Leaving London for the good life? Here are the best commuter-town houses to buy now.

More buyers than ever are being priced out of London and heading beyond the M25 for a lifestyle they can love and afford. (The number of people commuting for more than an hour to get to work has risen by 31 per cent since 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.) You may spend more time on a train in this scenario but you get a heck of a lot in return. More space? Certainly. A room with a view? Likely. Proximity to the ocean? Possibly. Whether you are downsizing, upgrading or just putting down roots, we’ve homed in on seven charming options for you.

Hebden House, Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire

The Modern House
£1.8 million


Built in 1973, this cool, edge-of-village, five-bedroom house sits in an amazing rural location in the heart of Buckinghamshire. The whole place is stylish and carefully thought through, but we particularly like the herringbone parquet flooring throughout the ground floor and the landscaped half-acre garden. Best of all? The train journey to London from nearby Gerrards Cross takes less than half an hour.

The Old Coal Yard, Station Approach, Marlow

Hamptons International
£500,000


What this property lacks in size (it has just two bedrooms), it makes up for in style. The Old Coal Yard is an attractive development designed along the lines of converted Victorian railway buildings. Just minutes away from Marlow High Street, this brand-new terraced house boasts an immaculate high-gloss kitchen, underfloor heating and access to landscaped gardens.

Cottage, New Haw, Surrey

Richard State
£750,000


This enchanting four-bedroom house has been created out of two workers cottages that were built in 1871. A huge family kitchen gives way to a lovely landscaped garden and a wonderful workshop. From nearby Byfleet and New Haw station, there are frequent trains to Waterloo that take around 45 minutes.

High Street, Widford, Ware, Hertfordshire

Jonathan Hunt
£1,250,000


This one is a dream: a picture-perfect Grade II listed William and Mary farmhouse in the sought-after village of Ware in Hertfordshire. Inside, the five-bedroom house requires some modernisation and flair. Outside, the mature gardens are brimming with potential. If you were after an extra project, you could convert the pretty outbuildings (subject to planning) into something spectacular.

Cornfield Road, Reigate, Surrey

Purple Bricks
£700,000


A Victorian, four-bedroom, semi-detached family house, this one looks as though it might be in southwest London. The joy of it is that it is not; it is in the wildly popular commuter town of Reigate in Surrey. Close to Priory Park and Reigate town centre, the house has solid oak floors, an amazing family kitchen and easy access to the North Downs and southern coastline. When The Sunday Times put Reigate on its list of best places to live in 2019, the newspaper said: ‘The almost old-fashioned drowsy dormitory town of two decades ago now rings to the sound of diners’ contactless cards: there’s a Côte, a Café Rouge, a stack of burger bars and a week’s worth of curry and Thai choices… (and) the reassuringly affluent town is just 40 minutes from Victoria.’ Enough said.

Chilton, Oxfordshire

Chancellors
£750,000


This light and airy detached home is perfect for the hustle and bustle of a warm family life. Pretty painted floorboards, exposed brick and traditional quarry tiles are just some of the appealing decorative features. Situated on a quiet no-through road, the house has a lovely back garden, perfect for opening the back doors and letting the kids loose. The popular village of Chilton in Oxfordshire is just a few miles from Didcot Parkway station, with its excellent rail links to London.

Arts & Crafts house, Leigh on Sea, Essex

Scott & Stapleton
£950,000


Local agents Scott & Stapleton are delighted to be selling this interesting arts and crafts property, which hasn’t been on the market since 1978. Complete with leaded windows, stripped wood flooring and several fire places, this house could be truly amazing with some tender loving care. Chalkwell mainline railway station (from where trains to London take 45 minutes) and the seafront are within walking distance. Leigh on Sea has been dubbed ‘the Shoreditch of Essex’ because of its gastropubs, independent coffee shops and vintage boutiques. Bella Thomas, owner of a clothes shop in Leigh, described the town thus to Essex Live: ‘It’s the best of both worlds, half an hour train to London, sociable, trendy vibe. But I do not think the vibe in Leigh has changed, I think they [the people who have moved there from London] have changed to be like the people of Leigh.’

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By Becky Ladenburg
February 2020