Back to School & the ‘Empty Nest’ Syndrome
As I write this, my youngest daughter has just returned from her first day in year 12 (or Lower 6th as most of us will remember it), in another couple of years we’ll probably be just a few weeks from her starting at University. We’ll then be empty nesters and at the stage in our lives when we might consider if our current house is too big for our needs or not. We get called out by a lot of people in a similar situation who are assessing their options for the future. Most of the time the decision is not an easy one and on reflection the majority tend to opt to wait a bit longer before starting downsizing. What we often see is the way the house is lived in changing, that long awaited hobbies room can finally become a reality or the dining room can become a little more sophisticated.
At the other end of the spectrum is when the children start a new school, a friend of mine’s daughter started at her primary school today and they ended up with a different school than they were initially hoping for. It’s still a good school but they’re a lot closer to a couple of others they’d have been equally happy with. As it happens they’re not planning on moving to be closer to the school yet but maybe in the future that will be something they’ll consider.
Properties in good school catchment areas can make a massive difference to both the desirability and value of them, it is not unknown for properties on one side of a street to be 10% or even 20% more expensive than the other just based on the primary school you can get your child into. It’s a classic verification of the old Location Location Location adage but of course catchment areas can change, new schools can open up and Ofsted reports can vary dramatically with each inspection. All you can do is plan ahead based on the information that is currently out there!