Put schools at the top of your property search and go to the top of the class
14 March 2017
Once I’d decided it was time to move out of London to the country, the next step was not to start looking at potential properties but at schools. We always advise clients to start their search in that order – school first, property second. It is a chicken and egg situation: something has to come first and from experience it is better for the family as a whole that it is the school.
Ideally, parents should look at three Prep schools before narrowing their choice to two of these. Once this is done, you can set your property search parameters. For example, I have one client looking at Twyford School in Winchester and Farleigh School in Andover, which are 40 minutes apart and our search is around both of these schools. The ideal is no more than 20 minutes journey time in the car to school in the morning – you don’t want to be travelling more than that, particularly if you have three children with different pick-up times.
The idea of searching for a family home around two schools is becoming more commonplace because of the limited housing stock available. As buying agents, once we know your two Prep schools of choice we can start the property search, with the final decision as to which school you opt for largely depending on the house.
At the moment, it is all systems go for clients looking to be settled in their new home before the schools go back in September. As for us, we have sold our family home in Wandsworth and are under offer on a property just outside Winchester, chosen partly because it is a good commute for my husband into London. My daughter will soon have her assessment day at Prince’s Mead School – a Prep school chosen over another because it is more convenient to our new home and the crucial 20 minutes away in the car.