Hey guys, it’s been a while since I wrote some London area guides for you – I haven’t been moving around that much, so East Finchley is actually the third place where I lived in London (and still live). So here’s a guide to living in East Finchley and in particular, Fortis Green area. Interested in what is it like to live in East Finchley? Read more to find out!
I moved to East Finchley from Elephant & Castle almost a year ago and I’m delighted I made this move. Some of the reasons for this move you can find in this post about living in Elephant & Castle. I won’t discuss them further in this post, but it’s worth mentioning that I felt 1000 safer in East Finchley. Walk home from a meeting with friends after work (around 11 pm) was always tricky and I just generally tried to avoid walking home late, as I’ve heard some really horrifying stories from our neighbours. Luckily, it’s all over now and walking around East Finchley feels very safe around any time of the day and night.
What is living in East Finchley like? Living in Fortis Green
Some people say that you should only move to East Finchley if you decide to settle down, as the area is extremely “dull”. They also say that Muswell Hill is posh and boring. Honestly, I don’t agree at all. East Finchley has some excellent pubs like Bald Faced Stag and Old White Lion – nothing hipster and up and coming like public toilets converted into the bars in Bermondsey, but still an option if you want a drink in a nice environment. There’s also Phoenix cinema that shows some pretty unique movies as well as the newest releases.
You can always take the tube and head to Camden Town, or Soho for great nightlife, as you have tube at your doorsteps – that works 24/7 on Friday and Saturday.
Restaurants in East Finchley
East Finchley has a lot of restaurants – 4 Thai restaurants, 3 Italian ones, a perfect French restaurant, Seafood restaurant Poseidon, a couple of Lebanese spots and even a Japanese restaurant. If you walk Fortis Green all the way to Muswell Hill, you will also find a good Indian restaurant, Greek restaurant and even a famous pub. However, it’s in Muswell Hill, where you can find Franco Manca, the Real Greek, Weatherspoon, Bill’s and more, including a beautiful steakhouse. All that just 15-20 minutes walking from you.
So well, even after living here for almost a year, I haven’t been to even 30% of the places that we have in the area, so I definitely don’t consider East Finchley dull.
Rent prices in East Finchley
One of the reasons why people live in East Finchley is the Northern Line and the fact that you can afford more for less. We used to rent a one bedroom flat in Elephant and Castle for £1600 a month (in a new build), in East Finchley we pay £1670 for a newly refurbished 2-bedroom duplex with a huge rooftop terrace.
However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, there are plenty here – you can find studios for as low as £900-1100 per month and 1-bedroom flats for £1200-1400 a month depending on the condition. It’s not as cheap as some other zone 3 places because of a great location, safety and the fact, that the neighbourhood has great infrastructure and is generally very pretty, clean and well-taken care on. But still, rent prices in East Finchley are great.
I’ve never seen any trash on the streets and the garbage collection service works like a clock. The only downside of living in East Finchley is the fact that the Council Tax is not low at all, so that would add up to your rent.
What about buying in East Finchley? How much is it to buy in East Finchley?
Unlike rental prices, the prices for buying a house (or an apartment) in East Finchley are far from low. If you want a detached house, have a sum of a million pounds, while a terraced house would cost £700-800,000 depending on the condition. As for apartments, you can buy a one bedroom apartment for about £330-400,000 depending on the location and condition. If you’re planning to buy in East Finchley, consider Fortis Green, as it’s one of the best streets to live in N2.
If you’re planning to buy on Bishops Avenue (or Billionaires’ row, how it is often called), you need at least £3-6 Million pounds. I haven’t ever seen any rental properties there, so not sure about the rental prices at all.
Read my post about how to save money in London: best tips and tricks >>>
Pros and cons of living in East Finchley
Like literally any district in London (and anywhere else, really) living in East Finchley has its pros and cons.
Pros of living in East Finchley
- You have the Northern line that splits into lines and goes to Soho and to King’s Cross/ Bank – it’s very convenient, especially if you work in any of these areas.
- You can even work in East Finchley – there are a couple of offices, including a big office of McDonald’s.
- Plenty of places to go out to – from restaurants to pubs.
- Excellent infrastructure – there’s a gym on Fortis Green and there are 3-4 different Fitness studios and Yoga / Pilates classes. There’s also a huge ice skating rink in Alexandra Palace (20 min by bus or 40 min walking), a cinema and an NHS clinic.
- Safety – the area is very very safe and residential.
Cons of living in East Finchley
- The property prices, in case you’d be willing to buy – they are just too high!
- Location – East Finchley is located quite far from the city centre – in case tube fails, you need 2 buses to get to your work (or maybe more) and that would take over an hour. If your work is in West London, for example, it will take ages to commute every day.
- Lack of a good big gym chain – there’s a gym on Fortis Green (closer to Muswell Hill), but East Finchley definitely lacks its own gym e.g. Anytime Fitness or PureGym.
Summary of what is it like to live in East Finchley: is it a good neighbourhood?
Overall, I really like living in East Finchley – it has this nice village feeling. In winter, it smells like burnt wood and in spring and summer, everything blooms and Fortis Green is just so pretty. You can reach Highgate Wood in 20 minutes and Hampstead Heath in about 35-40 minutes walking. There are always places to explore and discover and it’s really well connected because of the Northern Line. If I were to buy a property, I’m not 100% sure if I were to stay in the area though – I would prefer a new build and there are none in the area. Moreover, if I switch to a job that is somewhere around Kensington, getting there would take no less than 1 hour every day, which is not ideal.
Read my post about 10 best districts to live in London >>>
However, you know your circumstances better than anybody, so I hope the information I provided was useful for you and now you can imagine what is it live to live in East Finchley.