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Where to live in London

 
#1 Where to live in London
05/06/2010 19:51

Greenhorn

Guys,

I'm moving to London to work at London Bridge area. Currently looking for a good location to rent a 2bd property. Willing to consider outskirts like Kent. My search so far suggests that what I gain in terms of reasonable rent, I lose in terms of higher transport cost. Should I really be worried about the transport cost, given that consulting most times involves going to a client's place - for which I'm not responsible for the transport cost? Should I therefore consider more affordable/decent (but relatively far) parts of Kent, rather than inside London?

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#2 RE: Where to live in London
05/06/2010 20:59

tips to Greenhorn (#1)

If you are going to be consulting in the London Bridge area, I assume you are going to be joining EY? My advice to you is to live somewhere with good transport links (Clapham), which can fairly cheap if you share, or Bermondsey (which can be very cheap if you are willing to rent ex local authority property).

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#3 RE: Where to live in London
05/06/2010 22:32

Greenhorn to tips (#2)

tips - thanks. Sharing is not an option at all. Are these locations in the south east any good transportwise: Anerly, Norwood, Penge, Crystal Palace, Dulwich and Sydenham?

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#4 RE: Where to live in London
06/06/2010 07:06

tips to Greenhorn (#3)

The areas you mentioned above, apart from Dulwich, are very cheap and have the new east london extension line. If cost is your main issue, then by all means, look at Penge! But it's not a nice area, and you will find that most of your colleagues live elsewhere. If a social life is important to you, but you want to control cost, look at the forest hill side of East Dulwich.

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#5 RE: Where to live in London
06/06/2010 11:24

jj to tips (#4)

try this:

http://www.mysociety.org/2007/more-travel-maps/

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#6 RE: Where to live in London
06/06/2010 18:25

one2three to jj (#5)

where would be the best place to find ex-local authority places in bermondsey? I'd be looking for somewhere just-off Jamaica road, as opposed to further in.

ta

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#7 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 10:46

DCF to one2three (#6)

Most of Bermondsey is local authority housing. I'm not doing the place down, it just happens to be characterised by large local authority estates. You can therefore find ex local authority housing pretty much anywhere in Bermondsey, although the area north of the tracks towwards the river has a much higher % of private.

For the original question - I agree that Forest Hill may well be your best bet. Zone 3 so marginally higher transport costs but low rents. Go for the Dulwich side rather than the Catford side if you can though, for obvious reasons (i.e. west of the railway line).

If you are renting rather than buying there's really no point in moving out to Kent. It's not going to get all that much cheaper. If you must, I would go for Beckenham or Chislehurst or somewhere rather than trail in all the way from, I don't know, Ashford or Rochester.

Of the other areas in you list:

Anerley and Penge are a bit sh1t

Norwood covers a huge area (West? Upper? South?) makes no sense to think of it as a place

Crystal Palace (which is actually Upper Norwood) has many good aspects but is a bit further out than Forest Hill, Dulwich etc

Sydenham is a less interesting place to live than Crystal Palace or even Forest Hill but has some nice bits and is quite cheap

Bear in mind that from all these places it takes ages to get to Heathrow, or north/westbound train stations early in the morning (KX, Euston, Paddington). Places down the A20 are however good for City airport.

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#8 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 12:14

anon to Greenhorn (#1)

You need to consider then chances of ending up on a project in central London. In those cases, you ARE responsible for the transport costs to clients site as they are the same as it would be to get into your home office.

If you are considering commuting then I can suggest the train line from Haywards Heath into London Bridge, but also to and from Victoria and Blackfriars. It is fast and reliable and Sussex is cheaper than Surrey, but has lots of outdoor stuff to do. You can also get home from London up until 1am and even later to places en route like Three Bridges.

I wouldn't recommend south of Haywards Heath as the trains split, and so are less frequent.

It does not however have anywhere near the level of entertainment found in London. Sussex is more for families or people who have had their fill of nightclubs.

Decent for Gatwick airport too.

PS There are half a dozen firms in the London Bridge area, not just EY.

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#9 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 12:22

anon2 to anon (#8)

Yes you DO need to consider transport costs as most consultancies have a definition of "london" which covers all of Zone 1-6 if not all the way out to the M25, and if you are on a "london" project you are only entitled to (at most) the cost difference between your normal commute and the client site.

