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    • Georgie579
    • By Georgie579 9th Oct 17, 7:57 AM
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    Georgie579
    Looking to buy in south Essex, opinions please
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 17, 7:57 AM
    Looking to buy in south Essex, opinions please 9th Oct 17 at 7:57 AM
    Hi all,
    I am a first time buyer looking to buy a 1/2 bed flat in south Essex.
    Currently live in London but cannot afford to buy here. I work in London so still need to be able to commute.
    I have seen nice flats in my price range (180k) around Purfleet, Stanford-le-hope, South Ockendon and surrounding areas and also slightly further out Harlow.
    Seen a few bad comments on older forums about these areas so looking for honest opionions on what these areas are like for people familiar with the area.
    I am aware Colchester and Chelmsford are nice areas but they are slightly too far out for me.
    Thanks in advance for any comments
Page 1
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 9th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
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    AndyBSG
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    I'd say all three of those areas have places that aren't exactly 'great' but that's all completely relative to where you live at the moment and there are some nice areas in all three of those places, you'll just need to hunt around a bit.

    For 180K you could also find properties in some better areas.

    For instance, if you did want to stay on the 'Tilbury loop' of the Fenchurch street line you may be able to stretch to a property in Chafford Hundred.

    Alternatively there are some areas in Basildon and parts of Laindon that aren't too bad.

    Further along the line you have places like Westcliff and Chalkwell which have an abundance of flats for sale and if you took a real gamble you could buy a flat for much less than 180K somewhere like Canvey Island which is a reasonable place to live but has traffic issues.

    Other options are on the Greater Anglia line where you could pick up a 1 bed, maybe even a 2 bed flat, for 180K in Chelmsford.

    Would probably be helpful if you could actually list the most important things to you in buying? i.e. is it important you get somewhere that prices are rising for when you sell in future? Are road travel links as important as train links? Are some areas more desirable due to friends and family location? Do you want somewhere near the sea or countryside? Is local nightlife/shopping more important?
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 9th Oct 17, 10:06 AM
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    hazyjo
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:06 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:06 AM
    Don't forget too that some of those places mean you'll be on slow trains. A quick look at Stanford-le-hope shows trains at 48+ mins, mainly over 50 mins though. I'd rather live in Chalkwell if travelling for that long.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • Dawn248
    • By Dawn248 9th Oct 17, 10:45 AM
    • 104 Posts
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    Dawn248
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:45 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:45 AM
    I'd go for Chalkwell/Leigh or Benfleet on the C2C line if I were you. Grays and Tilbury are not as nice and trains are slow, as previous poster said. If you want to go on the Liverpool Street line you can get decent flats in Wickford but they're doing engineering work there at the moment so I'd check when that finishes!
    • SG27
    • By SG27 9th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
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    SG27
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    Id go for Chelmsford or even surrounding villages like Boreham/Broomfield/little Waltham...etc you could cycle into town in about 10/15 minutes. Or Hatfield Peveral 1 step out from Chelmsford has its own station. Lovely countryside around there too. South Essex just seems to built up and industrial for me.
    Mortgage Debt: £93,537.48/£105,025 Feb 13
    Overpayments so far: £3,939.72
    • phill99
    • By phill99 9th Oct 17, 11:09 AM
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    phill99
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:09 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:09 AM
    Well I live in Grays. Moved here 27 years ago. There are many good things about the locality. Its only 38 mins into Fenchurch Street and trains are efficient and plentiful (C2C have a very good punctuality record). Access to the M25, Dartford Bridge, M11, M2 M23 etc are brilliant. There is a choice of 5 international airports within an hours drive. Lakeside Shopping Centre is on your doorstep which is also about to undergo major refurbishment. Bluewater is 20mins away. There were a lot of brownfield sites in the area which have been redeveloped and the area has undergone major environmental improvement as a result. There are a lot of local job opportunities with the new DP World Port and a new (huge) Amazon Depot at Tilbury.


    In terms of housing options, you will get a lot for your money, The area has a lot of ex council housing which is always well built and larger than many private built homes.


    However, because of the relative low cost of accommodation and plentiful (but often low paid/low skilled) jobs, there is a very big Eastern European population and Grays, particularly is becoming very 'Ghettoised' which many people may feel uncomfortable with. Of late the increase in violent crime is quite marked. We have had murders, machete attacks, extremely violent aggravated burglaries, with the perpetrators coming from East London and trying to flex their muscles (Gang and drug related). South Ockendon and Tilbury are the two main areas that are suffering in this way and I suggest you avoid.


    If you wish to PM me I am happy to give you my number and you are welcome to call me to chat.


    Hope that helps.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 9th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
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    phill99
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    Id go for Chelmsford or even surrounding villages like Boreham/Broomfield/little Waltham...etc you could cycle into town in about 10/15 minutes. Or Hatfield Peveral 1 step out from Chelmsford has its own station. Lovely countryside around there too. South Essex just seems to built up and industrial for me.
    Originally posted by SG27
    But I don't think you get the VFM in those areas plus your commute costs into London are higher.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 9th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
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    hazyjo
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
    C2C line is much cheaper than the others nearby. OP may know that already.


