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London crashpad

#1 London crashpad
18/03/2011 14:40


I'm looking to buy a crashpad with reasonable access to both Kings Cross and the City, without spending loads. I was thinking about an ex-council flat on a low rise estate in N1. Are these estates ok, or would someone with a business suit and laptop case get eaten?

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#2 RE: London crashpad
18/03/2011 16:49

Shoe Polisher to zara (#1)

I've got one very near Arsenal Tube. It's only three stops to KC.

Its actually a lovely quiet area when theres no footy on and as a season ticket holder at the emirates it's darn near heaven for me.

And the missus uses it a fair amount when she has nights out in town with girlfriends.

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#3 RE: London crashpad
18/03/2011 17:12

Puoyr to Shoe Polisher (#2)

You hope it's with girlfriends...


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#4 RE: London crashpad
19/03/2011 09:46

Anon to Puoyr (#3)

Puoyr - that is just cheeky. Leave his Mrs alone. Back to the point and council flats are usually bigger and built to a better quality than new builds in the same area e.g. thicker walls, higher ceilings etc

The drawback is the stigma of a council flat (ex or not) and single glazed windows!!

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#5 RE: London crashpad
19/03/2011 21:42

DCF to Anon (#4)

If you're set on that area, might you not be better off with a studio or small 1 bed in Bloomsbury (i.e. S of Euston Rd) than a flat in a council estate to the N?

Some are a bit rum and there is a higher risk of your neighbours being disagreeable. They will also vote enthusiastically for any "improvements" the council proposes, as it won't cost them anything. At the same time their kids will use the lift as a urinal and vandalise it - for which again you will pick up the bill.

At least, that's what happened to a friend who bough in an ex-LA block.

If you must, make sure it's a a small block, in good condition and preferably with a reasonable % sold off omn right to buy.

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#6 RE: London crashpad
21/03/2011 11:59

ABC to DCF (#5)

Kentish Town (NW). Solid area: Northern Line, Hampsted Heath, residential/quiet but with some action (small high street).

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#7 RE: London crashpad
21/03/2011 13:33

zara to zara (#1)

DCF, you have raised exactly some of the points I was worried about. I did look at studios in Bloomsbury, but the entry level is still about 30% higher than a one-bedder exLA property, snd has only about 40% of the floorspace. The space thing isnt too much of an issue, but the cost is. Lso some mansion blocks have pretty hefty service charges too. I did wonder as well if the capping of housing benefit forces more of the economically inactive out of the area prices of ex LA properties might rise, making them a reasonable investment now.

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#8 RE: London crashpad
21/03/2011 15:20

DCF to zara (#7)

I'm not sure there's any easy answer. I think you are right that the changes to Housing Benefit will have a significant effect, but it's going to take time to filter through to the sales (as opposed to rentals) market.

Looks like a trade-off between price and convenience. Bloomsbury and Victoria are both relatively cheap for London but if you need a little more space (and you are right to be wary of mansion block charges) then perhaps somewhere a bit grotty but well-connected could be the answer. I hesitate to recommend either nomrally but Finsbury Park or Elephant could work.

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#9 RE: London crashpad
22/03/2011 15:26

anon to DCF (#8)

zara, have you thought about going south of the river to bermondsey / london bridge? It's probably a preference thing but you'll find some good quality 1930's low rise blocks there (I lived in an estate off tooley street for 3 years). A pleasant cycle ride across the bridge to the city or a bus ride and you get double glazing etc.

DFC makes a good point though, its important to find a good estate. You can research the estate crime levels online. Estates in N1 can be a bit rough (not that I'm biased, I live in N16 now) but that's true everywhere probably.

You could also try off new north road up from old street roundabout, there are some low rise blocks close to regents canal. Good luck.

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#10 RE: London crashpad
22/03/2011 21:01

Dave to anon (#9)

You high flyers!

The glamour of working 80 hour weeks and going "home" 4 or 5 nights a week to an ex-council flat in a dirty, polluted and crime ridden inner city area like Elephant and Castle.

Might as well leave school at 16 and go on the dole in the lake district. Get a nice big council house for free from the government overlooking some of the country's most beautiful scenery.

Has it really come to this?

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#11 RE: London crashpad
23/03/2011 09:45

DCF to Dave (#10)

Yes, I'm sure that the Cumbrian doley lifestyle is just as accessible, realistic and utopic as you suggest.

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#12 RE: London crashpad
23/03/2011 22:38

Dave to DCF (#11)

Well, whatever your personal choices, my advice to any of you high flying MCs that do fancy living in a high rise tower block or some other 'contemporary' ex-local authority dwelling in Elephant and Castle or the like would be to buy one of these Also, I recommend getting a good strong aftershave to mask the smell of the urine in the stairwells you'll be using on your way to work.

Personally, I'd rather spend an extra 20 mins commuting each day and live somewhere a tad more pleasant.

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#13 RE: London crashpad
24/03/2011 10:33

DCF to Dave (#12)

You seem to have missed the pretty fundamental bit that this is a "crash pad" rather than a main home. The original poster no doubt has a pleasant home further afield. No-one is suggesting that some grim estate is some sort of groovy lifestyle option and if you look back the discussion has been about how to avoid that type of environment and where to strike the balance.

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#14 RE: London crashpad
24/03/2011 10:44

Aces to DCF (#13)

Err.....why not rent in a decent locality than buy in a shady dump?

Just a crash pad so work out a long term let, bargain on the rent and enjoy living in a decent apartment with like minded working professionals :-)

Are you looking at an investment angle as well for this crashpad? If not, makes a lot more sense renting a small nice 1BR and returning to its cozy comforts every week night.


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