Blog has moved, searching new blog...

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Buying in London - Walthamstow Village

M and I have been renting very happily in Clapham for the past 3 years. Inevitably though, you get sick of lining your landlord's pocket with your hard earned money and around January time we started looking in estate agents' windows for property to buy.

It didn't take us long to realise that we were totally priced out of Clapham. £600k for a two bedroom flat is beyond our means and we soon gave up our dream of ever buying here. We basically resigned ourselves to long term renting.

Step forward Frankie, who moved to Walthamstow last year. She had been keen to move to Crouch End, but had found herself similarly out priced. After watching an episode of Location Location Location and based on a recommendation from good ol' Kirsty and Phil, she decided to go property hunting in Walthamstow (or 'Awesomestow' as some like to call it in a slightly cringeworthy manner). In no time at all she and her boyfriend had moved in, and she was determined that I should see what all the fuss was about.

After just 1 hour spent there, I was completely sold on Walthamstow and took M for a visit the next day. All his concerns about distance from central, transport links and things to do in the area were soon kicked into touch. Walthamstow Central is just 20 minutes from Oxford Circus (thank you Victoria line!) and is full of your typical shops. Just five minutes walk from Walthamstow Central and you reach the 'Village', which is a beautiful set of streets home to independent coffee shops, restaurants and the amazing Aura Rosa cake shop (which I blogged about here).

Let's talk money. As I said above, Clapham prices are ridiculous - the one bed flat below us has just gone on sale for £400k. Don't get me wrong we love our rental flat, but the thought of paying £400k for it is absolutely ludicrous.

In comparison, house prices in Walthamstow have lagged behind - we secured a deposit on a flat with 2 double bedrooms for practically half the price. Happily, it also means that we avoid the dreaded 3% stamp duty hike. However, house prices in Walthamstow (as with all areas of London) have shot up. Annoyingly, if we'd looked a year a go we would have got the same flat for £100k less!

This is a big move for us. It means moving away form an area that has become our home for the past 3 years and moving to a part of London which is all but brand new to us, but it's exciting and I love exploring new areas. We're still sorting out all the solicitor stuff but fingers crossed, we'll be moving in in late July.

We're so excited about the big move that we like any opportunity to revisit Walthamstow. On Friday, Frankie and Simon invited us to go to a pop up cinema experience in the Village, on Orford Road.

The Stow Film Lounge can be found at the Orford House Social Club.  There's an on site bar and you can select a ticket (as we did) which includes food - either pizza or lasagne. It's far more sociable than your usual cinema experience.

We bought a large bucket of popcorn which I was inordinately attached to.

We watched the Dallas Buyer Club which I hugely recommend - Matthew McConaughey gave the performance of his career, which quiet rightly earned him an Oscar. It tells the story of  a rodeo who finds out that he has HIV and only 30 days to live.

Today we went for brunch at Lot 107 which is on Wood Street and very close to our future flat.

After that, we said our goodbyes to Frankie and Simon and went to explore. Lloyd park was high on our list - an unexpected manicured garden hidden off one of Walthamstow's main streets. We were stuffed so couldn't fit in a visit to the tea garden, but we will 100% be back!

Have the London house prices affected you? Which areas would you recommend to buy in?


  1. Hello and welcome to Walthamstow!
    Thanks for the lovely post.
    Pop in and see us sometime - we know all the best places, though looks like your friends have that covered! Have you been to Gods Own Junkyard and Wild Card Brewery yet?
    We are E17 Art House framers and gallery, a little hidden off Church Hill E17

    1. Hi Elaine, thanks for your lovely comment. Yes, we've already been to Gods Own Junkyard and Wild Card Brewery - loved both places! Yes, we'll definitely pop by when we make the big move.

  2. Congratulations on your future new place! How very exciting & scary too - I also had an offer accepted earlier in the year but everything is going pretty slowly because of the chain but remaining hopeful that things will start to move (in fact, thanks for the reminder, I've just e-mailed the EA!). It's a one bed near Crouch End/Archway which is cosy but cute :) . I found (& am still finding!) the buying process rather stressful & I too also wish I had looked earlier (but I try not to think about it too much, too painful ;) !) but now just want to move in & make the place my home! Glad things are moving for you, I've never been to Walthamstow but I have heard great things about it, and I'm a North Londoner through & through so can vouch for all the amazing places to explore in this neck of the woods!

    1. Thank you! We're so excited to make the big move. It's such a big step for us in terms of our relationship and future together but we really can't wait. Any recommendations as to things to do north of the river would be much appreciated as we don't know the area at all. :) Crouch End is a wonderful place to live. A friend of mine has just moved there, near the broadway. I can't believe how many amazing independent shops and eateries there are. x

    2. Yes, I can imagine, a really lovely & wonderful step for you both too :) ! Ooh, SO much to do north of the river! One of my favourites is to go swimming in the mixed pond on Hampstead heath & have a lovely picnic in the sun afterwards. Ooh & since you're on the Victoria line, head to Finsbury Park which has an AMAZING Korean restaurant called Dotori (you have to book as it's popular) just opposite the station - can have a stroll around Finsbury Park before dinner too :) so many other things which I have forgotten but when I remember I'll be sure to let you know! Yes, so excited about moving to Crouch End once it finally happens! x

    3. Thanks Lucy! You're so kind! I've never been to Hampstead or Highgate but they're top of my list when we move. Definitely going to give Dotori a go too - it's about time I ate Korean again! x