There are many factors that influence the buying decision of a home. but there seems to be a lot of support for schools and school districts to have a substantial impact on the appreciation and price of a home.
Even if you do not have a family of your own, it may pay off to do some research on the local school districts in the area you are looking to purchase a home. Some agents and local experts estimate that school districts can influence the price of a home by even $50,000- $100,000! As I said before, there have been many speculations and similarities made on comparing resale value of a home heavily based on a particular school or school district
So how do you go about researching the local school districts in the area you are interested in? Check out the local school district websites, compare SAT scores, and pay attention to rankings of national magazines such as U.S. News and World Report. National magazines often weigh rankings on test scores, demographics, and performances on AP tests. So who came in the top 50? Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County was ranked #1 in the nation in 2008 while others such as Walt Whitman High in Besthesda was ranked #44, McLean High was ranked #55, and Potomac’s Winston Churchill High was ranked #57.
Not only is it important to look at the general dynamics of an area’s demographics in comparing schools and school districts, but it is also important to look at things like teacher turnover, graduation rates, absenteeism, availability of extracurricular activities, and the local press of family/community involvement in school activities. All of these factors will not completely guarantee the quality of individual teachers at schools, however, schools with promising statistics and data is your best bet to find high quality education.
By any means, don’t single out your deciding factor on a home based on surrounding schools. Maximizing the whole picture is key to insuring the appreciation of the property value of your home for years to come. And don’t get up and pack your bags the minute you start planning to have a family; instead wait until the time is right and you can conduct proper research before making any final decisions. For most, it may be more important to stay put when a little one comes along in out to jump start savings towards a college fund and wait until the child is almost of age for starting elementary school.
Lesson here: there is no one single factor to decide when purchasing a home, but education and location definitely seem to be high up on the list.
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