Why choosing the right family home is just as important as choosing the right school
With the new school year fast approaching, Chester Row’s latest luxury development in Wandsworth, Charles Baker Place is both enviably positioned and uniquely designed for those with their children’s education in mind.
Thinking about the new school year in May seems rather premature as Spring has scarcely finished and most pupils won’t even yet have begun the courses or exams that mark the end of their current terms. Yet for the majority of parents with children in the last year of primary, preparatory or GCSE-level education, it’s a blunt fact that successfully getting one’s offspring onto the next rung of the schooling ladder requires early planning and some serious thought.
Leaving the decision-making until August – a month before schools re-start after the summer break – severely limits options and, ultimately, causes more stress than it avoids. This is particularly true in London, where competition for admission into a select coterie of heavily oversubscribed state and independent schools has led to sharp-elbowed parents moving home in order to get into certain catchment areas. As a result, the leafy suburb of Wandsworth has become a catchment hot-spot.
You’ve found the perfect school, now find the perfect home.
The well-heeled south west enclave boasts some of the capital’s best educational establishments. There are 16 independent schools in Wandsworth Borough, 10 primary and preparatory (Al Risalah, Bertrum House, Bromwood Hall, Dolphin, Eaton House, Eveline, The Falcons, Finton House, Hornsby House and Hurlingham) and six secondary (Emanuel, Hall School Wimbledon, Ibstock Place, Northcote Lodge, Putney High, Thames Christian College).
On the state side, the list is much longer. There are 13 secondaries and almost 60 primaries in the locality, among which some of the best, according to OFSTED rankings, are Oak Lodge and Ernest Bevin College (both secondary).
This academic pedigree has certainly affected the area’s house prices. The average price of a Wandsworth pad stands at £780,000, around £200,000 above the London average. It’s little wonder: plenty of studies show that living within the catchment area of outstanding schools adds tens of thousands of pounds to home values.
Combine that with the fact the South West borough is one of prettiest and best-located parts of London to live (great schools or not) and you have a recipe for some very precious house and some very high prices.
In this regard, our homes at Charles Baker Place stand out as a cut above the rest. Created by boutique developers Chester Row, the luxury development is offering top-spec homes (with private parking – a serious bonus in Wandsworth) for families of all sizes starting from £1.6 m.
Given smaller and less well-designed homes have been brought to the market in this part of town for nearly double that figure, the site’s pricings are eminently reasonable.
Costs aside, Charles Baker Place sits in Wandsworth’s premier hamlet, Bellevue Village, situated just off the local common and superbly positioned to take advantage of those excellent Wandsworth schools. Hornsby House and Oak Lodge are under a mile away, while Ernest Bevin College in London is listed on Google Maps as six-minute walk.
That the development falls easily within these schools’ catchment areas can significantly help during the admissions procedure, since, often, when a particular state school is oversubscribed, its default policy is to select via proximity to the building – the nearer your home is the school, the better.
The development’s location also has the major advantage of cutting down on commuting times: there need be no long car journeys at rush hour or relying on sometimes-tenuous public transport if your child can comfortably walk to school.
As well as being perfectly placed, Charles Baker Place is also one of the most family-friendly addresses in Wandsworth. Modern appliances, the bright, open design and the homely communal feel all combine to make the development a fantastic place for giving young minds the best start – it is the perfect complement to the area’s fantastic schools.
Charles Baker Place’s biggest, and perhaps most child-friendly, homes are its townhouses. Complete with a separate annexe that could easily function as a study-cum-private tuition area, as well as a social lower ground floor offering a casual living space where a family with teenage kids can unwind from the strains and high drama that inevitably accompany SATs, GCSEs and the like.
Overall, our homes are the perfect balance between location and atmosphere, making it remarkable for the area. It’s the go-to spot for parents who want to get the best education for their children and, crucially, want their children to be in an environment where they capitalise on this.
That September deadline is looming and parents are already planning: don’t be the kid that did their homework late – take a look at Charles Baker Place sooner rather than later.