Chiltern Relocation


Choosing a house & school from a Winnebago in Yellowstone Park

The Initial Enquiry

We enjoy a challenge at Chiltern Relocation and this one was no exception. An English family based in California asked for our help in finding them a home and schools for their children in Bucks…. but without ever viewing the schools or homes themselves…they would be totally reliant on our viewings and recommendations.

So here was the brief:

  • Find a family home within catchment for their children aged 6 and 9
  • Find state school places for both children
  • Be located close to commuting routes
  • Help to take the ultimate decision in choice of school and home as the family would be unable to view homes or schools in person

How we helped

When it comes to finding schools and a home it is a chicken and egg situation: you can’t apply for a school place unless you have an address within catchment but you also cannot guarantee a place at a school if you live within catchment. For example we found some fantastic rental homes within catchment of outstanding primary schools but discovered that the schools had long waiting lists for places.

Bucks County Council oversee all the school waiting lists and will only consider an application with a residential address in the catchment area. We spoke to a lot of admissions staff at a huge number of schools within Bucks to gauge whether there was likely to be a space in Year 2 and Year 5 in September. If we found there were school places available we could start to look at potential rental homes within catchment.

The family were also keen to choose a location where they would be able to afford to buy a decent sized family house once they had settled in, so this ruled out a number of towns. Our lengthy research highlighted Great Missenden as a good option in terms of schools and housing options.

Chiltern Relocation viewed houses within catchment areas and put together reports to send to the family stateside. Sharing potential school suggestions and housing options was done via email and SKYPE.

The Problems we faced

Whilst we were carrying out the research, the family were enjoying a road trip around California before moving back to the UK but internet reception was patchy making it difficult to make contact at key moments.

Confident as we could be that school places were available, Chiltern Relocation found a super family home in Great Missenden close to the primary school where there would be a place for the older child and also within catchment of an infant school for the younger child (a space at Great Missenden primary was looking unlikely). We emailed a report to the Winnebago and got the thumbs up to precede on the family’s behalf and they wired across a deposit straight away.

Unfortunately it was then revealed that the house would not be available until the day before the children started their new schools. Keen to get settled in the UK and feel at home before starting school the family were uncertain as to whether this house should be the one for them. However after careful consideration they came to the realisation that the home was worth waiting for given how difficult it had been to juggle all the moving parts.


Once the rental contract was signed, a swift application followed to Bucks County Council to secure the school places and the family stayed with friends until they got the keys to their new home. We are delighted to hear that the children love their new schools and the family are settled in their new home and location.

This was certainly one of our more interesting home finding remits!

We hired Chiltern Relocation this summer to help us relocate our young family to Buckinghamshire. Despite doing everything remotely via Skype from the US, they developed a very clear understanding of what we were looking for and exercised impeccable judgement on our behalf. Sharon thought of everything and was highly proactive in pushing things along for us, including (critically) advising us on which schools had places available. Most importantly, success: we’re delighted with the house and the location! We would recommend Sharon without hesitation.


Philip Cooper

Philip Cooper

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