After buying a school house, everything is just beginning

From 2020 to 2021, since the official implementation of the “citizens of the same enrollment” in primary and secondary schools in Shanghai, school district housing has experienced a rapid rise, and at the most frenzied times, a set of dilapidated The most frenzied Time, a dilapidated “husband’s house” unit price is straightforward to Townsend a product.

Time is everything

Zhang Lin is waiting for the final tug of war. The time is March 8, 2021, which is the deadline she agreed with the owner of the school district house in the deposit contract to sign the contract. A month ago, on January 28, after a seemingly friendly negotiation between the buyer and seller, Zhang Lin and the homeowner both fell silent, knowing in their hearts that communication was no longer helpful in the face of money and that they were both waiting for the other to take the lead in breaking the contract.

The thing is, last December, Shanghai locals Zhang Lin ran around Xuhui Putuo Jing’an districts, after looking at more than twenty sets of houses, decided to buy a school district near the experimental elementary school in Zhabei. The house is 40 square meters, built in 1982, with a unit price of 86,000 yuan – the price of the school district house is directly proportional to the level of Education of the nearby schools, and Zhabei Experimental Primary School is located in the first echelon of Jing’an District. The day she signed the deposit contract, she felt that the stone in her heart fell to the ground, “let it rise and fall again has nothing to do with me”.

From October last year, the price of school houses in Shanghai entered a rapid rise. According to the data released by the square meter research institute, 2020 Shanghai high-quality dual school district, nine-year consistent school district housing, the increase has been more than 20%, not long ago, a 37 square meter school district house located in the second neighborhood of Meiyuan price tag of 7.48 million, the unit price of nearly 200,000, forced two kilometers away from the Townsend Yipin. More than one parent likened buying a school district house to “buying cabbage” – the time spent agonizing and hesitating was not proportional to the Although Zhang Lin had looked at a lot of houses before buying, it only took her a day to make the final decision, not because of how suitable the house was, but because it would not be available if she didn’t buy it. There are several sets of houses she originally looked at, ask again in a few days have been taken, “each brush (real estate agent App) are less many sets. “

Compared to the anxious Parents, the agents seem quite relaxed. Zhang Lin’s agent told her that because of the sale of school houses, they have completed their annual income of 500,000 to 600,000 months ahead of schedule, while the sales champion in their store earned a million. The landlords have become the absolute strongest party, and Liu Jie, a new Shanghai resident, had his eye on a school district house in Chuansha, and had just asked the agent to contact the landlord, when the caller wanted to “add a 30,000 to 50,000 yuan “. Zhang Lin told me that only half of the houses listed on the market can be signed for sale, and the other half of the homeowners are ready to raise their prices just to “feel the market temperature”.

Zhang Lin’s child is just one and a half years old, and the entrance requirement for the Zhabei Experiment is that the child’s account is five years old. Five years later, the child was six and a half years old and enrolled in the district’s first tier elementary school, and everything was just right. That day, on an educational forum that Shanghai parents often follow, she posted that she had “made it to the top” and the parents under the post were The parents under the post were “congratulating the owner”. But later, she told me that her story was no longer “positive”.

After paying the deposit, the price of similar school district housing models skyrocketed, and she watched as the price of the house became more than 90,000, more than 100,000, and later, “hanging 120,000 also, hanging 130,000 also “. A month passed and the price of a similar house had gone up by over 700,000. She panicked a little, not a good feeling, contacted the owner hoping to early net signature, the other party to work busy as a reason to shirk, and then simply confessed, “the price increase is too much, do not want to sell”. Now, Zhang Lin is thinking about how to deal with the owner, while once again on the road to see the house, while the owner is hoping that she will know the difficulty and back out, in order to have children to go to school, early to buy a school district house elsewhere, give up this entanglement.

Like many Shanghai parents, Zhang Lin made the decision to buy a school district house, initially because she saw the news of “citizens with the same enrollment”. In March last year, Shanghai fully implemented the primary and secondary schools “citizens of the same enrollment”, the provisions of the kindergarten to primary school, primary school public and private schools enrolled simultaneously. Unlike Beijing, private education in Shanghai has long been recognized as superior to public schools. Part of the reason for this is that private schools admit students early and “pinpoint” them by organizing exams and other methods.

