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Friern Barnet (Colney Hatch Rd) vs. Muswell Hill
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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 22:56

Hi all,

Our current situation is that we own a flat in crouch end but with a newborn and the current indefinite wfh arrangement we no
longer fit in our current house. We’ve been looking for 3-4 bed properties in north London not far from here to keep some of the community and friends ( neither of us have family in the UK so we want to stay in a familiar area). We’re fortunate enough that we don’t need to sell our current flat to buy the next property. (So chain free)

We’ve seen some properties of interest in friern Barnet (close to the big Tesco on colney hatch) and the edge of muswell hill (before you cross the north circular to Barnet). But in a total dilemma as to which option to pick- as it’s a big and expensive decision. This is our assessment of the areas so far.

Muswell hill side:
Pros:

  • proximity to great schools (nearest is 0.2/0.3 miles- outstanding)
  • we keep our community, services (GP) access to MH high street.

    Cons:
    -100k more expensive than the Barnet side
  • Commuting (whenever that will be) will be a nightmare
  • no decent supermarkets in walking distance

    Friern Barnet
    Pros:
    -cheaper houses, more options
    -access to good schools (although nearest outstanding school is 0.4 miles from the development we’ve seen)
  • closer to new Southgate station
  • access to supermarkets

    Cons:
  • lose some of our community
  • seems a lot more quiet and lacking things to do?

    Houses are in very similar condition and need similar amount of work or work can be done gradually so it’s really down to the areas that we need confidence in.

    What are people’s thoughts on how you would choose between these two? Does anyone live in Friern Barnet who can share some insight on what it’s like to live there?
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EachPeachPearSums · 10/10/2020 23:01

Muswell Hill every time. Assuming the primary is Coldfall, you really can't do better in London for a state school. It has a great community and huge amounts of woods/outdoor space. You have Sainsbury's and Planet organic in MH and two minutes on the bus to the big tescos not to mention all the fab green grocers in MH. Did you look on the edge of the "last distance offered" for Rhodes Avenue? That's walkable to the Bounds Green tube or the buses are frequent and quick.

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celtiethree · 10/10/2020 23:04

Muswell Hill!. The two are not really comparable, Muswell Hill is so much nicer.

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IsurvivedbutdidI · 10/10/2020 23:08

Muswell Hill for sure. I used to live on Colney Hatch Lane on the Muswell Hill side. It's just such a cool area with its high streets and parks. There's just no comparison. Crouch End is amazing too - can you stay there as it's got suck a great vibe to it?

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IsurvivedbutdidI · 10/10/2020 23:08

*such!

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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 23:14

@EachPeachPearSums

Muswell Hill every time. Assuming the primary is Coldfall, you really can't do better in London for a state school. It has a great community and huge amounts of woods/outdoor space. You have Sainsbury's and Planet organic in MH and two minutes on the bus to the big tescos not to mention all the fab green grocers in MH. Did you look on the edge of the "last distance offered" for Rhodes Avenue? That's walkable to the Bounds Green tube or the buses are frequent and quick.

Thanks for the affirmation. Yes coldfall is the closest and it does seem pretty great. We’re too far from Rhodes avenue unfortunately. Closer to the coppetts Wood road side. Decision is going to be heavier on our pocket! Did you have any thoughts on friern Barnet?
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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 23:14

@celtiethree

Muswell Hill!. The two are not really comparable, Muswell Hill is so much nicer.

This is what I was afraid of! 😩😁
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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 23:17

@IsurvivedbutdidI

Muswell Hill for sure. I used to live on Colney Hatch Lane on the Muswell Hill side. It's just such a cool area with its high streets and parks. There's just no comparison. Crouch End is amazing too - can you stay there as it's got suck a great vibe to it?

We love crouch end and really wish we could buy a bigger property but we can’t unless we win the lottery 🤣🤣. Did you live closer to the high street or to closer to the north circular side? Was it too busy?
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celtiethree · 10/10/2020 23:19

I will confess that it’s been I while since I was last in Friern Barnet but there really isn’t much there. I’d rather go north to Whetstone! Muswell Hill or Crouch End would be a much better choice.

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EachPeachPearSums · 10/10/2020 23:21

FB is quiet and a totally different crowd. All the mums from FB had to schlep down to MH for baby classes etc. The Methodist church has gazillions of classes, everything from parenting talks to baby yoga and stay and play. And frankly the schools aren't a patch on the ones in MH. I wouldn't want to live on Conley Hatch though....it has horrendous air quality and tends to be why you get cheap houses on it. If I were you I'd sell the flat and buy a really nice house in MH. If you're brave enough to show us the link those of us who know the area can comment a bit more.

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IsurvivedbutdidI · 10/10/2020 23:22

I was closer to the high street end. I loved it as was on maternity leave at the time and felt when I went out there where always interesting shops to visit and Ally Pally was walking distance too. I walked there every day to see the view over London.

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IsurvivedbutdidI · 10/10/2020 23:23

Agree don't live on actual Colney Hatch Lane - we became ill living next to that road. The pollution was horrendous

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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 23:48

@celtiethree

I will confess that it’s been I while since I was last in Friern Barnet but there really isn’t much there. I’d rather go north to Whetstone! Muswell Hill or Crouch End would be a much better choice.

