Why School Districts Matter, Even if You Don’t Have School-Age Children
When you’re looking at listings for your new home, you’ll often find the local school district rating featured right beside crime statistics and other important local data. Even if you do not have school-age children, the ranking of your neighborhood school district matters because it will influence the overall value of your home and when it comes time to sell, may even help sell your home faster and earn a larger profit.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) found 26% of home buyers said the quality of local schools was important when finding a home, and 20% said proximity to schools was a deciding factor. Realtor.com found that homes in good school districts got 26% more online views than comparable homes in average school districts and sold on average eight days faster. When school districts maintain their good rankings, these homes will likely appreciate in resale value.
Even empty-nesters or childless families should consider school districts when choosing their new neighborhood. The New York Times journalists analyzed homes in the 100 largest metro areas in the country and found homes near a school with top five test scores were priced 2.4 times higher, an average difference of $11,000 each year. In an interview with HousingWire, RE/MAX agent Lisa Harris explained, “You might pay a little bit more upfront if you buy into a better school district, but your home value will be exponentially higher when it comes time to sell.”
Good school districts directly benefit families with children, but they also indirectly benefit the community as a whole. Good school districts also tend to have lower crime rates. Schools that invest in extra-curricular and after school activities help adolescents establish a sense of community beyond the classroom. In 2011, Harvard researchers found, “increased quality raises the return to investment in schooling. Youth will stay in school longer, earn higher wages as adults, and commit fewer crimes.”
You can get an idea about your new home’s school district by checking the online listing or using free online resources like Niche.com and GlobalReportCard.org. Working with a knowledgeable local Realtor or real estate agent helps too. They may be aware of any upcoming developments like the construction of a new school or potential redistricting that can help you stay up to date on any potential changes in your district. If you have any questions about your local school district, ask your Realtor or real estate agent.
Sources: Harvard, HousingWire