In order to promote educational equity, the Ministry of Education has repeatedly emphasized the implementation of “citizen admissions” in its documents for 2018 and 2019. This means that parents can only choose one of the two in the public and private offices, the original model of private, guaranteed public admissions is broken, if the choice of private is not accepted, will face transfer. No parent wants to joke about the stability of education. After the implementation of the Citizen’s Choice Program, the private school enrollment ratio dropped dramatically from 3:1 to 1.4:1, and more parents turned to buying school district housing to gain access to prestigious public schools.

Property prices rose almost “overnight”. Zhang Lin initially wanted to buy a house for $2 million to $3 million, but later raised her budget to $4 million and lowered her requirements to “just enough for our Family of three”. She once saw a house built in the 1980s, and once inside, it was like going back to the “poor and miserable 1980s. The four sides of the house are cement walls, the toilet is a squatting pit, I heard that the roof has been renovated, probably not very successful, the naked eye can see is tilted. What’s more, once inside the room, Zhang Lin smelled a “smell of decay”. “Is there an old man who died in there? She asked, and the agent gave a negative answer, but it didn’t stop Zhang Lin from leaving in a hurry. Zhang Lin’s agent did not feel anything wrong, according to him, there are many parents who bought houses built in the thirties or fifties, not even squatting pits, with public toilets, the wooden stairs of the house will creak when stepped on, “are almost a historical preservation building “.

Then take the house where Lin Yue just got her property license. Last October, she saw a set of Pudong school district house, a small 50,000 per square meter, a few days later decided to buy, rose to 58,000. Now, the figure is 90,000. “Fortunately (the house) is set, if not, we should now belong to the state can not afford to buy. “Lin Yue, 30, a young mother, is grateful for her consistent decisiveness – she bought this house after only one look, and she feels it was her quickest, most decisive, and wisest 2020 decision.

Buying a school district Home is not complicated, at least for some parents. People don’t think of a school district house as a real house, or a real home. They usually only plan to live in it for three or five years, and then sell it when their children graduate; or they buy the “school district,” rent it out, and then rent a large house nearby for themselves. The parents’ selection process is superb. The process of choosing a house for the parents was simpler than expected – the higher the ranking of the schools in each district in Shanghai, the more expensive the house. It has nothing to do with the age of the house, the structure of the house, whether or not the finishes – look down the ranking, which school district can afford to buy, which one. In this way, there are generally only three or four houses in each school district that you can consider, and you’ll be out of the market after a day or two of consideration.

Hesitating means losing money. Liu Jie, a new Shanghainese living in Zhangjiang, was thinking about buying a house for his children at the beginning of 2019. He originally looked at a house near Zhiyuan Middle School, less than three million, looking at it again for two months, the total price of the house rose by hundreds of thousands, can not afford to buy. By the end of 2020, buying a house was again on the agenda. He looked at a house in Chuansha, and when he looked in December, the price was about 2.4 million, and a month later it went up to 2.82 million. This was not something extraordinary, and he expected worse outcomes, such as the landlord breaking the contract and temporarily jumping the price or something. Before paying the deposit, he even considered giving the landlord two to three times more deposit to express his full sincerity and to raise the landlord’s cost of default.

In short, timing is everything. Housing prices soared, making related policies also change rapidly. Even Lin Yue, who made a decisive move, did not escape the twists and turns brought by the policy change. In order to minimize the pressure of paying a large amount of money in one go, Lin Yue went to ICBC to apply for a tax loan – a kind of loan subsidy given by banks to home buyers, and the interest rate is generally lower than that of the first home loan. But on February 2, the night before the tax loan was about to be approved, Lin Yue received a text message from ICBC: In order to cool down the housing prices in Shanghai, the bank suspended the tax loan. She sighed. Who would have thought that luck would just pass her by? This meant that she had to prepare 300,000 more cash to pay for the house, and it also meant that she had to open her mouth to her parents and friends for help again.

