One of the biggest decisions for a parent is deciding which school their children will one day attend. Some start researching their children’s educational institutions from birth or even before. The competition for space in good schools is increasing every year, so much so that some parents are on the waiting list before they even fall pregnant.
There is a tremendous demand for homes close to good schools or universities, as properties in these zones tend to hold their value much better in tough economic times. He says buyers that have kids will often migrate and be drawn to these areas and are likely prepared to pay a premium for these properties.
Education zones have also become a popular consideration for many people who don’t have kids as they will buy property as a buy-to-let investment option. Investing in a school or varsity district will mean that the properties are easy to rent out. This demand yields a higher rental income, and the rental periods are usually longer as the families will most likely wish for their child to complete their schooling career before relocating.
According to Hutchison, interest in student housing has become increasingly popular over the years with the demand growing more and more as urban areas extend to, what used to be, outlying areas and travelling becomes ever more difficult with higher fuel prices and transport costs.
Buying a house is usually for the long haul, so having an educational institution in your neighbourhood can boost your property’s value. However, it is important that you understand that with the many benefits, there are some nuisances that cannot be avoided.
Hutchison shares the benefits as well as the possible negatives of owning property in an education zone:
1. Future planning
You won’t have to worry about moving closer to a school when your children reach school-going age.
2. Higher property values
If the home is in a good school zone, the higher your resale value will be when the time comes to sell your house.
3. Easy to sell or rent
Homes close to schools tend to have a constant demand, so if you choose to sell or rent your home down the line, finding a buyer or tenant will be much easier.
4. Safe neighbourhood
Areas with schools generally tend to be safer to live in as they are well monitored and inhabited by people who are as concerned with safety and security as you are.
5. Child-friendly environment
Your kids will have more time and opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities. Being able to walk to these areas is a plus, especially for working parents with multiple children.
Eliminates wasted time and sitting in traffic.
The expense of driving to and from school adds up – living close to school decreases extra fuel costs.
Expect increased traffic and noise of idling cars when parents drop kids off and collect them at the end of the day.
Parents might park in front of your house while waiting for their kids at pick-up or drop-off time, as well as when there are school events.
You might hear kids practisng their sport on a weekly basis after school and on weekends. Depending on the proximity, you might even hear the school bell ringing between classes and kids playing during break times.
If your house is close to the school, scholars might loiter around your house while waiting to be picked up. They might wreak havoc with graffiti, noise and other teenage up-to-no-good activities.
5. Degrading of the school
There is no guarantee that a school will remain a good school down the line, it may decline or even close. This is more of a concern if you plan to stay in the home a long time.
Hutchison says it is always worthwhile exploring one’s options. Speak to an area specialist who will be able to advise you on past area trends and statistics, as well as assist with predicting what the market could be doing in the next few years. Remember that this is your largest asset, and you need to ensure you make the right choice, he says.