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where to live? hornchurch / elm park / cranham / harold wood / gidea park? help!!!

Posted 22nd Jan 2017
Please help if you can!
My husband and I are moving down, from Leicester, for work and we know nothing about the area. We need to be able to drive to Grays and I need to get to near Holborn within an hour door to door. I'm retraining as a solicitor so may be working long hours and would like to occasionally see my children! We have a 4.5 month old and 2.5 year old, so need a good primary school but not too bothered about secondary as I'm sure we'll move again.
We're looking for a three bed house with a budget of £425k.
Any help / brutally honest opinions welcome!
Community Updates
Not cranham or gidea Park.
elm park and Harold wood aren't that far out from hornchurch... I'm in hornchurch and it's a nice area. seems to be the place that everyone's moving to... I'm now looking at the next place to move to
Oh forgot to say I haven't been to Harold Wood so no idea about that area at all.

Elm Park is alittle upper crust in my opinion lol x
Romford has better shopping and train links
I used to work in the taxi trade and we had a name for Harold hill area that wasn't very complimentary.
Both Hornchuch and Harold Wood are both good for getting onto the A127 in the mornings for the drive over to Grays. Having driven into that area for a number of years to get upto Loughton, I found it was easier for people to drive out from the lights on the A127 to head M25 and Southend bound, rather than coming inbound to the Gallows Corner flyover in the morning. Once your away in the morning it should 'in theory' be an easy drive onto the M25, then onto Grays.
How about South Hornchurch the area between Elm Park and Rainham. Can get buses to Elm Park for tube but if problems with tube have option of bus to Rainham for c2c to Fenchurch St or bus to Romford for train to Liverpool St. Also can easily pick up A13 at Rainham for drive to Grays. May get more for your budget than Hornchurch. A good primary school is Scargill in Mungo Park Road.
If you can afford it, then Hornchurch is the best area for you.
Hornchurch or elm park
Thanks all. Very useful. We were leaning towards Hornchurch but thought we would explore Gidea Park / Harold's Wood because of the potential benefits of cross rail coming. Thought it might be a better investment but the priority is really somewhere nice to live.

I was also interested in Loughton but think that might be too far a drive for my husband as he's going to need to be on hand for childcare emergencies.

Are there any bits of Hornchurch / Elm Park that are less desirable than others? Not really sure where the boundaries of these areas are.

Thanks again for all the discussion.
Forget Elm park as most of it is undesirable. Hornchurch is good because of the country road drive to grays and the District line train station.
It may be adviseable to rent for the first 6 months to get to know the area before making a decision to buy a property.
elm park as i lived there for a couple of years and theres also the elm park station.
I would throw Upminster into the mix as well. Very good primary and secondary schools. C2C train from Upminster to Fenchurch Street only takes 22 minutes. Trains also run to Grays via Chafford Hundred (Lakeside shopping centre). Grays driving through the country lanes is about 15-20 minutes away.
Trouble is house prices are more expensive although with a lot of searching you may be able to get a 3 bed within your budget on the borders of Hornchurch or Cranham.
I would not consider Harold Wood or Elm Park. Hornchurch would be a good place to start your search although it is a big search area I would suggest Dury Falls Estate, or even Upminster Bridge.
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 23rd Jan 2017

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