Remax Real Estate Agent Garry Byrnes outside 314 Stanley Street, North Ward.IF you’re looking to get the best return possible for your investment property, consider buying in school catchment zones.According to Senior Buyers Advocate from National Property Buyers Rob Di Vita, houses within a school catchment zone can be up to $50,000 to $100,000 more expensive than surrounding areas.“What tends to happen is when owner-occupiers are buying in those zones, they tend to be a bit more emotional and pay a premium to get in,” he said.“While the catchment zone effect can vary from between an extra 5-20% when it comes to price, the premium families are willing to pay often depends on the school’s academic record.”With Townsville at the bottom of the property market, now is certainly a good time to invest says RE/MAX sales agent Garry Byrnes.Mr Byrnes, who predominantly sales property within the CBD district, said North Ward’s Townsville Grammar School and Belgian Garden’s State School were big draw cards for parents looking to buy.“Townsville has been experiencing some buyer activity where the buyers are taking the location of schools, both private and public, into consideration with their preferred suburb,” he said.“I’ve been fielding an increase in buyers and have been selling homes to those looking to move into North Ward, Castle Hill etc with a view that their children can attend the schools, private and public, located here. “The end result is that everyone in the family can enjoy the facilities and lifestyle these suburbs offer as well as provide good schooling.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020As properties in school catchment zones tend to be located in sought after inner-city areas, Mr Di Vita said he recommends clients buy within school catchment zones, provided they don’t pay too big a premium.“If their (the buyers’) view is to hang onto it for 10-15 years, based on historical growth patterns the property will perform and they will make their money, generally speaking, if they are buying in the right area,” he said.Di Vita says the only real no-no about buying in a school zone involves buying a home that is opposite or next to a large school as the traffic and noise may be an issue for potential buyers in the future. But not all property experts recommend buying in a catchment zone.According to Simon Pressley, Managing Director at Propertyology, investors should recognise that not all buyers are swayed by catchment zones.“It’s worth keeping in mind though that this is not a one size fits all thing; it’s not like everyone living within a particular part of town has school-aged children and or wants them to go to that one school,” he said.“Catchment zones are one of those subjective things which are important to some people and not important to others. When searching for investment properties, Propertyology places more priority on considerations like affordability, proximity to employment, dwelling styles, future housing supply, and rental return.”Can’t afford to buy, renting may be another alternative according to Di Vita.“It depends on their (buyers’/parents’) long-term goals too, but we’ve assisted with that. sometimes if it’s well beyond their means, that’s certainly a consideration,” he says.Parents and investors should keep in mind that the reputations of top schools do change over time and new schools are being built with excellent facilities.