Finding the perfect family home is often at the top of the priority list for expectant parents. However, those little bundle of joys grow far quicker than most people think. Before you know it, you’re faced with the prospect of applying for your preferred primary or secondary school
Getting the place you want for your child has been referred to as a postcode lottery as local authorities impose strict guidelines and geographical constraints to dictate the school you’ll actually be allocated. Although yes, in theory you will have a choice, the popular schools are often oversubscribed, so you aren’t guaranteed that you will get that desired place.
So, what can you do to try to increase your chances of securing your preferred placement? Is it time to move and what are the other options?
Timing is everything. There are deadlines that need to be met when applying for primary or secondary school places and you need to be living in the catchment address when your submission is made. Secondary school places usually need to be requested by the end of October, and primary towards the end of January. It is always advisable to check key dates with your local authority.
If you are looking to sell your house to move closer to the education establishment of choice, then between April and June is the time to think about putting it up for sale due to the better weather and the longer hours of day light. This gives you time to secure a buyer and get the right property for your family before the mass influx of families who are eager to move do the same. Leave it too late and you’ll see that the property market in August tends to get flooded with new homes coming up for sale.
A property in a popular catchment area can have a higher price tag attached to it due to demand. This could mean either having to increase your current mortgage to fund the move or downsizing to absorb the cost. It isn’t unheard of that people make the move to secure the place and then sell again shortly after. Again, another costly exercise.
Another consideration for homeowners is to rent out their property and become a tenant in a catchment area. This could possibly be a cheaper option on a short-term lease over buying.
For those who already privately rent, moving for a primary school and later a secondary school can be the simplest option. However, the rental market is still moving rapidly so you have to be quick to view and sign up. If you’ve just signed a new tenancy, then this can be problematic unless there is a short break clause included.
Moving for the sake of a school can be a costly and expensive exercise so it is always advisable to do the calculations and plan accordingly. Not everything should balance on an Ofsted rating as these can also change.
If you need more advice in buying, selling or renting call Jacobs Steel on 01903 500004. We have more than 38 years of industry and local knowledge, and a passion for helping people with our professional and friendly advice. But don’t just take our word for it - we have received more than 900 5-star Google reviews.
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