Parents prepared to pay over the odds to live near a good school

A report by one of Europe’s largest banks suggests that home hunters are prepared to up their budget if it means securing a place in a good school for their children.

Budget breaker

The report by Santander bank revealed that people preparing to move home or buy for the first time have a set idea on just how much they want to spend when it comes to buying the home, organising household insurance, and paying council taxes, but they are prepared to go well over budget for the privilege of just one thing.

Children come first

It is not having good commuting links to work. It is not having a nice garden or even nice neighbours nor does it involve even being close to family and friends. No, the one thing that can persuade prospective homeowners to pay over the odds for a house is its proximity to a good primary school. The survey conducted by Santander asked couples in the process of buying a new home, or planning to buy one in the foreseeable future, what their priorities would be. On average the respondents to the survey said they would be prepared to spend £12,000 over budget on a home to ensure the light of their lives went to a good primary school.

No guarantees

There is no absolute guarantee that your child will go to a certain school unless you are prepared to pay for the privilege, but with fee paying schools now charging on average over £3,000 a term then it is no surprise in the current financial climate that families are prepared to go over budget on buying a house if it is in a good schools catchment area. The bad news is catchment areas for schools change!

Moving the school gates

Catchment areas are very much dependant on the number of places available at the start of a school term. So a school that as a good record and becomes popular with couples in the surrounding area may suddenly declare that instead of the catchment area being within 1 mile of the school gates, as it was in the previous year, it is now only three quarters of a mile because of the number of children flooding into the area. This scenario happened in many schools last year in England’s major cities and couples who had bought a home insurance quote on a property specifically because it was near a certain school suddenly found it was not near enough. There is very little parents can do except to move as near as possible and also to bear in mind that once they have one child in the school other siblings should be guaranteed a place in the future.



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