With regards to locations, while all the advice here is good, don't rule out places like canada water / surrey quays / rotherhithe, which although pricier than Norwood etc more than make up for it in convenience and things to do (ie you are equidistant from Canary Wharf and the City, generally less urban jungle and more residential).

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#10 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 14:55

DCF to anon2 (#9)

I've always managed to fully expense travel to clients in London... after all, I might be able to walk to my "home" office and not normally require a travelcard or season ticket, whereas the client site might be in Zone 6. I exaggerate, but the principle holds.

Canada Water is great if you are from the sort of small provincial town where all "entertainment" is in a purpose-built complex on the outskirts and consists of a multi-screen cinema and a Frankie and Benny's, and your house is a 1980s red brick Barratt box on a cul de sac, for here (uniquely in London) you will find that familiar world for which you pine lovingly recreated for you. It's a little slice of Milton Keynes in South East London, just with a slightly better commute.

And First Crapital Connect (as Thameslink has become) has not been particularly reliable over the past year.

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#11 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 15:53

fb to DCF (#10)

Greenhorn - You would probably get better answers if you provided some idea of an indicative budget for a 2bd.

You may want to consider some of the stations along the Jubilee Line in N.London - West Hampstead is nice and not insanely expensive.

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#12 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 18:13

Londoner to fb (#11)

I agree with the previous poster - don't restrict yourself to SE London, have a look at places along the Jubilee line and Northern Line as well (and also District Line - Embankment is a short walk away).

To be honest, London Bridge is well-connected and pretty commutable from anywhere in London - I used to commute there from north-east London quite easily and quickly. Because of this, you don't really need to make ease of commuting your top priority when flathunting.

Also, you could always buy a bike...

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#13 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 18:31

Cyclist to Londoner (#12)

Yes, I agree - buy a bike, ride to work in your suit, arrive either hot and bothered (if sunny) or drenched and looking like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards (if cold and wet)!

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#14 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 18:58

Greenhorn to Cyclist (#13)

fb - you are right; an indicative budget may somehow trim the suggestions. I'm thinking of a 2bd within a 3-figure budget.

Thanks guys for all your responses. They are really very helpful.

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#15 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 20:04

anon to Greenhorn (#14)

The biggest rental site is probably rightmove.co.uk. have a look at that for indicative costs for 2 beds...

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#16 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 20:36

ZB to anon (#15)

hackney, walthanstow, harlesden, kilburn are great places to live.....albeit temporarily!!

ZB

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#17 RE: Where to live in London
07/06/2010 22:19

Sir Duncan Ballantyne MBA PhD to ZB (#16)

"fb - you are right; an indicative budget may somehow trim the suggestions. I'm thinking of a 2bd within a 3-figure budget. "

You'll need to be more specific than that... £100K to £999K is a very big range.

Yours,

Sir Duncan.

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#18 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 07:37

someguy to Sir Duncan Ballantyne MBA PhD (#17)

@duncan, it's a rental query. I wouldn't haev thought you could get a 2bed in London for less than 700/mo. however I second kilburn - great food, decent rents, less pretentious than its hampstead neighbors.

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#19 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 08:52

greyhorn to someguy (#18)

before you plump for some cheap ex-LA flat do check out the local crime stats. nothing like a juicy young besuited consultant all full of right-on egalitarian zeal with a laptop bag to motivate the locals...

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#20 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 09:32

anon to greyhorn (#19)

"before you plump for some cheap ex-LA flat do check out the local crime stats. nothing like a juicy young besuited consultant all full of right-on egalitarian zeal with a laptop bag to motivate the locals... "

This, to me, sums up why consulting is a con. We think we're high-flying city professionals. But we're not. We end up living in dirty, cramped flats just like the chavs that left school at 16. The only difference is that they spend their days playing football in the street, whereas we spend 70 hours a week in the office. So much for 'high-flying'.

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#21 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 09:38

DCF to greyhorn (#19)

Youmay find the odd 2 bed in a decent part of SE London for under 700 a month but they are very rare. They were rare at that price 5 years ago. 800, 850 you should be alright.

As for the laptop bag's allure for local youth, does anyone remember how hard Michael McIntyre had to try to get someone to steal his in Brixton...

