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Englishmum Mar 26th 2012 9:56 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
You might also want to check out Hertfordshire and South West or West Essex (M11 vicinity). There are fast trains to Liverpool St Station in London's financial district - The City.

There are some lovely villages on the Herts/Essex border (and Stansted Airport for those cheap flights to Europe). Check out Finchingfield (Essex) if you like village pubs and a duck pond...:D The closer you are to London and the Central Line underground trains, the more expensive it is eg. Epping Forest area.

http://www.beenthere-donethat.org.uk...hingfield.html

Thaxted is lovely too, but is probably a little further out from London than you may prefer (45 miles):

http://www.thaxted.co.uk/

Great Dunmow (or Dunmow) is a small country town with an easy connection to Stansted airport and the M11 motorway. My SiL lives in a hamlet nearby.


Sawbridgeworth is a small countryside town on the Herts/Essex border (David Beckham has a house there) with trains to Liverpool St. Going further west in the county is the lovely Roman city of St.Albans. Many people commute to London daily for work from these places.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawbridgeworth

http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/leisure-a...sm-and-travel/

We had friends living in the village of Roydon, Essex (again near the Herts border) and some of the Olympic events will be taking place nearby this Summer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roydon,_Essex

http://www.roydonmarinavillage.co.uk/

jasey Mar 26th 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Wow, thanks for all the new suggestions Englishmum. I haven't heard of most of these until now, so I'm going to get my teeth into them straight away.

huddm Mar 26th 2012 10:47 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972592)
Maidstone you say? Great, will investigate.

Do you think I'm wasting my time with Kent as a whole? In other words, would someone be better off in Surrey or Sussex or Essex instead of *anywhere* in Kent?

Jasey

I have lived in Surrey, Essex as well as Oxfordshire, Hampshire and prefer Kent.

I could not afford the house in the location we currently own in other home counties that I have lived in the past. Before moving to Kent we rented a house in Oxfordshire, which was close half the size of our current house and the rent was double what my mortgage payments are.

I would recommend Canterbury area its see as a more up market area. Maidstone area is one of the areas they recommend to move to due to its relatively high living standard. I have family who live in the Maidstone areas(one is the current Mayor of Maidstone) and they have nice houses on the outskirts of Maidstone.

Hudd

Sally Redux Mar 26th 2012 10:52 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
There are some lovely places in Essex. I visited my old haunts last summer and it hardly seems to have changed at all. I'd love to move back there.

jasey Mar 27th 2012 5:46 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by huddm (Post 9973883)
Jasey

I have lived in Surrey, Essex as well as Oxfordshire, Hampshire and prefer Kent.

I could not afford the house in the location we currently own in other home counties that I have lived in the past. Before moving to Kent we rented a house in Oxfordshire, which was close half the size of our current house and the rent was double what my mortgage payments are.

I would recommend Canterbury area its see as a more up market area. Maidstone area is one of the areas they recommend to move to due to its relatively high living standard. I have family who live in the Maidstone areas(one is the current Mayor of Maidstone) and they have nice houses on the outskirts of Maidstone.

Hudd

Great, Canterbury and Maidstone are at the top of my list, so very happy to hear this :)


Originally Posted by Sally Redux (Post 9973889)
There are some lovely places in Essex. I visited my old haunts last summer and it hardly seems to have changed at all. I'd love to move back there.

Cool, will also be checking some parts of Essex out when we visit in June.

Bo-Jangles Mar 27th 2012 6:14 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
One of my favourite places in Essex would be Maldon and around thereabouts too are very nice, but doubt if very commuter friendly. Although I have fond memories from camping there as a child, I would have not liked to live there in my younger adult life, but certainly more appealing the older you get. :D

My appreciation for all those country villages and pretty towns has grown all the more after having lived in Auckland for the past few years; I would happily live in any one of the places mentioned. Erm okay, except maybe for Sheerness / Isle of Sheppey :confused:

Still, it can't be all bad it has it's attractions for those who have their little piece of 'paradise' out of town, down the 'van.

formula Mar 27th 2012 10:27 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Kent is the best of all the UK counties, with Sussex running second. Kent is the warmest and most dry of all of the UK as well as having stunning countryside, historic buildings, land steeped in history and fantastic walks. The wild orchids are a site to behold. Kent also offers an easy route to London and Europe. I went to school in Kent and our day trips were to France. Kent also has the top state schools and many a goverment minister uses these schools for their children. You will be able to grow grapes in your garden, but watch out for the wild parrots eating your fruit trees (the winters are too mild to kill the parrots off).

