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WalterWhite

St James In Northampton - What's It Like?

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Been looking at the St James district near the centre of Northampton, houses are cheap, the quality of the stock looks OK (mostly 2 and 3 bedroom Victorian terrace houses), close to the city centre and railway station. It even has it's own lighthouse / lift tower.

While the area looks a bit dreary it doesn't look too bad (not on a sink estate level), however, I've never been there so would appreciate it if anyone has any local info? I'm looking to move out of London with a small family (me, one wife, one baby), so the small cheap terrace's look ideal - nice alternative to buying a flat with the associated service charges etc.

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Hi WalterWhite

St James would not be at the top end of my list - I would be worried by historic flooding.

http://www.northampton.gov.uk/downloads/file/4216/st-james-flood-risk-assessment

http://www.bbc.co.uk/northamptonshire/content/image_galleries/easter_floods_1998_gallery.shtml?1

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._James_End,_Northampton

Its also not the best area of central Northampton. I'd consider other areas but that may depend on your budget.

Are you hoping to commute to London via the train station?

Im not trying to put you off Northampton - but if I was commuting I'd look at Milton Keynes.

Less journey time, more trains. MK has a much nicer shopping centre.

Edited by HouseDog

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Been looking at the St James district near the centre of Northampton, houses are cheap, the quality of the stock looks OK (mostly 2 and 3 bedroom Victorian terrace houses), close to the city centre and railway station. It even has it's own lighthouse / lift tower.

While the area looks a bit dreary it doesn't look too bad (not on a sink estate level), however, I've never been there so would appreciate it if anyone has any local info? I'm looking to move out of London with a small family (me, one wife, one baby), so the small cheap terrace's look ideal - nice alternative to buying a flat with the associated service charges etc.

In a word....s**thole.

It used to be okay, now it's more like a ghetto.

I'd steer clear of the whole of Northampton town centre if I were you.

The asking prices are mental too, the EA's have pushed them up 20% in a year from silly money to you must be mental money/

12 months ago you could easily pick up a house for under £100K now i've seen asking prices of £150K for a dump.

If you have to com,mute to London for work. forget it, it costs £10K of gross salary to commute and the service is slow/poor/packed IMO.

If you're moving out of london you might be j hard pressed to sell now that prices are collapsing there but if you do move, do us local's a favour and offer 20% below the silly asking prices, over paying for a crappy house in a ghetto is not what you want to be doing.

Do yourself a favour, go to Milton Keynes.

You pay's your money you takes your chances.

BTW, what estate agency do you work for ? :rolleyes:

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St James had a bad reputation when I was a kid in the 80's and 90's. It was one of those areas that had enough shitty council blocks to have constant trouble. It still looks pretty run down, but has lost its reputation as a crime/drugs hotspot. Parking is a pain and a lot of it is permit based now to prevent it being overrun on match days (Northampton Saints rugby ground is in St James - about 13,000 capacity & sold out most games) so bear that in mind. As it is one of the few 'affordable' areas that isn't blocked out with council/ex-council, it actually has more 'respectable' people now than it used to. I'd rather live there than Semilong or Spencer/Gladstone Road. Some friends lived there for a few years and found it OK. Theres a lot of cheap rooms to rent around there so it does tend to feel a bit transient.

Milton Keynes prices are more toppy than Northampton, so I find that recommendation a little odd - how well do you guys actually know MK? A lot of the areas near the station are REALLY bad - eg. Fishermead. Bedford is cheaper, and has options for trains through to Farringdon & London Bridge - First Capital Connect though, who are apparently awful.

With MK, you could perhaps look around Wolverton / New Bradwell, very similar to St James with lots of terraced housing. Has a Tesco by Wolverton station, and it's a couple of miles down a fairly quiet road to Newport Pagnell,which is really nice. These areas would come at a premium over St James, and bits of them are pretty run down and grotty. Wolverton station does have the advantage of being quiet, and having the semi-fast trains from Northampton stop there, which are 58 mins to Euston from Northampton, so probably 45 from Wolverton, which is OK. Milton Keynes itself has a bit more of an upbeat feel than Northampton, and is light years ahead for shopping and leisure.

Wellingborough and Rugby both have good connections to London by train, but, nothing to recommend either as a place to live really!

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Cheers for the advice, sorry a bit late responding.

Took a train up to check it out - looked a bit rough, lots of East Europeans (just like London), but at least it seems like the kind of area where people work. Agree with the comment about Gladstone / Countess Road - it seems to get worse when you cross over the A428 and get into the Northern bit of St James.

Also wanted to check out Scots Corner (the bit of St James where the streets all have Scottish names) - the houses seem a bit pricier and a bit better maintained but didn't get a chance to take a proper look at it.

Got to say I like the proximity to the railway station and the Victorian terrace houses (bigger than the MK boxes, better built with longer gardens), however, couldn't bring myself to get excited about the area - something about it seemed a bit naff, and the schools are supposed to be terrible.

Maybe Far Cotten? Like St James but with better schools?

Maybe I should just stay in my studio in Totenham.....

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Scots Corner is just a name made up - estate agents tend to do this sort of thing with the hope of presenting a poor area as something better. I wouldn't be fooled if I were you. I'd look elsewhere. Milton Keynes has a lot to offer if you're commuting.

I live in Northampton and don't recommend the area you're looking at.

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