When seeking out your ideal home, you’ll probably evaluate various locations before you finalize the purchase and secure a residential mortgage. You’ll consider the neighborhood, how safe it is and how far the commute to work or the grocery store will be.
In your evaluation of a home’s location, don’t forget to check out the school district. Even if you don’t have school-age children – or any children at all – choosing a home in a good school district is a smart move.
School districts and home value
When making a home purchase, it’s important to think about the future and your plans for the home. Someday, eventually, you’ll sell it. When that day comes, you want your home to have a good resale value.
Many factors go into this value and school district is one of the most influential factors. Parents will always want to find the best schools for their children, which means they’ll usually seek out homes in good school districts.
A study by Trulia found that 19 percent of homebuyers say they want to buy a home in a good school district. But among parents with school-aged children who are looking for a home, 35 percent said a good school district was among their top priorities. A survey by Redfin revealed that 5.6 percent of recent homebuyers chose to move specifically to be in a good school district.
Since there will always be a select group of homebuyers seeking out homes in good school districts, these houses tend to hold their value better than those in poor school districts. This includes during times of economic turmoil, such as in the late 2000s, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Larry Stone, an assessor in Santa Clara County, explained to the San Francisco Chronicle that identical homes one block apart could have a price difference of as much as $100,000 if one were in a better school district than another.
“It’s the single biggest thing, in my judgment,” Stone said.
How to find a good school district
Your real estate agent should have information about the school districts you’re looking at homes in. Additionally, websites like Zillow might have information included in home listings.
You can also conduct your own research. Find out what the teacher-to-student ratio is; lower is better because it means the teachers may be able to give students more individualized attention and address their academic needs better.
Also, try looking up testing scores, awards the school or teachers have received and technology in the classroom, Fox Business suggested.
Finally, a school that has extensive after school programming and a variety of extracurricular activities available to students is typically a good sign.