School Ratings Impact Property Prices

Regardless of whether you have children or not, if you are looking to purchase a property, it is best to choose a home that is near a well-rated school. Why? Because school ratings affect demand and have an impact on property prices.

According to a study published in the Financial Times, an increase in a school’s Ofsted rating inadvertently boosts property prices in the area. The data revealed that homes located in well-heeled areas received an immediate increase in their value when a local primary school was awarded a higher Ofsted rating.

The Ofsted rating is used by parents across the country to determine school performance and assess whether they would want to send their children to that particular school.  The rating is given more weight by parents than any other school performance measures such as exam results. Schools with an “Outstanding” rating are in high demand among parents, which in turn increases the demand for property within an easily commutable distance. As demand increases, so does the value of the homes in the catchment area as buyers are prepared to pay more to live there. In certain circumstances, buyers have been known to offer between 5% and 10% over market value for the right home within the right catchment area.

The findings of the study, which looked at the ratings of 8,000 primary schools in England, found that prices of properties located in affluent areas where a school’s rating had been improved by one notch, rose by as much as 1.5% on average. The impact on home values in less-affluent or disadvantaged areas was not as apparent, with prices in those neighbourhoods only increasing by approximately 0.5% on average. This could be a result of other factors in those areas negatively affecting demand in those areas.

While an improvement in the Ofsted rating had a positive impact on housing prices, the opposite held true when a school was downgraded with home prices taking a knock in those areas by the same margins.

With Ofsted having such a bearing on the property prices in an area, property search portals have introduced a ‘school checker’ feature which shows a school’s most recent rating, the catchment area and the distance from the property.

At the end of the day, it is clear that people are willing to pay more for a home if it means they have given their children the opportunity at a better-quality education.

A great real estate agent will be able to provide insight on the schools in the neighbourhoods where you’re looking to buy. Find one to work with here.


Giving a fresh new look to an outdated bathroom can modernise and add value to your home. Renovations and contemporary remodelling of bathrooms are known to boost the marketability of a home and, also, bathrooms and kitchens are the two areas of a home where the cost of the renovation can be largely recouped on the sale of the property.

Over the past few years, bathroom renovations have become extremely popular with many opting to renovate their bathrooms before any other room in the home, because bathrooms and kitchens are major focal points that buyers look at before they put in an offer to purchase a property. Additionally, bathrooms are smaller than other rooms in the home, so the cost of renovation can be managed more effectively.

Here are some important things to consider before you begin renovating your bathroom.

Select Elegant Fixtures.

Subtle changes can make a big difference to the overall feel of the bathroom. Selecting the right fixtures will be key to transforming your bathroom. An elegant sink with a curvaceous shape will exude beauty much more than a bulky vanity unit.

If you have a large bathroom, decorative feet on a freestanding bath can be a subtle design feature that adds character and elegance to the space. However, you don’t need a huge bathroom in order to make it special.  Accessories like robe hooks and soap dishes can be just as effective in revitalising the room.

Don’t buy a bath until you sit in it.

A 1500mm bath accommodates most people, however, assuming it is the right fit for you by sight can be a mistake you will live to regret. It may raise an eyebrow or two, but before you buy a bath, sit in it, lie down in it and pretend you are having a bath.

Things to think about is whether it provides you with enough room for you to stretch out and be comfortable, as well as whether it provides a strong foothold. First, try it, then but it.

Choose Durable Flooring.

Out of all the floors in your home, the bathroom floor needs to endure the most strenuous daily treatment.  Ideally, the floor needs to be made of a hard-wearing, water-resistant material such as ceramic, marble or stone. The floor will also need to be sealed to ensure that water doesn’t get under the flooring and cause damage. The right floor will prolong the life of the bathroom and ensure you are enjoying it for years to come.

 Mirror, Mirror On The Wall.

Both practical and beautiful, mirrors are a crucial element to any bathroom. A well-designed mirror can be the focal point of the room while proving the illusion of space. A mirrored cabinet is also a great way to add an elegant feature to the room, which is ideal for hiding away an unsightly mix of toiletries.

Floor Space Is Considered Good.

Storage cabinets on the walls are a functional way to save floor space. To avoid cluttering the room, the cabinets should have an interior depth of at least three inches and a door flush with the wall.

A Built-In Shower Area.

