Buying In A School Catchment Area

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We are all fully aware of the importance of gaining a good education. Unsurprisingly then, many parents are willing to up sticks and move home to ensure that their children are accepted into the best school possible. With such a specific criteria to work to, the advice and experience of a property finder can be crucial for finding the perfect property within a school catchment area.

Paying A Premium For A School Catchment Area

According to research by Santander Mortgages, an estimated quarter of school-age families will move house in order to fall within the catchment of their preferred school. This figure includes both buying and renting. In doing so, they are willing to pay an average additional 12% on the market value of the property, as well as changing jobs or downsizing.

A survey of one million homes by Rightmove found that nationwide, you can expect to pay a £52,000 premium to purchase property near a school rated outstanding. This is in comparison to property near schools which are noted as requiring improvement. In London, this premium can soar to over £80,000, further inflating an already expensive property market. The West Midlands has the next highest premium at £52,929 whilst the East Midlands is the lowest at £23,325.

By employing a property finder you may be able to offset some of these costs, thanks to their highly-honed negotiating skills, strong local knowledge and close relationships with estate agents. Our fee structure is set up in a way that incentivises property finders to secure as big a discount as possible. This will help to minimise the impact of that premium.

Interestingly, 4 in 10 families enter this type of property search with the explicit intention of moving on as soon as the school place is confirmed. If you are thinking of following this path, we would recommend renting. Should you buy a property there is no guarantee that it would then sell as quickly as you’d necessarily like. With temporary renting you can secure that all-important school place quickly and then however long is necessary finding the perfect family home with a wider set of criteria.  We could assist you in both searches.

Remember, however, that school admission may not be entirely based on the school catchment area. Other factors can include a written test, religion and gender. Sometimes it will simply come down to availability of places. A property finder will be able to read through a school’s admissions criteria and advice you accordingly.

If you are still trying to decide on a school, we can trawl through all the Ofsted reports, academic specialisms and extra-curricular activities, and hopefully help clarify your decision. We can even accompany you on any school visits!

County Homesearch can help you find a home within your preferred school catchment area and ease the entire process. Contact us on 0333 939 8300 to discuss how we can help you.