buying house for school place
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Moving/Buying House for School Place – Impact of Covid 19

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.

moving house for school catchment
Photo by cottonbro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/little-girl-playing-in-a-box-4569304/

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.

  1. Jot down all the outstanding schools in your preferred wider area.
  2. 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!!!)
  3. Make a list of streets names from the catchment area that will get your child in the preferred school.
  4. Check your budget & use an affordability calculator
  5. 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.
  6. Think if it is really worth taking the plunge and moving/buying a house for a school place?
  7. If the answer to No.6 is YES, then GO for it.
  8. 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.

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12 Comments

  1. I love this post because we are currently looking at possible schools and all these factors make a huge difference!

    1. Absolutely second that & I hope you get your choice of school for your kid. Thanks for your feedback.

  2. Very informative blog for house hunters especially in the post pandemic era.

    1. Thank you so much Dakshita for your feedback.

  3. That’s awesome, good luck with your house haunting. Hope you can get the awesome you like.

    1. Thanks Fransic for your wishes.

  4. We moved to be closer to the high school our daughter was attending. It was along commute from our old home, so the move closer really helped save time and gas money.
    Good luck finding the perfect home for your family! With your focus and tips I’m sure you will find one in the desired school district.

    1. Yes, that’s the plan. We are hoping to find a house soon to be able to put the address down in the admission form. Thanks for your feedback.

  5. I can understand why you would want to pick near outstanding schools, you want the best for your child. I will be buying a house near good schools when I move so that I know I will be in the catchment area. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren

    1. Thanks, Lauren. I understand at the end of the day we all want good education for our kids & strive hard to provide it to them. Thanks for your feedback.

  6. When I was teaching back in the UK this was something quite a number of parents/guardians did and I can completely understand why this would be important. I would imagine Covid-19 and the lockdowns impacted a lot of families who were looking to do the same as you. Wishing you all the best in the future!

    1. Thanks Molly. Yes I can understand why they would change their house for school. It is just so important to be able to keep up with the best of education that parents can resort to changing their homes just for admission to a good school of their choice.

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