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Buying a home in South Norwood


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#1 Pulsey79

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 11:43 AM

Hi,

My girlfriend and I are thinking of moving to the South Norwood area, near Woodside and wanted to know as much info as we can before we make our decision. We currently rent in Bethnal Green, but are priced out of the better parts and due to job changes need to move south/west.

I've been lurking here for a bit and you seem a friendly and knowledgeable bunch, so I was hoping you could help.

A few questions - I need to get to King's Cross for work at the moment, by train/tube and my partner needs to get to Hounslow by car. Is it doable in around an hour for both of us? I'm thinking of using Norwood Junction station.

What is South Norwood like? Is it a nice area? Is it on the up?

As a gay couple how would we find the atmosphere? Gay friendly? Any gay or lesbian places to go out?

Any any other information you think we might need to know before we go ahead? We haven't got kids at the moment but want some in the future, good schools? Really for now, we want a fairly quiet area with fun places to go out nearby and acceptable transport links. My parents are based in Redbridge and my girlfriend's are in Portsmouth!

I promise to buy you a drink if we move to SN!

Cheers,

Helen

#2 gekko

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:10 AM

Hi Helen,

Welcome to Virtual Norwood. Glad you are thinking of moving to this fab corner of London.

I don't know South Norwood very well, but from what I can gather you need to be a bit careful as it can be rough. Not sure what Woodside is like though. I'm sure others on here can give you a much more informative opinion.

I think you would find Crystal Palace to be very gay friendly. There is one gay bar - Cafe Lava, but CP has quite a large gay population so all the bars are really gay friendly. My g/f and I were pleasantly surprised when we started househunting here last year as to how many lesbians seem to live here.

Good luck with finding a new house!

Mel :)
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#3 JGX

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:26 AM

Hi Helen,

Having lived in both South Norwood and Upper Norwood for the last 15 years, I would second Mel's comments.

South Norwood has some really nice areas, especially Auckland Road around the South Norwood Lakes area (Roads such as Howden Road, Sundial Avenue, Warminster Road, Court Road etc etc). There are, however, some dodgy areas. Rather than list them here, it's probably best for you to name a few of the roads that you are looking at and I or one of us could say, yes or no. . .

As to it being gay friendly, I would imagine Upper Norwood and the area around Crystal Palace is probably a better bet - it's far more cosmopolitan, with lots of bars, cafes and even a gay bar - having said that it's unlikely that you'd get any trouble in South Norwood because you're a gay couple unless you end up in some of the seedier pubs.

Journey timewise, You can get the Thameslink (or whatever it's called this week) direct from Norwood Junction to Kings Cross, I would imagine that SN to Hounslow by car would be do-able but probably not a lot of fun.

Don't know if any of that helps, feel free to mention a few roads and I'll be more than happy to give you a few pointers.

Good luck with the search.

JGX

#4 Smoothy

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 11:58 AM

Hello! OK, I've been a resident in South Norwood for around 20 years so I could help too.

Kings Cross - contrary to the above poster's comment, you cannot get any Thameslink train from Norwood Junction (verified on National Rail's enquiry website). So you will be either getting a train back one stop to East Croydon and getting the Thameslink from there, or get a fast train to London Bridge, and getting a Thameslink from there.

Hounslow - you can get to Hounslow within an hour from South Norwood. My dad usually goes through London via Tooting & Fulham, but that's a nightmare during rush-hour. I usually get the more straighforward route through Croydon, Purley Way, Coulsdon, start of M23 towards Gatwick, where there's a turn-off very early on for the M25 (I think) towards Heathrow.

South Norwood is generally a good place. House prices are definitely going skyward though.

Bad points - well... a girl did get snatched off the street in Warminister Road a few months back. Someone was attacked in South Norwood Lakes. Also due to there being a football ground in the vicinity (Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park), on matchdays you get a lot of cars and fans around, however, seeing as Palace have just been recently demoted, it won't be as big a problem as before. However, incidents are definitely very very low (hardly any really in the 20 years I've been around) so it's still a good area.