It’s strange that you mentioned whetstone! We came really close to getting a place there over the summer. You’re right- we absolutely loved the area and access to shops 😊
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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 23:55

@EachPeachPearSums

FB is quiet and a totally different crowd. All the mums from FB had to schlep down to MH for baby classes etc. The Methodist church has gazillions of classes, everything from parenting talks to baby yoga and stay and play. And frankly the schools aren't a patch on the ones in MH. I wouldn't want to live on Conley Hatch though....it has horrendous air quality and tends to be why you get cheap houses on it. If I were you I'd sell the flat and buy a really nice house in MH. If you're brave enough to show us the link those of us who know the area can comment a bit more.

Thanks for sharing that info. Yeah it definitely seems like muswell hill has a lot more going on compared to FB. Yes I’d heard about the air quality issues as well hence we had some reservations too. It would be great if we could but trying to avoid selling the flat in this market condition so making our move easier. Would love to share but DH has some reservations sorry- 😕 but the MH house is on coppetts Wood road and the houses we’ve seen in FB are in the development of houses (from about 20 years ago) behind princess park manor.
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celtiethree · 10/10/2020 23:56

Ha!! I actually lived in Whetstone was I was a kid - loved it! But I had very freedom loving parents and got to roam pretty free including on the tube into central London for ice skating. I left just before secondary school. That was when Finchley had an amazing outdoor lido and we spent all summer holidays there. My knowledge of Friern Barnet is more recent - definitely advocating for not there!

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Moonlight86 · 10/10/2020 23:58

@IsurvivedbutdidI

Agree don't live on actual Colney Hatch Lane - we became ill living next to that road. The pollution was horrendous

Yikes sorry to hear that! 😱
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NewHouseNewMe · 10/10/2020 23:59

I'm firmly in the camp of staying in MW or going north to Whetstone.
Whetstone isn't cheap though but you will get a bigger garden than in MW. Great high street, schools etc.
Friern Barnet is absolutely fine but is cheaper because housing isn't as nice and there is no high street as such. Mind you, North Finchley is close by and schools are good.

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Moonlight86 · 11/10/2020 00:05

@celtiethree

Ha!! I actually lived in Whetstone was I was a kid - loved it! But I had very freedom loving parents and got to roam pretty free including on the tube into central London for ice skating. I left just before secondary school. That was when Finchley had an amazing outdoor lido and we spent all summer holidays there. My knowledge of Friern Barnet is more recent - definitely advocating for not there!

Sounds like it was a great childhood! 😊 and thanks for the advice on FB. 👍
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EachPeachPearSums · 11/10/2020 00:08

You would be in catchment, I think, for Coldfall and Fortismere which are both fantastic. Mind you you'd be living in the cheapest and "roughest" housing in that catchment. It's just worth thinking about if that changes how you feel.

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Moonlight86 · 11/10/2020 00:08

@NewHouseNewMe

I'm firmly in the camp of staying in MW or going north to Whetstone.
Whetstone isn't cheap though but you will get a bigger garden than in MW. Great high street, schools etc.
Friern Barnet is absolutely fine but is cheaper because housing isn't as nice and there is no high street as such. Mind you, North Finchley is close by and schools are good.

Thanks and yes, whetstone does seem more expensive but seems to offer a lot more than FB. Yes the lack of things to do does bother me especially come from Crouch End, but north Finchley seems nearby and with plenty of activities. Do you know anything about the development behind the princess park manor?
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DonnatellaLyman · 11/10/2020 00:13

Personally I would sell the flat and buy the nicest house you could in MH (or crouch end). If you wanted cheaper I’d look somewhere with a real high street - winchmore Hill, Southgate or ally pally/bowes park rather than FB

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alexdgr8 · 11/10/2020 00:16

i would avoid FB, i think it is rather dismal.
maybe the vibe from the biggest lunatic asylum, colney hatch, hangs around, what is now called princess park manor.
i think it is particularly grim for children.
they need somewhere where they can walk to places to meet and do things, develop their own interests and social life.
there's nothing around FB.

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Moonlight86 · 11/10/2020 00:25

@EachPeachPearSums

You would be in catchment, I think, for Coldfall and Fortismere which are both fantastic. Mind you you'd be living in the cheapest and "roughest" housing in that catchment. It's just worth thinking about if that changes how you feel.

Yep that’s right. In part, because it’s further away from the MH high street and edging closer to the north circular, the housing is cheaper (or maybe im reading it wrong). Would like to know more about why it’s tougher? We’ve walked and driven to the end of coppetts road and it seemed ok? The parallel colney hatch Lane side leading up to the north circular from MH seemed more run down?
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Moonlight86 · 11/10/2020 00:29

@DonnatellaLyman

Personally I would sell the flat and buy the nicest house you could in MH (or crouch end). If you wanted cheaper I’d look somewhere with a real high street - winchmore Hill, Southgate or ally pally/bowes park rather than FB

Thanks! We’re just trying to avoid being on a chain at the moment as flat sales are struggling at the moment. Wouldn’t be considering moving so soon if it wasn’t for the foreseeable wfh and some child care limitations. But have been looking around those other areas as well just haven’t seen anything of interest.
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Moonlight86 · 11/10/2020 00:32

@alexdgr8

i would avoid FB, i think it is rather dismal.
maybe the vibe from the biggest lunatic asylum, colney hatch, hangs around, what is now called princess park manor.
i think it is particularly grim for children.
they need somewhere where they can walk to places to meet and do things, develop their own interests and social life.
there's nothing around FB.

I know, this history was unsettling for me as well. I’m glad it wasn’t just me that felt this way.
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NewHouseNewMe · 11/10/2020 08:17

Where is the estate behind PPM? Is it new?
I'm scratching my brain as I know Friern Barnet well but can't place the estate you mean.

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