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Owning a home v paying for private education .. Wwyd?

(41 Posts)
Rachelly123 Fri 14-Oct-16 20:07:54

I've spent the last 2 years getting my life back on track after becoming a single mum to 3 year old dd. My career is going well and we rent a small modest terraced in a nice area.

Dd attends pre school in a local independent school - the cost is the same as other local nurseries so it was a no brainier to send her there.

She is due to start reception in just under 2 years and I am starting to consider primary schools. She has the opportunity to go to another local independent on a 50% bursary- which would mean me paying around £500 per month for the first couple of years (obviously the annual fees increase year on year)

My dilemma is, if I send her to the independent school I will never be in a. Position to save for a mortgage in the future. Meaning we will rent for the foreseeable.
Wwyd? Would you put your child's education first or focus on securing a mortgage?

Wigeon Fri 14-Oct-16 20:09:48

Or you could investigate good local state schools, thus both putting your child's education first AND saving to buy a house?

DancingDinosaur Fri 14-Oct-16 20:11:48

I'd get the mortgage and look for a house near a good state school.

PikachuSayBoo Fri 14-Oct-16 20:13:31

Secure a mortgage without a doubt.

Having a secure home is vitally important for a child. Don't risk being given notice and having to move house frequently. Think about your future. Do you still want to renting when you're a pensioner?

State education is not dreadful. Find some decent/good state schools. To be honest I think what happens at home is just as important as what happens in the class. So encourage learning, reading, help with homework, go to museums, etc.

Dd went to a slightly ropy primary initially so we moved schools to a much better one. Secondary was also not the best due to limited options locally but she's doing ok. Ive bought her revision books and printed resources off the internet.

redcaryellowcar Fri 14-Oct-16 20:13:56

I would visit state and private schools, but also consider what would happen if you could no longer afford private school?

isthistoonosy Fri 14-Oct-16 20:13:57

i'd get a house and try to get one near a good primary

Rachelly123 Fri 14-Oct-16 20:15:10

Wigeon thanks for your reply
I should have mentioned - state schools in my are very average and those local schools that are outstanding have ridiculously small catchment area with low intake.

SpeckledyBanana Fri 14-Oct-16 20:15:39

House comes first, there is no decision to make IMVHO.

Kennington Fri 14-Oct-16 20:15:42

I would get a house.
I pay for school for various reasons and I find it much more expensive than at face value. In fact not a week goes by without a request for cash. I am really surprised by the amount of extras.

Sgoinneal Fri 14-Oct-16 20:16:27

House no question.

ymmv Fri 14-Oct-16 20:16:57

secure a home. There's nothing wrong with going to state schools.

DancingDinosaur Fri 14-Oct-16 20:17:51

Can't you move to the small catchment area? I wouldn't give up the chance of my own home for private school fees.

Dozer Fri 14-Oct-16 20:17:53

House. I'd first rent in catchment for the most popular school, then buy in a cheaper area but within distance of school!

Matchingbluesocks Fri 14-Oct-16 20:18:16

If the choice was literally £500 a month or not I would pay for the school. Because £500 a month isn't really anything like the opportunity to buy a house. You'd only save £6k a year (I'm not saying it's nothing but it's hardly a straight choice between house/ no house)

I would look into other ways to own (shared ownership? Equity loan scheme?) which are perfectly suited to you

You also have no idea where you'll be in 5 years- you might meet someone and buy with them.

Girlwhowearsglasses Fri 14-Oct-16 20:19:07

Go and visit all the local primaries at their Christmas fairs, really worth it. Have a proper look at open days.

PetyrBaelish Fri 14-Oct-16 20:19:49

I would buy, but buy as strategically as possible for school catchment areas (or rent there first if buying is a long way away). It means you have money for extra curriculars, holidays, and other bits which will make your DDs life nice and can go on to send her to a good state secondary after primary.

We are actually in a similar position in that my DS is in a preschool attached to an independent school but we are still renting. They have just started giving us all of their marketing and yes it does seem like a nice school but it would mean sacrificing so much that I'm not sure it's worth it. There are a few small state primaries which are lovely in the surrounding villages which I think I might target instead.

Dragongirl10 Fri 14-Oct-16 20:19:55

House is far more important, security first.

If l were you l would get on the housing ladder at the first opportunity, (not being too fussy) with a spare bedroom then get a lodger who can pay up to £7,500 tax free, you can share with D/D if neccesary.
That is your easiest start to stability. Most of the lodgers l have had over the years have been lovely, choose carefully though. l only took women lodgers.