#5 JGX

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:15 PM

Blimey, I didn't know that! Shows how long ago I went on a train from Norwood Junction, I suppose. . . :o

JGX

#6 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:25 PM

Helen
I lived in South Norwood for one year and moved back to Upper Norwood.
It's fine in parts but there's not a lot of places to go in terms of pubs, bars or restaurants. It's actually a little better for travel connections than Upper Norwood in that Norwood Junction does a one-stop service into London Bridge and is one stop away from East Croydon. Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill train services are a bit hit and miss, particularly at the weekends.

I lived up the back of Selhurst Park and that wasn't a lot of fun.

But I'm an SE19 boy and I'm a bit biased probably. Born in SE19, moved to SE25 for nearly a year and then moved back. This bohemian lifestyle - I'm going to have to curb it and put down some roots........... :lol:
Fighting Nighthawks in the sky
Brave and loyal are these guys
Brothers turning wrong to right
Never running from a fight, fight, fight
Fighting Nightingales

#7 Smoothy

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 12:51 PM

Hi Uncle Wilf

Actually South Norwood has lots of pubs, especially in the High Street area. There's the Port Manor, just next to the bridge on Portland Road, the two pubs on the South Norwood Hill/High St area, another one going towards The Goat House, a Wetherspoons in the middle of the High St and another (yes another!) one down on the corner of Station Road/High St, not to mention the numerous pubs on Portland Road. True there isn't any bars, but then again you have Crystal Palace and Croydon which are both one stop away if you want proper bars.

There are a few restaurants down Portland Road, but the High Street is full of takeaways.

Crystal Palace is one stop away and is every half an hour from Platform 1 in Norwood Junction. Or you can get the 75 (or is it 157?) bus to Crystal Palace. Croydon is one stop away, you can either get the train to East Croydon or West Croydon, or get a 75, 157, 196, 410 or 312 bus.

I have to say I'm a bit biased, but South Norwood is good mainly because of the transport links to other places but also does have a lot of places to go in it's own right (South Norwood Recreation Ground, South Norwood Lakes, Selhurst Park, supermarkets, etc.)

#8 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:02 PM

I thought the Goat House had shut down but not been past there for a while.

Have been in some of the pubs you mentioned and there are a few decent boozers down in SE25.
Plus I am an ex-Stanley boy so I do have some affection for the area..... B)
Fighting Nighthawks in the sky
Brave and loyal are these guys
Brothers turning wrong to right
Never running from a fight, fight, fight
Fighting Nightingales

#9 Smoothy

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:16 PM

Ah yes, I meant The Goat House bridge, as yes the pub had indeed closed down. An ex-Stanley boy, eh? So am I (from 1988 - 1993). Pity about the school now though (although that's for a whole different thread entirely)

#10 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:27 PM

Yes it's not what it once was......
Some good teachers there who I still remember. But as you say, for a different thread.
Fighting Nighthawks in the sky
Brave and loyal are these guys
Brothers turning wrong to right
Never running from a fight, fight, fight
Fighting Nightingales

#11 Charlotte

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:41 PM

Hi

My g/f and I live in Auckland Rd, so between South Norwood and the Crystal Palace triangle. We absolutely love it here and there is nowhere else in London where we could have afforded to buy such a nice house with so much land!

CP is very gay female friendly...it's almost like living in the "L Word" at times, if only Jennifer Beals really did live up the road *sigh* (apologies to my g/f, it's just a girly celebrity crush!). I don't know as many gay men around here, but Southern Pride attracts a huge clientle in West Norwood.

So, come on down, you'll be made very welcome.

#12 Axean

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:13 PM

I am going to agree with Gekko. South Norwood (woodside, norwood junction) can be a bit rough. Its cheapness is partly due to its roughness, not just the distance outside London. Some good building material suppliers though :rolleyes:

If you hadnt said you were gay and were looking for a gay friendly area, I would have said there was nothing wrong with this area.

