Thoughts on buying a house near Oaklands Estate in Clapham/Balham?

(12 Posts)
Crazypoodlelady Wed 02-Sep-20 21:49:25

Hi all!

I’m hoping some of you who are local to the Clapham/Balham area can help me - my husband and I recently found our dream home on Englewood Road in Balham, but there is one problem - it’s close to Oaklands Estate.

I’m originally from the US and I don’t know all that much about the area, but everything else seems great - beautiful house, nearby common, nearby tube, Abbeville Road, lots of young mums (we don’t have kids yet, but will start trying soon). The only issue is the estate - but I’m not really sure how much of an issue it is! Any advice here would be very helpful.

The house we’re considering buying is on the estate end of the road, though not right at the very end. We’re still separated by a main road, but you can see one of the large tower blocks when you enter/exit the home.

My question is - how safe is this? Are the estate blocks more of an eyesore, or are they something that should be avoided for safety purposes? We’re considering buying this as a potential forever home, so I would want to feel safe walking around it with a pram, and even in old age.

Any and all thoughts are very much appreciated! smile

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JoJoSM2 Wed 02-Sep-20 22:12:17

I used to live Between the Commons and recently looked at a potential investment property on Englewood Rd. Not too sure about the estate being dodgy or not but I think you’ll get better family roads Between the Common and a bit further away from stations. The roads that are literally by a station around that neck of the woods will have lots of rentals and flats with a higher turnover of residents.

disgruntled515 Wed 02-Sep-20 22:32:55

I would be more put off by the very busy Cavendish Road if you’re at that end. I wouldn’t think you’d have any problems from the estate if you’re over the road from it. I know the area well and haven’t heard it come up too much. I would also be wary of renters - from experience, the area is known for young graduates who move there and like the party lifestyle so generate noise! You might get people stumbling home from the bars by Clap South on Englewood. Recommend going for a wander on a Fri or Sat night and seeing what you think. Between the Commons seems a little more family orientated/owner occupied (not too close to Northcote Road) and there are some lovely roads off Nightingale Lane. Overall it is a fab area though - lots of green space, things to do, well connected etc. Feel free to DM me if you want more info! Also check out Nappy Valley website

friendlycat Thu 03-Sep-20 11:46:28

I used to live on Cavendish Road myself many moons ago so do know the area quite well. Obviously it has changed since my time there but I still have a friend in the area one road down. The area has changed a lot over time but it is an exceptionally busy little area that. Full of first time buyers who then move on, full of renters. Cavendish Road is noisy and busy as is the high road. The Estate you mention does have private owners now - take a look on rightmove. You can also look up the area stats regarding crime that show you 221 for July 2020 within a 1 mile radius. I don't think the estate is any more than an eyesore really. But I do think that area is quite a transient one and personally I would not be picking it as my forever home.
As said above, I would take a look between the Commons, Earlsfield or very hip hop happening Balham. I think you could well find yourself outgrowing the noise, transientness, the sound of the busy A3, people and parties and the overall renter/student type vibe etc. etc.
Incidentally I moved from there to Earlsfield and loved it. Though have now moved to the countryside. My absolute choice would be between the commons though. But I realise you then have to be able to either walk to the train at Clapham Junction or back to Wandsworth Common or use buses for commuting if going into London.
If it were me I would definitely do further research.

Crazypoodlelady Thu 03-Sep-20 16:23:29

Thanks so much, ladies, for all your input! You all made really great points - so much so that I even took the day off work to view the house/area again. Sadly, everything you said about renters and noise is true - of course, I'm disappointed (the house is stunning), but I'm so glad I discovered this sooner than later! Really grateful for the help - feel like I may have dodged a bullet!

We're now looking more at houses between the commons, and directly off of Abbeville Road (and maybe even Putney). Much more owner occupied/family friendly as you mentioned. Thanks again! smile

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JoJoSM2 Thu 03-Sep-20 16:34:47

Are you used to living quite centrally?

Parts of Putney are very family orientated as is a lot of Wimbledon. Both are in zone 3 so still pretty central.

friendlycat Thu 03-Sep-20 17:05:58

Yes Putney is another good area to look at. Good transport links, some nice roads, the river. A decent enough High Street (if not that exciting) but still better than a lot. Useful and practical shops - supermarkets etc. Depending where you look lots of it within walking distance.
Easy access to different pubs and restaurants both within Putney and slightly further away by bus, train, tube or taxi. Putney Heath for walking and nearby Richmond Park. Only downside is parking but that's true of lots and lots of places. Well worth a look there I would say.


disgruntled515 Thu 03-Sep-20 17:21:40

Since lockdown the area has been busier due to people hanging out locally rather than going out in town (some headlines about big parties, though I always managed to avoid them). It may quieten down in winter. But I still enjoy lovely peaceful runs on the Common or sit out there for lunch when sunny, so don’t let it out you off the area completely. DH and I are planning to ttc in a year and will need to move out of our current flat due to size and we are in the dilemma of whether to stay in the area and move to a terrace or go further out to Kingston/Wimbledon for a semi or detached. It is hard to imagine moving because it feels like everything is on our doorstep! Seems great for babies/toddlers. Also easy to cross the river for walks in Hyde Park or Richmond down the A3. I would love a place off Nightingale Lane but possibly out of budget. Some pretty and quiet roads there though. In lockdown we did a daily walk of the area and it really helps get a feel for the streets - e.g. which ones are cut throughs for traffic etc, who has loud music playing!

Putney does give more for your money but I have always found the high street a bit busy due to the main road. Northcote is nice for Sunday pottering.

disgruntled515 Thu 03-Sep-20 17:22:43

Sorry, should say that above post is talking about Clapham/North Balham areas

JoJoSM2 Thu 03-Sep-20 17:27:11

We moved from Between the Commons to zone 5 suburbia and I actually find there’s a lot more within walking distance and a lot goes on despite it being seemingly quiet (all sorts of pregnancy classes, lots of parent+baby stuff, lots for kids like sports/ballet/dance/baby and toddler cinema sessions/swimming etc).
@disgruntled515 I expect there’s a lot going on in North Kingston too as it’s family-central.

sunshinesupermum Thu 03-Sep-20 17:38:21

disgruntled515 the secret with Putney are Lower and Upper Richmond Roads as an alternative to the High Street although the Exchange is also good. Great place to live Crazypoodlelady

Crazypoodlelady Thu 03-Sep-20 17:41:59

Thanks so much ladies! I’ll definitely take a look!

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