It’s axiomatic in the real estate industry that homes in good school districts are more desirable and fetch higher prices than similar homes in lower-tiered school districts. Indeed, buyers are willing to sacrifice or compromise on many attributes and amenities to own a property in a good school district.
It does matter
These findings in a recent Realtor.com survey of nearly 1,000 prospective home buyers bear this out:
- More than 90 percent of respondents said school district boundaries were important in their search for a new home.
- One out of five stated that they would give up a bedroom or a garage to live in a better school district.
- One out of three said they would downsize to a smaller home if the schools were better.
- Twenty percent of respondents said they would pay 6–10 percent above their budget for a better school district.
- Ten percent would pay up to 20 percent over budget based on school quality.
Solid investments: The buying process should definitely include an analysis of the school district, whether you have kids or not. In addition to providing educational advantages, buying a home in a good school district is a sound financial investment. For families, buying into a good school district can save the cost of private school tuition. But for empty-nesters, homes in top school districts tend to hold their re-sale value through market fluctuations, and school excellence is often a good indicator of community safety, stability, and overall quality.
Interestingly, some people without children would prefer not to live near a school but, of course, will still want to know where schools are in their preferred neighborhood. You can obtain information about test scores, excellence awards, teacher–student ratios, and other school quality factors online at sites such as schooldigger.com or greatschools.org. In addition, many state websites post school district report cards that enable you to compare and rank them.