Child-free househunters can pocket the difference

If you are househunting and don’t have to accommodate children, the world is your oyster!

You would do well, however, to consider the factors that are important to other househunters, even if they are not currently material to your decision – especially if you have one eye on resale at some point.

The impact of schools is particularly relevant, even if your family unit is not going to be a consumer of education.

The influence of a good school is so great on the property market, property prices are driven up by as much as 20%, creating what’s been dubbed a catchment area property bubble.

Even good primary schools are pushing up the price of property, with SAT’s results having a direct impact on value. And it’s not just the price that’s affected; competition for property in catchment areas is high, so your chances of being the only interested buyer for a family home are low. Every third party under the age of 50 is fixated on how close they are to a good school. It’s becoming an increasing trend amongst families to first select the school they wish their children to attend, and for this choice to then dictate the area in which they live, rather than leisure, family or even work reasons.

If your children have grown up and moved on; or if you don’t have children (and don’t plan to), you would do well to positively avoid areas that are served by good schools in both the private and state sector. Your property search will be a great deal easier, if you move it away from the epicentre of school bubbles, and you may well pay as much as 20% less for a similar property.

To maximize your resources, we would suggest you consider that if you don’t need to live near a good school, don’t live near a good school – but nevertheless it is a decision to be clear-eyed about, as your exit strategy will be limited to those who also don’t need to worry about that as a factor.

Schools also tend to produce a strong demographic in the community – and this may affect you. Living right on the doorstep of a school is something you should always think about carefully – noise and traffic are the main considerations, and both can have a significant impact on your quality of life.

If you’re moving to an area you don’t know well, do some research on the local schools. Private schools tend to affect family homes within a 20 – 30 minute drive; while state schools will have a designated catchment area that can generally be researched on the internet. These catchment areas are quite often odd shapes with strange corners that fall inside, and others that fall outside. It’s the latter corners, and the villages and towns immediately outside the catchment area that will provide the best value property.

Your local Stacks Regional Directors will be familiar with schools in your chosen area, and can provide in-depth knowledge on other factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing your home. Find Our Offices here and how we can help.

You may also be interested in

view more

Bungalows & Single Storey Living

High demand for single storey properties, coupled with declining supply, means that in many areas, bungalows demand a significant price premium. Always expect the price per square foot to be higher than for a family home set over more than one storey, but if it is a popular low-rise area, the...

Homes with an Annexe

Stacks Property Search has been helping clients find the right house for them for over 35 years, and it is not an exaggeration to say that an annexe – or some form of annexe option – is one of the single most useful features a property can have. An annexe provides...

Househunting with the whole family

Stacks’ clients are often househunting with the whole family in tow. It bears repeating that, even if you are househunting with the whole family in mind, selecting a school as the sole basis of your house search can be a dangerous strategy. If your heart is set on one school, you...

Home or School? Which is the #1 priority for you?

Getting the best schooling for your child is often cited as the #1 reason for moving house, but think hard first about all that that choice entails – for your whole family! Two kids at a middle of the road private boarding school equals the cost of financing about £500,000 worth...

Start your property search today

Call us on +44 (0) 1594 842880 or complete the form below

Your Details



Your property requirements:

Status:
SoldThinking of movingOn the marketExchangingIn rented accommodationCash buyerIn need of helpOther


We will never share your details with a third party. For more information about how we handle your data, please see our Privacy Policy

How we can help you
View our services

When making probably the most important financial decision of your life, it pays to have the right advisors at your side.

"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
2018-11-21T12:52:31+00:00
"Stacks had the critical combination of expertise and tenacity to broker a solution for us"
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
2018-11-21T12:47:38+00:00
"In essence, you are buying your best ally "
"Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
2020-01-13T11:52:24+00:00
"Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations"
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
2018-11-21T13:07:43+00:00
"was fantastic at explaining and helping us with everything that was happening"
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
2018-11-21T12:59:15+00:00
"Through the whole process they went above and beyond, and it was worth every penny!"
"carried out with discretion"
2018-11-21T12:28:29+00:00
"carried out with discretion"
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
2018-11-21T12:44:59+00:00
"I needed the continuous advice and support on the many issues that can and do arise, and, above all, someone acting in one’s own interest."
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
2018-11-21T13:09:36+00:00
"We cannot imagine how long it would have taken us to find our perfect home without Stacks – and we suspect that we would have compromised a long time ago!"
"You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
2020-01-13T11:52:01+00:00
"You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset"
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
2018-11-21T12:56:37+00:00
"The house is ideal ... and it is nothing like our first (unsuitable) ideas!"
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
2018-11-21T12:53:20+00:00
"Stacks has been an invaluable source of experience and wisdom on the successful landing of just the right house"
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
2018-11-21T12:17:11+00:00
"a fantastic job in impossible circumstances"
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
2018-11-05T22:55:02+00:00
“We want to thank you so much for the very professional and sensitive support you have given us in navigating through the various properties we have considered for investment of our small inheritance.”
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
2018-11-21T12:55:04+00:00
"Thank you very much for the professionalism, patience and understanding"
"utterly tenacious..."
2018-11-21T13:06:52+00:00
"utterly tenacious..."
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
2018-11-21T12:19:57+00:00
"always courteous and pleasant, and most importantly, in our opinion, trustworthy."
"Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
2018-11-21T12:49:38+00:00
"Practically, I needed someone to do the legwork and the eye-balling"
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
2018-11-21T13:16:29+00:00
"Would not hesitate to use you again."
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
2018-11-21T12:33:22+00:00
"extremely helpful, knowledgeable and tireless in their efforts to assist us"
"Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
2018-11-21T12:22:38+00:00
"Being able to 'stand behind' Stacks, whilst they brought their negotiating skills to the fore, took us to another level"
"found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
2018-11-21T12:35:46+00:00
"found precisely what I was looking for, and even on my request made an offer before I had even seen the property!!"
"Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification."
2020-02-27T09:48:25+00:00
"Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification."
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
2018-11-21T13:10:27+00:00
"We love the house and cannot wait to move in and get settled."
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
2018-11-21T12:32:12+00:00
"Despite other interested parties, Stacks were able to help us secure our preferred property."
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
2018-11-21T13:11:13+00:00
"We now own a most suitable house in the position of our dreams thanks to Stacks"
"You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
2018-11-21T13:20:39+00:00
"You we able to give us confidence that we were doing the right thing"
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
2018-11-21T13:08:49+00:00
"We are delighted with our choice and so are the children."
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
2018-11-21T12:48:37+00:00
"It made a potentially very stressful process very straightforward"
"I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.