    Looked at Chalkwell/Leigh and there's only really one just over budget (south of London Road). Even further out, the nicer areas might just be over budget.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • Loft Boy
    • By Loft Boy 9th Oct 17, 11:34 AM
    • 41 Posts
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    Loft Boy
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:34 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 11:34 AM
    If you have about £180k I would suggest Westcliff /Chalkwell.


    Good links into London , sea front good parks and next door to Leigh which has some nice bars etc. Leigh has become expensive so the ripple effect is starting to happen and Westcliff is certainly becoming more desirable.


    There are still some areas that aren't great but £180,000 should get you a decent flat in a decent area.
    • Georgie579
    • By Georgie579 9th Oct 17, 8:24 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Georgie579
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Much appreciated.

    My family, friends and work are mostly in London so I would ideally like to be as close to London as possible. Socialising will be done mainly in London still so am not particularly fussed about finding an area with a lot of nightlife, restaurants, shops etc. I would say most important factors to me are to find an area I feel safe in wth good transport links / road access into London.

    I have been avoiding Chafford Hundred in my search as I hear the traffic is always heavy (however I might take a drive through there to see just how bad). Also been avoiding Basildon as I haven't heard great things but I do realise that there are good and bad places in all areas, just need to research properly.
    Did also look at Benfleet and Wickford but those areas seem to be mainly out of my price range and not great VFM.

    Chalkwell and Westcliff seem to be what most people here are suggesting so I will look into those areas a bit more.

    Anyone on here living in South Essex and commuting to London?
    • SG27
    • By SG27 9th Oct 17, 9:08 PM
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    SG27
    But I don't think you get the VFM in those areas plus your commute costs into London are higher.
    Originally posted by phill99

    Yes true, the trains are extortionate.
    Mortgage Debt: £93,537.48/£105,025 Feb 13
    Overpayments so far: £3,939.72
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 9th Oct 17, 10:34 PM
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    hazyjo
    I'm in the process of moving to Leigh-on-Sea. I'll prob get trains taking 48 mins into Fen St, and 43 mins home. Aircon, free WiFi - although a busy line. I also meet most of my friends in London.

    There's a current thread on Westcliff. Not the greatest of areas just yet - although some bits of it are really nice, but lovely houses generally, and it's definitely feeling the ripple effect from sought after Leigh-on-Sea/Chalkwell. I should imagine Westcliff and bits of Southend are pretty solid investments too as there's lots of investment and change happening.
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • Georgie579
    • By Georgie579 10th Oct 17, 8:13 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Georgie579
    Oh really? What's the traffic like around there? I worry it will be terrible around summer
    • howisthisriskfree
    • By howisthisriskfree 10th Oct 17, 9:15 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    howisthisriskfree
    At a push, with £180k you could get a 1-bed flat somewhere on the tube line at the east end of the Central Line, this would save you a substantial amount of money per year as you don't need a mainline travel ticket.

    You'd have to drop the 'nice' bit from the requirement though.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Oct 17, 9:44 AM
    • 9,831 Posts
    • 12,480 Thanks
    hazyjo
    At a push, with £180k you could get a 1-bed flat somewhere on the tube line at the east end of the Central Line, this would save you a substantial amount of money per year as you don't need a mainline travel ticket.

    You'd have to drop the 'nice' bit from the requirement though.
    Originally posted by howisthisriskfree
    Sorry but you won't get anywhere, even in areas like Hainault on the Central Line for that budget! All too pricey.

    Oh really? What's the traffic like around there? I worry it will be terrible around summer
    Originally posted by Georgie579
    Traffic would be a bit of a 'mare around Southend/Westcliff/Chalkwell/Leigh! Will you need the car much?
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • pimento
    • By pimento 10th Oct 17, 10:07 AM
    • 5,248 Posts
    • 6,792 Thanks
    pimento

    Anyone on here living in South Essex and commuting to London?
    Originally posted by Georgie579

    Yes but I'm on the Later Angrier route into Liverpool Street which, if you value your sanity, you'll avoid like the plague.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 10th Oct 17, 10:15 AM
    • 935 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    AndyBSG
    At a push, with £180k you could get a 1-bed flat somewhere on the tube line at the east end of the Central Line, this would save you a substantial amount of money per year as you don't need a mainline travel ticket.

    You'd have to drop the 'nice' bit from the requirement though.
    Originally posted by howisthisriskfree
    You'd be VERY lucky to get something in that price range. My wife and I sold our pokey, dated, 1 bed flat in Debden for over 200K almost 5 years ago so I dread to think what 180K would buy you.

    For the OP, worth taking a look here as there's another thread discussing Westcliff there

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5722814
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