All the steps had to be taken at an accelerated pace. Liu Jie and the landlord signed the contract a few days before New Year’s Day this year, and originally agreed to pay the down payment on January 20, but he couldn’t wait, so on January 8, Liu Jie raised the entire down payment and paid it off in one go. After that, he pulled the landlord through the various procedures and waited for the bank to verify. By January 28, the closing was completed, at least a month earlier than expected. It was like a triumphant escape, as he rushed to complete the family’s main goal for the next five years before prices rose further and policies changed. “We kind of bought it early, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to buy it until now. ” he said.

How the shift happened

A few years ago, parents might have balked at the desperation to buy the next school district house. But after the official implementation of the “citizens with the same enrollment”, parents have narrowed their options, and if they still go out of their way to choose a quality private school, it means parents have to pay a higher The cost of “chicken children”.

Wang Rui a colleague’s child, from the second grade to prepare for further education, the implementation of the specific learning, is more remedial classes to their own can not count: language a course to two remedial classes, a remedial reading, a remedial essay; math remedial two, one is book knowledge, one is OU. In addition, the new concept of English is a must learn, speaking is a must practice (bilingual interview is very common when entering school), junior high school physics, chemistry can already first contact up; then according to the interests of the child, choose similar piano, bridge, Go, programming and other things that are not related to classwork to learn, but also must learn well; to the district, the city to participate in the competition, to get a first or second prize — this is a clear requirement for some private school admissions. All of the above aside, the principle of admission to good private schools is “selection of the best from the best”, and there is a mechanism to dissuade children from admission. If the results or performance do not meet the requirements, the child may be “returned”, then it is almost unrealistic to find a good public school to attend.

Lin Yue first considered buying a school district house two years ago, when her child was just a few months old and her brother in Beijing went to Shanghai on a business trip to discuss her child’s education in a serious way – his child was eight months older. Before he went to Shanghai, he sold his house in the suburbs of Beijing and spent more than $8 million to buy a 40-square-meter school house in Xicheng District – a wise decision in retrospect, as school prices in Beijing have also experienced a wild rise in recent months. But at the time, “it was so exaggerated that it was a little Crazy.

Parents had to plan ahead in order to deal with the increasingly fierce competition that would follow. One woman, who is not married now but has been running around for months trying to buy a school district house, told me that the original requirement for school district registration was “one family for five years,” but as more and more parents buy school district houses and second homes, the number of parents is increasing. But with more parents buying school houses and more families with two children, some quality schools are putting forward higher requirements, such as the need for children to be settled in the school district since birth, and some of the best schools even require that the child’s name be on the school district house book, and that a certain percentage of ownership be reached.

The best schools even require the child’s name on the house book and a certain percentage of ownership. Later, Lin Yue through some friends working in the school or education sector learned that it will be increasingly difficult for children to enter a good school, “like before that you smash money, or go some internal quota, now do not exist. “If you ask Lin Yue again, she will tell you, “This [school district housing] is something that should be considered when you are pregnant “.

Originally from the northeast, Lin Yue went to college in Korea and went to work in Shanghai after graduation. She is the kind of person who can turn hardship into motivation. She has a two-year-old son. The other day, she saw a former colleague posting a friend circle that the other person’s less-than-three-year-old child could put together a puzzle by himself, something that would put some pressure on her and would prompt her to think about how to do something about it in the next six months. She asks herself as much as possible to be a mother who does not fall behind, usually busy, but also will set aside an hour or two in the evening, take the child to read picture books, English, and put him to bed. She followed some educational public numbers, and the parents in the articles would take their children on a trip around the world together. She couldn’t do it, but she took her child around Shanghai, hitting some mountainous spots, and sent him back home to the northeast for a while, “hoping his personality would be a little more integrated (south and north) “.

People will always be influenced by the environment they live in, and even Buddhist parents like Wang Rui can’t do it alone. In his early years, he and his wife worked in Suzhou and bought a house for a few thousand dollars a square meter, thinking the future was worry-free. As for the children, “what school is not to go to? “He did not expect his children to be rich and famous in the future, there is nothing wrong with being an ordinary person trying to live, just like him and his children’s mother. Later, he came to Shanghai, engaged in chip design, and successfully got a Shanghai household registration before the child went to kindergarten. The city accepted him and his family, making him feel satisfied.

