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With £805,000 to spend, would you choose Harlesden or Towcester?

Town

■ THIS multicultural north-west London neighbourhood is becoming the destination of choice for those priced out of Kensal Rise. It’s shaking off its reputation for crime and the plus points now far outweigh the negatives. Residents are friendly, it has a park with a café and excellent train and Tube connections. Plans to spruce up the town are under way and 25,000 homes will be built at Old Oak Common. ‘Harlesden’s schools have improved, new bars and restaurants have opened and there’s a selection of turn-of-the-century houses,’ says Tony Bunce of Daniels. ‘The average two-bed flat is about £400,000.’

Harlesden, 3-bed house, £800,000

Top terrace: Fireplaces, coving and exposed wooden floors are among the many original features in this Victorian terrace house, which has potential to extend into the loft. danielsestateagents.co.uk

Commute time: From 16 mins to Euston or Marylebone
Commute cost: Annual Travelcard from £1,320
Price per sq ft: £556

Country

■ FOR families considering a move out of the capital, this south Northamptonshire town ticks the boxes as far as accessibility, education and affordability are concerned. ‘Towcester offers easy commutability into London via Milton Keynes and good road links via the M1 and M40,’ says Ian Cattle of Carter Jonas. ‘The Sponne, a local school, is rated outstanding by Ofsted and there’s a host of leading independents nearby.’ The entry point is £120,000 for a Victorian flat in town and there are family-sized homes on the outskirts.

Towcester, 5-bed house, £804,950

Executive choice: A detached house available off plan at Oak View at Burcote Park, a development on the edge of town. Includes a huge family/kitchen/ breakfast room and a study. redrow.co.uk

Commute time: From 46 mins to Euston from Northampton, eight miles away
Commute cost: annual season ticket from £6,356
Price per sq ft: £317

…or why not get 2 for the price of 1?

Harlesden

Two-bed flat, £395,000, Foxtons, foxtons.co.uk

This bright, ground-floor flat is on a quiet street moments from Harlesden High Street and near both stations. It has an open-plan kitchen/reception room, a private garden and comes with planning permission to build an extension.

Towcester

Four-bed house, £400,000, Jackson Grundy, jackson-grundy.com

Located in town, this listed house dates to the 17th century and includes exposed beams, wide plank doors and floorboards, sash windows and an inglenook fireplace. Hanging hooks and rings are a reminder of its time as a butcher’s shop.

Total spend: £795,000