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Buying a Fylde property near a good school

If you think that the scramble to buy homes near good schools is something that faces only Londoners, think again.

Location, location, location, they say. And according to a report by builder Redrow, the location that really matters is near a good school. Their research puts good schools top of homebuyers’ priorities.

More research by Santander reveals that 1 in 4 families in the UK have moved home to be nearer their preferred school. If you’re one of them, you’ll already know that sometimes it’s worth paying a little more to secure a place at the school of your choice. But even if you don’t have school-age children, moving into the catchment area of a good school can still make sound financial sense.

Catchment costs?

It could be worse. In the capital, some schools are so oversubscribed that even living on the same street as your preferred choice isn’t necessarily enough to get your child through the front door.

Whilst you don’t face quite that level of challenge when choosing your Fylde school, every good school in the area is oversubscribed. Catchment area isn’t the first consideration on the list (that honour goes to looked after children and those with special needs), but after that the pecking order moves on to children in the area with siblings already at the school, followed by those living in the catchment area.

It is likely to cost extra to buy a house in the catchment area of a good school. According to the Santander survey, it’s Londoners who pay the most (in terms of ££s) to move nearer a school, although the highest percentage increase is borne by those in the north of Scotland. The stats show Lancashire’s increase in low double figures.

So moving nearer to the school of your choice is likely to cost you – but it’s a cost families are frequently choosing to bear.

Closing catchments

There is, of course, a knock on effect of buying Fylde properties in specific school catchment areas. The more homeowners who move into the area with school-age children, the greater the chance that a catchment area will shrink to take account of the fact.

So if you’re considering buying a Fylde property on the current fringes of your chosen catchment area, bear in mind that catchment areas can shift. It would be an expensive mistake to buy into an area, only to find yourself out of it again by the time your application was due.

Good news for sellers and buyers?

If you’re selling a Fylde property that happens to be within the catchment area of a good school, the news that you’ll be able to charge a premium is likely to put a big smile on your face.

Yet it’s good news for buyers too – because as long as a good school stays good, the house you’re buying will continue to be worth more. That’s good news if you eventually come to sell. But it will also do your credit rating, and your chances of securing a good deal when your current mortgage rate expires, no harm either.

Reputations can go up as well as down

Like the caveats you see attached to every investment opportunity, a school’s reputation isn’t fixed – and a lot can happen between Ofsted inspections. A shrewd property investor will be wise to look at the local news, online forums and parents’ groups for anything that might suggest that a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ award could be about to be gained/lost.

Start your search

Want to buy a Fylde property close to your chosen school? If you already know the area, start your search here. And if you’re unsure where you should be looking, give us a call on 01253 883311.

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