Studying The Rule Book On Why It’s Always Worth Adding Schools To Your Home Buying Checklist
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When we move house, there’s always a lot to consider. This is why the vast majority of home buyers have what’s known as a ‘home buyers checklist’ – they want to make sure that they’re taking everything into account before committing to something that could otherwise end up falling short.
Most often these ‘checklists’ include key factors such as –
- Number of bedrooms
- Size of garden
- Off-street parking
- Proximity to amenities
For families with kids, schools also make an appearance and, whether you’ve got a toddler on your hand or a child who is already well on their schooling journey, this is an addition well worth adding for a few key reasons that we’re going to consider here.
# 1 – Most schools require residency
The best schools are in pretty high demand, and with such high amounts of applicants, there has to be some fair system to determine which kids get a place. To keep things fair, and to at least stem the tide of applicants, the vast majority of schools will operate on a zip code basis, requiring parents to provide an address that’s within a certain radius from the school itself.
As such, residency in the local area is the only real way to get your child into the best school for their future and their learning. By keeping this in mind as you start a house hunt, even if your child is a little way off school age (or not even born yet!) you can automatically bump yourself higher up any waiting lists, and give your child the best possible fighting chance of finding themselves in a school for fantastic prospects.
# 2 – Guaranteeing the longevity of your home
Buying a house is a major investment, and most of us would prefer to undertake this mammoth task as few times as possible. We often futureproof this investment, taking into account extra bedrooms for future kids, or proximity to town for when our youngsters want more independence.
Considering schools plays a huge part in this, ensuring that we can settle down into a property that suits us in the long term rather than facing another move a few years down the line.
This is the case even if you simply plan for children in the future, but it becomes a pressing priority for existing families who, if they fail to at least consider schools in the local area, may face yet another move as quickly as one or two years down the line.
# 3 – Waiting lists can be long
School waiting lists can be incredibly long, with some parents looking into putting their kid’s names down as soon as they find out that they’re pregnant (yes, really!) Given that, outside of requirements like residency, school admissions typically operate on a ‘first-come-first-serve’ basis, the sooner you can get the right school in your sights, the better chance your child has at getting accepted.
Even better, being newly moved to the area again means that you can ensure the longevity of your decision to warrant putting their names down as soon as you’re able.
While this is certainly still no guarantee of a place, it’s an effort that could greatly help your child’s prospects, especially if you make your interest known early by paying school visits and even making friends with parents whose children already attend, etc.
# 4 – Ensuring that your children can make local friends
Speaking of befriending existing school moms, make sure to search for the best local schools when you’re moving into a new house. This ensures that your child is in a decent position to make local friends, helping them to make this difficult transition, and ensuring that whether they’re starting school straight away or in a few years, they feel more comfortable doing so.
Houses within proximity to a decent school are especially important in this sense, ensuring that you may even end up moving in next door to, or a few houses down from, children who will attend that same school at some stage.
This proximity and the potential for friendship that it brings can be invaluable for making it easier when your kids do start in that new school, and it certainly wouldn’t be possible if they had to catch the bus from out of town every day.
# 5 – Schools are usually a good indicator of an area
Good schools in an area are also typically an indicator of what you can expect from that location in a general sense, much like other amenities such as shops, etc. High-performing schools not only prove the plus points of an area (the best schools are typically in the most desirable locations, after all,) but they also bring the benefit of providing the best possible set of values for the next generation in that location.
That’s not even to mention that just as you’re moving to the area with schools in mind, other families will do the same ensuring that this area continues to improve and attract a safe, family environment that’s guaranteed to serve your children and you moving forward.
A final word
Obviously, moving to an area based on schools alone would be a step too far, especially if you haven’t actually started a family yet. That said, if you do have a few areas to choose from, or if you’re looking to narrow your criteria down a little, then it certainly wouldn’t hurt to put schools pretty high up on that checklist.
As mentioned, proximity to the school in question is no guarantee of admission, so perhaps don’t put all your eggs in the school basket. Do, however, look out for schools that could potentially serve your kids well in the future, and consider how the decent schooling on offer improves the area in a more general sense to ensure a new neighborhood that you can feel at home in.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.