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

Moving with Children

Moving house can be stressful in itself – it is known as one of the three most stressful things a person can do. Add children into the equation and it can become extremely challenging. For a child of any age, moving house can bring worries and anxiety to the forefront of...

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...

Property 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 property with an annexe – or some form of annexe option – is one of the single most useful features a property can have.  Why...

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...

Start your property search today

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

    Your Details

    Your property requirements:

    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.

    “You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

    “We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

    “We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

    “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.”

    “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.”

    “Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

    “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.

    “I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

    “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

    “You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

    “We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

    “I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Receive updates about the world of property, straight to your inbox.

    * indicates required