Like all the counties, some areas you need to avoid, just like you will need to avoid some areas of the cities.

I have lived or visited a lot of the UK and Kent just has everything else beat.
Devon and Cornwall are pretty, but just too wet and too cut off from everything, for me. South Wales is beautiful too with very friendly people, but just too wet. The midlands are landllocked and like all inland areas, suffer from extreme weather. Yorkshire is freezing, even in the summer. Lancashire has really friendly people, but again is cold, plus it rains a lot. Surrey is a non-type of county. Essex is flat and has harsher winters, just as most other east UK counties do (east UK is Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge). Many a time I have driven to Essex to drop my son off for a football match and found frost on the football pitch, having left a frost free morning in Kent. The west of the UK is wet. The further north you go, the colder it is.

Oh and avoid Ashford, as I said before, it is known as Trashford. There is a reason Ashford housing is cheap to buy. One of the presenters on one of these housing programmes even said, that if Kent was to have an enema, Ashford is where you would insert the tube! Some of the outer villages around there are pretty though. Dover and Folkestone too now, should be avoided.

jasey Mar 27th 2012 10:43 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by formula (Post 9974634)
Kent is the best of all the UK counties. It's the warmest and most dry of all of the UK as well as having stunning countryside, historic buildings, land steeped in history and fantastic walks. The wild orchids are a site to behold. Kent also offers an easy route to London and Europe. I went to school in Kent and our day trips were to France. Kent also has the top state schools and many a goverment minister uses these schools for their children. You will be able to grow grapes in your garden, but watch out for the wild parrots eating your fruit trees (the winters are too mild to kill the parrots off).

Like all the counties, some areas you need to avoid, just like you will need to avoid some areas of the cities. I have lived or visited a lot of the UK and Kent just has everything else beat.

Devon and Cornwall are pretty, but just too wet and too cut off from everything, for me. Wales beautiful too, but just too wet. Essex is flat and has harsher winters. Many a time I have driven to Essex to drop my son off for a football match and found frost on the football pitch, having left a frost free morning in Kent.

This is music to my ears. You have no idea how much your description above matches exactly what we're looking for. Can't wait to visit in June and see Kent for myself, first hand :) Thanks very much for posting!

formula Mar 27th 2012 11:20 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9974643)
This is music to my ears. You have no idea how much your description above matches exactly what we're looking for. Can't wait to visit in June and see Kent for myself, first hand :) Thanks very much for posting!

I got so carried away, that I even added to that post:D

The strange thing is, when I had the chance to live anywhere and drew up a list of what I wanted, Kent was the only place that ticked all the boxes! I guess we never know what we have when we see it every day.

Kent is very dog friendly. When I lived in Yorkshire, most of the land was fenced off and it was only by getting friendly with some farmers, that I then had places to run and train my dogs! I sat in the same carriage as a border collie when I took a trip on the minature steamtrain ride along the Kent southcoast:D A very well behaved BC and the owners did ask if I minded if their dog came in the same carriage, bless them.
http://www.rhdr.org.uk/

Take a walk around Shoreham village (the village in Kent not Sussex) and Eynesford village too (you can walk over the fields to Shoreham from Eynesford if you are fit) plus visit the nearby beautiful Lullingstone (Country) Park, where dogs are welcome to run free. If you do decide to walk the Shoreham and Eynesford loop, you will cross parts of Lullingston park. The Eynesford end of Lullingstone Park now has a cafe, with an outside tap and dog bowl always in place plus a river for dogs to wade or swim in. The further away from London you look, the cheaper the houses will get. A lot of pubs will let your dogs in too or you can sit in the pub garden with them.
http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure_and_c...ntry_park.aspx
The above site also has other country parks in Kent listed, again where dogs can run free.

Some of the beaches are now banned to dogs at certain times of the year, caused of cause, by the bad owners. Still plenty of coutryside to walk through though with glorious views.

The areas I wouldn't waste my time looking at are the towns of, Chatham, Gravesend, Ashford, Dover, Folkestone or the places on the outskirts of Folkestone called Cheriton and Hawkinge. No doubt there are other areas too, to avoid.

