heart 2With term time beginning, it’s back to school for buyers and sellers alike to search for the prime home in school catchment areas.

The importance of a postcode has never been greater for parents looking to get their children into their first choice school. Prompted by word of mouth, recommendations, but most importantly that crucial Ofsted report, one in four families have recently moved in an attempt to be located within a desirable school catchment area. One in six have even bought or rented a second home in an attempt to get that golden spot, this is not to be recommended though due to strict conditions with regards to school registrations and is often seen as a “loophole” rather than a recommended course of action.

When looking for a new home, it is important to consider your location to a school, being inclusive of a school catchment area can be a valuable asset, increasing the value of your property. If proximity to schools is not in your list of must-haves, it might also be a consideration to avoid if attempting to keep your costs down.

When looking for the ideal home to start your family, or improve chances of getting into a higher ranking school, there are several things you can do.

The Ofsted results for your chosen town is the best place to start, this is going to give you a good indication of the areas you can focus on, the catchment area is public information and can be found online. It is worth being mindful that this information can, and most likely will, change dependant on a number of factors; rates of applications, local area growth and of course the number of siblings applying for the year’s intake.

If you are looking to move for school places, you will need to be living in the accommodation in time for the September term start, you will also need to present a proof of address for the application. The deadline date for school applications is January 15th, with exchange needing to happen prior to this date, and with an average completion time taking up to 12 weeks, September is the prime time to consider a move.

Moving of course does not guarantee a school place but is known to be a way of increasing chances. In a survey of 1,100, of those with children aged 4-18yrs, 10% sold to move schools.

With just 18 weeks until the 2017 intake school application deadline date, now is the perfect time to buy or sell. For a free valuation or for information within a specific catchment area, please contact your local branch or search online.

Ash Valeashvale@mackenziesmith.co.uk  – 01252 353030

Farnboroughfarnborough@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01252 375999

Fleetfleet@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01252 812121

Hookhook@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01256 764666

Hartley Wintneyhartleywintney@mackenziesmith.co.uk – 01252 844015