The term location, location, location has little more relevance than when you are trying to secure a school place for your child. Although the current school system claims you can choose which educational facility you would like your little Einstein to attend, this is often far from the truth.
You need only look at Facebook this week to see how many caring parents are bitterly disappointed not to have been allocated their preferred school of choice, and in many cases refused all three chosen schools.
The harsh reality of Britain today is that good schools are oversubscribed and the system is ruled by geographical catchment areas. The rights and wrongs of this approach can be debated until the proverbial cows come home however, it seems that the child’s home address is going to be the deciding factor for many years to come. It is for this reason that when choosing where to buy a property, school catchment areas should be a top priority. In the real world however, a fair proportion of us still buy our home before we even think about having children and as such, the worry of school catchment areas seem as far off as pushchairs, paunches and pensions. The trouble is, although young buyers may not think they need to worry about such matters, time has a habit of catching up with us all and there are many people who retrospectively wish they had considered schools when choosing where to buy.
Of course, everyone has the option of moving home but the cost of doing so is often a hefty price to pay to get a slice of ‘outstanding offsted’ education. Not only will you incur moving costs, estate agency fees, stamp duty, solicitor and conveyancing fees, you will also need to consider the premium that might be attached to the sale price of any property situated within a popular school’s catchment area.
Ultimately, the real winners in this scenario are likely to be those who choose to rent. The flexibility that renting provides enables families to move more easily and, although rents may be higher in certain school catchment areas, once your child’s place is secured, there is nothing to stop you moving again. The moral of the story is, location is always king. Whether it’s proximity to a preferred school, accessibility to key transport routes, ensuring a short commute to work or being close to a good hospital or local shops, these factors should always be a key consideration. After all, most homes can be extended, renovated or enhanced to accommodate a growing family or changing lifestyle, the geographical position of a property however is something that can never ever be changed.