The Best Areas to Live in Essex

Are you a first time buyer in Essex on the lookout for your dream home? Are you a home mover yet to decide on the perfect location in Essex? There are many wonderful residential areas in and around Essex, it is just finding the right area for you!

To help you make the right decision we have put together our top list of places to live in Essex (in no particular order).

1 – Brentwood

Location:

South Essex

Avg. House Price:

£560,000

Brentwood is a charming town located in the South of Essex, just outside the border of Greater London.

Known for its beautiful countryside and historic Elizabethan houses, Brentwood is an ideal location for all types of buyers looking to live in Essex.

Buying a House in Brentwood

As one of Essex’s most sought-after towns, Brentwood offers a diverse range of properties on the market. Buyers will find everything from modern apartments to elegant terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses, with prices reflecting the area’s desirability and quality of life.

The average property price in Brentwood is higher than in many other towns in Essex, due to its prime location and excellent amenities. However, for first time buyers in Essex who can afford to invest a bit more, Brentwood provides excellent value in terms of lifestyle and community.

For those looking to move into a larger home, Brentwood’s wide selection of properties makes it an ideal choice. The area is perfect for families seeking more room and a higher standard of living.

Landlords considering investing in buy to let properties in Essex should not overlook Brentwood. The town’s high demand for rental properties ensures a steady stream of potential tenants, making it a lucrative investment opportunity.

Living in Brentwood

Brentwood is well-connected to London and other parts of the Southeast, making it a convenient location for commuters. The town boasts excellent transport links, including a train station with services on the Elizabeth Line, providing easy access to London and beyond.


For those who prefer to drive, Brentwood’s proximity to the M25 offers a straightforward route to all parts of England. The town’s location just outside London ensures that residents can enjoy a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle while still being close to urban amenities.

Brentwood is home to some of Essex’s top-rated schools, making it a popular choice for families. The town offers a variety of educational institutions, from primary schools to prestigious secondary schools, ensuring that children receive a high-quality education close to home.

Brentwood-School-Wikimedia-Commons
Credit: John Winfield, Wikimedia Commons

The community in Brentwood is vibrant and active, with a wide range of local events and activities. From farmers’ markets to cultural festivals, there’s always something happening in Brentwood, providing plenty of opportunities for residents to socialise and engage with their neighbours.

Looking to Move to Brentwood?

Brentwood is a desirable and convenient area to live in Essex. With its excellent schools, convenient transport links, and a variety of property types, it offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a first time buyer in Essex, a family looking for more space, or an investor seeking a profitable opportunity, Brentwood could be the perfect location for you.

If you’re interested in buying a home in Brentwood, get in touch with our team. We can arrange a free consultation with our mortgage advisors to discuss your options and guide you through the process.

Speak With a Mortgage Advisor – It’s Free!

We’re here to help you find your ideal property and make your move to Brentwood as smooth and straightforward as possible.

2 – Basildon

Location:

South Essex

Avg. House Price:

£340,000

Basildon is another beautiful town located in the South of Essex.

Known for its swift transport connection to other cities, a great choice of amenities, and plenty of outdoor space on its doorstep, Basildon is one of the best places to live in Essex.

Buying a House in Basildon

There a many different types of properties available in Basildon, with the majority being semi-detached and detached properties.

The area has an average house price of £340,000, meaning that a 5% deposit would require £17,000 and a 10% £34,000. Some first time buyers may struggle to achieve this amount in Essex, therefore, the area may be more suited to home movers.

Living in Basildon

In terms of transport links, Basildon has three railway stations. Each runs regular commuter services to London and other locations across the country. The local bus services are extensive, offering a range of connections to nearby destinations including Canvey Island, Southend, Billericay, and Chelmsford.

Basildon - Flickr
Credit: Flickr

If you’re travelling by vehicle, Basildon is situated just off the A13, A127, and A130 – all of which offer direct access to major motorways like the M25 as well as well-trodden routes in and around the region.