If you need good transport links + a more cosmopolitan area, then your best bet is around Crystal Palace Station. It is also a good area "relatively" for investment.

Crystal Palace Station has good train service. Two of the railway lines that will meet at Norwood Junction have a "link-line" between Sydenham Station and Crystal Palace Station. This is used to keep trains in London, meaning a good service for Crystal Palace. The east London line will be extended out to south London with half the trains termination at Crystal Palace. The sports center looks like it is going to get ist long due redevlopment. This should increase property values in Crystal Palace relative to other areas. Crystal Palace is also zone 3, Norwood Junction is Zone 4.

I'll give my opinion of the areas near this station.

When you come out of the station it looks a bit rough, due to two V1 rockets hitting the area next to the station at the end of WWII. But behind it is a superb area. Just walk around Cintra Park, Belvedere Rd, and Fox Hill area. This "best" area is enclosed by Church Rd, Anerley Hill, and the railway line heading from Crystal Palace to Norwood Junction.

To the southeast of the Park you have the roads with the best travel links, Thicket Rd and Anerley Park. Large Victorian houses that have been turned into large flats with communal gardens, within a few minutes of Crystal Palace, Penge West, and Penge East stations. Penge East goes into Victoria via Brixton, this means you can get off at Brixton and join the Victoria line at the beginning. An advantage when going to Kings Cross.

Going the other side of the Anerley/Penge West railway line, into Anerley and parts of Penge, it can be a bit rough or very good. Stunning Victorian housing next to housing estates. But they are outer London housing estates, rough but not dangerous. (Not as rough as South Norwood) It is worth looking at this area (around penge east station) if your going to look at South Norwood.

That's "an" opinion on the areas near crystal palace station. There is no disputing that if your want to live near a cosmopolitan area, the area around the Crystal Palace Park is about as good as it gets this far south of London. You'll also need to drive around the areas and take down the phone numbers of estate agents. Crystal Palace doesnt officially exist as an area, and estate agents for the area sometimes can be found in places like Penge.

#13 Smoothy

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:21 PM

Sorry, just wanted to correct you, actually Crystal Palace is in Zone 4, same as Norwood Junction.

Actually... it would seem my pocket map is slightly out of date, the current map on TFL's web site says it's in both 3 and 4. Looks like they've done some recent boundary-shifting. :rolleyes:

Edited by Smoothy, 07 June 2005 - 03:24 PM.


#14 weeble

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:40 PM

Id imagine CP might be outside of your price range if youre looking in South Norwood (at least for equivalent properties).

Can I put in a good word for Sydenham? We moved there last year when we bought a flat as we were priced out of CP (for the type of property we wanted). Good transport links to London Bridge (although perhaps not so good for getting to Hounslow by car) and will only get better when the East London Line arrives.

Area feels safe and friendly, close enough to Crystal Palace to walk to the bars/restaurants etc and will (fingers crossed) be up-and-coming in its own right too in the future.

#15 Pulsey79

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:48 PM

:D

Hi,

Thanks so much for all the opinions and information!! I was really chuffed. As it happens it doesn't seem like we are going to get this place on Woodside Road (opinions on that? seems quiet...), as the vendor isn't being very flexible on offers and it needs work done.

However, I'm thinking its a good thing now... gives us more time to look into the area and also Crystal Palace and the bit inbetween (Auckland Road here we come! ;) . I hadn't really though of CP. What about the drive for Kat, my gf? Workable do you think?

We have a budget of around £124/£125,000 at the moment but we are hoping to save more. It's nice to know that CP is particularly lesbian friendly. Is our budget realistic for CP and around that area? Ideally we need a garden or some outside space as our kitten is used to having that and it would be unfair to take it away, plus Kat is gardening mad!

I was under the impression that South Norwood and Woodside was the better part of the area, so it's great to learn more and get different opinions. Neither of us know anything much about South London as we have only living in the East.

Again, thanks for all the advice!

Helen