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londoners, where would you buy a house if you were a foreigner?

londoners, where would you buy a house if you were a foreigner?

Nov 15th, 2009, 12:56 PM
  #1  
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londoners, where would you buy a house if you were a foreigner?

Hello all!
I am Italian and I have 3 children who are 12, 8 , 6 year old.
My husband and I do love London and we would like to buy a little house.
We would use it for our holiday and let it when we are in our country. It would be an investment if we gain a fair rent. Moreover, it could be useful for our kids if they like to study or work in London when they are older.
We have not a lot of money. We cannot spend more than 170 £ (on the whole). We will look for 2 bedrooms flat/house.
I need "ground-roots" advice from Londoners on where I should look for it.
Here there are some random thoughts:
1) we cannot afford the inner london
2) we won't work in London, therefore we do not need a GREAT tube service. It would be fine to have good rail connection to the centre of london (zone 1 or 2)
3)the area must be safe and quite, especially at night
4) we'd like to have green space
5)we know there are still many charming villages; I'd like to find out the one we can afford
6)we'd like to have a british (or, at least, anglosaxon - culture) experience.we'd like to stay in an area with a relatively low immigration.
Any help you can provide would be most gratefully appreciated.
Best regards
Daniela
danieladam64 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 01:17 PM
  #2  
 
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Two bedroom ex council flat in Fulham London SW6 costs 400,000 euros. The maintenace charges are huge but are not if you occupy the same flats as tenants of the Local Authority.
I live in Cardiff Wales and you would be hard pushed to find a two bed flat at the figures you mention.
Sorry to be so negative.
crdtny is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 01:46 PM
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"we'd like to stay in an area with a relatively low immigration"
Rules you out. On two grounds:
- You're an immigrant
- Racists aren't welcome here

"We cannot spend more than 170 £"
Rules anywhere within 200 miles of London out.

Stay in Italy. London's not for you.

And I'm not at all sorry to be negative.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 01:51 PM
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Hysterical!
letsgo39 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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Hi have a look on www.rightmove.co.uk.
It does depend what you are looking for of course but,the current economic climate means you will find loads of properties in various parts of London in that price range. Although thay may not be everyones cup of tea and the areas may be a trifle dodgy.

(Oh and loads here in Cardiff too.;-)))

Muck
Mucky is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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I'll ignore the 'low immigration' bit (hopefully there is a lapse in communication and you didn't really mean it the way it sounds). But do you honestly think you could find a flat or house -- w/ green space and in a charming village w/i commute distance of London, for less then £170K??

That's a price from 20+ years ago . . . . .
janisj is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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You can find properties in the London on that Rightmove website at this sort of price but £!70k finds you a 2 bed maisonette, created from one floor of what was originally a semi detached house in Chingford, Essex. This is in the London area and probably relatively anglo-saxon but it is not in zone 1 or 2 not even in zone 6.

The main problem is you have to be on the spot to buy property. Anything which is good value will go quickly because there is very little movement at the moment, everyone is waiting for everyone else to make a move and for there to be some choice. This is keeping prices up and means that there is little selection. You also need to be on the spot to go and inspect each area as well as the property.

On a recent TV show they highlighted a misleading estate agents photograph. If taken from one angle, as in their photo, the house looked fine, in a country setting. However from another angle one could see that it was close to an enormous electricity power station.
helen_belsize is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 10:55 PM
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"On a recent TV show they highlighted a misleading estate agents photograph. If taken from one angle, as in their photo, the house looked fine, in a country setting. However from another angle one could see that it was close to an enormous electricity power station."

I saw that too.lol
As if no one would notice when they went to view

Muck
Mucky is offline  
Nov 15th, 2009, 11:35 PM
  #9  
 
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There are properties in that price range. I don't think they will be what you are hoping for however as they will by necessity be in the cheapest parts of town, which mean that
a) they will be extremely difficult to let as holiday homes
b) the areas may not be the safest and
c)a high proportion of your neighbours will also be immigrants, i.e. Thamesmead is a cheap(ish) area just outside London, but it isn't known as Little Lagos for nothing. I don't take your request for an 'English' area to be racist, more a thought about 'authenticity', but it's not realistic when you think of anywhere in the SE of England these days. I live in a small street of 10 houses, 15 miles from the outskirts on London, and over half the houses are owned by immigrants. And if anyone thinks I'm being racist, 'immigrant' is not a term of abuse, and it also includes Mr N himself.