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#22 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 09:40

DCF to DCF (#21)

Or rather, Donal Macintyre

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#23 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 09:44

billum to DCF (#22)

my friend found it pretty easy to get his taken on his way home across the park in Catford a few years ago, and he got stabbed as a bonus. Not critically, I might add, but it shook him up so badly that he moved overseas shortly after. Not that you can always predict by area - my visibly pregnant wife got mugged in High St Ken

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#24 RE: Where to live in London
08/06/2010 19:50

Heavy Drinker to billum (#23)

Tell me more about good commuter villages outside of London. Maidenhead? Sevenoaks? Your views, please.

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#25 RE: Where to live in London
09/06/2010 08:37

fb to Heavy Drinker (#24)

A 2bd for under 1000 a month is certainly possible in Kilburn. Maybe even W.Hampstead. You would then be on the Jubilee Line and could cruise into work without changing + get a seat to read your free paper.

This should not be under-estimated. Standing with people knocking into you first thing in the morning is 0% fun.

Rocking a suit and laptop will not draw any attention in the above mentioned areas. Probably not the case in parts of the S.London (not all of course).

p.s. don't follow the young consultant masses and get a flat in Clapham. Unless of course you are working at Accenture or Australian.

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#26 RE: Where to live in London
09/06/2010 09:58

someguy to fb (#25)

@Heavy Drinker

I'm probably gonna get grief for this but I thoroughly enjoyed a brief time renting in Su(bu)rbiton - quick train into Waterloo, near the river, cheaper than Kingston. A friend of mine commutes on the FGW cattle car from Maidenhead and, taking into account the cost - and the fact you're in bloody Maidenhead - advises me to never ever live there. Apparently trainwise you're better off in Reading if you want to be that far away frm London and don't mind paying £3000+/yr for travel.

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#27 RE: Where to live in London
09/06/2010 10:05

Heavy Drinker to someguy (#26)

@someguy

Thanks for the heads up about maidenhead. It seemed like such a good spot, within commutable distance of many major cities but without actually being in a major city. However, the cost and hassle of the commute does worry me. Also, it seems pretty nice, but so many people seem to be saying that actually I wouldn't want to live there. Any further thoughts/views about maidenhead as a place generally?

Surbiton sounds like a good location, but am worried about the business of it all. I want to live somewhere as rural as possible, yet still be able to get into London reasonably OK. Was thinking about Sevenoaks too.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

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#28 RE: Where to live in London
09/06/2010 10:07

Heavy Drinker to Heavy Drinker (#27)

Typo... business should have been busy-ness I think!! You know what I mean... lots of people and congestion. Not rural. LOL.

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#29 RE: Where to live in London
09/06/2010 11:26

Sussex Boy to Heavy Drinker (#27)

For rural I'd agree with the previous post on Sussex. Major lines from four or five cities on the south coast all go through Haywards Heath or Horsham and terminate at London Bridge.

Neither of those towns are extremely special, but they have lots of lovely villages in the "corridor" between them and they do offer shopping and bars etc.

Its also not as remote as Kent. It has cross London train options, trains to London Bridge AND Victoria, the Gatwick Express that runs all night, and Gatwick itself (good for UK internal flights and holidays)

You have the South Downs on your doorstep and the seaside inside 30 minutes.

Personally its worth it for me as I don't have to use the tube (smelly and unreliable). I stayed with a mate out west once and it took me longer to get from Paddington the the City than it takes me to get from Sussex to the city.

House prices are reasonable too.

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#30 RE: Where to live in London
10/06/2010 15:05

Anonimator to Sussex Boy (#29)

Don't live in South London, Its a sh*thole.

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#31 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 11:19

Albanite to Anonimator (#30)

Why not try St. Albans? Good links to London (20 minutes on Thameslink), but close to the countryside. Top pubs in the country too

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#32 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 11:24

Dodgy Dave to Albanite (#31)

Tell us more about St. Albans. What are the train stations like? Which are the best parts of the area?

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#33 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 11:41

Albanite to Dodgy Dave (#32)

Train service is excellent – viritually 24 hours as you are on the Gatwick – Luton airport shuttle. The only dodgy area is around Marshalwick. Note that you WILL be standing for the 20 minutes to St Pancras / Blackfriars, or wherever. Once the train leaves Harpenden (where all the KPMG partners live with wife number 2 or 3), there are never any seats left. What is nice is the scenery on the way in. Some really lovely countryside.

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#34 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 11:46

Dodgy Dave to Albanite (#33)

Can you park at the train station? Is it expensive? How much is a season ticket (parking + train + tube)?

