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2019-09-27 10:19:58
Factoring Schools Into Your Home Buying Decision


Most home buyers with children want to buy a home in what they perceive as a quality school district. While Realtors may not opine, there are resources online for home buyers to use.  We'll see some of those suggestions below.

Some homes receive higher marks than others based on one factor: the property’s location within a top-ranked school district. With summer drawing to a close and students returning to classrooms, it’s an excellent time to consider the connection between schools and housing.

How important are good schools?

The answer depends on who you ask. 

When the National Association of REALTORS® surveyed home buyers, they found that 53 percent of buyers with children in the home under 18 years of age said the quality of the school districts is an important factor when purchasing a home. Only 10 percent of buyers with no children at home felt similarly. 

What’s defines a good school?

When it comes to grading schools, homeowners have different priorities. According to the realtor.com® survey, these factors received the highest marks among all buyers:

- Test scores (59%)

- Accelerated programs (53%)

- Arts and music programs (49%)

- Diversity (43%)

- Before- and after-school programs (41%)

The survey also cited notable differences between the priorities of older and younger buyers. Younger buyers (ages 18-34) were more likely to cite diversity as a feature that defines a good school (49%) compared to 37% of buyers over age 55.

Older buyers, on the other hand, placed more importance on the presence of accelerated programs (62%) compared to 50% of younger buyers. 

Doing your homework.

There are various ways to decide if a particular school or school district measures up against your priorities. Among online rating sites, Greatschools.org is a popular tool. 

Try reading reviews on other sites, asking friends, or using online community platforms like Nextdoor.com. Additionally, your buyer's rep may be able to point you to more resources for evaluating local schools. 

It’s also important to understand that decisions about school preferences are entirely up to you. The Fair Housing Act prohibits real estate professionals from sharing their opinions about schools, crime rates, and other factors that may inadvertently steer a buyer into or away from a neighborhood.  Most folks are not aware we can't give our opinion on this subject- and many more- as it violate the Act.

As a buyer, you have total freedom in deciding where you want to live. That also means it’s your responsibility to do your research on various neighborhood considerations. 

Once you’ve set your boundaries, your buyer’s agent will be at your side, helping you find the best home for your needs and budget.

Note:  credit to REBAC staff for the original article.

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