Think about your children when looking for a home

Jonathan Handford
Jonathan Handford
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Youngsters bring a whole new set of considerations into the home-buying process. Jonathan Handford, from Fine & Country Leamington, offers guidance on things to consider when looking for a home to house school-age children.

There are few things that are more important for parents than the future of their children.

There is no question that the school your children attend will have an impact on their future. This makes education establishments an important factor in the property-purchase equation.

There is a direct connection between your postcode and your child’s education, particularly if your children attend state schooling. Aside from simple logistical concerns such as how they are going to get to school each day, choosing a home within the borders of a popular catchment area can be vital to ensuring a place for your kids in a first-rate school.

Before you start your property search, research the catchment area of good schools. Think long term – look into whether the primary schools in the area are a feeder school to your preferred secondary school. Reflect on the logistics – will you drive your children to school every morning, or would they need to get a bus? Where is the bus stop – is the bus route near the property or would they have to walk some distance? Will the bus times affect your morning routine?

It’s also worth looking to the neighbours – are there other children in the neighbourhood of the same school age? Is there a community feel to the area?

Examine the catchment borders also - purchasing a property in a good school catchment area is wise, but there are some risks.

As a school’s popularity increases, the catchment area shrinks, so while your children may benefit with a place at the school, your property may be precluded from the catchment area in the future, which will affect your selling price.

According to primelocation.com, property prices in the areas surrounding the UK’s 50 top-performing state schools are on average 35 per cent more expensive than the rest of the country.

This is no small investment. The up-side is that market values for these properties tend to be more stable, so you are investing in a nest-egg and avoiding market fluctuations, as well as investing in the future of your children.

For advice on selling or buying property, contact Fine & Country Leamington Spa on 01926 455950 or visit www.fineandcountry.com