A great way to add value to the property is with a built-in shower area. Steer away from the confinement of a traditional shower with an open shower area which eye-catching and will set your bathroom apart.

Good Lighting Is Key.

Lighting sets the overall mood of the room and can make all the difference in creating the right atmosphere. If the lighting doesn’t work with the space it can really undersell a bathroom, so make sure you get it right.

Purchase A Quality Throne.

The toilet is an essential part of the bathroom, which is why it is so important to get the right one. Apart from its aesthetics, it is best to opt for a well-built toilet that is made to last than buying a cheap one out of convenience. Also, make sure it is the right height and size for the space.

Indulge Yourself.

If you have space, make the room a luxury haven where you can escape to and relax. Add a few indulgent elements such as a television, fireplace, some exercise equipment or even a large comfortable occasional chair. The room is yours to create – enjoy it.

5 Budgeting tips to help you save for a down payment

Here are a few tips to help you on your journey to becoming a homeowner:

1.Track Every Pound

Find out exactly where your money goes each month by keeping track of every single you purchase over 30 days. Review your card and bank statements to categorise where you spend each pound.

2. Rate Every Purchase

Using the month of expenditures, rate each item or service you bought as a “want” or “need”

3. Set Savings Goals

Using your “needs” and “wants” list determine where you can realistically cut spending. Use the budget to set monthly and yearly savings goals.

4. Set Aside Funds

Create a separate savings account for your down payment. It’s not only easier to track but blocking off funds may make you think twice before dipping into that money for something other than your future home.

5. Save Automatically

Set up a “down payment” savings account and have a set amount automatically transferred each month.

Spring clean to help sell your home

As the temperatures rise and more buyers venture out to look for homes, the warmer months are the ideal time for would-be sellers to spring clean their home and prepare for listing on the market. There are a few things that homeowners can do to get their property ready for sale and ensure that it stands out from the competition.

Make the first impression count – It takes as little as eight seconds for a buyer to decide whether they like a property or not.  You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it counts in the right way. If a buyer has to choose between two homes within the same price range and area, both offering similar features, then the distinguishing factor will be the look and buyer’s overall first impression of the property.

The first impression of a home is created by the potential buyers’ sensory perception of the property. It will be based on what they see, hear, smell and feel when they first enter the home. All of these elements contribute to and influence the overall feel of the home, which will generate an emotional response. If this experience is positive and results in a favourable impression, it is more likely that the buyer will feel compelled to make an offer.

Get an objective second opinion – Homeowners often have an emotional attachment to their home, which can make it difficult to have an objective view. Because of this, it’s advisable to call in a trusted second opinion about what improvements might need to be made to get the home ready for sale. You might be tempted to avoid input from others, however, an objective second pair of eyes can help you see your home from an outsider’s perspective. Seek out honest opinions that focus on both the home’s good points as well as the bad. If you are worried about possible conflict with friends or family, a trusted estate agent will give their honest and direct opinion about what should be done to make the home more marketable.

Spring cleaning is not just about cleaning – Once the areas of improvement are identified, it is time to put in the work and clean and make the necessary changes to the home. Apart from washing and scrubbing the home, spring cleaning also entails decluttering.

Attention should be paid to every detail in the home, ensuring that even the slightest cracked window pane is replaced. Buyers will be keeping their eyes open for things that are wrong with the home.  Remember that the home is competing with others on the market, so it is imperative that every effort is made to ensure the home is in its best condition.

Allow buyers to picture themselves living there – Make buyers feel as welcome as possible in the home. Potential buyers need the space to be able to view the home at their leisure and be able to visualise themselves living in there. Packing away personal items and photos will make buyers feel more at ease and will help them envisage themselves in the home. It is also best to decorate or paint the home in neutral, muted colours with only a few well-placed items to add interest and warmth. For example, a vase with some fresh flowers or potpourri in the bathroom will aesthetically enhance the home and make it smell good. Home decor magazines are a great resource for tips.

Do away with bad odours – Unpleasant odours will potentially drive buyers away so ensure that the home smells inviting. Traces of food, pets or smoking and other disagreeable odours can kill deals fast. Having the carpets professionally cleaned, for example, will help remove bad smells and will enhance the look of the home.

Ensuring the home is market ready will be a vital element in setting the property apart from others in the neighbourhood and will give you an advantage in today’s competitive real estate market.