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The Power of a Good School District

The local school district has become a huge influence amongst buyers. Good schools attract good families with school age children. Realtor.com’s recent survey showed that 91% of prospective are willing to sacrifice something large to live in the right school district. The survey showed 20% of buyers would give up a bedroom or a garage for a better school. More than 30%  would buy a smaller home.

Schools Influence on Home Prices

Conversations about schools and their effect on a home’s value are often of the ‘chicken or the egg’ variety. Homes in the best school districts, on average, sell for higher prices than similar homes in the less popular school districts. So do the higher home prices make the schools better?

Clearly good schools do increase home values in some measure. Half of the home buying population is willing to pay more than their intended budget to get into the right school district and more than half would give up other amenities. Making a decision on buying a home should definitely include an analysis of the school district, even for buyers who don’t intend to send children to those schools. Good schools provide stability for a community, and that’s good for the property values of everyone who lives nearby.

How to Research Schools?

Given that schools are super important not only for your children’s education but also for the long term value of your property, how do you go about researching the best school systems?

• Check online sites for statistics on test scores, curriculum offered, rate of attending higher education.

• Visit the school yourself. Speak to the principal and other department heads.

• Speak to your Realtor, who should have a good understanding of which schools are considered top and which are less desirable.

• Talk to parents who have kids in the school system already.

Other Statistics Worth Looking at include:

• Student to teacher ratio

• Testing results in math, reading and science

• Cost per pupil

• Enrollment and class sizes for students

• Teach educational attainment – how many teachers have masters degrees or PhDs?

• Languages offered

• The number and size of specialized programs for gifted or needy students