Basildon is home to a good mix of primary and secondary schools that cater to all including something for the tiny tots, Basildon has a great selection of certified playgroups, nurseries, and pre-schools. Every educational base is covered in this area.

If Basildon feels like the place for you and you would like to know your mortgage options, get in touch with our team today and we can help you find a mortgage product for you and your new property.

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Basildon

Feel free to ask us any questions about the moving home process, we would love to try and help!

3 – Saffron Walden

Location:

North West Essex

Avg. House Price:

£447,000

Saffron Walden, situated in the North West of Essex, is a picturesque market town renowned for its rich history and charming character.

This delightful area offers a peaceful yet vibrant lifestyle, making it a sought-after location for various types of buyers.

Buying a House in Saffron Walden

Saffron Walden boasts a diverse range of properties, from historic timber-framed houses to modern family homes. The town’s property market caters to a wide array of preferences and budgets, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

The average property prices here are reflective of the town’s desirability, yet they offer good value considering the quality of life in the area.

First time buyers will find a variety of affordable options, especially within the town’s outskirts. For those looking to move into a larger home, Saffron Walden’s spacious properties and picturesque surroundings provide an ideal setting. The town is also perfect for retirees seeking a tranquil and beautiful place to settle down.

Investors should consider Saffron Walden due to its steady demand for rental properties. The town’s appeal to families, professionals, and retirees ensures a reliable tenant base, making it a promising investment opportunity.

Living in Saffron Walden

Living in Saffron Walden offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern convenience. The town centre is bustling with independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, providing a vibrant community atmosphere. The twice-weekly market is a highlight, offering fresh local produce and artisanal goods.

Families will appreciate the excellent educational facilities in Saffron Walden. The town is home to several highly-rated primary and secondary schools, as well as private institutions that offer top-notch education. The supportive community and safe environment make it an ideal place for raising children.

Saint Mary's Church - John Fielding - Flickr
Credit: John Fielding, Flickr

Saffron Walden’s cultural scene is rich and varied, with numerous historic sites and attractions. The stunning Audley End House and Gardens, a grand Jacobean mansion, is a must-visit, along with the beautiful Bridge End Garden. The town also boasts a variety of local events and festivals, ensuring there is always something interesting happening.

Transport in Saffron Walden

Despite its rural charm, Saffron Walden is well-connected, making it a convenient location for commuters. The town is served by the nearby Audley End train station, which provides regular services to London Liverpool Street, Cambridge, and Stansted Airport. This makes it an excellent choice for those working in the city but preferring a quieter home environment.

For those who travel by car, the M11 motorway is easily accessible, providing links to London, Cambridge, and the wider motorway network. This ensures that residents can quickly reach major destinations for both work and leisure.

Local bus services in Saffron Walden are reliable and cover the surrounding villages and towns, making it easy to get around without relying solely on a car. This connectivity enhances the town’s appeal for both families and professionals.

Looking to Move to Saffron Walden?

Saffron Walden is a historic and charming market town that offers a unique blend of heritage and modern amenities. With its diverse property options, excellent transport links, and vibrant community, it’s an ideal location for a variety of buyers.

If Saffron Walden sounds like the perfect place for your next home, start exploring the available properties today.

Our team of mortgage advisors in Essex are here to assist you through every step of the buying process, ensuring you find the best mortgage deals and make a seamless transition to your new home in Saffron Walden.

Speak With a Mortgage Advisor – It’s Free!

We’re here to help you find your ideal property and make your move to Saffron Walden as smooth and straightforward as possible.

4 – Epping

Location:

South Essex

Avg. House Price:

£615,000

Epping Forest, located in the South of Essex, is a highly desirable area known for its stunning natural beauty and affluent neighbourhoods.

This picturesque region offers a serene living environment while being conveniently close to London, making it an ideal place for various types of buyers.

Buying a House in Epping Forest

Epping Forest boasts a range of high-quality properties, from charming cottages to luxurious detached homes. The area is particularly popular with those seeking a peaceful, countryside lifestyle without sacrificing proximity to urban amenities. The property market here tends to be on the higher end, reflecting the affluence and desirability of the area.

