The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a House in East Grinstead
East Grinstead is a highly desirable town in Sussex that was mentioned in the Doomsday book with good transport connections, excellent schools and plenty going on in the local area. And with hundreds of properties on the market at any one time, you could find yourself spoilt for choice.
Greenaway Residential have recently opened an office in East Grinstead, we have already become so fond of the town. This guide is designed to help you narrow your search down, we are here to help you.
Your Ideal Home
The first place to start is in determining what features your ideal home has. After all, if you have a large, and growing family you probably won’t be interested in studio apartments. Write down all the “must-haves” that you can’t live without – how many bedrooms you need, whether you need a downstairs loo if you want a big garden or need a garage. Then make a list of “can’t haves” such as a large garden, mid-terrace, being on the main road or needing extensive renovation. This will help you to focus your search.
Get the map out
Once you’ve worked out what type of property you are looking for you can have a look at what is available and compare the addresses with a map to see if the location looks like it will be good for you. Google makes it very easy as their maps not only highlight features such as stations and roads but also shops, clubs and other points of interest that can help you determine whether the town is a good fit for you or not. You can also look for issues such as being physically close to a school but having to walk or drive around a long way due to physical features such as railway lines or streams that make access from your potential new home impossible.
The walkabout test
Before committing to a property, you should simply go for a walk in the local area. Does it feel like somewhere you would be happy to live? Are there parks to take the children to at the weekend? Is there somewhere to buy a pint of milk at 10 pm on a Sunday? How noisy is it and is what noise there is something you feel you could live with? They only way you’ll know whether a town is right for you is to try living there but spending half-an-hour or so soaking up the ambience is a good way to test the water.
Some of the best roads in East Grinstead are Coombe Hill Road and West Lane. Dorman’s Park is a private gated estate of Twenties and Thirties houses but may be out of budget for many families. Newer estates include The Oaks, Millbrook Place and Bluebell Gate which may be easier on the pocket. Compared to London it is more affordable and once established in East Grinstead many people find themselves staying. There are properties of all types available, with Sixties and Seventies houses being some of the best value for those buyers who aren’t afraid of wielding a paintbrush and reconfiguring the layout of their home.
Consider how far you want to be from the major transport infrastructure. If you commute by train are you happy to drive to a station or do you need to be in walking distance of a line to London? Do you drive to work and need to minimise the time it takes to reach the motorway? East Grinstead is well-located being almost half-way between London (27 miles away) and Brighton (21 miles away) at the junction of the A22 and A264. It is a railway terminus with a half-hourly service into London Victoria. Gatwick airport is also nearby offering a selection of international flights.
If you are looking for a family home, it pays to consider the schools – even if you don’t yet have a family – as being close to a good school will add a premium to the price. Ofsted regularly inspects schools and rates them as “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Satisfactory” or “Inadequate”. There are also several sites where you can read other parents’ reviews of schools near property you are considering.
Imberhorne School has an “Outstanding” Ofsted rating, as do several of the primary schools. Nearby Forest Row is home to Michael Hall – one of the leading Steiner Schools – and there are several private prep schools in the area surrounding East Grinstead.
Living in a town means there are plenty of shops and other services to choose from, but you should research before moving to ensure that you are happy with the selection on offer. East Grinstead has a wide selection of shopping ranging from Aldi to Waitrose. The town has a long history as a market town – indeed the High Street has the longest run of timber frame houses and dates from the 14th century. It is also home to many unique boutiques offering an eclectic mix of crafts and fashion.
Ensuring that you can pursue your hobbies in your new home is paramount to your enjoyment of life. East Grinstead offers a selection of gyms including the public Kings Leisure centre with its 25m main pool and smaller teaching pool. For walkers, cyclists and other lovers of the countryside East Grinstead is located between the Surrey Hills ANOB and the High Weald ANOB as well as being a short drive from the South Downs National Park. Closer to the town is the Weir Wood Reservoir, which has a small picnic site on the northern shore.
Living in a vibrant, thriving, happy town is undoubtedly good, but you need to be happy with the way in which that community spirit is expressed. Being a multicultural town, with good representation from all cultures, East Grinstead is sure to appeal to most people whether they want to attend church, synagogue or neither. There are many community organisations, both religious and secular, providing local services and support and together they make the town a very happy and friendly place.