The change happened without him knowing it. When he attends parents’ gatherings, the conversation always turns to the children, and it is a constant topic of who is attending what cram school and who has bought what school district house. His family is in a school district that has a good elementary school, but not a middle school. He could feel the anxiety of the parents in the neighborhood. For a while, every time they met, they would talk about changing school districts, and even when they went for a walk in the neighborhood at night, parents of his age would unconsciously change the subject to it.

The parents in the neighborhood had organized together and suggested to the Board of Education that they wanted to move their residence into another prestigious school district in order to get their children into a better middle school. The Board of Education, of course, did not agree. Some time ago, the school district housing prices rose sharply, parents organized to vote again, hoping to use data to make the authorities accept their proposal.

The parents of a pair of Wang Rui’s children’s classmates heard the year before that a high-quality secondary school would move to a certain place and went ahead to buy a new house nearby, 50,000 to 60,000 square meters. They had wanted to take a plunge, but the news turned out to be a rumor. When the parents happened to talk about the topic at a dinner gathering later, the pair of parents bowed their heads in silence and the other parents were too embarrassed to continue the conversation.

When the situation could not be changed, they could only seek spiritual comfort. They prefer to talk about some “positive” stories on the Internet, for example, they heard that a group of yard farmers with force They heard that a group of coders used the power of “chicken children”, the children’s performance improved, living an ordinary school “chicken The “chicken” has become a district key. “It is also helpless,” said Wang Rui with a smile.

Now, Wang Rui and the parents of a third of the students in the children’s class, as early as possible to prepare the school district house. The school district of the house fell in Nanhui Middle School, in Pudong ranked eleven or two or so. As for the house, 1.2 million, 40 square feet, he does not know more than that – he has only been there once, ready to wait for the children to go to school and then rent a large set of living in the neighborhood.

Parents’ regrets

Not all parents dream of their children becoming the legendary “cow children”. This is not self-effacing, or a matter of speaking out of turn in the face of outsiders, they often say: Let your child have the opportunity to stand at the same starting line as others.

Lin Yue realized that her starting line was different from others only after she started working. If you look at her resume, you may not agree with what she said. She was a good student in her class since she grew up, and then went to a university in Korea. After graduating from college, she and her boyfriend came to Shanghai and joined an adult education company. She was a very hard-working employee, especially after she bought her wedding house in 2014, and she volunteered to transfer to a department that earns more and is busier, “working (seven days a week), 10 am to 12 pm “.

She thinks she is a person who enjoys stress, and the process of “setting goals and then overcoming difficulties to achieve them” is fulfilling and enjoyable. But there are always times when she is still slightly dissatisfied with herself – the kind that cannot be changed – Lin Yue feels that those around her who have graduated from better schools and received education in bigger cities obviously have better “connotation and pattern”. She could not make a specific explanation, but just mulled over the last few years to find a place to further her education. The gap she experienced firsthand in the workplace has instilled more passion for her children’s education. With a loan of more than $2 million, buying a house in a first-tier school is just the foundation. When her child reached three months old, she enrolled him in early childhood education classes aimed at guiding his development. The teachers taught him to crawl, taught him to hold his head up, and a little older was to identify colors and learn magnetic pieces (a game to exercise spatial thinking). The child is now two years old, and according to the plan, he will be exposed to English, Music and swimming in turn in the next six months.

Lin Yue’s mother doesn’t understand why there is such a thing as a school house. When they went to see the 63-square-meter, dark, dilapidated school house, her mother didn’t even want to go inside. But Lin Yue felt that times were different. She couldn’t remember where she’d read that stories like 3-year-olds were starting to learn Olympiads or take English exams – and indeed there are now Olympiad classes for younger children. A child with this kind of education is not the same as what she understood as a “good student” when she was a child. She doesn’t see herself as an anxious mother who is doing everything just to be average, “If we hadn’t bought a school house and put him in a ‘vegetable school’, he would have been a loser in the future. “

In a report on the “Anxiety Index” of Chinese mothers, Shanghai mothers topped the list. “School district housing” and “children’s schooling The problem of “school district housing” and “children’s education” surpassed the traditional “mother-in-law-daughter-in-law relationship” to become the most troubling problem for mothers. Whether you are a local or a foreigner, creating a good educational environment for your child is the greatest wish of parents.