First time buyers might find the prices challenging, but for those able to invest, Epping Forest offers excellent value in terms of lifestyle and property quality. The area is also ideal for families looking to upsize, with many homes offering spacious gardens and ample living space.

Living in Epping Forest

Epping Forest offers an exceptional quality of life, combining the tranquillity of the countryside with convenient access to modern amenities. The area is home to numerous independent shops, high-end boutiques, and a variety of dining options, from cosy cafes to gourmet restaurants.

Families will appreciate the excellent educational institutions in and around Epping Forest. The area boasts a range of highly regarded primary and secondary schools, as well as independent schools that offer top-tier education.

Epping Forest - Martin Morris - Flickr
Credit: Martin Morris, Flickr

One of the standout features of Epping Forest is its stunning natural scenery. The forest itself, managed by the City of London Corporation, provides a vast expanse of woodland perfect for walking, cycling, and horse riding. This green space is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.

Transport in Epping Forest

Despite its rural charm, Epping Forest is exceptionally well-connected, making it an ideal location for commuters. The Epping Underground Station, on the Central Line, offers direct services to central London, allowing residents to reach the city in under an hour. This convenience makes it perfect for those working in the capital but preferring a quieter home environment.

For those who travel by car, the M11 and M25 motorways provide excellent links to London, the wider Essex area, and beyond. This ensures that residents can easily access major road networks, whether for commuting or leisure travel.

Local bus services in Epping Forest are reliable and frequent, covering the surrounding towns and villages, making it easy to get around without a car.

Looking to Move to Epping Forest?

Epping Forest is an affluent and highly sought-after area that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and modern convenience. With its high-quality properties, excellent transport links, and exceptional standard of living, it’s an ideal location for discerning buyers.

If Epping Forest sounds like the perfect place for your next home, start exploring the available properties today. Our team of mortgage advisors is here to assist you through every step of the buying process, ensuring you find the best mortgage deals and make a seamless transition to your new home in Epping Forest.

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Epping

Feel free to ask us any questions about the moving home process, we would love to try and help!

5 – Colchester

Location:

North East Essex

Avg. House Price:

£325,000

Colchester is a vibrant town in the North East of Essex, renowned for its rich history and modern amenities.

As Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester offers a unique blend of ancient charm and contemporary living, making it an ideal place for various types of residents.

Buying a House in Colchester

Colchester’s property market is diverse, catering to a wide range of preferences and budgets. The town features an array of properties, from charming period homes to contemporary new builds.

Whether you’re a first time buyer looking for an affordable starter home or a family seeking a spacious property, Colchester has something to offer.

The average property prices in Colchester are competitive compared to other areas in Essex, making it an attractive option for buyers looking to get more value for their money. Additionally, the ongoing development and investment in the area promise potential for property value growth, making it a wise choice for investors.

Living in Colchester

Colchester is known for its excellent quality of life, with a variety of amenities that cater to residents of all ages. The town boasts a vibrant shopping scene, with numerous high-street stores, independent boutiques, and the popular Lion Walk Shopping Centre. For dining and entertainment, Colchester offers a plethora of options, from cosy cafes and gourmet restaurants to theatres and cinemas.

For families, Colchester provides a strong educational infrastructure, with a range of highly regarded primary and secondary schools, as well as the University of Essex.

Colchester Town Hall - David Hawgood - Wikimedia Commons
Credit: David Hawgood, Wikimedia Commons

Colchester is also rich in recreational and cultural activities. The town is home to several museums, including the Colchester Castle Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the town’s Roman history.

Additionally, Colchester Zoo is one of the best in the country, providing a fantastic day out for families and wildlife enthusiasts.

Transport in Colchester

Colchester’s location and excellent transport links make it a convenient place for commuters. The town is served by two main railway stations: Colchester and Colchester Town, both offering regular services to London Liverpool Street, Ipswich, and Norwich. This makes it an ideal location for those working in the capital but seeking a more relaxed lifestyle.

