but we haven't made an offer yet. Since we only went and saw the property once, thought we'll view a second time before making an offer. Meanwhile, I notice something quite unusual in the previous sales record, between 1999 and 2002, it was sold 4 times within these 4 years. Even though each sale it went through, there was a slight increase in price, but I just can't help to think something doesn't seem right.

OP’s posts: |
Millymollymandybestie Mon 14-Oct-19 15:41:42

What about Swanley or Hextable? Swanley station has pretty decent train links. If you stayed in st Mary’s cray it in the same line as that. Will definitely get a terrace for you budget there

Honin Mon 14-Oct-19 15:55:51

Thanks Milly, we did look at Swanley before, but at the end, my wife thinks it's too far away, and the travel cost is a bit too much. We are now looking at Hayes, its close to Hayes secondary and Raven wood is not too far away neither.

OP’s posts: |
Millymollymandybestie Mon 14-Oct-19 18:01:03

Apologies I hasn’t read the thread. Good luck with your search

Alexalee Mon 14-Oct-19 18:20:16

People used to sell more regularly when houses were cheaper and stamp duty wasnt the rip off it is today
That was 20 years ago so wouldnt bother me

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