Even when the landlord jumped the price of such a bad thing, Zhang Lin never thought of giving up the school district, not even once, “there are always more ways than difficulties”. Fortunately, on the night of March 3, Shanghai once again increased the new property market policy, requiring the purchase of a house online record for five years before transfer. Perhaps the policy that continues to cool the property market has worked, this night, Zhang Lin received a message from the owner, agreed to sell the house at the original contract price. This made Zhang Lin overjoyed, and the next day she urgently raised the down payment to make an appointment for the online signing. She didn’t want to experience the anxiety that comes with a school district house again.

For Liu Jie, the matter of buying a school district house is more of a helplessness, he works in an IT company, and most of the other parents in his child’s class are doing similar work. He would initially be shocked at the fact that some parents let their first-grade children learn New Concept English, but then expressed understanding, “Everyone wants to go to Fudan, but the final quota is definitely a minority. “He comes from rural Jiangsu, and in his school years, there was little difference between what rural and urban children learned; the only gap he felt was that he could never speak English as fluently as city kids. But more than two decades have passed, and the problem has expanded from English to include everything from piano, Olympiads and even early childhood education, and “it’s rare that a child from a cold family will be there anymore. Now, when he hears something like parents of students reporting too much school work, he just thinks “this parent has been eliminated “.

Don’t ask parents if it’s worth it, they just want the best for their kids. What they didn’t get as children, they want to make up for in the next generation. Wang Rui from Anhui, all the way through the “vegetable small” “His middle school was in a combination of urban and rural areas, and his classes were often filled with axes and iron picks, and there was a fierce group fight at the drop of a hat. It didn’t suit a good student like Wang Rui. He grew up loving mathematics, tried to participate in the Olympic competition, but a look at the paper will not do anything, only scored five or six points. Later in the workplace, he met a young colleague, to do things with a strong ability, clear logic, Wang Rui will be attributed to the development of “mathematical thinking” from childhood, and then a question. As expected, the colleague was a former provincial Olympiad champion.

Although his degree is a doctorate, but he could not ask for more, not to mention the qualification of “regret”. He often jokes with his son, your education will soon exceed your grandfather, or grandmother, or any other relatives, in short, no one in the previous generation has more education than the high primary.

When he was young, Wang Rui’s father was always out running boats, and he spent more time on the Yangtze than at home. Mother alone to pull their siblings three, “can meet the Food and clothing has been very good. “As for studying and education, everything is as it should be.

In his senior year, Wang Rui enrolled in the Hefei University of Technology on the advice of his parents. Can go to the provincial capital to go to college, plus there is an uncle in Hefei (can take care of him), naturally become the best choice in the eyes of parents. As for those better and more distant, the university in Beijing and Shanghai, naturally has nothing to do with him. Later, when the college entrance exam results were released, Wang Rui had excellent results and checked his score, and he was quite happy to go to Hefei University of Technology, but then he checked again and found that his score also exceeded the admission line of Tsinghua University, and he was not so happy. In Wang Rui’s opinion, this time and China’s highest educational institutions missed, can only be attributed to the parents’ “knowledge” problem.

Perhaps to make up for his own shortcomings, since kindergarten, Wang Rui has enrolled his son in various interest classes, initially English, later singing, basketball, soccer, painting, more he does not remember, anyway, the impression of almost every day to send children to class. He did not feel anything wrong, the biggest feeling is regret, why he did not have such good conditions when he was a child? If he could, he would have liked to learn basketball, OU, or some musical instrument, but he was 45 years old and it was all irrelevant to him.