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#35 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 14:00

DCF to Dodgy Dave (#34)

Look it up you lazy s0d

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#36 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 14:27

Arfur to DCF (#35)

Ave a butchers at dis:

http://es.homesandproperty.co.uk/property_news/hot_areas/commutertowns.html

Don't believe Guilford is no 1 though - it's a right dump

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#37 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 17:55

Dodgy Dave to Arfur (#36)

So it's a toss up between St. Albans and Sevenoaks.

Do people really pay £7 a day or so just to park at a train station, by the way???

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#38 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 20:02

Tiny Tim to Dodgy Dave (#37)

Wouldn't want to live in Sevenoaks mate.

Some free parking in St Albans:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1069539

Also worth looking at Radlett - closer to London than St Albans, so the train is cheaper, but the fast trains don't stop. Much smaller and nicer town than St Albans, but not as stuck up as Harpdenen

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#39 RE: Where to live in London
17/06/2010 20:11

T to Dodgy Dave (#37)

What about Battersea? The train from victoria to London bridge may only be every 20 mins or so, but when I did it a couple of years ago I always got a seat, found it cheap (£12ish/week) and rentals in Battersea are good value. Battersea has a but of an unfair reputation. If you can live with somewhere that's a bit rough around the edges, i'd reccomend it.

Ps ignore the spelling - iPhone not made for typing.

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#40 Where to live in London
17/06/2010 21:49

M to T (#39)

How about somewhere like Crouch End, Harringay or Stoke Newington? Great food, excellent transport links and can be in Islington/Camden quite easily for a night out.

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#41 RE: Where to live in London
18/06/2010 09:05

Taffy to M (#40)

How about Bristol. Its a big place, and its near Wales

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#42 RE: Where to live in London
18/06/2010 09:20

Dodgy Dave to Taffy (#41)

Bristol would be ideal, but 2 x 2 hour commutes every day would just be too much for me. Not to mention the cost.

Regarding Battersea, Crouch End, Harringay or Stoke Newington, ideally I'm looking for somewhere family friendly, where you can get a proper house with a decent garden. 'Vibrant' areas are better for younger people I guess.

So far the list is down to:

- St. Albans

- Orpington

- Possibly Guidford

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#43 RE: Where to live in London
18/06/2010 09:32

RC to Dodgy Dave (#42)

Orpington has good trains but it's pretty rough and run down, not somewhere I'd want to hang around

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#44 RE: Where to live in London
18/06/2010 11:12

Harp to Dodgy Dave (#42)

What about Harpenden? Much posher and smaller than St Albans. 5 minutes further out on Thameslink, schools are better. VERY expensive though

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#45 RE: Where to live in London
18/06/2010 12:39

Dodgy Dave to Harp (#44)

Is the Thameslink bit any good? From what I've heard, Thameslink blows goats. Is that true? Also, just how pricey is Harpenden? Sounds like an interesting option......

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#46 RE: Where to live in London
18/06/2010 16:14

DCF to Dodgy Dave (#45)

First Crapital Connect does blow goats much of time - and had a particularly bad spell a few months back - but is excellent when it is working properly.

Orpington is not wonderful but is quite cheap. I woudn't quite say rough - not by inner London standards, probably even the unlovely Cray estates. No interest unless you have older kids but the schools are great. There are great areas near here though - nice quiet villages a few miles out - Chelsfield, Farnborough, Locksbottom, Green St Green etc - and also the other side of the M25. Some have their own stations to save the extra cost of driving there and parking. There are some expensive houses down here but that generally relates to the size of them rather than it being a pricey area.

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#47 RE: Where to live in London
05/02/2013 11:22

david79 to DCF (#46)

Hi,

In recent years, these areas have taken on a distinctly French feel, with cafes, bistros and book shops emerging to reflect the changing nature of the local community. My advice to you is to live on prime locations of South-west and north-west part of London where you easily get good transport links, nearby tube stations and other amenities too.

While searching on Google I found the good rental and sale property on these area at some good websites i.e. Plazaestates.co.uk, Savills.co.uk and Zoopla.co.uk where you can easily look for good accommodation in your selected areas. Expert teams of these firms are working for 24 hours.

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#48 RE: Where to live in London
05/02/2013 11:23

david79 to DCF (#46)

:)

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#49 RE: Where to live in London
05/02/2013 13:39

Camster to david79 (#48)

Used to live in Richmond. Nice area! There a pub at the top of Richmond Hill called the Roebuck. Great vistas from across the road.

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