Is Living Near A School Good Or Bad Idea: Should You Buy?


School classroom - Is living near a school good or bad idea: Should You Buy

You may have found the perfect house to buy, then you realise it’s near a school. But the question is; should you buy this house or should you give it a miss?

There are a number of factors to consider when buying a house near to a school, which include noise, parking problems and congestion at certain times of the day, how easy or difficult it will be to sell the house in the future, what you can afford and what effect this will have on future house price increases. Which is why it is important to consider carefully whether living near a school is a good or bad idea.

Living near to a school can be good and bad, depending on how close to the school the house is. Right next door can be noisy at break times and the road will get congested at drop-off and pick up times. But living near a school can be good, as values can be up to 8% higher than houses further away.

Before you leave, you may also like to discover how you could save you up to £71,475 when you buy your next house if it would originally cost £350,000. Alternatively, if you propose to buy your next house for £250,000, the saving could be up to £51,852 instead.

To find out more, plus to get hold of my free mortgage savings calculator tool, please take a look at my video course about how to sell your house in under 2 weeks for more money.

Children at school - Is it bad to live next to a school

Is it bad to live next to a school?

It’s not always bad to live next to a school, but this depends on your tolerance to noisy kids when they are playing in the playground and the likelihood of loitering kids in the neighbourhood.

It can also be bad in the mornings and afternoons at drop-off and pickup times of children by parents.

Is it annoying to live next to a school?

Living next to a school can be annoying, especially at pickup and drop off times as parents can be selfish with their parking habits by parking across driveways, blocking the road and generally being rude.

A nearby school can also be annoying when noisy kids are outside playing in the playground.

Is it a good idea to buy a house near a school?

It can be a good idea to buy a house near a school as this can increase the value of the house, if the school has a good reputation.

Also, if your own children go to the nearby school, this makes it easier as your kids can walk to school.

How important is it to live close to school?

The importance of living close to a school includes being able to walk to school with your children with their friends and neighbours.

Also, houses in neighbourhoods with schools tend to be monitored more closely by police and local authorities, making it safer than other areas without schools.

Coins and growth - Do schools affect property values

Do schools affect property values?

Property values and property price growth of houses near good school catchment areas will be higher than houses outside of a good school catchment area, as demand will be greater for these types of house by parents with kids at the school.

The Department for Education reported on house prices and schools in 2017:

  • House prices near the best schools are higher than in the surrounding areas for both primary and secondary schools.
  • House prices near the 10% best-performing primary schools are 8.0% higher than in the surrounding area. This is reduced to 6.8% higher for the 10% best-performing non-selective secondary schools.
  • There is a clear link between the price paid for a home and access to good schools.

The above information has been taken from The Department of Education’s House prices and schools: do houses close to the best performing schools cost more report.

School classroom - What are the advantages of living near a school

What are the pros and cons of buying a property near a school?

As with anything, there are always pros and cons to consider. As far as buying a house near a school, the pros and cons include the following that I’ve listed as advantages and disadvantages.

What are the advantages of living near a school?

There are number of advantages of living near a school, which include:

  1. Property price growth tends to be higher in good catchment areas if the house isn’t right next to the school.
  2. Properties command a premium in good school catchment areas if the house isn’t right next to the school.
  3. Houses sell quickly in good catchment areas if the house isn’t right next to the school.
  4. Your kids can walk to school.
  5. If you are a teacher at the school, this makes for a quick and easy commute to work*.
  6. The school will generally be closed at weekends and during school holidays.
  7. If the house is right next to the school it may be cheaper.

* If you are a teacher, you will be out of your house when the kids are at school, and home when the kids have gone home.

What are the disadvantages of living near a school?

There are number of disadvantages of living near a school, which include:

  1. Living too near a school can be noisy when the kids are in the playground.
  2. Noise from children and parents at pickup and drop-off times may put you off.
  3. Schools roads get congested at drop-off and pickup times*.
  4. Some parents can be inconsiderate and will park across driveways at drop-off and pickup times.
  5. Parking on your road can be a problem at drop-off and pickup times.
  6. It can be harder to sell a house if it’s right next to a school, as some homebuyers will not like the noisy kids.
  7. Litter can be a problem living near a school.
  8. Loitering kids*.
  9. School buses will use and possibly block the road.
  10. School events like sports days may be on weekends, plus the grounds may be used by sporting clubs for football or rugby at weekends.
  11. If you leave for work at the same time as drop-off time, this will be a bit of a nightmare.
  12. May be a deal breaker if you are a shift worker needing to sleep during the day.
  13. May be too noisy if you work from home.

* The pick up and drop off times will only last for a short period of time, which will be around 20 minutes to half an hour. At this time it can be mayhem, but it’s over quite quickly. But note that it will be busier when its raining and there will be more parents in cars to pick up their children in the rain. But make sure the house has off-road parking or a driveway, as you may find it difficult to park otherwise.

** At good schools the teachers will be outside to supervise and move loiterers on, and in reality most kids cant’ get away from school fast enough.

Post-it notes - What to do before buying a house near a school

What to do before buying a house near a school

To avoid any regret and before you consider buying a house near a school, you should visit the house more than once. Especially visit at school opening and closing times to see how noisy and busy it gets.

See what the road is like and how many kids hang around near the house after school hours.