Village homes are even more expensive than town ones.

You might find something further out if you don't mind being an hour or two away from London - your main problem is finding somewhere for that budget that you can also reliably let out to holidaymakers. It's hard to make that pay - especially as you'd havr to employ someone here to take care of it and the guests - so I wouldn't rely on that paying the mortgage.
nona1 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 12:11 AM
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Pot ,kettle, black.

How many of you go and buy holiday homes in the back streets of Malaga, Cadiz or Naples - it was a pretty straight forward question and I don't think that wanting to ensure a British experience touches on racism.

The whole thing is a self defeating goal though - in the end after 40 years of immigration you will not get an Italian experience on the hills of Pienza or Spanish on the beaches of Marbella. More likely to spend most of your life directing tourist to the nearest osteria or moaning about the exchange rate to sun tanned lizards from Essex.
markrosy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 02:06 AM
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We have not a lot of money. We cannot spend more than 170 £ (on the whole). We will look for 2 bedrooms flat/house.>>>>

This is a VERY tight budget - frankly it's impossible, given your other requirements. The only places that will meet this budget are going to be places with a lot of immigrants.

I need "ground-roots" advice from Londoners on where I should look for it.
Here there are some random thoughts:
1) we cannot afford the inner london>>>>

No you can't

2) we won't work in London, therefore we do not need a GREAT tube service. It would be fine to have good rail connection to the centre of london (zone 1 or )

Youu might want to look around Croydon. It has killler travel links, but is very "multicultural"


3)the area must be safe and quite, especially at night>>>>>>

Pretty much everywhere is.

4) we'd like to have green space>>>>

Not on your budget

5)we know there are still many charming villages; I'd like to find out the one we can afford>>>>

A village within easy commuting distance is jaw droppingly expensive.

6)we'd like to have a british (or, at least, anglosaxon - culture) experience.we'd like to stay in an area with a relatively low immigration>>>

I'll cut you some slack on this as it's not your first language. However London is 30% non-white. Get used to it or stay at home.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 04:04 AM
  #12  
 
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You could perhaps try somewhere in Suffolk.
Saxemundham is quite a pleasant little town with a railway link to London if you don't mind a two hour commute.
Josser is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 12:23 PM
  #13  
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Thanks you all for the answers, and especially Helen.Thank you for the highlight on misleading photograph.I will be aware of it.
I am trying to have a (very) short list of spot to look for property. After that, I'll come and spend some time on the spot to inspect each area.But before coming, I need your local knowledge in Greater London.If you londoners have any other name, please tell me bearing in mind that I am looking for areas:where english residents are mainly family oriented,with a strong community spirit.
Moreover, I will look at the journey times rather than distances:hopefully, not more than 45 minutes commuting distances.
Regarding my request for a very english area I did not mean to be racist.It's really a pity that some of you misunderstood.Actually, I do not mind at all the percentage of non-white and I don't care ethnic diversity.
On the other hand it is to be said that if I come to England and spend (all!) my savings to buy a house I do desire a real taste of english culture. And I do hope you londoners could save a bit of it, at least!
Best regards to all of you.
Daniela
danieladam64 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Even if you find a place in an area you like unless you live there yourself you will not have much to do with the community. In order to get involved with local life you have to live in an area and join in. Unfortunately some quite pleasant areas have a large number of properties which are let and so they have little community atmosphere as the residents are quite transient. In England one way to get involved is via the church but that is chiefly the protestant church of England, although other religious groups have their communities. Another way is to become involved in an activity such as singing in a choir, playing in a local sports team or becoming active in local campaigns such as conservation. These are not particularly exclusive but do require you to be on the spot.

Most of us who live in London have our own loyalties to an area, north, northwest, south, southwest, southeast. There are pleasant and safe areas in all directions but we have our prejudices which are often based on family ties.

What we don't know is what you mean by a real taste of english culture, it is probably as varied or more varied than life is in Italy. Unfortunately for many people watching TV at home or going to the pub with friends is their main encounter with English culture.
helen_belsize is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 03:45 PM
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Forget London! Try America - we have a lot of houses for sale!
bratsandbeer is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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WE do have alot of houses on sale in the US - but the budget- which is very tiny - is not enought to buy a decent house in anyplace that tourists would want to visit. If you live in a small towh you can perhaps get a house for that - but you won;t be near any tourist attractions - and will have to pay for the whole mortgage out of your own funds.

