When the kids start to grow up and education becomes a priority, buying property in a school catchment zone is essential. However, suitable homes around Melbourne's best schools can be expensive, and there's a lot of organising to be done before you start house hunting.
Buying property in a school catchment zone
Public schools open enrollments in May for the following year, so it's usually best to have a plan in place a few months before that date. When you're deciding, consider what's important to you and your child:
- Does your child have any special needs?
- Are you and your child's priorities academic, sport or art?
- Where does your child want to go?
If you're struggling to make a decision, have a look at the Better Education or Myschool websites. Here you'll be able to find more information on the school's results, priorities and reputation which should help you decide.
There's a lot of organising to be done before you start house hunting.
School zones driving Melbourne property growth
Making a decision on a school is the easy part, – the real challenges come when you have to buy property in the relevant school catchment zone. In fact, data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria shows that property in the Melbourne's best school catchment zones often comes at a far higher price.
In fact, homes inside the best school catchment zones in the city sometimes go for as much as $600,000 more than those just outside. This trend holds true throughout Melbourne, and could make things difficult for young parents. On the other hand, it may be something for pragmatic Melbourne property investors to consider.
Tips on buying in a Melbourne school catchment zone
Some schools have rules mandating that you must have lived in the area for a year or more to be eligible, so make sure you're clear on the rules before you start to plan. Next, when buying a home in a school zone, avoid the fringe of the area if possible. As population density increases the catchment areas can shrink. If you're on the edge you may find you've suddenly been cut out of the zone, which could cause your property's value to drop (and ruin your well-laid plans).
When you've picked a school and it's time to buy property in Melbourne, make sure you get the best local advice possible. With the right help and a little luck, purchasing property in a desirable school zone could reap great rewards for both you and your little ones.