Commuter homes for first-time buyers from £250,000

Many house hunters are eager to leapfrog London's tiny studios and flats by finding a larger home outside of the city - but still within a 60-minute commute. We find three top spots for good-value homes, schools and outdoor spaces - from Great Dunmow in Essex, to West Malling in Kent and Hook in Hampshire.

Renting guide: Islington

New flats along the canal in Islington are popular with young professionals looking to rent one-bedroom flats.

Commuter watch: Milton Keynes

Modernists and traditionalists have a choice - a pretty cottage in a Buckinghamshire village, or life in a new town. Both benefit from an easy commute, discovers Ruth Bloomfield

Commuter-homes via Victoria

The place for commuters to start a search for a new home is from their London station. Ruth Bloomfield looks down the line from Victoria

Easy country commutes

Anthea Masey visits Londoners’ seven favourite commuter hotspots - all only an hour’s train journey from the capital