Property search 2018 roundup

We started looking in earnest for a mid century house this year with a £600-700k budget and a south London location in mind. Here’s a roundup of the houses that we’ve seen (and haven’t bought) to date:

Victoria Drive, Southfields

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This sixties 3-bed end of terrace in Southfields looked promising from the photos – I liked the fact it had two adjoining reception rooms (the second one the result of an extension) and saw the pine panelled ceiling throughout the whole of the ground floor of the house as a selling point rather than an eyesore.

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Visiting the house in person, however, I wasn’t entirely sure about it. The £650k asking price was ok but we’d seen bigger places for the same price. The last time I checked, the house was still on the market and had been reduced to £625k.

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Topsham Road, Tooting

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This sixties 3-bed semi was extremely incongruous on a street of Victorian-era terraced houses near Tooting Bec underground station. I quite liked it from the outside, it was conveniently located and was very reasonably priced at around £640k but it was a bit dark and characterless inside and I felt too overwhelmed by the amount of work that would be needed to get it into a decent state. This clearly didn’t put off another buyer who bought it two days after our viewing.

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Kay Road, Clapham

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I suspected that this ultramodern house sandwiched between two Victorian properties on the Clapham/Stockwell border would be a bit small but went to along see it anyway because I was intrigued by the photos of a timber-cladded living room and Grand Designs-worthy facade.

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Built a couple of years ago on a tiny plot of land by the architect owners, the house was full of neat design touches including a lot of (much needed) built-in storage, skylights and unusual uses of materials.

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The house had an upside-down layout with two bedrooms and the bathroom on the ground floor and an open plan living area and kitchen on the first floor with a balcony spanning the length of the room. Despite the fact it was all very attractive (with a great view from the balcony of some brutalist towers), there wasn’t an awful lot of house for the £700k asking price.

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Reynard Drive, Crystal Palace

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Unlike the Kay Road house, this place had an abundance of space. Situated at the end of a row of terraced houses with unusual inverse pitched roofs in a quiet cul de sac near the Crystal Palace Triangle, the house had been extended to the side and had 4/5 bedrooms, a very large lounge, two bathrooms and a nice garden which led directly into woodland.

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All in all, while it needed a bit of work and the layout was a little odd owing to the way in which the extension had been tacked onto the side of the house, there was a lot there for the £700k asking price (reduced from £750k) and the number of interested buyers reflected this – there was a practically a queue to get in and it was snapped up the day after we went to see it.

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Augustus Road, Southfields

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Priced at £650k, this 3-storey sixties (or maybe seventies) townhouse was a little ugly from the outside but had four bedrooms and was in a decent location in Southfields. The fact that a more modernised but otherwise identical house in the same terrace was sold last year for around £100k more made this house seem like excellent value.

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Visiting it in person, however, it looked like it would be an £100k project to get it into a decent condition (we’re talking holes in the ceiling), which felt too ambitious given our limited experience renovating houses. The last I heard, the owners were taking it off the market to do some of the work to it themselves, most likely with a view to relisting it at a higher price.

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Balham Park Road, Balham

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Conveniently located (a few minutes’ walk from Balham tube down the side road next to Du Cane Court), this mid-century end of terrace house was a little boxy from the outside but was nicely proportioned and would have made for a manageable project if we’d gone for it. At £700k, however, it did seem rather expensive for what it was.

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