Selling your home to secure the right school catchment area – really?!

It might seem like a drastic solution, but some people are moving to secure a better quality of education for their children. Quick Move Now’s guest blogger, Sarah Bosley, is doing just that – read her story here…

I am having a panic as I need to sell my house. I have two small children and the eldest will be heading off to school next September. This means I will have to put my choices into our local council by the end of the year and this, in turn, means I need to be living close to a good school by that time.

I like my house. A lot. Okay, so the garden could be a bit bigger and a home office would be a bonus, but in general I like it. It has grown from a young, carefree couple’s town centre pad, to a family home bursting with toys, with fingerprints on the windows and tiny pink shoes filling the porch. And therein lies the problem.

It was great when we sold our old flat and made the step up the property ladder, but we didn’t have children then, so didn’t consider the schools nearby. We live in a nice town in leafy Berkshire, so I didn’t believe that some of the schools may not be so great. Unfortunately, it turns out our catchment school is one of those not so great ones.

After some deliberation, we put our house on the market in order to get round the catchment area problem. But as we all know, now is not a good time to do that. We had sold our previous flat at a great time, getting full asking price from the first person that looked round it before it even officially went on the market.

I suppose I assumed it would be reasonably easy again – but how wrong can one woman be?

We’ve dropped the price twice now and even the initial valuation was below what we paid for it. We are just avoiding negative equity – but only just – and so cannot afford to go much lower.

It appears that I am not alone either. School catchment is one of the top priorities when buying a new home these days, which narrows down the number of people who will consider buying my house.

We’ve had two estate agents and despite the new ones doing everything they can for us, eight months on, the house just won’t sell.

I am filled with dread every time I think about completing the schools application form and my stress is beginning to take its toll.

I decided that I can’t just sit and wait, hoping for the market to improve, so decided to see if there were any other options. Firstly, it’s a long shot, but we may be able to get into an out of catchment school, depending on their subscription rates. Secondly, I can rely on using a home buyer if I can’t sell on the open market. And thirdly, we could rent our house out and rent another house in a good catchment area.

I will keep you posted as to what happens. It may seem over the top to go through the hassle of a house sale in order for my children to attend a better school, but it’s important to me that they get a good education so I guess that’s what we’ll have to do!

Sarah Bosley is a freelance writer and mum of two. She lives in Berkshire.

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 24th April 2013
Last updated on 20th April 2017

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