14 August 2018
How the particular demands of working parents shape a property search.
A property search is very specific to each client, who will have his or her own particular set of requirements and must-haves. However, increasingly we are finding that both husband and wife work, which produces a number of fairly similar broad requirements when it comes to the property search.
1) Leaning towards properties within easy reach of good schools and rail links. After a quick dash to do the school drop-off, both parents often have to catch a train into work, and get back in time for pick-up, whether it’s straight from school or an after-school club. Living miles away from the school or the train station is not a viable option.
2) Parents are tending to opt for day schools rather than boarding. If you have to drive there every day, or your child has to get the bus, then this impacts the property search as the school should be no more than 30 minutes away, ideally 20 minutes to make life easier.
3) Any old rail connection won’t do – speed is of the utmost importance in order to get home from work before the children go to bed. Train journey times are subjective though – some clients are prepared to travel longer than others, depending on the setting required.
4) If you are catching the train every day then proximity to the train station is also important – ideally 15/20 minutes drive maximum.
5) Annexes are in demand for a multitude of reasons – to house parents helping out with childcare on a casual basis or for nannies. Elderly parents can also be housed in an annex, allowing them to hold onto some independence and also help out with babysitting. Those looking for a second income stream also see the attraction of Airbnb.
6) A lively community. It’s not just about rail links and schools – a vibrant market town with plenty going on for all the family also drives a property purchase. A Waitrose is fairly standard but more than that, buyers are after food and music festivals, rugby clubs, beaver/cub/scout packs and tennis clubs.
7) A healthy lifestyle is also near the top of the list - a local gym is a pull for those obsessed with fitness, triathlons and spinning for the Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra) in winter when the can’t get out on the roads.