For those who prefer to travel by car, Colchester is well-connected by major road networks. The A12 provides direct routes to London and the East of England, while the A120 offers easy access to Stansted Airport and the M11 motorway. This ensures that residents can travel efficiently to various parts of the country.

Bus services in Colchester are frequent and reliable, covering the town and its surrounding areas. This makes local travel convenient, whether you’re commuting to work or exploring the region.

Looking to Move to Colchester?

Colchester’s unique blend of historical charm and modern convenience makes it an ideal place to call home. With its affordable property market, excellent transport links, and a high standard of living, Colchester appeals to a wide range of buyers.

If Colchester sounds like the perfect location for your next home, start your property search today. Our team of mortgage advisors is here to help you navigate the buying process, ensuring you find the best mortgage deals and make a smooth transition to your new home in Colchester.

Speak With a Mortgage Advisor – It’s Free!

We’re here to help you find your ideal property and make your move to Colchester as smooth and straightforward as possible.

6 – Harlow

Location:

South West Essex

Avg. House Price:

£345,000

Harlow is a historic town situated in South West Essex, just north of the scenic Epping Forest.

Harlow’s combination of affordability, excellent transport links, and a high standard of living makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of buyers.

Buying a House in Harlow

Harlow provides a wide variety of housing options, catering to different preferences and budgets. From modern apartments to spacious family homes, there is something for everyone.

The town’s property market is diverse, featuring everything from contemporary new builds to charming older homes. First time buyers, families looking for more space, and even those seeking investment opportunities will find suitable options in Harlow.

The affordability of housing in Harlow, compared to other parts of Essex and the greater London area, makes it particularly appealing for first time buyers. The town’s continued development and investment in local infrastructure also make it a smart choice for those looking to settle down and grow their property’s value over time.

Living in Harlow

Harlow boasts a rich array of amenities. The town centre is home to numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, ensuring that there is always something to do. The Harvey Centre and the Water Gardens shopping complex provide extensive retail options, from high-street brands to local boutiques.

For families, Harlow offers excellent educational facilities, including a range of primary and secondary schools as well as the highly regarded Harlow College. These institutions are known for their high standards and comprehensive curriculums, making Harlow an attractive option for families prioritising education.

Harlow - Geograph
Credit: John Allen, Geograph

Harlow also excels in outdoor and recreational activities. The town features numerous parks and green spaces, perfect for weekend outings and leisurely walks.

Harlow Town Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country and provides a beautiful setting for picnics, sports, and family gatherings.

Transport in Harlow

Harlow has excellent transport links, making it an ideal place for commuters. The town is well-served by Harlow Town and Harlow Mill railway stations, both of which offer frequent services to London Liverpool Street, Cambridge, and Stansted Airport. This makes Harlow a perfect base for those who work in the capital but prefer a quieter, suburban lifestyle.

For those who prefer to travel by car, Harlow is conveniently located near major road networks. The M11 motorway is easily accessible, providing direct routes to London, Cambridge, and beyond. Additionally, the A414 connects Harlow to Hertford and Chelmsford, ensuring smooth travel to surrounding towns and cities.

Bus services run frequently throughout Harlow, offering regular routes within the town and to neighbouring areas. This makes local travel easy and efficient, even for those without a car.

Looking to Move to Harlow?

Whether you’re a first time buyer, a family seeking more space, or someone looking for a vibrant community, Harlow has something to offer.

If Harlow sounds like the perfect place for your next home, start exploring the available properties today. Our team of mortgage advisors is ready to assist you in navigating the buying process, ensuring you find the best deal and make a smooth transition to your new home in Harlow.

Get in touch with us to arrange a free consultation and take the first step towards your move.

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Harlow

Feel free to ask us any questions about the moving home process, we would love to try and help!

7 – Braintree

Location:

South West Essex

Avg. House Price:

£256,000

Just North of Chelmsford lies the stunning town of Braintree. This quiet, old, market town is perfect for settling down and enjoying the countryside.

Braintree is a great place to live in Essex where you could find your dream home!

Buying a Home in Braintree

Moving home is a huge decision, especially if you are planning on moving to somewhere in Essex – there are so many choices available!

