Picture the scene.
It’s a Saturday night.
You’re having a quiet evening in and some B list celebrity is waffling away on the latest incarnation of the lottery results show and then you stop, frozen in your tracks.
Thoughts of that curry winging its way towards you on the back of an erratic moped are instantly forgotten as you recognise the numbers being called out.
All of them!
And as you leap around the living room celebrating your windfall the first thing you’ll almost certainly think about is property. That English obsession with bricks and mortar combined with potentially limitless funds means you’ll soon be beating a path to whichever agent is lucky enough to have the listing for your dream home.
But *what* do you buy?
And *where* do you buy it?
Well if that’s you, worry no more.
NappyValleyNet in conjunction with our lovely property partners have taken all the hard work out of your decision and listed the homes you have to have, depending on the size of your luck! (writes Zoe Dare Hall).
A Serious Scratchcard Win!
Prize money: £750,000-£1m
Scary as it is to admit, a million doesn’t go far these days in London’s Nappy Valleys. The average asking price for ALL properties currently for sale in South West London is £1.45m according to Zoopla. In Balham, Battersea, Clapham, Putney, Wimbledon Common and Wandsworth, averages hover around £800,000-£850,000, in Clapham Common just over £1m and in Fulham, £1.2m.
If you’re looking for a family home (traditionally viewed as a three/four bedroom house) and within the requisite stone’s throw of a sought-after school, that average figure will bear little relation to your property search. But if you are prepared to be flexible both in location – a waterfront home, for example, will carry a 20% premium over similar properties a few streets back, according to Marsh & Parsons – and in your definition of a family home, as many families are now doing, according to Tamzin Incledon, Associate Director of Douglas & Gordon, your Scratchcard windfall might just be enough to buy something outright.
“A large flat of the sort that singles buy can easily carry you through different stages in life, so I’d steer you towards a large three-bedroom flat on Gayville Road for £925,000, (click here) a short walk from Wandsworth Common, close to good private and state schools and with the unusual conversion of the loft space to the kitchen,” says Incledon.
If your heart is set on a house but you’re happy to substitute mid-terrace Victorian for something more modern, there are a “few hidden gems” between the Commons, says Incledon, which is about as desirable as locations get in Clapham. “We are currently offering a three bedroom, end of terrace 1990s house on Bolingbroke Grove (click here), close to all the local amenities, for £975,000. It’s less expensive because it is relatively new, but the internal proportions are excellent for a young family. While you aren’t ‘in’ catchment officially for Belleville state primary, it is common on second round intake to be accepted from this leafy green location right by Wandsworth Common.”
You’ll be fighting fierce competition to find unmodernised house in prime SW London locations – and with building costs escalating year on year, you may in danger of overspending and making a loss. But you may find value – and often private parking, too – if you avoid very old or very new and look at developments built between the 1960s-1980s, suggests Robert Stewart from Hamptons International in Fulham. “You can buy a house in Maltings Place, Fulham (click here), for £985,000 which offers 1270 sq ft arranged over three floors,” he says.
For good value in Battersea, Hamptons International’s William Pasquali recommends looking at Little India, the Shaftesbury Estate and Queenstown Diamond conservation area, where two/three-bedroom cottages cost £750,000-£1m. And in Balham, “which was named earlier this year as the country’s most sought after place to live,” says Pasquali, the Hyde Farm Estate – hugely popular due to its outstanding local primary, Henry Cavendish – offers un-extended terrace homes available for just under £1m.
Finding value is also about spotting the up-and-comers. Wimbledon is practically a no-goer for family homes under a million, says John Keeble from Hamptons International in Wimbledon, so look instead to Merton Park and Raynes Park, “the next places to invest your winnings. If you can find a house with a loft or extension potential, even better. Schools are prominent in these areas so walking to school would be easy.”
And if Balham and Clapham South are beyond your Scratchcard budget, Tooting Bec – whose trendy restaurant count is constantly on the up – has “lovely big family houses for under a million,” says Liza-Jane Kelly, sales director for Marsh & Parsons.
Prize money: up to £2m
A big “Six Number” win will place you firmly in prime family house territory in Nappy Valley. The warning light here? The top stamp duty threshold of 7%, which kicks in for properties costing £2m or more. Buyers are more deterred by that than the spectre of a possible mansion tax, which would also apply to properties at this price level. But for those driven by being near a school of choice – whether primary or secondary, state or private – they’re willing to pay the price.
“Up to £2m, there is a great range of four and five-bedroom family homes available. Between the Commons, the beautiful tree-lined Winsham Grove is eternally popular, as is the Nightingale Triangle, where terraced houses are within walking distance of the stations at Balham and Wandsworth Commons,” says Robin Chatwin from Savills. (click here).
The £2m mark is also the price point where Hamptons International in Fulham see most demand, particularly for period family houses. Buyers can overlook the lack of parking, but being near Thomas’s school in Hugon Road will get them haggling over houses around South Park. One such property – a classic three-bed terraced house – is on sale in Beltran Road through Hamptons International for £1.75m. In neighbouring Clancarty Road is the sought-after French school, L’Ecole Marie D’Orliac (click here).