It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.

Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before"
2020-01-13T11:51:03+00:00
"I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future. It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting. Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before"
"...negotiate on anything"

Financial Times

2018-11-06T14:00:36+00:00

Financial Times

"...negotiate on anything"
"You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
2019-05-02T11:00:08+00:00
"You made a huge difference to our search as I am sure you do for all your clients."
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
2018-11-21T12:13:26+00:00
"a calming, guiding presence where nothing was too much trouble"
“Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.
2019-12-06T09:48:50+00:00
“Thank you very much.  We are very excited on the purchase of the flat as well.  Sara has been instrumental in every aspect, we are blessed to have her on our side.”
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
2018-11-21T12:30:52+00:00
"delivered a great service at a reasonable cost"
"I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
2018-11-21T12:46:40+00:00
"I’ve seldom had such consistent, wise support in a major life decision, and I can’t emphasize enough how helpful it is."
"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
2018-11-21T13:21:20+00:00
"You were able, by taking on much of the responsibility and the effort, to enable us to relax and enjoy the process"
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
2018-11-21T13:15:37+00:00
"Without somebody on the ground asking the right questions on our behalf, finding a home would have been truly impossible."
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
2018-11-21T12:45:49+00:00
"I would recommend using Stacks as they are well connected to the property market and provide a realistic assessment of activity and pricing."
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
2018-11-21T12:43:03+00:00
"I completely underestimated how much of a difference you would make"
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
2019-06-19T13:54:55+00:00
“We really enjoyed working with Sara and Stacks and would highly recommend having them on your side in the home buying process”
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
2018-11-21T12:38:34+00:00
"got our offer accepted even when it was not the highest"
"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"

Sunday Telegraph

2018-11-06T13:59:47+00:00

Sunday Telegraph

"...took just days to come up with the property that fitted all our criteria"
"Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
2018-11-21T13:22:31+00:00
"Your advice on how to effectively instruct and motivate our professional team allowed us to complete in one month."
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
2018-11-21T12:42:07+00:00
"How extraordinary to have found what we were looking for"
"Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
2020-02-27T09:49:08+00:00
"Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me."
"I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
2020-01-13T11:52:49+00:00
"I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks"
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
2018-11-21T12:37:14+00:00
"found us a home in a sought-after area with a high demand for properties and very little on offer"
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
2018-11-21T12:58:19+00:00
"They've been a close and very helpful part of our discussions with everybody. When you’re new to a town and an area, that’s priceless."
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
2018-11-21T13:17:15+00:00
"You have an empathetic approach which, added to your knowledge and wise guidance, has made the whole thing a lot less stressful"
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
2018-11-21T12:54:09+00:00
"Stacks takes great pride in their service, is an expert in their field and above all, demonstrated integrity in all our interaction with them"
"You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
2018-11-21T13:19:40+00:00
"You saved me many miles of driving and were very professional"
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
2018-11-21T13:12:00+00:00
"We were in a tricky housing situation, looking to buy a very specific type of house and needing to find it in a very specific time frame"
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
2018-11-21T13:18:01+00:00
"You have exceeded our expectations for a buy-side property service and have made the process a smooth one for us."
"Many thanks for your hard work and patience in assisting in buying our property. You made the whole process infinitely less stressful than it might have been"
2020-01-13T11:50:30+00:00
"Many thanks for your hard work and patience in assisting in buying our property. You made the whole process infinitely less stressful than it might have been"
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
2018-11-21T12:21:23+00:00
"Because I had invested in the process of working with a Buying Agent, I had the confidence to go ahead"
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
2018-11-21T12:57:31+00:00
"They didn’t try to persuade us to buy anything unsuitable."
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
2018-11-21T13:18:39+00:00
"You have found us a superb home which we feel fortunate to call our own."
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
2018-11-21T13:14:45+00:00
"Well done in taking us to a house we didn’t know we wanted … and then fell in love with!"
"We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
2018-11-21T13:12:46+00:00
"We were moving country – had booked the packers – and had nowhere to move into!"
"We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
2018-11-21T13:13:46+00:00
"We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone thinking of using such a service"
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
2018-11-21T12:41:04+00:00
"helped our parents downsize from the family home, in what was a traumatic move for them"
"We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
2020-01-13T11:51:31+00:00
"We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times"
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
2018-11-21T12:39:48+00:00
"great value to us during a difficult, competitive purchase"
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
2018-11-21T12:50:28+00:00
"Relentlessly provided us with the context and facts we needed to make an informed decision "
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
2018-11-21T12:43:48+00:00
"I gained a house, setting and location which are right for me"
"The best decision we could have made!"
2018-11-21T12:55:52+00:00
"The best decision we could have made!"
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"
2018-11-21T12:51:23+00:00
"Should I move again, I shall definitely use you again"

Click here to read more of why our clients need our help