The types of housing that you will find in Braintree can range from apartments and bungalows to semi-detached and detached houses. Depending on your budget some properties in the area may prove more costly than others.

Living in Braintree

Braintree is a safe, quiet town in Essex, making it appealing to many families and those looking to settle down.

Braintree Town Hall - Brenda Howard - Geograph
Credit: Brenda Howard, Geograph

There are still lots of things to do in Braintree. From shopping at the Braintree Village outlet, enjoying a walk around the Bocking Blackwater Nature Reserve, eating at a restaurant in the town centre or having a drink in a historic, local pub, we are sure that you will find something for you in Braintree.

Transport in Braintree

Getting around Braintree by car is going to be your best method of transport. With limited trains running each day, you are best getting around by yourself.

You can get in and around Braintree with ease, however. Busses run frequently throughout the town and surrounding areas, meaning that if you have a job in the local area, you’ll have no problem commuting.

Your drive to Chelmsford from Braintree should only take you around 40 minutes by car. It’s a straightforward route too, taking the A131.

Speak With a Mortgage Advisor – It’s Free!

We’re here to help you find your ideal property and make your move to Braintree as smooth and straightforward as possible.

8 – Chelmsford

Location:

Central Essex

Avg. House Price:

£404,000

Chelmsford can be described as one of the nicest and safest places to live in the UK.

Situated in the centre of Essex, the location is perfect for anyone looking to live in an affluent and historic part of the country. The city’s rich history, combined with modern amenities, makes it an attractive place for families, professionals, and retirees alike.

Living in Chelmsford

Chelmsford’s combination of excellent transport links, rich history, and modern amenities makes it one of the most desirable places to live in Essex. The city offers a range of housing options, from contemporary apartments in the city centre to charming Victorian homes in leafy suburbs. With its low crime rates and a strong sense of community, Chelmsford is not only a beautiful place to live but also a safe and welcoming one.

Chelmsford Cathedral - Matthew Reames - Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Matthew Reames, Wikimedia Commons

The city is home to numerous parks, shopping centres, and cultural attractions, providing plenty of leisure opportunities for residents. Schools in Chelmsford are highly rated, making it an attractive location for families with children. The city’s vibrant community and regular events ensure there is always something to do, whether you’re interested in arts, sports, or social activities.

Chelmsford’s thriving local economy and excellent employment opportunities further add to its appeal. With a variety of businesses and industries based in the area, residents can enjoy the benefits of living close to their workplace, reducing commute times and enhancing work-life balance.

Transport in Chelmsford

Being located in the heart of Essex, Chelmsford has some of the best transport links in the county.

Chelmsford train station is located in the city centre, just north of the main high street. From here, you can catch a ride to other large cities in Essex including Colchester, Billericay and Basildon. If you want to travel further afield, jump on the train to Ipswich, Cambridge or London and get there within an hour and a half.

If you prefer to travel by car, you can reach the M11 in less than 20 minutes. This motorway provides links to motorways such as the A1 and the M25.

Thinking of Moving to Chelmsford?

Chelmsford is a beautiful city, filled with rich history and stunning properties. If you are looking for the best places to live in Essex, Chelmsford should be one of your choices.

If you are looking for help during your moving home journey, make sure to speak to one of our advisors to get your journey underway.

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Chelmsford

Feel free to ask us any questions about the moving home process, we would love to try and help!

Need an Agreement in Principle?

As your mortgage broker in Essex, we can arrange an agreement in principle (AIP) within 24 hours of your free mortgage appointment.

When moving home, it is essential to have your AIP document in place to make sure that you can support any offers you make on an Essex property.

Home Mover & First Time Buyer Mortgage Advice in Essex

Are you thinking of buying a property and need mortgage advice in Essex? If so, Essexmoneyman is here to help!

We have over 20 years in the mortgage industry, helping buyers just like yourself find a perfect mortgage product for their new home. Our job is to take all of the stress out of the moving home process, let us help you through your journey!

Date Last Edited: June 5, 2024