Here’s Why School Ratings Matter – Even if You Don’t Have Kids
Schools can have a big impact on property value and quality of life. If you’re buying a home, here are a few reasons local school ratings matter, even if you don’t have kids.
The next buyer will consider the school ratings, too
According to the National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, when people buy a home, a number of factors influence their decision. The look of the home, as well as its size, layout, age, and proximity to amenities are all important, depending on the buyer.
The local school district is a factor with significant influence. We’ve always known that good schools attract families with school-age children, but recent statistics add concrete numbers and surprising trends to the storyline.
You may be surprised to learn that not all of the shoppers involved in the studies had kids.
Higher school ratings equal higher home values
A Brookings Institution study looked at the 100 largest metro areas in the country and found an average difference of $205,000 in home prices between houses near high-performing and low-performing schools.
And good school ratings help homes maintain value
While changes in the economic landscape and local area can ripple across the market, a great school district can sometimes help insulate a home from market fluctuations.
Great school districts usually mean great neighborhoods
Often there’s a correlation between super school districts and safer neighborhoods, better shopping and transportation and great public amenities – like parks. All of these factors increase the desirability of the neighborhood, which translates to higher home values and a better deal for you when it’s time to sell.
So what does this all mean?
In the end, though, it’s hard to deny that there is strong consumer demand for good schools. Demand drives prices higher for a limited product like real estate. We probably can’t pinpoint exactly how much that demand has on home prices, because the market is so complex and every home buyer’s decision weighs so many different factors.
Clearly, though, consumer demand is large enough that we can conclude that good schools do increase home values in some measure. Half of the home-buying population is willing to pay more than their intended budget to get into the right school district, and more than half would give up other amenities. Making a decision on buying a home should definitely include an analysis of the school district, even for buyers who don’t intend to send children to those schools. Good schools provide stability for a community, and that’s good for the property values of everyone who lives nearby.