Residents of Walton-on-Thames are unlikely to be at all surprised that their home town pops up regularly on lists of best places to bring up a family.
Rating very favourably in categories such as number of state and independent schools, amount of open space, job opportunities and pollution levels, it also offers a fast commute into central London, is convenient for the A3, M3 and M25, and the average house price is significantly lower than in the neighbouring towns of Esher and Weybridge.
Even on a wet November weekend there’s lots to keep all age groups entertained — whether messing around on the river, catching a film or sipping a restorative pint in a cosy pub.
‘Walton has a real mix of properties including Victorian terraces, 1930s semis, 1970s and 1990s developments and new-builds,’ says Andy Davies, managing director of James Neave estate agents.
‘The entry point for a one-bedroom flat is about £220,000, or £95,000 for a shared ownership resale, and there are good family and first-time buyer markets here.
‘Buyers are either taking that next step out of London, or are local and want to upsize or downsize within the area.
‘If money is no object, the most exclusive addresses are in Burwood Park and Ashley Park, private estates where prices reach more than £3million.’
You’ll find a home for every budget at Elizabeth Park, consisting of one and two-bed apartments with large living areas and fully integrated kitchens, and spacious three and four-bed houses.
Apartments are from £330,000, with the option of Help to Buy, and the houses start at £620,000.
A four-bed show house launched last weekend, and the purchaser of the four-bed Buckingham house type, priced £785,000 gets a £10,000 contribution towards stamp duty, £1,000 towards legal fees, Silestone kitchen worktops and flooring throughout. Available via Bewley Homes and Hamptons.
Fabrica is also offering a range of one-bed shared ownership apartments at the development, which are ready to move into. Each has an all-in-one kitchen/living room, and a balcony, from £118,000 for a 40% share of £295,000.
Walton Court Gardens, a joint venture between Crest Nicholson and Fabrica, is a collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments on a site previously occupied by the Birds Eye HQ.
Just a three-minute walk from Walton-on-Thames station, they include a balcony and parking, from £329,950 with Help to Buy available via Crest Nicholson.
Only a handful of one-bed shared ownership apartments are left, all with bright, open-plan living areas and ample storage, from £113,750 for a 35% of £325,000.
Arts & Crafts-style one and two-bedroom apartments and three, four and five-bedroom homes are for sale at London Square Walton-on-Thames, in a leafy setting in desirable Ashley Park.
Apartments are from £345,000 and the houses, which have utilities, studies and dressing rooms, are from £1.05million, and there is an on-site nursery.
Everything potential homeowners need to know about Walton-on-Thames
Average house price: £669,080
Average rent: £ 2,064pcm
Council tax (Band D): £2,065.95
Commuting time to Zone 1: From 25 mins to Waterloo
Annual season ticket: £3,480
Amenities: ★★★★☆ High street names and indies in the Heart shopping centre; monthly farmers’ and vegan markets; The Swan, The Anglers and The Weir are popular riverside pubs; Xcel Leisure Complex is a big sports hub with a gym, trampolining, indoor climbing, pool and pitches; music, comedy, workshops and more at Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre; Everyman cinema; Walton Christmas fair takes place on November 20
Open space: ★★★★☆ Thames towpath; Riverside Park; Ashley Park; Coronation Recreation Ground
Schools: ★★★★☆ Above average GCSE results; Oatlands, Ashley C of E and Grovelands are go-to primaries; Three Rivers Academy is judged good by Ofsted; Heathside, a new secondary, is being built
Crime: Well below average
Who lives there? Families frequently coming from London, and first-time buyers
Famous faces: BBC1 sitcom Not Going Out, starring Lee Mack, is set in Walton-on-Thames
A good-sized one-bed first floor maisonette on a quiet no through road, with separate kitchen and living room, and a low maintenance charge.
Check it out via Curchods
This extended four-bed, semi-detached house includes an open-plan kitchen/living/dining area, a utility and a south-west facing garden.
Check it out via James Neave
This substantial secluded house in Ashley Park has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, an orangery and a triple garage with accommodation above.
Check it out via John D Wood & Co
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