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To send my child to a "bad" school?

(41 Posts)
Pixiedust2017 Sat 11-Aug-18 07:07:55

Apologies for shamelessly posting here for traffic but I would really appreciate some opinions.
I shall attempt to keep it brief.
I live in a country with a housing crisis, and the most expensive houses in the world according to the OECD. We currently live in a very middle class area with great schools, and a lovely community and family feel to it.
We have managed to be able to save up enough for a 10% deposit on a house in this area but we just keep being outbid on houses (due to a horrific sales process I had never heard of in the UK) and are slowly being priced out of the market here.
However, 5 minutes further up the train tracks and an additional 10 minute walk there is a suburb in which we can afford 20% deposit on a house which is twice the size of a house we can afford in the area we live now. These are also free standing houses as opposed to flats and apartments and cross-leases which are the only places we can currently afford now where we live. The houses in the cheaper area also have enormous fenced gardens and off street parking, nothing like what we can afford where we currently are.
Additionally with buying in the cheap area in 5 years or so time we would have almost paid of the whole mortgage on the cheap house and would be looking to move back to where we live now and let the cheap house out as a rental, using the equity on it as a deposit.
The issue is this, the area with the cheaper housing is supposed to be a "bad" area. It is famous for having drug problems and a heavy gang influence.
I am not so much bothered by this, as the crime rate here is so much lower than the UK that I think a "high" crime rate here is equal to about what you would find in most British cities.
What I am concerned about is that the schools in the area all have the lowest possible ratings and are mostly populated with children who speak English as a second language.
This plan however could mean that for a few years at least my child would be going to one of the worst schools in the entire region...
AIBU to consider this? Or should we keep trying to save up more and stay put where we are?

CurlyWurlyTwirly Sat 11-Aug-18 07:12:03

If the good schools area is only 10 minutes away, why can’t you put your child in the good school.?
Also who would potential tenants be if you buy to let?

Pixiedust2017 Sat 11-Aug-18 07:14:57

We can't send her to a good school as there is a strict zoning structure in place, we can put ourselves in for the ballot for them but there is no guarantee we will get the places.
We have heard that the area is slowly becoming more and more popular with "young" professionals as it is fast becoming the only area anyone can afford to buy or rent in. Apparently a lot of investors and landlord in the area are primarily marketing their rentals for young professionals so I guess that is who we would target.

Pinkvoid Sat 11-Aug-18 07:24:12

I would personally stay in the nice area without the gang influence and continue sending my DC to the good school.

frontera Sat 11-Aug-18 07:26:30

I'd move to the bad area. By doing that you're looking after the future of your whole family. You could make a big effort with your kid at home to make sure you're the main influence on him/her.

Amanduh Sat 11-Aug-18 07:34:41

I wouldn’t want to live in a bad area full of gangs and send my child to a bad school with the lowest possible ratings. No way.

RiverTam Sat 11-Aug-18 07:36:06

Good area and school. Every time.

ThePricklySheep Sat 11-Aug-18 07:38:17

Can you stay in the good area until they’ve started at the school and then move to the bad area?

TheCatFromOuterSpace Sat 11-Aug-18 07:45:28

How old is your child? If school is a few years away then there is plenty of time for the school to improve before they start - which is probably quite likely if lots of new families are moving into the area. If school is imminent then I might wait until they have a place at the good school before you move.

Oysterbabe Sat 11-Aug-18 07:49:28

The good school trumps everything.

coolwalking Sat 11-Aug-18 07:53:09

Are you in NZ? We were in similar position and stayed in the better school zone. Bought a smaller house and although it's annoying not to have space, we are thrilled with the school.

