Balham has been described as refreshingly down-to-earth and relaxed. Family-run businesses (butchers, bakers) still thrive here. Many people are attracted to the area for the ease with which they can find a reasonably priced Victorian terraced house, coupled with the low Wandsworth council tax.

Highlights include a reasonably novel, though well-attended food festival which takes place in July, and the Bedford pub which provides all kinds of entertainment, such as live music and comedy nights attended by artists such as Eddie Izzard and many others. It also offers dance classes, and meditation gatherings.