My Dcs are in private schools but to be honest l would always have prioritised a house first.
Also in the early years, you can bridge the attainment gap with doing a lot of extra at home, all the neccesary books are found in WHS smith and there are some fab websites that can give you guidance and worksheets.

Good Luck

PettsWoodParadise Fri 14-Oct-16 20:58:28

Not all private schools are great either. A primary offering a major discount sounds like it is desperate to me, but theat could just be my cynical nature. Most schools don't offer bursaries or scholarships until Y3 at earliest, usually Y7. DD started off at an independent pre-reception and thrived and it was an easy route for her to just continue there. It turned out to be a waste of money and it is hard to get a place at a good state school out of the usual round. We did move her in Y3 to a selective independent and she was happier but some of the teaching still mediocre. She is now in a state secondary and I cannot fault the school. Having a stable home has been far more important to us than the school. We even home educated for a while.

PikachuSayBoo Fri 14-Oct-16 21:07:38

Average doesn't equal bad.

The school my dd goes to is bad. Only 37% of kids get 5x GCSes inc maths and English. I have enough money in the bank to pay for her to go to private school but that's my life savings and im not spending it on private education for her. And I have a house already.

Private education doesn't mean better exam results or a better job.

JoJoSM2 Sat 15-Oct-16 01:19:40

Often rating is a lot about paperwork and not always the best way to pick a school. Visit local primaries to get a feel for what they are like. Also, you could prioritise getting a house and if you still feel mega desparate for your daughter to go private, you can do it for secondary.

smellyboot Sat 15-Oct-16 18:43:51

House every single time. The biggest factor in achievement is a secure home and supportive parents. What a mess you could be in if you can no longer afford fees and get evicted for any reason and can't find a nice alternative home. You'd then have nothing. State schools on the whole are good and you can help your child to achieve more in any or all arenas if you want. Think about all the clubs she may want to join / sports she may want to take up etc Use your money to buy a decent house/flat in a decent area and enjoy life with your DD

yellowflags Sat 15-Oct-16 19:04:33

Buy a house.

1. Ratings are an indication of a school but don't tell you everything. Investigate your local schools now (you can go to the open days being held this autumn for prospective 2017 reception students - many parents look round a year early) and see if any fit your daughter. You still have a year to move if so.
2. As pps have said, private schools aren't necessarily better. Be careful about assuming they are - they are under less rigorous observation/ examination than state schools, and often have a less challenging cohort which means teaching standards can be variable.
3. Don't underestimate the importance of home environment and financial stability. While your dd is at primary, the things you do at home will be at least as important as what she learns at school.
4. Don't mistake the social selection of private school for social mobility. My parents scrimped and saved for my school fees. I'm very grateful but the sad truth is that most of my school friends inherited money in their twenties which has had a bigger impact on our later lives than our school achievements. I plan to save money for dd to spend on a home, or travelling, or more and more education choices later in life. Imo this is more important than private school.

portico Sun 16-Oct-16 13:24:44

Owning a home is paramount. Make sure it is close. Private fees are crippling. Have you enough time to move and apply to grammar schools. Sorry not checked threads in this post.

MumTryingHerBest Sun 16-Oct-16 13:34:47

portico Sun 16-Oct-16 13:24:44 Have you enough time to move and apply to grammar schools.

I would imagine OP has plenty of time for that as her DD is 3.

KarmaNoMore Sun 16-Oct-16 13:38:19

I have been in the same dilemma, I went for house and state school. My main concerns was that bursaries are time limited and fees go up at every key stage so I knew I wouldn't be able to afford the £22,000 a year the independent school was charging by the time DS would be 11 and I didn't want to burden him with the responsibility of keeping an academic scholarship.

I know another single mum who decided to keep her child in independent education on an arrangement that tuition was paid in equal parts by herself, the dad and grandmother. They lasted 3 years. I would say it is much better to move them earlier than go in the drama of removing them mid primary

DS independent school was fantastic, his first state primary was shit (I have no other word to describe it, even when it was classed as a good school by OFSTED) but his second state school was almost as good as the private one and had much better resources and expertise to deal with DS's particular needs. So have a good look around, check the school's results but also how happy and well behaved children are when you are looking for a school. It is not about finding the best school but the school that suits your child best.

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