Schooling the major influence on house choice for parents (and children!)

Good schools have come out top in a survey of parents asked about their priorities when choosing a place to live, according to a survey carried out by a national housebuilder.

Redrow Homes surveyed 509 parents and the same number of children aged 4-16 to find out their preferences when it comes to their home and neighbourhood.

When asked what was most important to them when choosing an area to live, 72% of parents placed a good local school among their top three, followed by 37% favouring somewhere with good transport links and 33% highlighting the importance of a ‘community feel’.

Being close to family members came fourth overall but, while this was a big priority for a third (33%) of mums, only a fifth (22%) of dads saw it as important.

When children were asked what’s most important to them about where they live, 60% said it was being near to their friends, followed by around half (49%) who liked to be close to school. Almost half (47%) valued having lots of parks and green space nearby, ahead of 17% who thought being near facilities such as a cinema was vital.

The survey was carried out by independent market research company Censuswide for national housebuilder Redrow Homes to find out what parents and children think makes ‘a better way to live’.

Parents were also asked about their dream home and what they look for most in the property itself.

When asked what their ‘dream house type’ would be, over half (54%) of parents chose a new build – either in the city, country or suburbs.

Not everyone is happy with their current home though, with only half of parents who live in an old house in the country (50%) saying this is their dream home type and a quarter (25%) actually admitting they dream of living in a new build in the country. Almost two thirds (65%) of parents who already live in a new build in the country, city or suburbs say it’s their dream home type.

In terms of what they look for in the property itself, outdoor space came out overwhelmingly on top, with almost three quarters (74%) picking a garden as one of their top three desirable features, followed by off-street parking (44%) and storage space (39%). Completing the top five priorities favoured, were the more up-to-date features of a ‘modern fitted kitchen with integrated appliances’ and a house that is ‘economical to run’, both being chosen by almost a quarter of adult respondents (23% and 22% respectively).

The survey also found evidence to suggest neighbourliness could lead to a less stressful life. Almost 7 in 10 (68%) parents who “aren’t stressed at all” say they are very friendly with their neighbours, compared to just a third (34%) of those who say they are “very stressed”.

When asked what they liked most about their own homes, children chose their bedroom, with almost three quarters placing it among their top three. Personal space was more important for older children with 81% of youngsters aged 11-16 choosing their bedroom among their favourite things about their home, compared to 69% of children aged 4-10.

A garden came second, with 45% of all children surveyed saying it was one of the things they liked most, followed by the living room.