Wanstead property roundup, 18.8.11; School’s out, yin & yang, and some kebabs

Summertime – and the living’s easy, or so Gershwin would have it.

However, busy estate agents would probably beg to differ, as they try to unite growing families with their dream property during the school summer holidays.

You’ve probably noticed the late flowering of signboards peeping over gateposts in the streets of Wanstead over the past few weeks (three visible in this photo, below, in Cowley Road alone). For the agent, the viewing days are longer, the list of potential buyers swells, and of course people disappear off on holiday at various crucial stages of the dreaded ‘chain’.

But on the positive side, houses certainly sell better when it’s warm; open windows and sunny gardens sell the property better than any sales chatter.

It also certainly helps that people moving just a short distance to gain that extra room or garden space often have a good idea of what they are looking for. Friendships, schools, kids sports and activities clubs, not to mention the convenience of commuting are all very comfortable habits once acquired.

With that kind of buyer in mind, I particularly liked the cut of this Sylvan Road property priced at £549k, and on sale with Petty Son and Prestwich. Five bedrooms means the place could comfortably accommodate a large family, with perhaps a spare room devoted to visitors or home working.

Better still there’s an entire basement floor in which the teenage members of the brood could avoid their elders. The downside – it’s close enough to Snaresbrook station to smell young Dan’s excellent coffee. This does seem fairly reflected in the price, and it’s worth bearing in mind that one’s inner ear soon gets used to reassuring, regular rail noise. I’d just turn the Gershwin up to 11…

First rung on the the ladder

Renting in the capital has probably never been more expensive, and mortgage deposits have rarely been so high. Mortgage lenders are beginning to re-introduce reasonable first-timer rates into the wild, but are girding their profits via ever chubbier fees. It’s a very frustrating situation for those hoping to save enough to enter the property market, especially in more desirable areas.

All hope is not lost: for those looking to fly the nest, or perhaps the landlord, here is an interesting starter apartment with attractive outdoor space (Selsdon Road, for £220k). I also like how well the vendor has marketed this towards couples – counterposing the yin (attractive interiors for her) with the yang (a natty little shed for him). Good luck to all who sail in her.

Pax Wansteadia

During the recent period of urban unrest, Wanstead was well protected. Winston Churchill glared from his perch across our High Street as ere he did in days of yore. The danger was met and passed with no resort to his ‘We will fight them on the beaches’ (updated for 2011 with references to the Co-Op, the Larder, or even one of the tanning parlours).

Since a number of our cherished local traders were requested to close early by Police, I’ve made sure to show them my continued support and appreciation. As Mrs Parker noted this week, I’ve been particularly appreciative and supportive of the barbecue skewers from AG Dennis – heaven – though each time I’ve forgotten to ask whether or not they missed out on any trading hours. Perhaps next time I pop in ..

Any property spots tickle your fancy? Let George know; georgecparker@wansteadium.com