Here is the visit Kent site that may help with your journey around Kent - The Garden of England.
http://www.visitkent.co.uk/

jasey Mar 27th 2012 12:22 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
formula, you're getting me more and more excited by the minute. if you're around those parts in June, I may have to fit you into my GPS unit to help us get the most out of the area :)

formula Mar 27th 2012 1:23 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9974790)
formula, you're getting me more and more excited by the minute. if you're around those parts in June, I may have to fit you into my GPS unit to help us get the most out of the area :)

:rofl: Basically, if you need to travel to London every day for work and have children, look for a house in Orpington as they have the schools; St Olaves in the town and Newstead Woods, nearby. Chelsfield (on the top end of Orpington) is the better area still, but houses cost 700k plus in Chelsfield. Don't be fobbed off by estate agents speak of naming places as Chelsfield or Orpington, when they really aren't;) Orpington Rugby club is now in St Mary Cray and the two Crays (St Mary and St Pauls) is not a place I would choose to live. The top end of St Mary Cray is ok, but as it joins St Pauls Cray and into the St Pauls area, avoid it. The cheaper end of Orpington starts at just past St Mary Cray primary school and Opington prices get more as you move towards the War Memorial end. Then it splits into Green St Green or Chelsfield.

If you need to travel to London every day for work and don't have children and love walking and living in a really pretty village with 3 pubs, choose Eynesford.

If those places are out of your budget or you don't need to travel to London, then move further out into one of the villages - take your pick.

Look on sites like www.netprices.com to see what house really sell for as oppose to what people are asking for their property.

When you use sites like www.rightmove.co.uk to find house for sale, also download http://www.property-bee.com/ (it's free) as this will tell you how long people have had their house on the market with that agent and how much they have dropped it each time. Rightmove got rid of other apps that did this but the propertybee creator cleverley put saved links on a different server and can be used for a few house selling sites.

If the seller has changed estate agents or the estate agent tries to dodge the property-bee app, you can look on rightmoves own 'House price' tab at the top of the opening page and then select 'Price Comparison Report' to find if that house has been listed on rightmove recently, what the asking price was and who the estate agent was.:D

property-bee has quite a following and an active forum I believe. The guy who created it, beerhunter, does it all for free. When he asked for some finacial help last year because of the cost of hosting a server, he had so many of us sending us a few quid each, that within a day, he was shouting "stop". Property-bee is an invaluable aid to house buyers and a pain to house sellers..

Before you make an offer, download the deeds of the property, where you will see a list of all the charges that the seller has against the property and this may help give an insight to how desperate they are to sell and how long they have owned the property (so might be able to take a lower offer). This download costs just £4 from the government Land Registry site.
http://www.landreg.gov.uk/e-services/find-a-property

Don't forget that all the signs are showing a drop in house prices again as people are struggling with the rising SVRs and their negative equity or drop in finances (earned income or the welfare drops) is going to cause many to sell quickly or get repossessed.

jasey Mar 27th 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
thanks again for the tips formula. have bookmarked this thread already for future reference.

we don't have any kids, but do need to travel to london every day. there isn't much in our price range around orpington or eynsford however. we're looking for detached, big garden, conservatory etc :) so, the top areas on our list are now: tunbridge wells, canterbury and maidstone. obviously this is still quite broad, but if you have any areas within these three areas that stand out for you, please shout!

formula Mar 27th 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9974933)
thanks again for the tips formula. have bookmarked this thread already for future reference.

we don't have any kids, but do need to travel to london every day. there isn't much in our price range around orpington or eynsford however. we're looking for detached, big garden, conservatory etc :) so, the top areas on our list are now: tunbridge wells, canterbury and maidstone. obviously this is still quite broad, but if you have any areas within these three areas that stand out for you, please shout!


Most of the surrounding villages around there will be nice. It's not really my area though but I have friends who like those areas. Tunbridge Wells itself use to be nice, but it is a victim of it's own niceness and now too many people live there and the roads on a Saurday become one long traffic jam. Surrounding villages, if you drive, will be great. I like some of the costal towns too.

Take a drive around as Kent has good road networks. Stay in B&Bs all over Kent and talk to the locals and find an area you love. You will be spoilt for choice.

jasey Mar 27th 2012 4:51 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
sounds like a cunning plan. thanks for the advice and kindness, formula :)

Keelif Mar 27th 2012 5:57 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Hi,

I am from Kent, Planet Thanet unfortunately and would definately advise to stay clear. Even once charming Broadstairs has become very rundown and is no longer what it once was.

I have always liked Canterbury but haven't visited in a while so it may have changed plus I have never lived there.

Whitstable always seems to be popular! I am sure there is somewhere in Kent for you if thats where you have your heart set on. Just stay away from Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs lol :)

Best of luck!! :thumbsup:


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