5 Out-Of-London Locations To Cure Your Commuter Blues 100%
London. Land of dreams. City of coming into your own. Capital of crippling commutes. Any Londoners out there should already know what we mean by this. Life in the city might have called you with promises of the best jobs and a fun-filled life. But, what they don’t tell you before you move is that commuting within London is a nightmare. In fact, it could fast take over your life if you aren’t careful.
You may assume that merely being in the capital is enough to bring you near to your work. You’re certainly paying the price for your ideal location. But, then you have a nasty wake up call. Because that commute you moved to avoid could still take up a large part of your day That’s right; even people who live in the capital itself struggle with this. In fact, in some instances, it isn’t unusual to have to catch multiple trains and still walk long distances. As a result, inner-city residents sometimes have up to an hour and a half commute. And, that’s not what you signed up for when you forked out for that London postcode.
First, let’s consider why this happens. For one; London is a pretty big place. It is our capital after all, and the largest city in the country. In all, it spans 49 miles or 1,572 square km. When you look at it that way, it should really come as no surprise that getting around takes some time. What’s more, many jobs are situated in central London, while few of us can afford the giddy heights of apartments here. So, we buy on the more affordable outskirts and commit to long commutes. As if that weren’t reason enough, it’s also important to consider that London is busy, especially during rush hour. If you thought you could drive to work once you moved, you’ve got another thing coming. Roads are jam-packed and commuting this way isn’t an option unless you have unlimited time on your hands. What’s more, this busyness can make it a lot harder to get anywhere. Packed streets and trains just slow up the commuting process a lot longer than you would think.
We’re sorry to burst your London dreams bubble, but these are facts you need to know. While we all hate a commute, moving into the capital itself isn’t the answer to your troubles. Surely it’s better you know this now than after spending a fortune on a London apartment?
Of course, we aren’t going to rain on your parade without giving you an alternative. In truth, there are plenty of areas on London’s outskirts which would suit your commuting needs. As well as making life easier, out-of-city living offers affordable properties you would never find in more populated areas. And, that alone should be reason enough to consider them. Add to that the hassle you’ll save in commuting, and you could say this is a no-brainer. So, without further ado, let’s consider five areas outside London which could save you time compared to an inner-city commute.
In truth, there are a few places we could have chosen in Essex. Chelmsford and Shenfield are also popular options. Both allow you to reach inner-London in less than 40 minutes. But, we’ve chosen Epping because it falls conveniently on the tube line. With London’s central line departing from here, commuting couldn’t be easier. The fact this is the start point ensures your train will be empty when you hop onto it. Then, you can kick back and watch those poor London commuters pile on with only standing space. What’s more, this ensures you don’t have to switch and change trains or face the tube after your commute. Sadly, that’s not an option you get with other choices on this list. Bear in mind, though, that the convenience of Epping means it isn’t the cheapest location we’re looking at. In fact, house prices here have increased by an astounding 23.25% in recent years. As such, you could find yourself looking at around £693,918. But, you’re still sure to pay less here than you would in London. And, your commute could even get shorter as a result of this move.
Again, there are a whole host of towns we could’ve mentioned in Kent. But, we’ve gone for Shenfield for the pure reason that a new train line coming either this year or next will see travel to London getting even easier. What’s more, it’s worth getting on top here before the masses notice the benefits. As it stands, houses here come in at around £558,000. Again, it’s not the cheapest, but those prices are sure to skyrocket the moment that new line lands. So, you could say this is the ideal time to buy property here. What’s more, even at the moment, you’re only looking at a 23-minute commute to Liverpool Street. Kent living is ideal for those who want a taste of the country while still getting those city benefits. You can go for a night on the London town and then return to your picturesque Kent property. With golf courses and countryside galore, Shenfield could be the ideal way to get a breather in your evenings. All without having to head far from your workplace at all.
Now we’re getting onto the cheaper options. Woking in Surrey may not have the countryside charm of areas like Essex and Kent, but it’s still a pretty safe bet for any commuters out there. Coming in at an average 32 minutes of commute time, this should be a definite contender. Again, this also looks to be an upcoming area, with house prices on a steady increase. Admittedly, a three-bed property here will set you back at least £550,000. However, with apartments currently selling for as little as £289.950, you could go as far as to say this area is affordable. It’s certainly a drop in the ocean when you consider London apartments average at around the price a house would here. Again, you could also say this is the ideal time to buy here. While some would call the town centre uninspiring as it stands, 2020 looks set to see a new shopping centre. You can be sure, when that happens, those steadily increasing house prices will get sky high.
If you’re having a heart attack about the house prices we’ve mentioned thus far, fear not. This next location will finally see you looking at those affordable options we promised. With an average house price of £313,000, Cheshunt is a fantastic option for many. It is worth bearing in mind, though, that prices here have risen 33% in the last two years alone. Again, that amount only looks set to increase with planning permission for new houses and a large Tesco in the works. As it stands, this could be the best bet for a lot of people, especially when you consider the mere 28-minute commute to Liverpool Street. What’s more, this historic town sits in the Lee Valley and is close to the Lee Valley Regional Park. As such, it’s a fantastic chance for a countryside escape. And, it’s a whole load cheaper than Essex or Kent would be.
We promised you affordable property and if you don’t think you’ve seen that until now, consider Luton in Bedfordshire. This large town North of London has an average house value of £254,859. Yes, you did read that right. In fact, recent homes on the market have sold for as little as £155,000. It’d be hard to find prices that good anywhere else so close to the centre. Admittedly, you do pay for that price with a commute of 40 minutes into London. But, that’s still not bad going, especially when you consider the length of inner-city commutes. While many would argue that the area has an uninspiring reputation, Luton International Carnival is the largest one-day carnival in Europe. What’s more, Luton has an impressive airport, which is considered one of Britain’s largest. So, think twice before you rule this out. It could well be the best option for curing your commuter blues.
As you can see, affordable is a pretty objective word when we’re talking about house prices around London. But, when you compare any of these with the costs of inner-city properties, you can be sure you’re getting a bargain. And, as if that weren’t enough, you stand to save time on your commute. At the very least, you’ll probably find that your travel times even themselves out. While it may seem like madness, it’s a fact of London life. Don’t worry if none of these areas suits, either. There are many more options we could’ve put on this list, including Guildford, Basingstoke, and Stevenage. Bear in mind, too, that the further out you go, the less you’re likely to pay. All you need to do is average out whether those increased commute costs justify the difference in property prices.