Any Londoner looking to buy a commuter home in 2019 might want to begin their search with one of these top six destinations. They all take into consideration commuter ‘must haves’ when looking for dream property. So whether you aspire to live by the sea, want better education for your children or are looking for a spectacular location, these places may be for you.
Looking for a budget buy by the seaside? Try Southend-on-Sea in Essex
This seaside town can sometimes be overlooked, but Southend-On-Sea has a lot to offer. The town offers a number of high-performing schools and there are nearby beaches, with a commute of less than an hour.
Just along the coast is Leigh-On-Sea which was the first town highlighted in the Guardian’s ‘Let’s Move To’ series back in 2001. Leigh-on-Sea offers independent shops and artisan eateries set among period properties, and despite becoming something of a magnet for Londoners, you can still buy a three bedroom semi-detached house for £250,000.
Want to get home from work even quicker? Try St.Albans in Hertfordshire
The cathedral city of St.Albans has long been a favourite with commuters and some rail services to London take as little as 20 minutes. St Albans has a stunning, historic city centre which offer lively shops, bars, restaurants and pubs, making it lovely place to relax and explore.
Add to that the top quality schools and attractive scenery, St Albans offers a well-rounded location to call home. Houses are not cheap but this really is a case of getting what you pay for – and if you are looking for something with everything, St.Albans really does tick all the boxes.
For the affordability factor, choose Addlestone in Surrey
If Surrey is where you want to live and Guildford and Weybridge are a little too pricey, Addlestone is a good alternative you might want to consider. It may not be as well-known, but there are plentiful shops, restaurants, schools and green space. Trains to Waterloo station take approximately 50 minutes so Addlestone is still under that one hour commute.
In this area, the homes range from Victorian to new build and you can acquire a four bedroom home for approximately £550,000. A similar property in nearby Weybridge could cost you nearer to £1 million. Addlestone is an up and coming area, so you could also be making a good investment.
Best family location? Winchester in Hampshire
The home of Winchester College, Winchester is a lovely family area in which to reside, and it will take you a little over an hour to get to London every morning. Due to its position west of the South Downs, the cathedral city of Winchester is a more affordable option than others.
If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of extra time, then the suburbs of St Cross, with period properties, and Fulflood, with Victorian streets, are equally as attractive.
It is worth noting that living in a small city means that everything you need is virtually on your doorstep. Winchester is pretty with open spaces, good schools and a low crime rate. Many would say this is worth the compromise of a slightly longer commute.
Looking for the very best in education? Try Canterbury in Kent
Ambitious parents are often drawn out of London by the grammar schools of Kent, and in Canterbury there is quite a collection, and the non-selective secondary schools of the cathedral city are also good.
The commute from London is approximately 51 minutes if you use High Speed 1. The lively city centre is sprinkled with attractive Georgian houses set within historic city walls, making it a popular choice.
Canterbury is popular with artists and writers and the Marlowe Theatre and Gulbenkian Arts Centre attract some of the top shows and talent around. For nature-lovers, Canterbury lies adjacent to the Kent Downs.
Vibrant village life – Charing, Kent
If you are looking for a chocolate box, photogenic village, Charing may be the one for you. It is big enough for you not to feel too far removed from city life but just small enough to make you feel like you are in the countryside.
Charing rests right on the lip of the Kent Downs and is really pretty with a high street built of timbered buildings and many useful shops. There are quaint country pubs and a good primary school.
The commute to Charing is just under an hour but, with a slightly longer commute, you can live in the picturesque village of Whitchurch, across the border in Hampshire and home of the Bombay Sapphire distillery.
The sheer number of options for commuters wanting to remain within an hour’s reach of London can leave your head spinning but it’s worth considering your options if you are looking for a slightly more tranquil way of life.
Always ask a Chartered Surveyor to look at your new property when you’re on the move. An Independent RICS Chartered Surveyor will advise you on the condition of your new home and can help to ensure your new investment is affordable by identifying any potential remedial work.