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Online House Hunter: Hyperlocal living

Alan Cleaver
peckham 297x300 Online House Hunter: Hyperlocal living

Made in Peckham: This six-bedroom SE15 semi-detached house is for sale for £1,450,000

THERE’S an intriguing theme arising out of today’s Home & Design section in The Independent: living and working entirely within one postcode.

No doubt many people already do but for most folk the day starts with taking children to school and/or commuting to work and ends with an equally dreary return home.

Designer Jeremy Southgate and wife Maral Ovanessoff moved to Marylebone when starting a family. They both work from home, have good schools nearby and although they have no garden there are private garden squares close by. The central London location means they can forsake the car in favour of walking or public transport.

And in The Scrap of Luxury – a feature on craftspeople recycling scrap into fashionable furniture – there is mention of the Made In Peckham range of furniture. Artists Jan Hendzel and Oscar Hunt make the furniture out of items solely reclaimed from the SE15 postcode.

I wonder how viable – or preferable – it is to live entirely within a single postcode: live there, work there, go to school there, shop there. The advantages seem obvious: environmentally friendly, huge savings on travel costs and on time spent travelling etc etc. The downside would be the struggle to find all you need in such close proximity. I’ve lived within walking distance of the office a couple of times in my career and despite the warnings of friends (“Oh, you can live too close to the office”) have found no downside. Indeed, finishing work after a late shift and knowing I’ll be back home in five minutes is very de-stressing.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have moved to my current (small) home town if the internet hadn’t been invented. It’s an hour’s drive to the first major city and its superstores so online shopping was a life-saver. That said, I have always tried to support local shops by buying all I can within my own postcode.

For those who fancy a hyper-local life, there are many online sites that can help you with your search. We live in an age where the postcode is becoming as essential as an email address and gadgets such as PropertyWizza have used this fact to enable house-hunters to find all they need within one postcode: the costs of houses, local schools, maps, parking, shops – even if the streetlight outside your home needs repairing. It works with the Independent online property search so you can combine your house search with your quest for a hyper-local life.

I’ll revisit this theme in my next blog with more links to websites that can help you find the perfect life-work balance.

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