Everyone wants their kids to get an excellent education, setting them up for success in the future. If you have or are planning to have children, school districts are probably high up on your checklist when deciding on where to buy your new home.
School districts are geographical areas that designate which public schools are assigned to the residents of that area. There are currently more than 13,000 school districts in the United States. A board of elected or appointed officials makes decisions about a school district’s policies, budgets, and curriculum.
Whether you are buying or selling a house, you may wonder what impact a school district can have on a property’s value, how long it takes to sell, where you can find a property’s school district, and how a school district’s quality is evaluated. We answer all of those questions below!
What Impact Does a School District Have on a Property’s Value?
School districts are one of the reasons why a real estate agent might tell you that the secret to real estate is “location, location, location!” Good school districts can be one of a home’s most significant selling points. A survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 24% of prospective home buyers said that the quality of the schools was important when evaluating a property. The percentage jumped to 42% amongst prospective buyers between the ages of 31 and 40. The value that home buyers place on good school districts shouldn’t be a surprise. People want the best for their kids.
Based on these statistics and your personal considerations, the school district in which a property is located can significantly impact a property’s value. A study by the Brookings Institute across 100 of the largest metropolitan areas found that home values in neighborhoods with high-scoring public schools are $205,000 higher on average than those with low-scoring public schools. Another study by Duke University found that home values increase by $0.52 per square foot for every percentage point increase in a school district’s test scores. Considering how much private schools can cost in some areas, paying more upfront for a better school district might save you money in the long term.
What Impact Does a School District Have on a Property’s Average Time to Sell?
Property value is not the only way a school district can impact a house on the market. Homes in the best school districts also sell faster than those in other districts. A study by Opendoor in 2017 found that houses in the top-rated school districts sold eight days faster than other houses. They also found that those listings received 26% more web traffic. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that those homes sell faster, too.
Getting your house ready to sell can be a stressful process. If you live in a top-ranked school district, you can list your home with the comfort of knowing that it might almost sell itself.
How are School Districts Evaluated?
School districts are typically evaluated based on various factors such as academic performance, student achievement, teacher quality, funding, and resources. Several ways to evaluate a school district include standardized test scores, graduation rates, student-to-teacher ratios, college acceptance rates, and teacher retention rates.
One common tool used to evaluate school districts is the state’s accountability system, which sets standards for academic achievement and evaluates schools based on their performance in meeting those standards. This system typically uses a combination of student test scores, graduation rates, and other factors to assign schools a rating or ranking.
In addition to official evaluations, school districts may also be evaluated by community members, real estate professionals, and other stakeholders based on their reputation, facilities, and other factors. These evaluations can be subjective and vary based on individual perspectives and priorities.
How Do You Find Out Your School District?
The Internet has made it much easier to determine which school district a property falls into. Gone are the days when you might have to try to locate your property on a map of the different school zones. This could be especially confusing if multiple elementary or middle schools feed into a single high school. Many listing sites, like Zillow, will also list a property’s school district directly in the listing, similar to other features like square footage or the number of bathrooms.
Below are links to find a property’s school district for each state we currently lend in.
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
It’s clear that a top-quality school district can significantly impact a property’s value and how long it takes to sell. If you have recently decided that you are ready to buy a house or are planning to, we encourage you to contact one of our expert loan officers today. Understanding your finances can only benefit you as you explore your options and plan for the future.
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