Pixiedust2017 Sat 11-Aug-18 08:07:16

Yes we are in NZ smile
We are happy to buy a smaller place. We are however now being unable to afford them. 2 bed units are now starting to sell here for more than a mortgage we can get approved for. It is starting to become a catch up game of how much we can save vs house price rises.
She is also only 7 months at the moment (Yes I know, I worry too much and plan far too in advance sad )

coolwalking Sat 11-Aug-18 08:13:52

We bought our house 6 years ago when our kid was only 1. You do right to think about this. Your idea about buying a place then renting it out is good but if house prices don't rise in the bad area, will you be able to still get another mortgage without the equity?
Are you in Auckland?

Shednik Sat 11-Aug-18 08:16:59

She's a baby? What age do they start school there? You say you'd be able to move back in five years. Would that be in time to start school?

coolwalking Sat 11-Aug-18 08:18:01

School starts on 5th Birthday here

mindutopia Sat 11-Aug-18 08:18:26

If in 5 years or so, you would plan to move, then why not? Surely, she'll only just be starting school then anyway and with money saved on housing, could you put her in private school for a couple years if you are genuinely worried?

Pixiedust2017 Sat 11-Aug-18 08:21:38

We are not in Auckland (thankfully) as I can only imagine that it would be 10 x worse there!
As long as house prices do not drop significantly we would have a very large amount in equity. We earn relatively good money and with the cheap house we can afford to make significant overpayments on the mortgage to get the equity higher.
The more expensive houses, because of the bigger mortgage and interest rates mean that we would be much worse off financially and almost all of our "extra" money would be eaten up by mortgage repayments.
It is just so frustrating! The system seems designed to keep us trapped. It seems to be a similar situation with my friends back in the UK but the houses available to them are at least half the price!
Financially it seems to make sense to go for the cheap house but all of my friends and colleagues have adamantly told us that they would never move to this area.

Happygolucky009 Sat 11-Aug-18 08:23:31

I live in the nice part of a deprived area, benefiting from a bigger house. Is this an option?

Madeline18 Sat 11-Aug-18 08:28:26

Are you in Wellington? Tenders are hard work but the buying process is easy here once you actually get your tender accepted, there just aren't bought houses to go round so the bidding is crazy! I would go Aotea or Whitby if I was moving out of town. I wouldn't buy in a bad part of Upper Hutt in particular but lots of people moving to Naenae, Wainuiomata etc so those schools will get much better over the next 5 years as the socioeconomic dynamic changes.

GreenTulips Sat 11-Aug-18 08:29:11

I've lived in 'bad' areas and I've never been burgled or approached in the street. Those in gangs tend to keep themselves to themselves as they are very self centered people - there's no reason you or your child would be involved.
Plus gangs do grow up and move on

My Gran lived in a poor area and the gangs eventually grew up and moved on with their own family the area had investment and is now a great place to live

As schooling is you main concern - go visit - but if lots of young new families who agree with education are moving in then the school will change anyway

I say go for it - plan short term and see where it gets you - I'm not seeing a downside at this stage

FromNowOn Sat 11-Aug-18 08:31:15

Can’t you wait until she’s in a good school then move?

We discounted areas that were in catchment for bad schools. Good schools were top of our list when we bought a house.

Caribbeanyesplease Sat 11-Aug-18 08:31:23

For me

Schooling over housing 100%

6 years ago we had £500k budget. Could have bought a lovely big house

We bought a (lovely) 2 bed flat. Why? Because it’s spittijg distance from one of the best primaries in the country.

No regrets, none whatsoever.

Apehouse Sat 11-Aug-18 09:15:45

Can you send her to private school with the money you save?

altiara Sat 11-Aug-18 09:40:54

I know you said you weren’t bothered, but it would really bother me to live in an area famous for drugs and gangs and I wouldn’t think buying a property in this kind of area would be an investment either.

I’d want to live somewhere nice and get to know people so when DC were old enough for School you’d already know a few people around and be able to do lift shares etc for School or clubs.

cochineal7 Sat 11-Aug-18 09:59:02

You cannot be the only one in this position so more people will do this move. Gentrification has its drawbacks but can also make things better. Schools in 5 years can change quite a lot. Our local school was considered bad a few years back and is now one of the most desirable schools in the area, rated outstanding.

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