Savvy buyers, according to Douglas & Gordon’s Tamzin Incledon, choose a property close to one of the outstanding state primaries for the resale value at the other end. “But they tend to send their own children to a private school – which would probably be Thomas’s on Broomwood Road, Northcote Lodge on Bolingbroke Grove or Broomwood Hall on Nightingale Lane.”
To be in a prized state primary catchment, you typically need to live within 180m of the front entrance as the crow flies – and that kind of house in Nappy Valley will cost from £1.4m to £2m, says Incledon. Once again, ‘Between the Commons’ is the holy grail, ideally close to Belleville or Honeywell state primary schools. “If you are Catholic and the Holy Ghost Catholic state primary school is a necessity in your search, we have a beautifully presented three-bedroom Victorian house on Temperley Road for £1.325m,” says Incledon (click here).
Not everyone is hooked on the Commons; some want to be near the river. “An excellent place to start the search is West Putney, a quiet enclave between the river and Upper Richmond Road. It’s a huge pull for buyers who want family living near Hotham and All Saints primary schools,” Incledon says. “Putney has a similar buzz to Clapham’s Northcote Road and rather than walking on the Common, they run down the Thames Tow Path.” Houses on Fanthorpe or Bangalore Streets or Abbotstone Road have bigger gardens than your typically Victorian or Edwardian terrace and Douglas & Gordon have a five-bed house on Bangalore Street for £1.525m (click here).
For future opportunities, look at the Diamond conservation area, suggests Liza-Jane Kelly from Marsh & Parsons. “Houses here are still good value, but once the Battersea Power Station development is complete, you’re looking at prices in line with West Chelsea. Get in there now.”
In Wimbledon, £2m will buy you the coveted open-plan living and large living spaces within easy reach of excellent schools. Kings College is one and Hamptons International are marketing a suitably spacious property on nearby High Cedar Drive for £1.95m. (click here)
Prize money: limitless
So here we are, the big one.
If you win this, then really the world is your oyster and properties are mere toys. You can look for homes with the biggest basements – or the potential to dig one – for car museums, subterranean squash courts, colour-changing pools or whatever other frippery takes your fancy. And of course Nappy Valley’s most prestigious addresses are just waiting for you to move in. In Clapham, that means Common-facing on Clapham Common West Side, in the exclusive Toast Rack. Detached houses on Blenkarne, Sudbrooke, Morella or Thurleigh Road will barely make a dent in the interest on your winnings, with large Victorian semis selling for around £1.8m. Head to Battersea Park, closer to Chelsea, and you’ll find larger houses on Alexandra Avenue, Albert Bridge Road and Brynmaer Road, where Douglas & Gordon are marketing a beautifully interior designed six-bedroom house with a home cinema for £3.5m, near Thomas’s school and Newton prep. Contact Savills for details.
At this level of wealth, what everyone wants, says William Pasquali from Hamptons International in Clapham, is lateral living space. “That’s why double-fronted houses are in such high demand and remain in the family for generations,” he comments. “They can be found in the Heaver Estate, the Toast Rack, Nightingale Terrace and certain roads in Clapham Old Town, just off the Common. Exceptional private schools in the area include Eaton House, Parkgate and Emmanuel College.”
Winners also want one-offs, and here’s a prime example – the six-bedroom detached Kendal Lodge, (click here) overlooking Tooting Bec Common, built in 1912 for a Colonel and owned by just five people since. The 5,000 sq ft house has a 110 ft garden and separate nanny flat. Within walking distance are Broomwood Hall School and Streatham & Clapham High School.
For prime addresses befitting of windfall winners, says Marsh & Parsons’ Liza-Jane Kelly, look at Eversleigh Road in Battersea or The Chase or Macaulay Street in Clapham. Or go for a rare opportunity on Albert Bridge Road, where Savills are marketing two neighbouring freehold houses with the potential to create combined accommodation of more than 12,800 sq ft with views across Battersea Park. Each house has a guide price of £10m.
The best street in Fulham by general consensus, says Robert Stewart from Hamptons International, is Napier Avenue (click here). He is marketing a five-bed semi there, backing onto posh Hurlingham Park and on the market for the first time in 50 years, for £4m. If that’s mere pocket money for the Euromillions winner, it needs some modernising too, “so you can end up with the best address and your ideal interior”, says Stewart.
If you’d rather spend your time waltzing around the world rather than managing builders, there’s an impeccably designed four-bed Georgian house on New Kings Road for £2.995m (click here), also through Hamptons International. Its luxury mod cons include CAT 6 data wiring, a glass bridge from the ground floor to garden and engineered oak flooring. You have your pick of schools too, including nearby Kensington Prep, Fulham Prep, Lady Margaret’s, Thomas’s and L’Ecole Marie D’Orliac.
So, there are some big numbers to play with. Now you just need the winning ones to be able to afford them.
And don’t forget, if you do get lucky, remember your friends at NappyValleyNet!