However, starting in third grade, Wang Rui noticed that his child began to rebel. He fought with teachers in class, rolled around on the floor, and passively resisted when doing homework at home, staring at a pen for an hour and explaining that he was “thinking”. This bright young man also learned to play with his iPad secretly while his parents were asleep, sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning. This was a red flag to Wang Rui – he was starting to lose interest in learning. Wang Rui urgently adjusted his education program, gradually reducing the number of interest classes, leaving only English, math and singing (for the sake of the child’s mental health). Later, the purchase of a school house was on the agenda. After all, being in a nice environment is always good for the child.

Keeping the story alive

The parents struggled in the big city to get what they have now. Maybe people need to keep this wonderful story going. “You can’t (let your kids) be worse off than me,” Lin Yue says. She is now in the middle of her company, living in a house with floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room, which she bought when she first arrived in Shanghai with 12 hours of hard work a day and her parents’ support. Now, a new cycle has begun. She was prepared to tighten her belt in the last two years. After all, half of the down payment for the school district house came from a loan from family and friends, and the 14,000 monthly loan going forward is not a small amount.

Liu Jie’s sense of risk is even stronger, in addition to his family, he gave his house also on the insurance. The cost is not much, one or two hundred dollars, in case of theft or fire at home, he can get a lot of premium. Even so, Life is not completely in his hands. He is engaged in work related to artificial intelligence, clear that the rapid development of AI will change the future of the world, “by the time children go to work, now many types of jobs are not available. “Because of this, he doesn’t pay much attention to his children’s English education, preferring to let them set aside half an hour every day to practice piano.

I looked up an article about school houses in Shanghai, written by Chen Jie, a professor and director of the Center for Housing and Urban-Rural Development Research at Shanghai Jiaotong University, who offered his own explanation about parents’ frenzied pursuit of school houses: “Shanghai is a city with a high percentage of middle-class people. “The middle class,” the article reads, “tends to have a strong sense of class status maintenance anxiety and a class climbing mission… …whether their children can attend schools where parents of the same class gather or where parents of a class higher than their own are present is an important marker of class status, an important manifestation of class security, and perhaps even a channel through which they can achieve class advancement. …… What the middle class can do for their children is to do their best to allow them to move up the social ladder by gaining access to the schools. The best they can do for their children is to let them avoid the risk of class slippage by obtaining better education. “

An interesting finding is that after buying a school house, it is the couple’s relationship that changes before the child’s performance and parent-child relationship. Wang Rui’s wife was a good student growing up, someone who had to come home and set her shoes neatly. At first, education of children according to the wife’s route, everything from strict, to accompany him to write homework, even silent text, but also a word can not be wrong. But now, there is a set of school district house pockets, the wife no longer keep an eye on the son study. Occasionally the child disobeyed, his wife’s temper came up, Wang Rui reassured her, “the school district house also bought well, (the child) always will not be too bad”, his wife will want to open up.

This 40 square meters, built in 1980, the school district house means more than a sense of security. In the eyes of outsiders, he has no reason to feel uneasy, doctoral degree, technical background, currently engaged in the chip design software industry. The year 2018 was a turning point in Wang Rui’s life, when he left his original company and started a business with a friend in the form of a technology equity stake. At that time, he was very busy and had to go out of town on business trips every week. At the same time, as he grew older, he perceived the bottleneck of technical staff and gradually moved from a technical person to a marketing-related job, more responsible for business negotiations. He needs to worry about whether he will lose his job after starting a business, worry about how to do if the project bid is not successful or the company has no money coming in. It’s all trivial, but life is made up of these trivialities. It was then that he moved to buy a school house for his children, “at least on this side of Shanghai, to give children’s education did not lag behind others”.

Wang Rui took the school district house in a remote location, taking the subway to the city center of People’s Square to more than an hour, is considered a price depression in the Shanghai school district house, rented out only 1600 yuan a month.

His tenants are a couple in their thirties. The husband is from Anhui province and works in an IT company in Zhangjiang, while the wife is at home with two-year-old twins. When signing the rental contract, Wang Rui talked to the young tenant and asked him what to do in the future. The other party was helpless, “should not be able to afford a house in Shanghai, may send the children back home”, Wang Rui also stopped talking.

Sometimes, Wang Rui feels that life is a wonderful process, which is found in the process of his son growing up. The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to its customers. ”