Another idea is to knock on neighbours doors and ask them their advice and see how they feel about living near the school. Ask them for honesty about noise and any anti social behaviour.

Make sure to visit at weekends, both on Saturday and Sunday. You don’t have to go inside the house, as you can park in the street and observe. Go for a walk up and down the street where you are thinking about buying.

Also, look into whether the school is hired out for parties, weight loss events, Zumba or slimming world, social events, parent evenings or other activities, as this could mean the street is constantly busy and congested. Visit the school and ask to speak with the caretaker or head of the school.

Make sure the house has double glazing, as this will help with noise, but in the summer months you may want the windows open, so this may not help.

The house should have a driveway or off-road parking if next to a school

Make sure the house has a driveway and off-road parking with somewhere to put your car. Parents will try to park as close to the school as possible, and if the house is close to the school, you may find it difficult to park at certain times of the day. This may include evenings and weekends too if the school is used by other clubs and for other activities too.

Be aware that kids will be kids and can be bad

Depending on the school and the age of the kids, kids can be very mischievous and some can engage in antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood.

This is more likely with secondary school children and teenagers than with primary school kids, as younger children tend to be collected from school by their parents.

House keys - Selling a house near a school

Selling a house near a school

If a house is right next to a school, this will put some buyers off, which will mean it is going to be more difficult to sell if the house is right next to a school.

This may be beneficial if you are a first time buyer or if you have a limited budget, as you may be able to buy a bigger house for your money.

Buying a house near a primary school

Children at primary schools are likely to be noisier than children from secondary or high schools, which means at breaktime it may be noisier living near a primary school.

Buying a house near to a secondary school or high school

Secondary schools or high schools tend to be larger than primary schools and have more kids, so this may cause more congestion at drop-off and pickup times and more noise during break times.

Children from secondary schools are more independent and are more prone to anti social behaviour than younger children.

Business person - Should you listen to what the estate agent tells you about living near a school

Should you listen to what the estate agent tells you about living near a school?

You should not listen to what estate agents tell you about buying a house near a school, as estate agents work for the seller.

Anything the estate agent tells you will be biased and should be taken with a pinch of salt, as they are only interested in their commission. Always do your own research on house prices in the area before you buy.

Should you listen to what the owner tells you about living near a school?

Be cautious about listening to what the sellers tell you about living near to a school, as they will tell you anything to sell their house to you.

You are better to ask neighbours and do your own surveying of the area before you buy to avoid buyers remorse after you’ve bought.

Should you buy a house near a bad school?

Comparable houses near bad schools are likely be cheaper than houses near good schools, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the cheaper house.

Schools often improve and if they do the school will become more popular and the houses nearby will increase in value. This could mean you’ve just struck gold.

But beware, according to Realtor.com a buying a house near a bad school is a complete, out-and-out disaster. A school where one teacher handles a class of 40 students with a slim graduation rate is usually an indicator of a deprived neighbourhood.

Kid screaming - How many decibels is a kids scream

How many decibels is a kids scream?

A scream can be as loud 100 decibels or more, with the world record being 129dB. As a comparison, 100dB is the equivalent to the sound of a snowmobile or an MP3 player at full volume. Plus 100dB is very loud and is dangerous for over 30 seconds.

If you would like to read more about loud sounds and how these can affect you, please have a look at this table: How loud decibel levels of noise are. For example, the record breaking scream of 129 dB is louder than a jet plane taking off, which is 120dB.

Why is this important when thinking about buying a house near to a school? The reason why decibel levels are important is that kids scream loudly, and can scream quite often when playing in a playground.

Which means if you live in a house near these screams, you may not like it. 100 decibels will travel a long way, which is demonstrated in a table on this article about buying a house near an airport.

The table measures 120bD and 80dB for flights taking off and landing: Airport noise levels and how decibels reduce with distance from the airport.

For example, a plane taking off with a noise level of 120 decibels will still be 80 decibels nearly a mile away (1.5km) from the airport.

Final thoughts on living near a school good or bad

When considering the good and bad of living near a school, think about your own working habits. For example, if you leave for work early and don’t get back until late, you will probably miss any of the noise and pickup and drop-off mayhem.

Then when you’re at home in the evenings and at the weekend, the school will likely be closed in any event, unless the school hosts events in the evenings and at weekends.

Also think carefully if you or your partner are shift workers, as you may be working at night and needing to sleep during the day.

If it’s noisy during the day with kids in the playground, this may be a deal breaker for you. It’s important to understand that kids can be very noisy, they can scream quite randomly, so this is difficult to get used to.

Finally, it also depends on how big the school is and how many pupils attend. If it’s a very small primary school vs a large secondary school, living next door or near to these different types of school will be totally different.

Think about this, if you are hesitant for some of the reasons explained in this article, like noisy kids and a busy road at school opening and closing times, other buyers will be the same.

This could mean it will be more difficult to sell a house if it’s too close to a school.

An important read before you go

Finally, you may also like to discover how you could save you up to £71,475 when you buy your next house if it would originally cost £350,000. Alternatively, if you propose to buy your next house for £250,000, the saving could be up to £51,852 instead.

To find out more, plus to get hold of my free mortgage savings calculator tool, please take a look at my video course about how to sell your house in under 2 weeks for more money.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about living near a school good or bad

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