Urban villages for the country-shy

“For many central Londoners, the prospect of upping-sticks and moving to the sticks is just one step too far,” says Sara Ransom of Stacks Property Search.

“Upsizing from a one or two bedroom flat in Kensington or Chelsea, to a family sized property in the same area is, for most, financially challenging to say the least. Londoners who grow out of their central London property have traditionally looked at making an out of town move, but there seems to be an increasing desire to find an urban alternative to a nice rural village community.”

Why might that be?

Sara Ransom says, “Many Londoners have seen friends make a move to the country and don’t like the look of the lifestyle. Careers and jobs demand longer and longer hours, and greater commitment, so the working partner, or both partners, find that they rarely see their family, spending more time with their colleagues and fellow commuters, leaving children in the hands of school and complicated child care arrangements.

“I think there’s a wariness too about the concept of the rural idyll. Those that yearn for ponies and Labradors continue to seek out country bliss; but there are plenty of Londoners who are reluctant to swap their kitten heels for wellies.

“You don’t have to move far out of the centre of London to take advantage of considerable price differentials. And the picture changes all the time as transport improves, and previously gritty areas become gentrified.

“Urban villages currently in vogue where you can buy a good family house with the proceeds of the sale of your two bedroom apartment in Chelsea include:

Northcote Road, SW11 (for latte lovers)

Once just the name of a road, now a village in its own right, complete with a strong neighbourhood community, a Saturday farmers market, great state schools, independent shops, fish market, and appealing bistros and bars. You won’t get much garden, but Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common are just a five minute walk (in heels) away.

Southfields, SW18 (for tennis lovers)

Easy access to the City from Earlsfield overground, gastro pubs galore, and wonderful Edwardian properties with big rooms and high ceilings. On the doorstep are two parks and Wimbledon Common, so Labradors aren’t out of the question.

Bermondsey Street, SE1 (for the uber-cool)

Virtually on the River, choose from cool warehouse conversions, Georgian townhouses, or open plan new builds with urban balconies. A healthy walk takes you to Borough Market. The Jubilee Line addresses most transport issues. Lots of advertising / media types; less baby and toddler groups.

Brackenbury Village, W6 (for reluctant Kensington-leavers)

Hidden peace between the road hubs of Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush, and within a brisk walk (or a few minutes on the bus) of Kensington High Street. Central Line to the City, and easy access to the M4 and Heathrow. Victorian terraces and little parks, independent shops and cafes, all wrapped up in a feels-like-Central-London comfort blanket.

Old York Road, SW18 (for family planners)

Our shout for the new Nappy Valley, this is quirky but elegant London with art galleries, designer clothes boutiques, great nurseries (children not flowers), close to the river, and easy to get out of town by way of the A3. It feels like a village, but is reassuringly close to Fulham and Putney.

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2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
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2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
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2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:10:27+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:16:29+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:46:40+00:00
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It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.

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2020-01-13T11:51:03+00:00
"I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future. It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting. Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before"
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2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
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2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
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2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
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2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

Sunday Telegraph

"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
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2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
"utterly tenacious..."
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2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
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2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:53:20+00:00
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
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2020-02-27T09:48:25+00:00
"Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification."
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2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
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2018-11-21T12:58:19+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:33:22+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:19:40+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
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2018-11-21T12:49:38+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
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2019-12-06T09:48:50+00:00
“Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.”
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2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
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Financial Times

2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

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2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:35:46+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:22:38+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
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2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
"I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
2020-01-13T11:52:49+00:00
"I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
2018-11-21T12:37:14+00:00
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
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2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
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2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
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2020-01-13T11:52:01+00:00
"You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
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2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
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2020-01-13T11:50:30+00:00
"Many thanks for your hard work and patience in assisting in buying our property. You made the whole process infinitely less stressful than it might have been"
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2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
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2018-11-21T13:12:46+00:00
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2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
"Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
2020-02-27T09:49:08+00:00
"Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
"We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
2020-01-13T11:51:31+00:00
"We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
"The best decision we could have made!"
2018-11-21T12:55:52+00:00
"The best decision we could have made!"
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
2018-11-21T12:55:04+00:00
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
2019-06-19T13:54:55+00:00
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
"Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
2020-01-13T11:52:24+00:00
"Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
2018-11-21T12:13:26+00:00
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"

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