Houses in areas with lots of tourist attractions are typically much more expensive than your budget. (In Manhattan,, your budgert would -barely - buy a small studio apartment.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 01:15 AM
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I'm sorry to poor cold water on your dream but your budget is almost completely impossible.

There are places that are within 45 minutes of London where you might just about get a place (before legal fees etc). As I said - Croydon is one. However you wouldn't get a lot of interest from holiday makers looking to rent in these places (although businesses might be interested, for instance there's a massive Nestles building in Croydon and they accommodate executives when they're transferred here).

Are you wedded to London? There are plenty of other British cities that meet your criteria and where you would be able to buy what you want.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 12:28 PM
  #18  
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thank you helen and warner.
Replying to each of you specifically:

Helen, I'm not looking for getting involved with local life.I can imagine could be quite impossible coming there just for long weekends and on summer vacation:it would be the same everywhere, also in Italy!When I say that I "desire a real taste of english culture", I mean I'd like to be in touch, to observe, to feel english culture.that's the reason why I'd like a spot where english residents are prevalent. I also agree with you when you say that each ou US (the same would be if you ask for advice in Milan, Rome, or elsewhere in italy)has prejudice about areas to live due to family ties.In any case I'd like to know yours. In the previous post you mentioned Chingford.I think it is in East London.Relating to that area, I'd much appreciate to know what you think aboutushwood, Woodfors,Theydon Bois, Havering-atte-Bower, Forest Gate and Becotree.Thanks for any opinion.

Warner, yes it is a dream and I am really involved with it.And actually, I do like to stay in London..Let me hope for a while that I will!!The things you wrote about Croydon are very interesting.I think that that area is in South london.If I am not wrong you are a policeman. It is very interesting to know from your point of views any opinion on oyher southern borough like: Wimbledon, Raynes Park, west Wimbledon, Putney,Kew, Barnes,NewMalden,Sutton.
Best regards
Daniela
danieladam64 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 01:07 PM
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Daniela

I had time to think about your idea - we have just returned from visiting our Italian friends who moved back to Torino after 4 years living in Lytham, UK. We laways talked about the relative costs of each country and you a a very solid chance to make a very solid investment which in my view fits all your needs - Manchester.

1. Over the past 7 years there was a huge over-development of city centre industrial buildings - the banks funded site after site and after our property crash there are A LOT left on the market - At the peak they averged £350,000 for a 2 bed newly renovated (high spec) apartment in the city centre. Look on rightmove.co.uk and you will find many apartments for your budget which are right out of down town New York in terms of style. £170,000 will go a long way !

2. Transport links with Italy are good with Ryanair and Easyjet offering very cheap services from Manchester.

3. The pound is still trading well under its comparitive value against the euro. Travel round both countries and you will find most homogenous products are (which ever way you look at it either 30% overpriced in Europe or under prcied in the UK. I still think that the rate has to adjust by at least 20%.

4. Manchester is a great cultural centre and the shopping although not on a par with Milan is up there with any other European city - don't forget your Euros will go a very long way - Max Mara in Siracusa two weeks ago womens winter coat 950 euros - same coat Max Mara Manchester £450 - at an exchange rate of 1 to 1.1 thats a bargain.

The Uk is no different from any other country most visitors head for London - in the same way that our friends laugh at us for heading to Tuscany like all the other Brits when in their view Piedmont has far more to offer.

5. Manchester is just over an hours drive from 4 of the best National Parks this country has to offer and the transport system functions far more effectively than London. Consider a weekend away at your holiday home and spending 2 hours in traffic - just doesn't happen in Manchester.

Just a thought !
markrosy is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 02:23 PM
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ciao Daniela,

why would you want to risk your savings in a foreign country?

have you looked at the legalities of buying in the UK? and the costs? Have you thought what you'd do if it all went wrong/you got divorced/one of you died?

you could get an awful lot of holidays for €170K. endless weeks renting very nice cottages in quintessentially english villages. lots of long weekends in Central london. none of the home-owner worries - insurance, flooding, subsidence, neighbours, damp, drains, cleaning, gardening,...

if you have money to spare, fine. but if these are your only savings, please think very carefuly before committing yourselves to this. if you want to invest in property, why not buy somewhere in Italy, rent it out, and use the money to travel to the UK?

regards, ann
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