Have you thought about moving house for getting your child to the school of your choice? We are currently house hunting as we want to move into the catchment area of outstanding schools. It is not an uncommon phenomenon anymore.
There are many parents who feel the need to move their house in order to secure a place for their child in their favourite school.
But why do parents today feel the need to move their house for school?
We all know how important school is in a child’s life. Every parent wants the best education for their child. That’s the reason parents try to move in the catchment area of best schools. Be it for primary school admission or secondary school admission.
Luckily when it was time for my son’s reception admission we were in the catchment area of best schools.
We then bought a house when my son was in year 2, way back in 2014.
In 2018 we were blessed with a daughter. And we thought that we can buy a house in a catchment area of better schools, once she is 2 years.
By the end of 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic had started and that brought with it many challenges – not only in terms of our house hunting but also in terms of financial security.
Many were getting impacted financially due to loss of jobs, illness, loss of business & much more.
Financial instability had also impacted our family during the Covid pandemic which in turn affected our buying house for school place for my daughter.
We had stopped looking for a house because of our financial instability in the year 2020.
Lockdowns & rising cases of Covid had also impacted the real estate market negatively.
But then in July 2020, a stamp duty holiday was announced for the purchase of residential property and that brought some hope to the real estate market. More buyers were entering the real estate market to buy residential property. We were also amongst them.
By the start of 2021, we were back on track with our financial commitments and ready to plunge back into the real estate market. We also like many others wanted to avail the benefit of the stamp duty holiday.
The stamp duty holiday created a boom in the real estate market. There were many buyers in the market who wanted to buy residential property. But somehow not many properties were coming in the market.
We were restricted by the catchment areas of good schools and also budget. The property prices had gone way up than they were in the pre-covid era.
There was huge demand for properties but was not matched with the same amount of supply of properties. That was another reason the prices were going up continuously.
For our house purchase, we were relying on our savings & mortgage. Moving into an area of ‘outstanding’ school meant that we needed to shell out more than the average amount required for property purchase.
So it was very important that we get enough amount for mortgage that too with a lesser rate of interest.
We used the mortgage calculators to find exactly how much mortgage we will require to buy the property we like.
We have since then viewed many properties & have given offers on a few. But all of our offers have been rejected even though we have offered more than the asking price of the property.
When we spoke with the estate agents of what kind of offers are getting accepted in 2022, we were told that property offers accepted are anywhere from 5% to 15% above the asking price.
Well that is huge & we are still hunting for our Perfect Home in the catchment area of outstanding schools.
There is huge competition today in the property market & we are hoping that prices may fall or at least remain stable for us to be able to buy the perfect house.
Time is running out & we have to get into a house before Dec 2022 to be able to fill in the admission form for Reception year for my daughter.
So from our house hunting experience, I have here a ready checklist of things to consider when you plan to buy a house for getting a school place for your child.
- Jot down all the outstanding schools in your preferred wider area.
- Get in touch with your local authority to check admission criteria & the furthest distance from school for the last admission (parents with school-going kids will know what I am talking about!!!)
- Make a list of streets names from the catchment area that will get your child in the preferred school.
- Check your budget & use an affordability calculator
- Keep an open mind about schools and think about other things like community, green spaces, commute to work, safety etc while looking for a new house.
- Think if it is really worth taking the plunge and moving/buying a house for a school place?
- If the answer to No.6 is YES, then GO for it.
- Be prepared financially as you may have to stretch your budget for that perfect new HOME.
So all the best to us & to all those who are house-hunting to find that school place in the best of schools.
Do let me know about your house hunting experience. Was it before covid? Or post covid? Share your feedback about this article by commenting below & feel free to share your own house-hunting tips.